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03 Feb 2006

irregular Heart beats
I am a slim 46 year old female and have barlows syndrome.For the past couple of months I have had annoying irregular heat beats, they occur every 6 - 10 beats and feel like a stronger beat inbetween the regular beats. My chest/heart feels slightly achy & heavy and it makes me anxious and weak. Should I make an appoitment with the cardiologist or is it fairly normal. I have had these beats in the past but usually only now and again.
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Expert
HeartDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Jan,

Well done on being informed of your condition, and on being aware of slight changes in your body and heart rate.

The occasional irregular or skipped beat may be innocuous. But the frequency with which they are occurring in you now – especially with the symptoms you describe – are cause for concern.

Yes, please do make an appointment with your cardiologist. Once he has done the necessary tests (ECG’s and the like) he will be able to give you an informed opinion. It is possible that this is a minor problem, easily corrected.

However, bear in mind that Mitral valve problems can arise with time, in Barlow’s patients. This usually takes the form of a leaking valve, which later leads to clear symptoms, and may even need to be surgically replaced if the leak places too much of a strain on the heart. Please understand that I am not implying that this is what is happening to you. This is just to emphasise that once the diagnosis of Barlow’s has been made, you will need long-term follow-up, to monitor the function of your valve. If your valve function starts to deteriorate, then you must be referred for a surgical opinion before excess strain is placed on the heart, and while you are still in optimal condition to have the surgery.

Good luck.

HeartDoc
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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