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Arrhythmias can be hard to diagnose, especially the types that only cause symptoms every once in a while. Doctors diagnose arrhythmias based on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and the results from tests and procedures.

​Medical and Family Histories

To diagnose an arrhythmia, your doctor may ask you to describe your symptoms. They may ask whether you feel fluttering in your chest and whether you feel dizzy or light-headed.

Your doctor also may ask whether you have other health problems, such as a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid problems. They may ask about your family's medical history, including whether anyone in your family:

  • Has a history of arrhythmias
  • Has ever had heart disease​ or high blood pressure
  • Has died suddenly
  • Has other illnesses or health problems

Your doctor will likely want to know what medicines you're taking, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements.

Your doctor may ask about your health habits, such as physical activity, smoking, or using alcohol or drugs (for example, cocaine). They also may want to know whether you've had emotional stress or anger.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The specialists on our medical staff at The Heart Hospital Baylor are highly skilled in the use of innovative techniques to help diagnose arrhythmias. Tests may include:

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