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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I have a strange erratic pulse under the bottom of my rib cage.

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I have a strange erratic pulse under the bottom of my rib cage. I just took my bp and heart rate and they are fine (125/75 - heart rate at 70). I can feel it pulse quite strongly.
When you say erratic pulse -- do you mean you can feel your actual heartbeat in your chest wall?

Or are the beats not regular, and the rhythm of the beats erratic?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The beats are (were - they stopped about 30 minutes ago) not regular. My heartbeat was normal. These beats were very strong and would beat every few seconds - but very irregular.
Did it feel like your heart was "skipping" a beat, then beat strongly after for a beat or so?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I could actually feel the pusle buldging.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reading the string I'm not sure I answered your question in the right order.

My heart was not skipping a beat. It was completely normal while this other pulse was happening.
Well, in most people, there is a point in the lower left part of the chest wall that you can actually feel the heart pumping (called the point of maximal impulse).

So the fact you can actually feel the pulse through the chest wall is entirely normal, and doctors feel for this on a physical exam.

You could have also been feeling the extra hard beating of the heart from something like a premature ventricular complex:

But of course, this is impossible to determine unless you see your doctor for evaluation and a EKG of the heart.

So, if you are having any unusual symptoms -- chest fluttering / pain / heartburn / pain in the arm / trouble with breathing, etc -- you should have this evaluated by your doctor. If it is simply being able to feel the pulse through the chest wall, that is normal.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I guess I'm not being clear. My heart beat was completely normal. The pusle that I could feel at the bottom of my rib cage (just below the bottom rib on the right side) was erratic and strong. It was completely separate from my heat beat.

There should not be a pulse in that area from the heart. If your pulse was normal, and this was "erratic", then it was much more likely to be muscle spasms or something of that nature, especially if it was on the right side under the rib. The only other things in that area are the liver, and gallbladder, which would not cause "pulses" to be felt.

This may be very difficult to figure out unless it occurs again, and you can have a doctor examine this area as it is happening, since an actual "pulse" in that region is not heart related.
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