Heart & Cardiology/heart skipped beats


Dear Mr Richardson,

Firstly I have to thank you in advance for answering my question. My problem has to do with heart skipped beats. But lets take it from the beginning.
I am male at the age of 31.When I was born I was diagnosed with an innocent murmur which never created any problems. I am an athlete for 15 years(semi-professional volleyball)  now and the last three years I am suffering from anxiety. One year ago I started concerning about my health so I visited many docs and made enough medical tests such as (3 EKG, Heart Ultrasound-Triplex-Doppler, Chest X-rays, Blood Test, gastroscopy) and everything was ok. Because of all this concern last year I quit sports.This year starting from September I was determined to restart volleyball since I was convinced everything was from anxiety.In the first training I has some symptoms such as tightness,diziness but I did not pay any attention even if sometimes they were quite intense. One month ago I had to visit a general doctor for a routine test in order to be allowed to play in volleyball matches. So I had blood test and it was fine but when he heard my heart he told me that he found a small murmur. He asked me if I had checked it out and when I told him about my last year's tests he did not seem to concern. But since then my symptoms started to appear again and I am terrified by a new one which I did not have before or I hadn't noticed until now, the heart skipped beats. Usually I feel it in the throat and it is like missing a beat!I also have this symptoms during training but I try to calm myself by thinking that everything is ok. But yesterday night I felt something really strange when I lied down to sleep. I had a sudden weird feeling in upper stomach area which caused my heart to start beating fast and I also noticed a shortness of breath coming from stomach.It was like I could not breath out all the air and this terrified me.All these lasted for 10 minutes then I calmed down but for one hour I had 3-4 less severe and smaller episodes.Finally I managed to fell asleep but today in the morning I waked up really scared with my stomach really tight and other anxiety-related symptoms. I came to my work and while drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette I had the same episode like last night's. These stomach palpitations have really scared me and I do not know if I have to go to a cardiologist again.
I would appreciate it if you could help me with this issue!

Best Regards,

Hello Nikos,

beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any catastrophe.

The stomach discomfort and  shortness of breath are anxiety.

I favor your returnng to volleyball competition.

Please write back if this doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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