Q: What do You do When You Repeatedly Tell the Doctor you have Palpitations and They Tell You They’re Fine

Well, the doctor’s right, in the sense that they’re fine when they come in, but as I said, even for physicians that don’t take care of heart rhythm problems all the time, when you just look at a snapshot where a Holter monitor or a 24 hour monitor shows 30 seconds, 45 seconds at 200 beats per minute, that can be extremely symptomatic, even though it’s very, very short in duration.

So typically, we recommend that patients seek out a heart rhythm specialist and see if they can get access to one of those other ways of seeing what the heart’s up to when they’re not in their doctors office, so that when they’re having the symptoms, we know what the heart is doing.

But, I will tell you that some patients do feel palpitations and when they’re on the monitor the heart is actually in a normal rhythm, and what they’re calling palpitations are symptoms from something else sometimes. So, we need to look at it carefully and obviously we want to give the patients the benefit of the doubt and make sure we get a picture of what their heart’s doing when they have those symptoms.

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