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Is missing heart beats a serious problem?

Q: My 50 years old mother has mild coronary disease and she had an angiography done last year but the doctors said that there was no need for angioplasty. She has a problem of missing heart beats and the moment it happens she finds difficult to breathe and her body becomes very weak. She is taking her prescribed medicines. But, what other steps could be taken to get her relived from the problem? Please tell us the Do's and Don'ts for her.

A:Missing heart beats is not always a serious problem and can occur in totally normal individuals with normal hearts. In your case, if your mother’s angiography has been performed and no significant coronary artery disease has been detected and if there is no other structural defect of the heart, then occasional missed beats are not a cause of concern and can occur from such trivial causes as excessive tea, coffee or mental stress etc. I think the Do’s and Don'ts are the same as the ones for healthy living viz. intake of low fat, low salt diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits, brisk walking for 30 minutes daily, keeping the weight and the waist circumference under check, keep the high blood pressure and diabetes under control through regular check ups with the treating physician and avoid over of stress. Regular walking and transcendental meditation are two very important techniques for keeping complications away especially of diabetes and hypertension. In generic terms, these are the precautions that I can advise. However, I would still advise you to be under regular follow up of your cardiologist, who can give you more specific advice.


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