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Babs Lemanski asked...

Occasionally I experience what appears to be an irregularity in my heart beat.

Tags: heart

Occasionally I experience what appears to be an irregularity in my heart beat.

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The answer

An occasional missed beat, extra beat or the feeling of a momentary flutter in the chest is likely to be an ectopic beat, which is not usually associated with worrying heart conditions. People often describe this as a sinking feeling in the chest and, provided it is only momentary and not associated with any pain, breathing difficulty or altered conscious level, is unlikely to be of concern.  Possible exacerbating factors are excess caffeine, alcohol, stimulants, dehydration and physical exhaustion, although most often no obvious underlying cause can be identified. Athletes can experience these too after a period of heavy training. Ectopic beats may just disappear on their own and can occur again occasionally.

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