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Heart palpitations : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

 What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations square measure a sense like your heart is athletics, pounding, or such as you have incomprehensible heartbeats. you'll feel palpitations in your chest, throat or neck.

Palpitations will happen at any time, even though you're resting or doing traditional activities. though they'll be surprising, palpitations aren't typically serious or harmful. However, they will generally be associated with AN abnormal rhythm that wants medical attention.

Palpitations cause you to want your heart to thrash too exhausting or too quick, skipping a beat, or flutter. you will notice heart palpitations in your chest, throat, or neck.

They can be nettlesome or scary. they typically are not serious or harmful, though, and sometimes depart on their own. Most of the time, they are caused by stress and anxiety, or as a result of you’ve had an excessive amount of alkaloid, nicotine, or alcohol. they will conjointly happen once you’re pregnant.

In rare cases, palpitations are often a proof of an additional serious cardiovascular disease. If you've got heart palpitations, see your doctor. Get immediate medical attention if they are available with:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dizziness

  • Chest pain

  • Fainting

After your doctor takes your case history and appears you over, they will order tests to search out the cause. If they notice one, the correct treatment will scale back or obviate the palpitations.

If there’s no underlying cause, way changes will facilitate, as well as stress management.

What are heart palpitations

Explanation of medical terms and concept Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations square measure common, however they'll be surprising as a result of you aren’t typically awake to your heartbeat. the sensation of a sport or pounding heart unremarkably doesn’t last long and isn’t a reason to stress. Since some heart palpitations are caused by stuff you will manage, you'll be able to stop them.

Heart palpitations (pal-pih-TAY-shuns) square measure feelings of getting a fast-beating, flap or pounding heart. Stress, exercise, medication or, rarely, a medical condition will trigger them.

Although heart palpitations will be worrisome, they are typically harmless. Rarely, heart palpitations will be an indication of an additional serious heart disease, like Associate in Nursing irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), that may need treatment.

 When the heart beats too fast or irregularly it is called "palpitations." Palpitations usually happen because of an abnormal heart rhythm Heart palpitations can also be a side effect of certain medicines and medical conditions Medications such as beta blockers some antidepressants and over-the-counter cold medications may cause rapid heartbeat especially in people with underlying heart disease Additionally many medical conditions affect the rhythm of the heart including cardiomyopathy thyroid dysfunction and anxiety disorder.

Symptoms Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations can feel like the heart is:

  • Beating too fast

  • Flip-flopping

  • Fluttering rapidly

  • Pounding

  • Skipping beats

Heart palpitations may be felt in the throat or neck as well as the chest. They can occur during activity or at rest.

When to see a doctor

Palpitations that are sporadic and last solely a couple of seconds sometimes do not have to be compelled to be evaluated. If you have got a history of heart condition and have palpitations that occur often or worsen, ask your health care supplier. you will want heart-monitoring tests to examine if the palpitations are caused by an additional serious heart downside.

  • Chest discomfort or pain

  • Fainting

  • Severe shortness of breath

  • Severe dizziness

Causes Heart palpitations

There will be several. Usually, palpitations are either associated with your heart or the cause is unknown.

Strong emotions like anxiety, fear, or stress. They typically happen throughout panic attacks.

Vigorous physical activity

Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or criminal medication like cocaine and amphetamines

Medical conditions, as well as thyroid unwellness, a coffee blood glucose level, anemia, low vital sign, fever, and dehydration

Hormonal changes throughout catamenia, pregnancy, or simply before biological time. Sometimes, palpitations throughout gestation are signs of anemia.

Medications, as well as diet pills, decongestants, respiratory disorder inhalers, and a few medication wont to stop arrhythmias (a serious cardiac rhythm problem) or treat Associate in Nursing hypoactive thyroid

Some flavoring and organic process supplements

Abnormal solution levels

Some individuals have palpitations when serious meals are made in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. Sometimes, uptake foods with tons of flavoring (MSG), nitrates, or metallic elements will bring them on, too.

Often the cause of heart palpitations can't be found. Common causes include:

  • Strong emotional responses, such as stress, anxiety or panic attacks

  • Depression

  • Strenuous exercise

  • Stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, and cold and cough medications that contain pseudoephedrine

  • Fever

  • Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause

  • Too much or too little thyroid hormone

Occasionally heart palpitations is a signal of a significant downside, like associate degree irregular regular recurrence (arrhythmia).

Arrhythmias would possibly cause a really quick heartbeat (tachycardia), a curiously slow heartbeat (bradycardia), a heartbeat that varies from a typical regular recurrence or a mix of the 3.

