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What are the symptoms of arrhythmias?

An arrhythmia can be silent and not cause any symptoms. A doctor can detect an irregular heartbeat during a physical exam by taking your pulse or through an electrocardiogram (ECG).

When symptoms of an arrhythmia occur, they may include:

  • Palpitations (a feeling of skipped heart beats, fluttering or "flip-flops," or feeling that your heart is "running away").
  • Pounding in your chest.
  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed.
  • Fainting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest discomfort.
  • Weakness or fatigue (feeling very tired).
Return to Arrhythmia

See what others are saying

Comment from: Happyhearts123, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I'm only 21 and have had arrhythmia problems for the last two years. When I was in my teens, my blood pressure would always drop in the shower that I would have to sit down during my shower. During my first pregnancy, I was hospitalized with low potassium. My daughter was 6 months old when my problems got more aggressive. I would get a rapid heart racing, numb left arm and dizziness. I've been diagnosed with low resting blood pressure and I'm being investigated for faulty electricity in my heart or arrhythmia. Sudden death runs in my family as do other forms of arrhythmia. So I was educated from an early age to know my symptoms. I drink a crazy amount of water and will add salt to everything. I will lie down when I experience palpitations. It helps. However, never ignore your symptoms and you are never too young. It doesn't matter if you go to the doctor and it turns out to be nothing. That peace of mind is everything. It can be a silent killer. Getting tested is the best way of prevention.

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Comment from: mariah, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 22

My heart palpitates fast at times. I have chest pain, pain at the back of the neck and high blood pressure. Even if I am resting it does occur, or suddenly when sitting and then standing up.

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Comment from: Annie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I was born with a heart disease and I'm now 50 which isn't too bad considering my parents were told I wouldn't live past 5. I've had several open heart operations to replace the tricuspid valve, I've had several different types of medication to help with arrhythmia with no luck, 3 or 4 cardio versions which also haven't worked, several heart ablation procedures and currently waiting to go back in for another. I've had the AV (atrioventricular) node ablated and a two lead pacemaker fitted which also didn't work and after several years a three lead one put in which also hasn't helped hence why I'm on the list for yet another heart ablation. I've had heart problems throughout my life and have just found out some of the reason for my arrhythmia is scarred tissue from past procedures. After having been in and out of hospital for all my life and having many attempts to help the arrhythmia I'm starting to realize I'm probably never going to have a normal rhythm, I don't know what else the specialists can do so I guess for some people it's simply a case of learning to live with it, something I've been doing for most of my life. I have a very disturbed sleeping pattern due to them waking me up on and off throughout the night. I get them randomly throughout the day for no apparent reason, it doesn't matter what I am doing or what I'm not doing, I just get them. I get tired quite easily, I get weakness in my left arm and experience bouts of tingling, pins and needles in my legs and arms and along with this you obviously get the light headedness and dizziness, it is crazy! With all the technology we have this day and age I find it difficult to understand that it's taken years to try and sort this, yet with no luck. Over the years I've developed a high tolerance level by way of coping with arrhythmia which contributes to me living as normal life as I can but it still gets frustrating.

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