Causes of heart palpitations
Heart palpitations can occur from physical activities, hormonal changes, and illness or could be side effect of drugs...We sum up the cases below:
- Strenuous exercise- running, weight lifting, kick boxing, adventure sports
- From emotional stress, restlessness, hypertension and anxiety
- Intake of too many caffeinated beverages
- From heart arrhythmias and problems in heart muscles or valves
- After eating heavy meal rich in carbohydrates, cholesterol and saturated fats.
- Smoking and consuming nicotine products
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menstruation
- High fever, thyroid disease, anaemia, dehydration, low blood glucose
- Medicines like pseudoephedrine, diet pills, thyroid disorder pills and even asthma inhalers, decongestants, etc.
Symptoms of heart palpitations
Pounding of heart i.e. beating too fast, skipped beats, etc. are associated with heart palpitations. You can also sense heart palpitations around throat, neck and chest.
When to see a doctor
If this happens too frequently then you must see a doctor. Immediate medical check up is needed when you experience dizziness, chest pain, or shortness of breath along with palpitations.
Complications of heart palpitations
The complications depend on the underlying reasons. If you are having a medical condition associated with your heart, then recurring palpitations might lead to heart attack, heart failure or stroke.
Diagnosis of heart palpitations
First your doctor will perform a physical analysis which involves checking your medical history, lifestyle and ask you about the medicines or supplements you are taking. You need to explain your doctor the circumstances and exactly what your experience.
Your heartbeat will be checked with a stethoscope and your blood pressure will be noted, following that you need to undergo the following tests:
- Electrocardiogram or stress tests
- Holter monitoring- You have to wear the Holter device continuously which will record your heart's rhythms
- Event recording- You need to place the cardiac event recorder around your chest when you sense the palpitations.
- Echocardiogram or ultrasonography of the heart
- Blood tests to check for deficiency symptoms, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, lipid profile, etc.
Additional tests might be suggested depending upon the reports of the aforementioned diagnostic tests.
Treatment for heart palpitations
Heart palpitations are usually harmless and the treatment usually depends on eliminating the triggers and managing diet and lifestyle. Your doctor might discontinue the medicines or change the dosage of the medicines that are causing palpitations.
However, if a heart complication has been found out then the treatment would be directed towards managing it. Palpitations would go away with treatment of the underlying cause.
Self management for heart palpitation
You can restore normal heartbeat by incorporating the following changes in your lifestyle:
- Try therapeutic yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and various forms of massage therapies to beat stress and anxiety. Avoid heavy impact exercises.
- Check our diet- avoid eating heavy calorie packed meals. Instead eat small meals and include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Get your balanced diet planned by your doctor cut down rapid heartbeats.
- Say no to smoking, nicotine products, and illicit drugs. Reduce intake of caffeinated beverages as much as possible.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: June 16, 2014