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Heart skipping beats. Is this bad?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My heart seems to be skipping a beat every once in a while. And then (when I'm listening with a stethoscope), it seems to do a funny 3-part beat, and then it returns to a normal lub-dub beat.

The stethoscope I am using is old and not in the best condition, and I have no training in listening with one. So I may not be hearing what a doctor would.

But there are definitely short pauses.

Is this something bad? Do I need to see a doctor today, or will waiting for a big check-up in December or January be OK? I'd really prefer to wait. We have a money crunch right now caused by an unexpected decreast in income of about $1000 a month. And we have no health insurance on me, so any trip to the doctor is out of pocket.

I'm in generally good health otherwise. Except that I had a cold-type thing that settled in my chest for about three weeks during early November - a short period of fever at the beginning, and then lots of coughing for weeks. But now I feel fine.

Help?
post #2 of 6
Heart papitations aren't problematic short term, but some doctors believe that long term they can lead to an irregular permanent rhythm.

The most common causes of heart palpitations (missing beats, extra beats, etc) are:

1. Food allergies and other environmental allergies to a lesser extent

2. Caffeine

3. Stress

4. Antihistamines or cold medicine
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh! I've been taking some antihistamine to deal with seasonal allergy. And I drink a cup of coffee every morning.

And yesterday evening I had QUITE a scare - a wild animal charged at me very agressively and I had to move FAST to get away from it. Actually this scare was what made me check my heart to begin with. An hour after the incident, my heart rate seemed to still be elevated, so I checked my pulse at my wrist, and noticed the skipped beats. Then I checked my pulse at my neck, and there were the skipped beats again. Then I dug out the old stethoscope and listened directly to my heart, and there were the odd rhythms again!

Seems like I have all the triggers going for me - allergies, antihistamines, caffiene and a stressing incident. Yikes!
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann-Marita View Post
Oh! I've been taking some antihistamine to deal with seasonal allergy. And I drink a cup of coffee every morning.
Almost certainly this is the cause

Also if you have seasonal allergies you very, very probably have some food allergies... food allergies in particular seem to cause heart palps
post #5 of 6
It sounds like you may have what's called Premature Ventricular Contractions or PVCs where the lower chamber of the heart decides it too will provide a heartbeat. I get PVCs occasionally. They're actually pretty common and often benign. I find big meals and certain brands of chocolate trigger the PVCs. If you are in otherwise good health and you aren't experiencing any other symptoms, I would wait until December to get the check up but you should have a check up to make sure there aren't any underlying issues that are causing the PVCs. PVCs are generally harmless assuming there's no problem with the heart but sometimes they can also be a warning sign of something more serious with the heart.
post #6 of 6
That happens to me if I have caffeine or if I am feeling anxiety.

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