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Skipped or Pause in Heartbeats

I have had numerous bouts recently with atrial Fib And have been in to see my physician. My physical went very well but he did detect a slight murmur and said I have a breathing arythmia. Meaning when I breathe my heart rate slow and speeds up! I have had an appointment with a cardiologist and he listened to me and thought it was a benign sort of thing! I am having a holter monitor put on tomorrow for 24 hrs. and thursday I'll have an echocardiogram done. My symptoms are sometimes a fast heart rate for me 90-100bpm..maybe 110. I experience missed beats or a pause in beats..right as I write this I'm getting 2-3 pauses per minute or so. I get tingling sensations in my arms and upper chest area. The feeling is scary as it happens alot at bedtime feeling a little like tightness or a muscle tightening in my left shoulder in the front. I have been able to put up with these episodes but they really bother me and sleeping is almost impossible.Can sleep deprivation make these worse? I have stopped all caffiene and alcohol...but still continue to have these almost daily..maybe more than once daily. What do you think I should do if all the tests come out negative? Should I proceed with more tests? Thanks for any input you can give me..
44 Responses
238668 tn?1232735930

Thank you for your question.  You and your doctor have observed a phenomenon called heart rate variability (HRV) and this is a normal function of the heart.  This was first recorded by the Chinese in about 1000 BC.  HRV is due to a complex interaction of the autonomic nervous system, blood return to the heart and the effects of breathing.  Studies have demonstrated that an increased HRV is a marker for decreased mortality, so more HRV is actually good! Of course your cardiologist will check you for any other possible things that are going on and give recommendations based on his findings.

I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.

If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

Avatar universal
My heart rate speeds up when breathing in, and then slows down when exhaling. I was told that was normal????? What do you say doc?
Avatar universal
I get missed beats every 2 to 3mins and pains in left arm, im only 31yrs old and i would love to know what to do.
Ive been to the hospital and thay have told me not to worry, how can i not worry over somthing as bad as this.
I would like to know can you die from this, im so scared about this that sometimes i feel like taking my own life, please can somone help me.
Avatar universal
I heard that you can die from this. Depending on what you have, you might not have a life-threatening disease and then again, you might have it.

I have palpitations from just sitting around or driving.  I get adrenalin rushes when I get scared or something.  Whats up with that doc?  Could this be related to my extra pathway in my heart, which I will get an EP and ablation for?

Avatar universal
I know exactly how you feel. I lately get those skipped beats very frequently, sometime periods of every other beat.  My cardiologist and the doctors on this forum alway say: in the absence of structural heart problems or disease, that they are not life-threatening. I will tell you this, they sure have cut down on my quality of life alot. Talk to your doctor and see what he says.  There are meds available also to calm the heart down which I am strongly considering taking! Have a good holiday and try not to let it get you sooooo down, but I get like that too!!
Avatar universal
I too have skipped/forceful beats, and other heart problems.  Even with the heart problems I have, I have been reassured over and over that you can not die from this.  It is very uncomfortable but it is not endangering your life in anyway.  It was just in the news that Bill Bradley (Presidental Canidate) too suffers from A-Fib, but it is meerly a nuscence than a problem.  I am not saying it isn't scary by no means, because it scares the **** out of me, but the more I worry the more I get the irregular beats.  I too suffer from Panic Attacks, so I know how it feels to feel like you are dying, but I have came to realize it passes.  It is great having a site like this, and having a support system of people who understand.  Seems like sometimes no one does.  Take Care, Relax and breath deeply and know that it will pass.

Happy Holidays

Avatar universal
I would like to say thank you all for your support and understanding,Ive been to my Doctor and he has told me that the missed beats that i get are called eptopic beats,as im typing this letter im getting 2 to 3 missed beats and thay seem to be taking my breath away.
Ive been told that you cant die from these and that you can live a normal life.
I would love to have more support if that is possible, so if there is anyone that can give me support it would be most greatful.
And thank you very much for your support Carrie.xxxxxxxxx
Avatar universal
I have many bad days with the skipped beats, and I also have SVT(tachycardia).  I hate this heartbeat irregularity stuff.  Please e-mail me anytime at ***@****.  I will help you in any way I can and maybe you can be a source of comfort for me!!  Happy Holidays to you Ian!!  I understand how YOU FEEL!!  So write OK!!
Avatar universal
Wow, I didn't raelize so many people were suffering from the same kind of irregular heartbeat as I am. I get the pause and then the forceful beats also.In my case it seems to happen when I eat, especially a good size meal. I must eat very early or I cannot sleep. It also seems to be directly connected to my blood pressure medication. Earlier this year the irregularity was so unbearable I lost 40 lbs because i could only eat very small meals or risk being up all night. At this time mt doctor lowered my dosage of mecication and I noticed a terrific improvement. Unfortunatly it is coming back, though not nearly as severe. Ian,I now what you're going through, and my quality of life has suffered also. I'm reasonably sure my problem is medication related. Both Ziac and toporol seemed to cause it, or at least make it worse, though I am only speaking from my experience. Deep breaths really help with the panic attacks. Good luck all.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone, well today is the 24 Dec 1999 and im still having these missing heart beats, ive been told that they are called Ectopic beats.
I would love to know how to stop them or even calm them down, is there anyone that can help.
The funny thing is that i can sleep fine, but when im awake i get at least 2 to 3 missed beats in one min and it realy does my head in, so if there is anyone with the same problem please come back to me.
             Many thanks  Ian.
  If you want to email me you can at   ian.***@****
Avatar universal
Hi Ian, Carrie, Mike: I was diagnosed with SVT's (supraventricular tachycardia)last month.  My cardiologist recommended an ablation which I had done.  This is a procedure where they send radiofrequency waves directly to the extra pathway that is causing the SVT's.  I haven't had any tachycardia since the procedure which I am grateful for, but...all of a sudden I'm feeling these skipped beats.  I was told I would occasionally feel these for about three weeks after the ablation, but it is very frequent and you can't help but worry about them.  I opted for the ablation because I didn't want to take medication.  I would have the SVT's about 2 to 3 times a year, but they seemed to be lasting longer.  I have mixed feelings though, because I'm dealing with these PVCs or PACs everyday!  This is the first time in this forum for me, but it has been comforting to know other people have these annoying heart rhythms also.  
Avatar universal
I just turned 38 years old and for about a month I've been feeling these really strange beats, almost like a pause with a slight feeling of euphoria and then a really hard beat; it seems more prominent in the vein on the right side of my neck.  Does anybody know if these "beats" can be controlled by medication? I'm currently on medication for blood pressure and asthma.  It's good to find this column and to know that there are others who understand.
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