Risk factors Heart palpitations

Risk factors for heart palpitations include:

  • Stress

  • Anxiety disorder or panic attack

  • Pregnancy

  • Certain medicines that contain stimulants, such as some cold or asthma medications

  • An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)

  • Other heart problems, such as irregular heartbeats, structural heart changes, previous heart attack or previous heart surgery


For palpitations caused by a heart condition, possible complications may include:

  • Fainting. If the center beats quickly, pressure will drop, causing the person to faint. This is often doubtless in those with a heart downside, like innate cardiovascular disease or sure valve issues. 

  • Cardiac arrest. Rarely, palpitations can be caused by life-threatening heartbeat problems and can cause the heart to stop beating effectively.

  • Stroke. If palpitations are because of a condition within which the higher chambers of the guts quiver rather than beating properly (atrial fibrillation), blood will pool and cause clots to make. If a clot breaks loose, it will block a brain artery, inflicting a stroke. 

  • Heart failure. Certain arrhythmias can reduce the heart's pumping ability. Sometimes, controlling the rate of an arrhythmia that's causing heart failure can improve the heart's function.

Diagnosis Heart palpitations

To diagnose palpitations, a health care supplier can do a physical examination and hear your heart employing a medical instrument. The examination could embrace searching for signs of medical conditions that may cause heart palpitations, like a swollen endocrine. you'll possibly be asked questions about your anamnesis.

If your doctor thinks that palpitations are caused by AN irregular heartbeat or alternative cardiomyopathy, tests may include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). This quick and painless test measures the electrical activity of the heart. Sticky patches (electrodes) are placed on the chest and sometimes the arms and legs. Wires connect the electrodes to a computer, which displays the test results. An ECG can show if the heart is beating too slow, too fast or not at all.

  • Holter monitoring. This moveable graph device is worn for every day or additional to record the heart's rate and rhythm throughout daily activities. It's accustomed to observe heart palpitations that are not found throughout a daily graph examination. Some personal devices, like smartwatches, provide remote graph watching. raise your health care supplier if this is often an associate degree possibility for you. 

  • Event recording. If you do not have irregular heart rhythms whereas you wear a Holter monitor or if the events occur but once weekly, your health care supplier would possibly suggest an occasion recorder. You press a button once symptoms occur. an occasion recorder is usually worn for up to thirty days or till you've got AN cardiomyopathy or symptoms. 

  • Echocardiogram. This noninvasive exam uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart in motion. It can show blood flow and structure problems with the heart.

Treatment Heart palpitations

Unless the palpitations are caused by a cardiovascular disease, heart palpitations seldom need treatment. Instead, a health care supplier may suggest taking steps to avoid the triggers that cause palpitations.

If palpitations are caused by a cardiovascular disease, like associate irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), treatment can target correcting the condition.

This depends on their cause. Often, palpitations are harmless and flee on their own. Therein case, no treatment is required.

If your doctor does not realize a cause, they will advise you to avoid the items which may trigger the palpitations. methods might include:


Ease anxiety and stress. Leave a stressful situation and try to be calm. Anxiety, stress, fear, or panic can cause palpitations. Other common ways to stay calm include:


  • Relaxation exercises

  • Yoga

  • Tai chi

  • Biofeedback

  • Guided imagery

  • Aromatherapy

Cut out certain foods, beverages, and other substances. These may include:

  • Alcohol

  • Nicotine

  • Caffeine

  • Illegal drugs

Avoid medications that act as stimulants. You may have to steer clear of:

  • Cough and cold medicines

  • Certain herbal and nutritional supplements

If fashion changes don’t facilitate, you will be prescribed medications. In some cases, these are beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers.

If your doctor finds a reason for your palpitations, they're going to target treating that reason.

If they’re caused by drugs, your doctor can attempt to realize a unique treatment.

If they represent Associate in Nursing heart disease, you will get medications or procedures. you will even be observed by a rhythm specialist referred to as Associate in Nursing electrophysiologist. 

Lifestyle and home remedies

The most appropriate way to treat palpitations at home is to avoid the triggers that cause the symptoms.

  • Reduce stress. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing.

  • Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, some cold medicines and energy drinks can make the heart beat too fast or irregularly.

  • Avoid illegal drugs. Certain drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can cause heart palpitations.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have got heart palpitations with severe shortness of breath, hurting or fainting, request emergency medical attention.

