Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Pulse pauses

 mafioso - Thu Mar 03, 2005 5:02 pm

I am 47, and three days ago I checked my pulse and discovered it missed one bit (pauses for one bit) almost every time I checked it. Today, I went to the doctor (I also have a flu right now) and he said something about a possible lack of magnesium but still agreed on doing ECG. I am still waiting on the results.
About 7-8 years ago the doctors discovered a very high cholesterol on tests and after all other tests and procedures I'd done, they confirm a mild systolic dysfunction and hypertention (sometimes high blood pressure, perhaps, once every month or so, which I control with Altace) and not to mentioned again, a high cholesterol (which I control now with Lipitor)

Since I remember myself my pulse has always been on a high side, around 75-80 bits/min when quiet, and can easily go up to 120-140 bits/min after some physical work. This also can cause a headache and with headache it almost always comes a high blood pressure, that drops back to normal in a day or so (usually after a good sleep). I also have a family history of heart attacks. My father had one in his 60-s and then died from stroke at the age of 69. My grandfather died from heart attack when he was 72.
I am an active person (so far) but I wonder if, perhaps, my heart needs more attention than just the regular checks with the family doctor. Please advise.

Thank you,

P.S. I forgot to tell you that last year I had a heart ultrasound done (I insisted on it) and my physician did not call me after, meaning there were no immediate concerns.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:51 pm

User avatar Dear Victor,

What did your doctor say when he examined your pulse and listened to your heart? Did he mention anything about early beats or extrabeats? The pause that you felt most probabrly is an early beat.

Lack of magnesium can cause early beats.

75-80 beats per minute is not on the high side. It is in the middle of the normal range. Having a pulse of 120-140 after physical work or exercise if very acceptable.

The mild systolic function that you have should be taken care of by taking the altace, which at the same time takes care of your high blood pressure.

i would like to know the results of the echocardiogram (the ultrasound of the heart) before saying whether or not you need to be seen by a cardiologist. But, i don't see a problem that you be seen by a cardiologist at least once and then he/she can decide whether or not your condition needs to be followed up regularly, unless of course the cardiology practice where you live is very busy and need to see only people who really need to be seen. And i think that if your family doctor thought that you need to be seen by a cardiologist, he would have referred you to one.

Keep us updated on the results of the ecg.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us