Some arrhythmias may occur without any symptoms. Others may cause noticeable symptoms, such as:
- Dizziness, sensation of lightheadedness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Sensation of your heart fluttering (palpitations)
- Sensation of a missed or extra heart beat
Fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath all mean that your brain or your muscles are not getting enough blood because your heart isn't pumping effectively.
Chest pain means that the heart itself is not getting enough blood. This is called
Some people report an unusual feeling of their “heart beating,” especially if it is beating abnormally. With none of the other symptoms, this may be harmless or it may be a warning of a potential problem.
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Mayou R, Sprigings D, Birkhead J, Price J. Characteristics of patients presenting to a cardiac clinic with palpitation.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
Zimetbaum P, Josephson ME. Evaluation of patients with palpitations.
N Engl J Med.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
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