If your palpitations square measure transient and there aren't any different worrisome signs or symptoms, build a meeting to envision your health care supplier. A health care supplier will facilitate verifying if palpitations square measure harmless or a signal of an additional serious heart disease. you will be brought up as a doctor . The World Health Organization focuses on heart diseases (cardiologist).

Here's some info to assist you make preparations for your appointment:

What you can do

When you build the appointment, raise if there is something you wish to try and do beforehand, like limit your diet.

Make a listing of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to heart palpitations, and when they began

  • Key personal information, including case history of heart condition, arrhythmias, stroke, high pressure or polygenic disease, in addition as major stresses or recent changes in your life 

  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including doses

  • Questions to ask your healthcare provider

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For heart palpitations, basic questions to ask your health care provider include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?

  • What are other possible causes?

  • What should I do if my symptoms return?

  • What tests will I need?

  • Do I need treatment and, if so, what?

  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

  • Are there restrictions I need to follow?

  • Should I see a specialist?

  • Do you have brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your health care provider is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Do you always have palpitations or do they come and go?

  • Do the palpitations start and stop suddenly?

  • Do the palpitations seem to occur at the same time every day or during a certain activity?

  • What, if anything, seems to improve symptoms?

  • What, if anything, appears to worsen symptoms?

  • Are you having other symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting or dizziness when you have palpitations?

  • Do you have a history of heart rhythm problems, such as atrial fibrillation?

What you can do in the meantime

Before your appointment, you can try to improve your symptoms by avoiding stress or activities that might cause palpitations. Some common triggers include:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks

  • Too much caffeine or alcohol

  • Use of medications or supplements that contain stimulants, such as energy drinks or some cold medicines

General summary

If you are worried that you may be having a heart attack call 911 immediately However if your palpitations aren’t accompanied by any pain or discomfort and there is no history of heart disease in your family it is unlikely to be a dangerous condition In order to calm down the rapid heartbeat try to relax by taking some deep breaths meditating or listening to music Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help with calming an anxious feeling of palpitations If your symptoms persist for more than a few weeks and cause anxiety about your health seek medical attention from a cardiologist who will.

What is the best medication for palpitations?

Percodan or Toradol is ideal for patients who experience occasional heart palpitations The only risk of taking pain killers is that they can sometimes lead to addiction If the patient suffers from chronic palpitations it may be better to try a beta blocker like propranolol or metoprolol These are often given to people with high blood pressure but they also help tone down irregular heartbeats For more severe cases doctors may prescribe anti-arrhythmic drugs such as quinidine and amiodarone which have serious side effects if not taken exactly as prescribed.

Do heart palpitations go away?

Yes the palpitations will likely go away once the underlying cause has been corrected Heart palpitations are a symptom of many different heart conditions both serious and minor If your doctor determines that you have a condition such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) which causes an irregular heartbeat he or she most likely will recommend chronic treatment to prevent permanent damage In this case anti-arrhythmic medications and other therapies may be prescribed to slow down the heart rate and control supraventricular tachycardia.

Can drinking water help with heart palpitations?

Did you know that drinking water can help with heart palpitations? You might have a condition known as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia or SVT This is characterized by the sensation of an irregular and skipped heart beat along with a rapid heart rate. It's triggered by nervousness, stress and anxiety and often occurs when you are exercising.

What foods cause heart palpitations?

A number of different factors can affect whether you experience heart palpitations One cause is stress and it affects everyone from time to time but other causes are unique to each individual Some common triggers include caffeine and alcohol which increase the heart rate and blood pressure; nicotine which constricts blood vessels throughout your body; dehydration which decreases blood volume; lack of exercise and sleep as well as changes in temperature.

What can I drink to lower my heart rate?

It is important to find out if the person has high blood pressure or heart disease If not it would be best to decrease the amount of salt that the person takes in each day by cutting down on high-sodium foods and reducing amounts used in cooking It would also be a good idea for the person to increase his intake of fiber such as whole grains beans and peas for their ability to help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure Increasing exercise can also help reduce hypertension in some cases Drinking plenty of water can make a big difference in someone who has high blood pressure or heart failure.

Is aspirin good for palpitations?

Aspirin can be used to treat certain types of palpitations or irregular heartbeat The drug is often prescribed for people who experience the type of arrhythmia known as atrial fibrillation (AF) and when one develops a flutter in the electrical signals that regulate heart function Aspirin works by thinning the blood and allowing clots to dissolve It also reduces inflammation which is associated with heart disease and may contribute to some types of palpitations.

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Heart palpitations : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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