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Heart skips a beat when measuring pulse ?

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Heart skips a beat when measuring pulse ?
abarber012389 3 mins
Hi! So a little background... I went to the hospital last night for a migraine that's lasted a few weeks and just feeling tired and fuzzy...While I was there,they gave me an EKG because my heart rate was extremely high (however I have horrible panic disorder and this always happens at the doctor) they said the ekg was fine.
Today, I've checked my pulse manually several times (a habit I do often because of my anxiety) and I've noticed something I never have before,in 5 years of monitoring my pulse bc of panic... my heart seems to skip a beat every once in a while. Maybe a couple of times in a single measurement. I'm not feeling actual fluttering in my chest. Since my EKG was fine last night, should I be worried about this?  Could this be anxiety related? Could this be a side effect of one of the medications they put me on (I'm not sure what all they gave but several pain meds) or do I need to worry and go back in?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
It is abnormal to check pulse at any time so you should stop, but if you "can't" stop doing this then see a therapist for some help. The first step to peace is to stop studying your body looking for clues that you might be dying and to stop doing things like pulse checks.
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That doesnt answer my question at all, I do this because I've been advised by my doctor to monitor my heart rate and blood pressure at least once a day, as I have tachycardia. If you have an answer to my question, I would love the input.
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To clarify, I was advised by a cardiologist to monitor my heart rats daily because of the tachycardia and anxiety issues. That way I can tell if I'm just having an anxiety attack, because I'm able to calm and slow my heart rate with that - or if my tachycardia is getting worse.
This is not a cardiac forum and no one can diagnose you on that issue from here, so it is good that you updated to mention that you have tachycardia and your doc told you to monitor.
You need to work with your cardiologist and discuss your ideas about skipped beats and anxiety because those are technical issues that relate specifically to each person.
Avatar universal
I'm still going with Anxiousnomore's post unless you say you have a reason for the tachycardia.  The reason I'm saying this is because you say your doctor wants you to monitor your heart rate, but you can't do that by checking your pulse very accurately.  If you had an actual heart condition that was so severe you needed such constant monitoring I assume by now you'd be on a pacemaker or wearing a monitor all the time that is more accurate.  I'm not questioning you, just saying, you posted on an anxiety forum, and on an anxiety forum we're going to tell you to stop checking your pulse.  Your description of your doctor's advice sounds like he's using this pulse checking as a form of relaxation for your anxiety because, again, someone with a heart problem that bad that needed that much checking would be on much more high tech monitoring than highly inaccurate pulse checking.  If you really do have that bad a heart problem, then again, Anxiousnomore is right, you need to be on a heart forum for those with severe and constant heart problems.  I'm taking the fact you posted here and your explanation of what your doctor told you as signs that you have a untreated anxiety problem that is driving you to distraction, which on this forum we get.  Again, please don't take this as discounting that you have a severe and ominous condition, but if you do, you need to go to the ER.  I'm just guessing based on being an anxiety sufferer and again what you said your doc told you to do, which isn't what cardiologists do, that you have an anxiety problem that needs to be treated so you can move past this constant worry.  I don't know a guaranteed way to fix that, but therapy or medication or both is mainly what's out there.  I also note that you said you had a migraine that lasted a few weeks.  Migraines don't last that long unless something is very wrong, and again, that would be another reason to have gone to the ER way before this.  There is such a thing as cluster headaches, which are migraines that just keep coming all the time.  They are horrid, I knew someone who got them, and they are very hard to treat, but the medication for them isn't pain killers, it's something you take all the time to prevent them from occurring.  I used to suffer from migraines, and they're one of the most painful things I've ever gone through and they were awful, but they went away after a day.  Again, the medication I had for them I took at the first sign of one and had to take them every half hour until I used up the dose.  If it was still there after that, I had to go to the ER and get an opiate to let me sleep it off.  I solved this problem when a doctor told me to do a form of meditation called TM twice a day.  That was over 40 years ago and I've had 3 migraines since.  Now, I have no idea what the nature of your medical problems are or what you're doing to treat them, but if the situation is as described you have very bad medical conditions, but both can be caused by stress and anxiety -- a true migraine, and a migraine isn't a bad headache, it's a particular kind of headache that is caused by constriction and then opening of the blood vessels -- and if that's what's going on and why you posted here, the best you can do is tell us what you're doing to treat your anxiety problem and people will offer suggestions.  If you have the medical problems you say you do, then you need to see your specialists and there's not much we can do here as we're just a bunch of anxiety sufferers, not physicians.  I feel for you, and I hope you can get out from under all this -- it sounds like no fun at all.  
By the way, what I meant was, since it isn't even clear to me, either you have tachycardia because of a heart condition or you have an anxiety problem.  Because if your cardiologist told you to check your pulse to see if it's anxiety or tachycardia, that doesn't make sense in today's world of high technology treatment of heart problems.  Anxiety doesn't necessarily cause any increase in your heart rate or your pulse rate -- it does in some people and doesn't in most people.  Anxious people spend a lot of time getting their hearts checked and the vast majority of them never have anything wrong with their heart.  It just feels like they do.  Depending on how much people exercise, what they do to relax themselves such as meditation, etc., the symptoms we get from chronic anxiety are as varied as the stars in the sky.  But heart disease is different than your body reacting to anxiety.  An EKG tests almost nothing at all for someone with heart disease -- generally you have to do stress testing to test you under stress, not just sitting on a doctor's chair doing nothing.  It can warn of potential problems that need further investigation, so it's a triage test.  If you have chronic tachycardia and a known heart condition, again, I'm an old guy and when you're old you unfortunately get to know a lot of people with heart conditions, and the treatment wouldn't be that tame.  I'm just trying hard here to help sort out what's actually going on because if it is anxiety then there are people on here who can offer suggestions based on what they've tried.  We can't do that about a true heart condition or a true migraine that lasts for weeks.  Peace.
Avatar universal
Okay, I appreciate the input but a lot of your answers are assuming things. I've had tachycardia for 29 years. I dont bae any other heart conditions, I am monitored closely by a cardiologist. Because of the fact that my cardiologist knows i have panic disorder (and for ne personally, heart rate rising is my number one panic symptom- it's the entire reason that I started having my heart looked at many years ago) my cardiologist suggested to me to check my pulse because if I feel my heart racing and can get if go stop via my anxiety medicines and breathing techniques,  it should let me know its most anxiety. Thts all. the only question I had was if anyone knows if its normal for a heart to sometimes skip beats or if they have experience with this. Thanks.
And my answer continues to be that you posed a technical cardiac question and since you said that you work closely with your cardiologist he is the person who you need to ask. Not sure why you expect an answer to that question here or why you keep bringing up that we are assuming things - we aren't diagnosing anyone here and can't read guess your situation.
I'm not saying you don't have it.  I'm saying that given you're not being treated for it, from what you've written so far, the only assumption I can make is that your cardiologist thinks your heart problems are caused by anxiety.  You don't mention being on a beta blocker.  You don't mention any high tech monitoring.  So either there's a lot more to this story you haven't said yet, and you have no requirement to say it here, you apparently have a known anxiety problem that you've not stated you're treating in any way other than measuring your pulse, which is actually one way to treat anxiety attacks.  But as for your irregularities, whether they're really something or not requires a doctor.  Best of luck.
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