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Why do I miss my pulse at times?

Q: I am 33 years old and off late I realised that I am missing my pulses once in a while. I get a sinking feeling and start coughing when I miss my pulse. I met a cardiologist and underwent an Echo cardiography. The test result shows that my heart is normal. These ectopic beats disappeared after one week and I was very happy for a couple of weeks. I even quit cigarettes, coffee, and cola drinks. But yesterday morning I again had the same sinking feeling and missed pulse. What are ectopics? How can I keep them in control? I am walking every day for 30 minutes and following a diet suggested by my doctor.

A:Ectopics are heart beats that arise in parts of the heart other than the sinus node, which is the normal pacemaker centre for the body. In the presence of a normal echo report, and the kind of ectopics that you describe, they should not be a cause for any worry. If at all, you can be put on some drugs to suppress them and make you symptomatically better. In the majority, the less you think about the ectopics, the more chances that they will disappear on their own.

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