Home » Heart Health » What are heart palpitations and what causes it?
Heart palpitations refer to fast or irregular heartbeats and pounding, throbbing, or fluttering sensations, around your throat, neck, or chest. In other words, palpitation is the term used to describe the sensation of being conscious of your heartbeat.
Palpitations (ref. link) can be as simple as being aware of your heart’s activity, or as intense as feeling like it is beating more quickly and forcefully than normal. It may occasionally feel as though your heart is skipping beats or fluttering.
Your heartbeat fluctuating is typically nothing significant. However, if you get palpitations or believe your heartbeat is abnormal, you should always visit your doctor.
According to one study (ref. link), 16% of patients who went to their primary care physician were there because they were experiencing palpitations. Heart palpitations are one of the most typical reasons people consult a cardiologist.
Strong emotions, drugs, and lifestyle choices are just a few potential reasons for heart palpitations.
People can also occasionally experience palpitations if they are suffering from a health condition affecting their heart or other organs in their body. Some other reasons behind experiencing heart palpitations are:
Emotional or psychological triggers such as stress or anxiety cause heart palpitations. When experiencing intense or volatile emotions your heart beats faster due to the release of stress hormones like cortisol. Anxiety triggers the fight-or-flight reaction, which also raises the heart rate of the person. Even though heart palpitations are frightening, most of them are not harmful. After the anxiety-inducing circumstance or any other emotional triggers are passed, they disappear.
Home Treatments for Heart Palpitations Caused by Emotional triggers:
Exercise is beneficial and vital, but some people get heart palpitations when they work out. People frequently get palpitations while engaging in intensive exercise. Eat a small meal that is primarily composed of carbohydrates and protein two to three hours before your workout to prevent such a situation. Your body will be able to digest your food and use it as fuel for activity as a result.
Also, don’t limit yourself to drinking water only when working out. Stay hydrated by drinking water frequently throughout the day and keeping an eye on the colour of your urine as an indicaitor of dehydration.
Many heart problems are caused as a result of smoking tobacco, using illegal drugs like cocaine, or using stimulants like Sudafed. Also, you consume nicotine when you smoke cigarettes. Nicotine has a range of effects on your body, but it mostly affects your cardiovascular system which results in increased heart rate, rising blood pressure, or narrowing of the arteries. Additionally, nicotine results in your arterial walls’ hardening (ref. link). Your circulatory system and how your heart works are directly impacted by nicotine in ways that might ultimately result in a heart attack.
The following over-the-counter and prescription drugs are the reasons behind heart palpitations.
Anyone using the medicine for recurrent heart palpitations should review the label’s list of potential adverse effects. Consult your doctor if you have any questions. Never alter the dosage of a drug or skip a dose without first consulting your doctor. Although heart palpitations might be a benign side effect, it is best to inquire about it if you feel it.
Hormonal changes due to menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause bring about heart palpitations. Women frequently experience heart palpitations during their periods or pregnancy. Your heart rate and the amount of blood flowing through your body rise throughout pregnancy in order to support your growing child. Heart palpitations are typical in pregnant women and are usually not dangerous. Essentially, hormonal heart rate variations are often transient and not a cause for concern.
Arrhythmias are deviations from the heart’s typical electrical impulse pattern that result in erratic heartbeats. While some arrhythmias are benign, others are not. These are dangerous and require proper medical treatment. Atrial fibrillation, which is one such example, can increase the risk of stroke, resulting in a rapid, and erratic heartbeat. These are some instances of arrhythmias:
Heart palpitations can be harmful depending on the underlying reason. Arrhythmias, a type of cardiac condition, are the root cause of some heart palpitations. While some arrhythmias are not harmful, others result in severe consequences. Here are some that do:
Apart from the above issues, heart palpitations may also result from the following conditions:
Knowing what causes heart palpitations helps you understand the severity of this issue. You should learn when to be concerned about visiting a doctor, as certain causes of heart palpitations are serious, and certain are not. Hence, noticing the heart palpitations symptoms beforehand is vital to avoid any unwanted issues.
Generally, brief, occasional palpitations don’t require evaluation. However, even these palpitations could possibly cause harm and require medical attention. Consult your doctor if you have a history of heart disease and have frequent or worsening palpitations. You might require heart-monitoring tests to determine whether or not a more serious cardiac condition brings on the palpitations.
The reasons behind heart palpitations are purely physical and require immediate attention. Below are some symptoms people have when they experience heart palpitations.
Normally, cardiac palpitations don’t require medical treatment until someone suffers from heart issues. In other cases, a medical professional might advise you to avoid the triggers that lead to palpitations. To sum up, if you experience heart palpitations, it’s best to consult a doctor to diagnose your problem accurately.
Finally, one way you can be assured of your heart health is by using a heart monitoring device. Check out the Frontier X2 and its continuous ECG tracking feature which will help you monitor any possible heart palpitations.
A heart palpitation is when there is an abnormal heart rhythm, also known as an arrhythmia. It can also be understood as a skipped or an extra heart beat.
It is advised to get medical attention, if you are getting heart palpitations too often and are also feeling chest pains or dizziness along with it.
There are various causes for palpitations in the heart. It can be triggered by stress, anxiety, heavy intake of caffeine, alcohol and are even common in pregnancy. There is always a reason for heart palpitations and if the episodes are frequent then you must visit a doctor.
The basic difference between the two is the duration. While a heart palpitation is short lived and does not last long, an arrhythmia lasts longer.
Any heart palpitation that lasts for more than 30 seconds is considered a medical emergency. A longer lasting heart palpitation can be indicative of an underlying medical condition.
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