Heart Palpitations: When to Worry

Is your heartbeat rapid? Does it flutter and pound quickly? If yes, then you may be having heart palpitations. Heart palpitations occur mostly in women than men. There are various causes of heart palpitations are triggered by stress, anxiety, panic, exercise, or medication.

On rare occasions, heart palpitation is a symptom of a more serious heart condition known as arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a medical condition characterised by an irregular rhythm of the heartbeat. In contrast, if you feel your heartbeat beats too fast, it is called tachycardia, but when the heart beats abnormally slow, it is called bradycardia.

To learn more about the differences between both conditions, you can read more below.

Symptoms of Arrhythmia

Some of the most common symptoms of arrhythmia include:

● Chest pain

● Shortness of breath

● Irregular heartbeat

● Profuse sweating

● Dizziness

If you have constant heart palpitations, you should speak to a doctor immediately. Tests can be carried out by your doctor to detect if your heart palpitations are as a result of an arrhythmia. There are various kinds of treatment by the cardiologist that can restore the normal rhythm of the heart. Treatment options vary from the use of certain medications, lifestyle changes, or in some cases, surgery depending on the severity of your condition.

Signs and Symptoms of HeartPalpitations

It is important to know that heart palpitations are commonly felt in the throat and chest. Heart palpitations can occur in any position: Standing, sitting, or even lying down.

The common signs of heart palpitations include:

  • ● Very fast heartbeat

  • ● Skipping heartbeat

  • ● Fluttering heartbeat

    Causes of Heart Palpitations

  • Stress, anxiety, and panic

  • ● Intense exercise sessions

  • ● Caffeine

  • ● Fever

  • ● Nicotine

  • ● Taking medications that contain pseudoephedrine

  • ● Taking certain types of medication that contain stimulants. Some asthma medications fall into this category

    ● Risk Factors for Heart Palpitations

There are certain conditions that increase your chances of having heart palpitations. Some of such conditions include:

  • ● Poor stress management

  • ● Anxiety disorder; those with anxiety disorder and people who suffer from panic attack are at great risk of having heart palpitations

  • ● Medications that have stimulants

  • ● Hyperthyroidism

    When to Worry

At what point do you fret over your regular heart palpitations? At one point or another, everyone experiences an irregular heartbeat or feel their heart skip a beat. Such situations do not require a doctor’s attention immediately as they are mostly infrequent and irregular. If on the other hand, you have heart palpitations that frequently occur without improving over time, you should book an appointment with a doctor right away.

If you have a history of any heart disease and experience frequent palpitations, you should be concerned. Heart palpitations accompanied by chest pain, light-headedness, and fainting should be treated as a medical emergency.

Complications of Palpitations Caused by Heart Disease

Possible complications that may arise from heart palpitations caused by heart disease include:

  • ● Fainting

  • ● Cardiac arrest

  • ● Stroke

  • ● Heart failure

    What to Do in Cases of Severe Heart Palpitations

If you are experiencing frequent heart palpitations accompanied by pains and discomfort, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. When you see the cardiologist, you should relate all the symptoms you are experiencing, medications you are currently taking, your exercise routine, and diet. Write down important questions you want to ask.

Before a doctor’s visit, try to reduce stress as much as you can, reduce strenuous physical activity, and keep off medications that contain stimulants. There are various tests a doctor does to explore the cause of heart palpitations. Some tests include echocardiogram and ECG. Heart palpitations do not require any treatment except it is a symptom of a heart disease.

Making Lifestyle Adjustments

To control heart palpitations, you must be ready to make adjustments in certain areas of your life.

  • Engage in calming exercises like yoga or meditation to keep anxiety to a minimal.

  • Keep off nicotine, caffeine, and certain brands of energy drinks that cause an irregular heartbeat.

Treatments for heart palpitations depend solely on the severity. Palpitations caused by one heart defect or another will require the medical attention of a specialist. If you have occasional heart palpitations, there may be no cause for alarm. Frequent heart palpitations accompanied by different degrees of pain or discomfort will require medical assessments. Book an online consultation with a doctor today if you have any questions concerning heart palpitations.

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