Palpitations
By Medicover Hospitals / 14 August 2021

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Article Context:

  1. What are Palpitations?
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Diagnosis
  5. Treatments
  6. Risk Factors
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

What are Palpitations?

  • Palpitations are a feeling that arises when a person detects a change in the heart's usual beating and rhythm. It might be a single additional beat or a series of them that linger for several minutes. Each component of the heart might get irritated, resulting in an additional heartbeat. Heart palpitations are irregular heartbeats that become more obvious suddenly. For a few seconds or minutes, your heart may feel like it’s hammering, fluttering, or beating erratically. These feelings may also be felt in your throat or neck. Palpitations occur when your heart beats too quickly or too hard, skips a beat, or flutters. It may be felt in the chest, throat, or neck. They can be annoying or terrifying. However, they are rarely serious or damaging, and they normally go away on their own. They're usually brought on by stress and worry, or by consuming too much coffee, nicotine, or alcohol. They can also occur during pregnancy. Heart palpitations can be alarming, but they're usually nothing to worry about. They may be an indication of a more serious cardiac condition, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), which may necessitate treatment in rare situations.
  • A basic explanation of how the heart works to help readers better comprehends palpitations. The heart is a two-stage electrical pump that circulates blood throughout the body's organs and tissues. The electrical system of the heart permits the heart muscle to beat in a coordinated manner, maximizing the pumping strength of the ventricles, the heart's lower chambers, and ensuring that there is enough blood to be pumped. When a patient detects an anomaly in their heart's usual rhythm, this is referred to as palpitation. The heart may beat excessively rapidly, too slowly, or irregularly due to abnormalities in the electrical conducting system. A palpitation might be a typical occurrence, but it can also be the result of a serious condition that could be life-threatening.
  • Heart Palpitations

  • A fast-beating, fluttering, or hammering heart is what heart palpitations feel like. They can be caused by stress, exercise, medication, or, in rare cases, a medical issue. Heart palpitations might be frightening, but they're usually nothing to worry about. They may be one of the indications of a serious cardiac issue, such as an irregular arrhythmia, that requires treatment in some situations. The sense that your heart has missed a beat or added an extra pulse is known as heart palpitations. Your heart can also feel like it's racing, thumping, or fluttering. It's possible that you'll become extremely aware of your heartbeat. This feeling might occur in the neck, throat, or chest. During the palpitations, your heart rhythm may change.
  • Causes

  • To function properly, the heart needs its natural surroundings. This is especially true for the heart's electrical system; changes in electrical conduction might result in the heart's ability to pump blood being reduced. Palpitations can be caused by aberrant electrolyte levels in the body, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It can also be caused by anemia or hyperthyroidism. Some of the common stimulants that are said to be irritable are:
    • Caffeine
    • Tobacco
    • Alcohol
    • Over-the-counter medications
    • Illicit drugs that include cocaine, amphetamine, and marijuana

    • Arrhythmia- A disturbance with the heartbeat's rhythm is known as an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is characterized by heartbeats that are either excessively rapid or too slow or have an irregular rhythm.
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disorder in which the heart muscle thickens and becomes hypertrophic (abnormally thick). The heart's swollen muscle may make it more difficult for it to pump blood.
    • Heart failurecan be caused by coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, a heart attack, or cardiomyopathy. Heart failure happens when the heart muscle fails to pump blood as it should.
    • Congenital heart disease, sometimes known as a congenital heart defect. A congenital heart defect is a structural imperfection in the heart that exists at birth.
    • A disorder in which the heart valves do not function properly is known as heart valve disease.
    • Coronary Artery Disease occurs when the coronary arteries get clogged. The most common causes of this condition are high cholesterol and fatty deposits in the arteries.

