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Arrhythmia and Sugar
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Arrhythmia and Sugar

  I am having arrhythmias after eating sugar.  I have low blood sugar and my family has a history of diabetes.  After eating a moderate amount of sugar, my heart skips a beat and then palpitates for a second or two.  Is this dangerous or an indication of a serious heart problem?  
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Dear Elaine,
There is a big difference between skipped beats (which everyone has but not all feel/ are aware)
and arrythmias.  It is in your best interest to go see a physician (internist and or cardiologist)
who can order a holter monitor for you that will continuously record your heart rhythm while you keep a diary of what
you feel or sense.  The 24-48 hour monitor will then be evaluated for any abnormal rhythm and your therapy if any
will be determined then.   About 'skipped beats' which technically are called PACs and PVCs(premature atrial and ventricular contractions respectively),
is that they are benign and of no consequence and actually occur in everyone, although in some they are more frequent and in some they are more
bothersome because for unknown reasons those patients are more aware of their extra beats.  
What you need to hear is that often there are triggers to these extra beats and these would include
alcohol, caffeine(present in chocolate, tea, and coffee),and stress as the worst offenders.  It sounds as
if the sugar you speak of includes caffeine, or simply that it does stimulate the extra beats.  Often this is the case
when a person is under a lot of stress-i.e.foods that were never a problem before are at the time of stress, a big stimulator of the skipped beats.
Good Luck and write back with any further questions.
Information provided in the heart forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, actual diagnosis and treatment
can only be made by your physician(s).

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