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Your heart skips a beat: Is it love? Or should you go to a doctor?

Your heart skips a beat: Is it love? Or should you go to a doctor?

Find out how to tune in to your heart’s rhythm.

By: PGH, Preferred Global Health


Valentine’s is a day to celebrate a special someone in our lives. The feeling of love comes alongside emotional, and adrenaline, highs and lows. Daily things in life take on a special meaning as it feels like our heart “skips a beat” at the thought of that special person.


We link matters of the heart with love and feelings, but it is also important to think about our heart’s physical health and wellbeing. We can practice this type of self-care by checking if changes in this important organ’s rhythm mean more than just love.


Is a fast, extra, or missed heartbeat something to worry about?

It is normal for your heart to beat faster when you are excited, nervous, or exercising. It can also jump or add a beat. This can sometimes be caused by things like too much caffeine or not enough sleep. Fortunately, these are usually short term and easy to fix.

In some cases though, variations in the rhythm, also called the rate, of your heartbeat, could be a sign that there are problems in your heart’s function that require medical attention.



This Valentine’s Day, listen to your heart. If the beat is off, talk to your doctor.

Get to know the rhythm of your heart by finding out your pulse rate (the number of times your heart beats per minute). Simply follow these steps:

1. Remove watches and jewelry from your wrists.

2. Place three fingers (second, third and fourth fingers) on your pulse, on the palm side of your other hand below the base of the thumb.

You can also place two fingers (the tips of your second and third fingers) on your lower neck on either side of your windpipe.

3. Press lightly until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You may need to move your fingers around, slightly up or down.

4. Count your pulse for 30 seconds.

5. Multiply the pulse times two (x2) to find the heart beats per minute.


Your pulse rate is lower when it is at rest and increases when you exercise.

Normal heart rates at rest should be between 70-100 beats per minute for children (ages 6-15), and for adults (age 18+) 60-100 beats per minute.

Whilst it does not automatically mean there is a problem if your heart rate whilst resting is consistently too high or low, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor.  


Cardiac arrhythmia, literally ‘out of rhythm’, occurs when electrical impulses do not work properly. Irregular heart pulses can mean blood is not being pumped correctly. This can lead to blood clots. Blood clots can move to the heart or to the brain, causing heart attacks or strokes.



What should I look out for?

Symptoms do not always appear, but if you experience chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, fainting, a slow heart rate, feeling dizzy, light-headed, or flutters in the chest, see a doctor immediately to rule out any serious heart complications.

Doctors may examine your medical history, carry out physical examinations, and perform stress tests (sometimes called an exercise test), electrocardiograms (a test that measures the heart’s electrical activity), or imaging tests to reach their diagnosis.

Cardiac arrhythmia can be caused by health conditions like heart disease, congenital heart defects, suffering from reduced blood flow, electrical conduction disorders, sleep apnea, pulmonary disorders, among others.


A healthy lifestyle can help to keep your heart rhythm on track

The good news is that the harmful factors that cause cardiac arrythmia – like high blood pressure, diabetes, a high fat diet, obesity, high cholesterol, smoking, stress, drug and alcohol abuse – can be improved by changes in lifestyle. Coffee and energy drinks can increase blood pressure and make the condition worse for some people.

Exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating well will help prevent and keep arrythmias under control. Many people find that cardio exercises, stretching, and yoga are beneficial. If you have a diagnosed condition, always speak to a doctor to understand the best form of exercise for you.


PGH, or Preferred Global Health, is an independent global patient organization. PGH is the valued partner and service provider to Tune Protect for myEliteDoctor expert second medical opinion service.


myEliteDoctor is included free of charge with eligible myFlexi CI plans that offer coverage up to 3,000,000 baht for 5 critical disease groups.


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