    Symptoms

  • The term "palpitations" refers to a patient's perception of an irregular heartbeat. They might be as simple as a single skipped beat or they can be regular and recurring. It can be fast and erratic, and it might be regular or irregular. The patient may describe a fluttering in their chest as a result of this. Patients may also have chest or throat discomfort. Shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating may also be present. If the patient's heart rate is particularly fast, their blood pressure may drop, creating lightheadedness and the fear of fainting or passing out. Depending on the source of palpitations, syncope (when the patient really faints or passes out) may occur.
    • Light-headedness
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Pulse rate over or less than the normal pulse rate
    • Having heart disease or family history, recurrent fainting, or unexplained seizure disorder.
    • Exercise, particularly if they cause loss of consciousness

    Risks

  • A person might be at risk of developing palpitations:
    • If a person is highly stressed
    • Anxiety disorder or have any regular panic attacks
    • If you are pregnant
    • Take drugs that contain stimulants
    • Overactive thyroid gland
    • Other heart disorders like arrhythmia, heart defect, and heart surgery.

    Diagnosis

  • Palpitations can be difficult to diagnose because they are typically intermittent and may not be present when the patient seeks medical attention. The history and physical examination, like with other medical diseases, are crucial in determining the diagnosis. The health care provider may ask the following questions to better comprehend the patient's sensations:
  • The heart and lungs are usually the centers of a physical examination, but other organ systems may be examined if necessary. Blood testing may be useful in determining whether there are any underlying medical issues that cause palpitations. A complete blood count (CBC) or hemogram may be performed to check for anemia (low red blood cell count), electrolytes, renal, and thyroid function, among other things.
  • Even if the patient is not present when the palpitations occur, an electrocardiogram (EKG) can still be useful in determining the etiology of the palpitations. Because some patients are unaware that they have PACs or PVCs, a cardiac monitor may be helpful in making the diagnosis.
  • Treatment

  • The optimum treatment for you will be determined by the source of your palpitations. It's possible that you won't require any therapy. You should avoid specific meals if your palpitations are caused by them. You may require medication, treatment, surgery, or a device to treat heart disease or an irregular heart rhythm. It's critical to keep all of your doctor's follow-up appointments.
  • Preventions

  • If your doctor says therapy isn't essential, you can take the following steps to reduce your risk of palpitations:
    • Try to figure out what your triggers are so you can avoid them. Keep track of your activities and the foods and beverages you consume, as well as when you experience palpitations.
    • Try relaxation methods, deep breathing, yoga, or tai chi if you're anxious or agitated.
    • Caffeine should be consumed in moderation or not at all. Energy drinks should be avoided.
    • Do not use tobacco products or smoke.
    • Ask your doctor if there are any alternatives to a medicine that causes palpitations.
    • Exercise on a regular basis.
    • Maintain a balanced diet.
    • Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.
    • Attempt to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.

    Home Remedies

    • Try relaxation methods, deep breathing, and yoga if you're feeling anxious or agitated.
    • Caffeine consumption should be limited. Caffeine-containing energy drinks should be avoided.
    • Quit smoking.
    • Exercise on a regular basis.
    • Maintain a balanced diet.
    • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
    • Attempt to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    The sensation of the heart beating too quickly or too forcefully, skipping a beat, or fluttering is known as palpitations. It may be felt in the chest, throat, or neck.

    Heart palpitations are common, they often last for a few seconds. By taking doctor-prescribed medication or by following some healthy life habits you can get rid of heart palpitations

    Certain medicines, hormone changes, alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs, vigorous exercise, stress, anxiety or nervousness, panic attacks, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, heart valve disease, heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(HCM), arrhythmia, anemia, and hyperthyroidism are all causes of palpitations.

    Dietary supplements (ginseng, hawthorn, valerian, ephedra), diet, high amounts of the amino acid tyrosine, Theobromine, and other factors might produce heart palpitation after eating.

    A fast-beating, fluttering, or hammering heart is what heart palpitations feel like. When you have lightheadedness, chest pain, shortness of breath, a pulse rate that is higher or lower than normal, a family history, and loss of consciousness, you may have heart palpitation. Consult a doctor or go to a medical emergency room right away.

    A fast-beating, fluttering, or hammering heart is what heart palpitations feel like.

    Heart palpitations can be frightening, especially if they occur when you are lying down to sleep. You may notice a pulsing sensation in their neck, chest, or throat when they happen.

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