Ask the Doctors December 2008 Issue

Ask The Doctors: December 2008

An important qualifier is whether the palpitations—the sensation of abnormal, fast, or irregular heartbeats—occur during exercise or afterwards. In general, palpitations while you’re exercising could be concerning, especially if they are associated with chest discomfort, severe shortness of breath, or lightheadedness. Such symptoms would suggest that a stress test is indicated, both to assess for coronary artery blockages, as well as for the type of heart rhythm causing your palpitations. Conversely, palpitations which occur after exercise (or happen at rest and resolve during exercise) are generally not worrisome. Such symptoms usually stem from benign premature atrial contractions (PACs) or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). Take your pulse, as you may sense palpitations, but be in a normal rhythm. If your doctor feels it is indicated, you may be advised to try a portable 24- or 48-hour modified EKG to further analyze your palpitations.

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Heart Advisor

Get the next year of HEART ADVISOR for just $20. That's a savings of $19 off the regular rate.

With your paid subscription you will receive unlimited access to all of our online content. That is over a decade of previous issues from Cleveland Clinic, the hospital rated #1 in cardiac care by U.S. News & World Report - free of charge.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.