What are heart palpitations?
Heart palpitations are the sensation that your heart is beating too quickly or too hard. The experience is sometimes described as fluttering or skipping a beat. Palpitations aren’t always felt in your chest; you might also notice the sensation in your throat or neck.
Are heart palpitations a sign of a medical emergency?
Most heart palpitations are not a sign of a serious medical condition, and they will resolve over a short period of time with no need for treatment. In rare cases, heart palpitations can indicate a heart condition. If you notice any of the following at the same time as heart palpitations, you should seek immediate medical attention:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
When it comes to your heart’s health, you can never be too cautious.
What are some potential causes of heart palpitations?
Numerous things can lead to occasional heart palpitations. Knowing the possible causes can help you determine if your sensations should be a cause for concern. Some of the more common causes of heart palpitations include:
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause
- Certain medications
- Vigorous physical activity
- Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, or illegal drugs
- Strong emotions like stress, fear, or anxiety
- Food sensitivities
- Medical conditions like anemia, low blood pressure, thyroid disease, or dehydration
One of the most important elements of a diagnostic exam is the discussion you have with your specialist about your overall health and medications. This information can go a long way toward determining the cause of symptoms.
What heart conditions cause palpitations?
Heart palpitations that are related to a heart condition are usually part of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Other heart issues that can cause palpitations include:
- Previous heart attack
- Problems with your heart valve
- Problems with your heart muscle
- Heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
If you’re concerned about palpitations, the best course of action is to schedule a diagnostic exam. An experienced cardiologist has a wide range of diagnostic tools available to get to the bottom of your symptoms and find a treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. Booking is as simple as a phone call or a click on the online scheduling tool.