Heart palpitation – Causes and Symptoms

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What is heart palpitation?

Heart Palpitation

Heart palpitation is a feeling of sensation of a hammering, fluttering or rapid heartbeat. They can occasionally be accompanied by medical conditions such as stress, exercise or medicine. Even though heart palpitations can be unsettling, they are typically not harmful.

Palpitations give the impression that your heart is racing, skipping beats or fluttering. As a result of heart palpitation, you may experience chest, throat or neck palpitations.

Causes

The underlying factors indicate some of the reasons for heart palpitation.

Emotional or psychological triggers

Anxiety-related heart palpitations give the impression that your heart is hammering, racing, fluttering or skipping beats. In most cases, emotional or psychological triggers may potentially be the cause of palpitations.

Feeling of stress, over-perspiration and elevated heart rate are typical symptoms of emotional triggers.

Lifestyle triggers

Caffeine found in tea, coffee or energy drinks is one lifestyle component that may trigger heart palpitations.

Other conditions like stress and exercise are other lifestyle triggers that lead to arrhythmia and other heart conditions.

Drugs and medications

The heart can beat too quickly when exposed to caffeine, nicotine, cold medications or energy beverages. Refrain from using illicit substances, including cocaine and amphetamines.

Heart conditions

Heart palpitations may signify a more severe heart condition if they appear out of the blue, and you cannot link them to any other cause, such as heart illness, defective cardiac valve, etc.

Symptoms

The following are some of the widely recognised symptoms of heart palpitation.

Beating too fast

An arrhythmia is an irregular, excessively rapid or overly sluggish heartbeat. Palpitation is a fleeting sensation similar to the sensation of a speeding heart or a fleeting arrhythmia. Physical exertion, emotional tension, or nicotine or caffeine can often lead to palpitation.

Flip-flopping

Flip-flopping heartbeat is nothing but an irregular heartbeat that may cause excess sweat, body fatigue and nervousness in the body.

Fluttering rapidly

It’s common for your heart to beat faster during exciting times. Heart palpitations are the flutters that occur when your heart beats quicker than usual.

Pounding

The feeling that your heart is racing, hammering or skipping beats is known as heart palpitations. Your heart may “pound” as it beats more quickly when you engage in physical exercise.

Skipping beats

Heart palpitations can be brought on by strenuous exercise, dehydration, insufficient sleep, excessive coffee intake or alcohol consumption. The heart might skip a beat due to smoking tobacco, using illegal drugs like cocaine or using stimulants like Sudafed.

Diagnosis

The following are the ways to test and diagnose the presence of heart palpitation.

Blood tests

Full Blood Count (FBC) and Cardiac enzyme tests are done to determine heart-related problems like palpitation, excess blood pressure, heartaches, etc. A blood test shows the patient’s body’s potassium, calcium and magnesium levels, all of which are essential for the heart’s electrical function.

Electrocardiogram

Electrocardiogram (ECG) is performed when your physician believes that palpitations is due to irregular heartbeat or another cardiac condition. This is a quick and painless test that measures the electrical activity of the heart.

Stress test

Your doctor could suggest a stress test if you show any indicators of coronary artery disease or an irregular heartbeat. A stress test is beneficial for analysing the effectiveness of heart treatment.

Stress tests are non-invasive and painless, yet they provide essential information about your heart health. Stress tests can identify arrhythmias and can also calculate your risk of developing heart disease and more.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-Ray

Chest X-ray aids in determining chest pain, chest injury or shortness of breath. Your doctor also recommends diagnosing heart issues, a collapsed lung, pneumonia, broken ribs, emphysema or cancer.

Echocardiogram

Echocardiography is often used to diagnose symptoms like chest pain, palpitations, dizziness and other similar symptoms.

Treatment

The following are the ways to treat heart palpitation.

Managing stress and anxiety

A person can successfully manage stress and anxiety in the following ways.

