Skipping heart, what could it be?

Palpitations, skipping heart, what could be the cause? Your heart is a pump that pumps the blood around your body year in, year out. If you suffer from a skipped heartbeat, your heart suddenly makes an extra heartbeat. This can vary from a skipped heartbeat, or a skipped heartbeat, to a real arrhythmia. The arrhythmia must be treated with medication or a shock in the operating room, or another method. Fortunately, a skipping heart is usually (but not always) harmless. What causes a skipping heart? An irregular heartbeat is common, and a heart that skips a beat every now and then is almost always not immediately life-threatening. There are many reasons why a heart can beat irregularly. There is a difference between palpitations, a skipping heart or an arrhythmia.

Skipping heart

Every heart skips a beat sometimes. This may be due to influences that are often within your control, such as:

  • drinking (too much) coffee.
  • ingested caffeine through other drinks, such as energy drinks or (too much) cola.
  • taken pills that contain caffeine, such as paracetamol with caffeine.
  • smoking.
  • alcohol consumption.
  • drug use.
  • stress.
  • dieting too strict (starving).
  • magnesium deficiency due to unhealthy diet.
  • potassium deficiency.
  • other.

It can also be caused by influences over which you have no direct influence, such as:

  • disorders of the thyroid gland.
  • heart valve disorders.
  • diseases, such as rheumatism.
  • hormonal disorders.
  • heart diseases.
  • infections.
  • side effect of some medications.
  • emotions.
  • other.


Most complaints of a skipping heart are harmless. It feels like a sudden blow to your chest. The heart then resumes beating in a normal manner or beats very quickly a few times in a row. After a while you may feel that extra pounding again. Such a large single heartbeat (a kind of heavy pounding in your chest) is called an extrasystole. It can scare you, but usually it doesn’t mean much. However, if you have extrasystoles that keep coming, or if you have other complaints, it must be examined whether there is any abnormality in (for example) the heart valves. If in doubt, or if complaints persist or recur, contact a doctor. You should also consult a doctor if you have a skipped heart in combination with one of the following symptoms:

  • shortness of breath.
  • The heart beats a lot and fast and it doesn’t slow down.
  • you are very tired.
  • sweating and/or feeling clammy.
  • chestpain.
  • pain in the jaw.
  • pain in one or both arms.
  • pain in the abdomen or back.
  • pain in the legs.
  • nauseous.
  • dizzy.
  • feeling of fainting.
  • pass out.
  • fever.
  • the feeling that something is not right.
  • other.

Prevent a skipping heart

To prevent a normal skipping heart (a heartbeat that seems to make an extra beat every now and then – for example a few times a minute and not every day), you can try the following:

  • don’t drink coffee with caffeine.
  • also drink little or no tea for a while.
  • do not drink soft drinks with extra caffeine such as energy drinks.
  • don’t eat too much salt.
  • If you smoke, smoke as little as possible (quitting is better, but for most people that is not something they can easily do).
  • do not use drugs, especially drugs that have a stimulant effect.
  • eat healthy but not too much or too little.
  • If you eat few green vegetables you may have a magnesium deficiency. You can eat more food with magnesium in it, or use magnesium oil (for example externally via the skin) or magnesium tablets.
  • limit alcohol consumption.
  • Read the leaflet on medications if you are taking them and see if the medication can affect your heart rate.
  • Do not use paracetamol with caffeine or other painkillers with caffeine added. Unless your doctor prescribes this.
  • limit the use of seasonings such as Ve-tsin (for example in Chinese food).
  • walk more often.

What are palpitations?

Palpitations in general involve a heart that beats quickly but regularly. Many people experience palpitations as unpleasant and it can cause anxiety. The heart beats fast, and your pulse goes fast. A healthy pulse has approximately 60 to 80 beats per minute. With palpitations this is higher, up to 120 to 150 beats or even higher per minute. If this subsides quickly and the cause is clear, it is usually a healthy response of your heart to certain circumstances. For example, if you just climbed a few stairs, walked or ran quickly, or drank a lot of caffeine, etc. Normally, the rapid pulse decreases quickly if you inhale calmly, hold your breath for a moment, and then exhale slowly. Repeat this for a while. You will then feel your pulse slowing down when you exhale and a little faster when you inhale. If palpitations do not subside, it is best to consult your doctor. Even if there are other complaints, consultation with a doctor is necessary. If you have shortness of breath or pain, you should of course contact a doctor immediately.

How do palpitations occur?

Palpitations are common, and the cause is often harmless. Palpitations can occur, for example, in:

  • effort.
  • stress.
  • caffeine use.
  • smoking.
  • fear.
  • to startle.
  • full stomach and/or air in the stomach.
  • before you throw up.
  • other.

However, it is not always clear what causes palpitations. Normal palpitations with a regular but fast heartbeat, with no other associated complaints (and no heart or vascular disorders) subside after a short time. But even if you have any doubts, it is always wise to consult your doctor. In severe cases, cardiac arrhythmias can be treated with, among other things, ablation (surgically correcting the conduction of impulses) or with a pacemaker.

When to contact a doctor?

In many cases you will see that your skipping heart will become a lot calmer if you live a healthier lifestyle, and if all goes well, it will even stop beating at all. However, if this is not the case, or the complaints are serious, consult your doctor. It is wise to call your doctor about changes in your heart rhythm if you are concerned. If you have a real arrhythmia, you will have serious complaints and these should always be discussed immediately with a doctor. The complaints are then different from a normal skipping heart. Your heart is out of whack and pumps significantly faster or very slowly. You may also be dizzy, have chest pain, shortness of breath or other complaints, but this does not have to be the case. If you are unsure whether or not you have an innocent skipped heart, always consult a doctor. Your blood pressure will be measured and an ECG will be taken to show whether the problems are serious or harmless.

Call a doctor if your heart skips a beat?

If you have a skipped heart and you have no other complaints, you can still call your doctor if you want to be sure that there is nothing unusual going on. If you have no further complaints and you do not feel ill, it is always wise to call the doctor if:

  • your heart skips beats every day (or quite often).
  • your heart beats many times per minute.
  • you also have other complaints such as fatigue or anxiety.
  • you feel short of breath.
  • you retain fluid in your ankles and/or lower legs.
  • you feel unwell.
  • you are dizzy.
  • you fainted.
  • you don’t trust it.

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  • Skipping heart at rest

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