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Periodic irregular heartbeat

  My husband, who is 33,  periodically suffers from a very rapid and very strong heart beat.  At times it looks likes his heart will pound right out of his chest.  He has no other symptoms, is healthly and active (he is a UPS driver).   He has been to the emergency room once and hooked up to several machines to monitor his heart activity, which of course was back to normal by then.  The symptoms were present before but when asked, he said this was the first time, out of fear I suppose.  He was told to see a doctor if the symptoms ever returned.  Over the weekend he had another episode but won't go to the doctor.  He has detcided that there won't be anything that they can do for him.  I'm sure there is something that can be done to regulate the rapid heart beating but I don't know what.  His father had a heart attack at 40 so he is afraid to hear what the doctor has to say.  If possible, I'd like enough information to help reassure him that there is a name for what he has and that something  can be done to help him.  Maybe then I'll be able to get him to the doctor.  Thanks very much for any help you can offer.
Dear Tracy
Your husband sounds like he is having palpitations. I suggest that he see a doctor. He can have a relatively simple test - wearing a portable EKG monitor to determine what is causing the palpitations. He may also need further testing, especially given his family history of heart disease at an early age. Heart diseases are very treatable if discovered early, but obviously can be life-threatening if left untreated.
I hope this is useful. Feel free to write back. I wish you the best of luck.
If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our cardiologists here at the Cleveland Clinic please feel free to call 1-800-CCF-CARE.
Information provided in the Heart Forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only. Actual diagnosis and treatment of any particular medical condition can only be made by your physician(s).

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