  • Coping with stress
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Meditation
  • Pursed-lip breathing

Avoiding stimulants

Try to avoid following stimulants.

  • Tobacco products
  • Certain illegal drugs
  • Cold and cough medications
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and soda
  • Unprescribed mental health medications

Watching your diet

High-carbohydrate foods are said to be the main reason for the cause of heart palpitation. Consuming foods with low carbs and minimal salt decreases cardiac-related problems in the future.

Changing medications

Heart palpitations are a potential side effect of taking some drugs or medications. Frequently changing medication may cause serious side effects and palpitation to the heart.

Quit smoking

If you frequently experience heavy heart or intermittent chest pain, stop smoking immediately. Be aware that as your body struggles to overcome the addiction, nicotine withdrawal symptoms may still cause you to experience palpitations.

Home Remedies of Heart Palpitations

You can do the following home remedies in case you are diagnosed with heart palpitation.

Perform relaxation techniques

Sit in a cross-legged position and slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat the procedure for at least 15 minutes. This eases the discomfort of heart palpitation.

Keep electrolytes balanced

When electrolytes are not in the proper amounts, they can lead to issues such as irregular heartbeats. Electrolytes assist in maintaining normal heart rhythm. Cardiac palpitations often occur as a result of irregular heartbeats.

Stay hydrated

Keep yourself hydrated so your heart can function correctly. Your heart works more complicated if you’re dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, less blood circulates throughout your body. As a result, your heart beats more quickly, raising your heart rate and palpitating constantly.

Avoid excessive alcohol use

It is evident that abstaining from alcohol can halt the growth of almost all prevalent types of alcohol-related cardiac issues. In such circumstances, your first course of action should be to see your doctor and ask for a physical checkup.

Exercise regularly

Regular and persistent exercise helps you stay away from heart-related problems. If you have already encountered heart disease, ask your doctor before starting off any exercise.

Risk factor

The following factors indicate the risk factors of heart palpitation.

Stress

If you frequently suffer heart palpitations that last more than a few seconds, it might be due to the presence of stress. In this case, you must promptly consult the doctor to protect yourself from heart disease.

Anxiety disorder

Heart palpitations and anxiousness are common side effects of stress. The aetiology of anxiety disorders is the autonomic nervous system (ANS). ANS engages when you feel concerned about a circumstance, raising your heart rate.

Pregnancy

Heart palpitations during pregnancy are dangerous, consult your doctor to monitor your health. If you experience heart palpitations, seek immediate assistance. Conditions like chest discomfort, respiratory difficulties, shortness of breath or other breathing issues may accompany heart palpitation.

Irregular heartbeats

While the majority of arrhythmias are not harmful, some can be significant or even fatal. The heart cannot pump blood to the body if the heartbeat is frequently too rapid, too slow or irregular. Severe symptoms of arrhythmias may impair your ability to do daily tasks.

Summing up

The average heartbeat is 60 to 100 times per minute. People who regularly exercise or take heart-slowing medications may experience a decline in heart rate below 60 beats per minute.

Tachycardia is a condition in which the heart beats more than 100 count per minute). Bradycardia is the term for a heart rate that is less than 60. Extrasystole is the term for an additional irregular heartbeat that occurs occasionally. Most of the time, heart palpitations are not serious and it generally normalises on its own.

FAQ

What does a heart palpitation feel like?

Heart palpitations can feel like sensations of hammering, fluttering, or rapid heart beating.

What causes heart palpitations most frequently?

Stress, anxiety, or panic attacks are often said to be the leading cause of heart palpitation.

When should I worry if I’m experiencing heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are quite common; whenever your heartbeat exceeds 100 beats per minute, you should consult a cardiologist immediately.

How do you stop heart palpitations?

You can stop heart palpitation in the following ways.
1·  Reduce your stress
2· Try deep breathing, yoga, or other methods of relaxation
3· Don’t use stimulants
4· Don’t use illicit substances


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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