Often you will come across people experiencing a racing heart all of a sudden. Generally, you skip a heartbeat or your heart starts pounding heavily only when you perform some strenuous physical activity. The problem occurs when this thumping of your heart becomes a recurrent issue and goes beyond your control.
Heart palpitations are not a common phenomenon. When you have heart palpitations frequently, they are clear indications of some underlying heart issue. Your heart is one of the most important organs that keeps you going throughout the day. Anything unusual in the heart and its functioning will surely cause a problem in your entire physical existence.
Not attending to your heart palpitations at the earliest can lead to a detrimental health issue. So, we have come up with a blog on the same. In this blog, we will talk about what are heart palpitations, their symptoms, their causes, and how you can treat them. Let’s dive into the details of the blog.
What are heart palpitations?
Whenever your heart misses a beat, or you experience a pounding or racing heartbeat, it is known as a heart palpitation. Sometimes the palpitation gets so intense that you can almost feel them in your throat, chest, and neck. A person suffering from heart palpitation can experience it anytime. Even when you are doing some normal activities or when your body is at rest, you can feel your heart racing at a high speed.
Generally, experiencing heart palpitation is not a harmful or serious issue. But these can cause a sudden change in your heart rhythm. If you notice heart palpitations occurring for a long time, it is wise to reach out to a private consultant cardiologist as soon as possible.
What causes heart palpitations?
You can have heart palpitations for a wide range of causes ranging from emotional upheaval to lifestyle and medications. Sometimes, some medical conditions can also lead to heart palpitations.
Some of the common reasons for experiencing heart palpitations include the following:
- Emotional factors like stress, anxiety, panic, fear, etc.
- Exercising strenuously
- Drinking too much caffeine
- Having overactive thyroid
- Low levels of sugar or potassium
- Extreme blood loss
- Low carbon dioxide in your blood
- Consuming medications like beta blockers, asthma inhalers, etc.
- Alcohol consumption
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Consuming herbal supplements
- Injecting recreational drugs into the body like cocaine
Symptoms of heart palpitations
As explained earlier, heart palpitations are common and almost everyone experiences it. But things can get into a tough situation if you miss out on these signs and symptoms:
- Your heart is racing at a great speed.
- You experience a severe pounding of the heart
- Your heart misses a beat
- Your heart flutters rapidly while beating
- Your heart gives an extra beat
- You notice a flip-flop sensation in your heart
You can have heart palpitations due to some medical conditions. One of the most prominent among all is the heart disease. If your heart is at risk of developing several diseases, or you have a weak heart or there is some abnormality in your heart valve, you can experience some abnormal heart palpitations.
However, your heart palpitation will not trouble you for a long time. Instead, it will last for a few seconds and subside on its own. Again, some exceptional cases may experience heart palpitations for even a minute or more. All of these conditions require the immediate attention of a private consultant cardiologist.
When can you get a heart palpitation?
Well, a heart palpitation does not follow a particular time or date. But here are some conditions that may lead to heart palpitation:
- If you are a sufferer of anxiety and depression, you can experience heart palpitation. It can come out as your body’s reaction to certain situations.
- When you eat spicy foods that are beyond your tolerance level, you can experience heart palpitation. The same thing happens when you drink alcohol or caffeine.
- At night, when your body is fully at rest and you are in solitude, your heart may start palpitating. This happens due to a sudden increase in blood pressure or blood sugar levels in the body.
- If you have a habit of sleeping on one side of the body, it may lead to palpitations. This is because the entire pressure and weight of your body falls on one side and restricts the blood from traveling freely to different parts of your body.
- Experiencing heart palpitations during pregnancy is a common phenomenon. During such a stage, your blood pressure and heart rate increase to support the growth and development of the child inside you. Heart palpitations during pregnancy are completely harmless and fade away with the delivery of the baby.
Diagnosing heart palpitations
When you reach out to a private consultant cardiologist, the first step he takes is examining you physically. Secondly, the doctor will ask you about your medical history and your family’s medical history. This is because sometimes heart palpitation occurs from any previous medical condition. You can get palpitations genetically as well. Besides, knowing the root cause of the palpitation will help the cardiologist treat you well.
The doctor can ask you these:
- For how long have you been having palpitations?
- How long do these palpitations last?
- How do you feel when you have palpitations?
- How do you feel when the palpitation starts?
- What helps you to cool down?
Tests to diagnose heart palpitations
If the cardiologist finds anything unusual while physically screening you, he may ask you to undergo the following tests:
- Blood test
- Urine test
- Stress test
- Electrophysiology study
- Holter monitor reading
Therefore, having heart palpitations is a normal phenomenon until they become a recurrent issue. Reaching out to a private consultant cardiologist early can tell you if there is any serious heart issue. If you are already suffering from an underlying heart problem, share it with your cardiologist beforehand.