Symptoms of an arrhythmia include a fast heartbeat, pounding or fluttering chest sensations, skipping a heartbeat, dizziness, fainting spells, shortness of breath, and chest pains.
There are different causes for cardiac arrhythmias, including intrinsic heart problems, endocrinological and metabolic causes. Some common triggers are exercise, stress, caffeine, alcohol, appetite suppressant and decongestants in cough and cold medicines.
An abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia is diagnosed by a physical examination, electrocardiograms and electrophysiologic studies. However, as arrhythmias are not always present, they may not occur during the physical examination.