what causes heart flutters/missed or extra heart beats?

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dalebillster | 11:11 Mon 25th Jun 2012 | Body & Soul
12 Answers
hi all, last night i found myself leaving work & in A&E after having chest pains, heart flutters/missed beats, dizzyness & numbness in the gums & lips. Iv had flutters before but never with the pain like i had last night. The doctor reckons it was a panic attack (which i used to suffer from years ago). My ecg and blood tests came back normal. For the past few years iv had problems with heart flutters but thought it was'nt anything serious. Heart flutters wasnt picked up on the ecg. Im unable to see my local GP today as appointments are hard to get at such short notice. Im due to return to work tonight again but should i be concerned about last nights symptoms? Im male, 26 and slim/medium build. Thanks in advance all...


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It can be notoriously difficult to 'pick up' on an ECG.
From personal experience too much caffeine can give one skipped beats. But the other symptoms you mention suggest you need to get it properly checked out. May be just stress related symptoms but always wise to get these things checked.
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any ideas what causes them? iv had them for years, some worse than others and now my work colleagues have noticed me having them, they have got concerned aswel
It is a 'mis-firing' in the electrical impulses controlling heart-rythym. Once properly diagnosed, it can be dealt with/managed.

Keep on at your GP to send you for tests.
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hi old_geezer, the doctor asked in the hospital last night if i drink caffine, which i dont really, rarely drink coffee and only drink pepsi/coke a few times a week. I dont really drink much alcohol in the week but tend to give it hell for leather come a friday night with the lads, but thats about it with the beer
I get this sometimes, the GP told me it's more noticeable the more you look for it.... I get it sometimes when my stomach is full, all to do with the vagus nerve (or so I am led to believe).
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yeah will do jack the hat, the doctor in the hospital gave me a letter to take to my gp asking for further tests to be done, in particular, a heart monitor of some sort that i have strapped to me for 24 hours to record my heart beats, hopefully if i can get that arranged then that should give some answers
Yes, that's a 24-hour ECG - I had that, it didn't show anything in particular!
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cheers box tops, i get them pretty much all the time but yeah, thinking about it when iv filled myself up of food and especially on a hangover is when they are at their worst. I was unloading the lorry last night (very heavy physical work) and thats when it all started which i dont normally get. I had the chest pains for the first time aswell which worried me
Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are two different entities but very occasionally may occur together.

Atrial fibrillation is almost always secondary to some other condition...e.g heart valve disease, overactive thyroid, high BP and if secondary to a heart condition should easily be picked up on ECG and physical examination.

Atrial flutter may be secondary to other disorders, but can be due to emotional issues or indeed the imbibing of stimulants..e.g coffee.

You are a slim 26year old, so it is likely that your flutter unlikely to be due to disease process.
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cheers sqad, doc checked my blood pressure last night and said all was ok. Thyroid gland was discussed but it was decided that that was ok aswell. Like i say, i used to be on tablets to control my panic/anxiety attacks about 7 years ago, although i have suffered with panic attacks or similar since i was about 10 years old. Upto the doctors 'when' i can get in because the whole thing has dragged on too long now. Thanks all for your advice and it has been much help, thanks Dale.
I find I get that weird fluttery too fast feeling and dizziness when I've overdone it, moreso if I've been ill and figured it was just my body being stressed or trying to cope. I had it quite a bit when I went back to work after a week in hospital with an infected gallbladder. Though I have a naturally quite fast heartbeat and oftenhave low end of normal blood pressure so figure I'm more prone to it feeling too fast or a bit lightheaded sometimes.

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