Recent Blog Articles
Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally
Give praise to the elbow: A bending, twisting marvel
Sneezy and dopey? Seasonal allergies and your brain
The FDA relaxes restrictions on blood donation
Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?
Swimming and skin: What to know if a child has eczema
A muscle-building obsession in boys: What to know and do
Natural disasters strike everywhere: Ways to help protect your health
Dementia: Coping with common, sometimes distressing behaviors
Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?
Diseases & Conditions
Heart palpitations: Mostly harmless
Occasionally these heart rhythm disruptions signal a more serious condition.
Image: © dusanpetkovic/Getty Images
Lately you've felt like a flipping fish is stuck inside your chest. You feel fine otherwise, but there it is again — flip, flop. It's gone as fast as it appears. But you're starting to worry: is it a sign of a serious heart problem?
Chances are what you're feeling is a condition called heart palpitations, which are usually harmless blips in the heart rhythm, explains Dr. Peter Zimetbaum, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Harvard Medical School. Only occasionally are these rhythm disturbances the sign of a more serious heart problem that should be checked out.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!