Heart palpitations are a heart condition in which the heart will often beat far too fast, and even too hard. The increased speed and force at which the heart is beating can cause it flutter, and even skip a beat all together.
When sudden, acute palpitations occur as a result of being surprised, scared, or sudden stress – they are generally harmless and a simple reaction the moment. In many cases, palpitations will occur due to the consumption of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or other substances.
Heart palpitations are characterized by vastly increased heart rate, that can give individuals the feeling of a heart attack. While they are generally not too dangerous on their own, they can occur as a result of other, far more severe conditions. In the event you are experiencing palpitations that are accompanied by certain other symptoms, this may be a result of a far more severe heart condition, and medical attention is highly recommended. These other symptoms include:
- Chest Pain or Angina
- Shortness of Breath
- Fainting or Blackouts
Depending upon your family history, and diagnostic testing measures, there might be an underlying cause that is causing these heart palpitations or elevated heart rate to occur. Otherwise the most common causes are:
- Strenuous Physical Activity or Exercise
- Strong, Sudden Emotions – Fear, stress, anxiety, and the onset of panic attacks.
- Substances like Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, or Narcotics such as Cocaine or Amphetamines.
- Supplements and Medications – Herbs, diet pills, nasal decongestants, asthma inhalers, and more.
- Allergies to Foods and Other Substances
- Other medical conditions including – thyroid issues, low blood sugar, anemia, low blood pressure, and dehydration.
The main heart conditions that are known to cause palpitations are:
- Heat Attacks
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart Valve Issues
- Heart Muscle Issues
- Heart Failure
In order to diagnose the source of your heart palpitations, your cardiologist may request you undergo some diagnostic testing such as:
- Electrocardiogram or EKG – Both at rest or during exercise.
- Holter Monitor
- Chest X-Ray
For the most part, heart palpitations are fairly uneventful and will not lead to any further heart issues, however if they occur often some lifestyle changes may help. Including taking part in some form of relaxation exercise such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or even Aromatherapy massages.
In addition it is important to reduce your consumption of certain substances including:
- Narcotic Drugs
- Cold Medication
- Herbal Roots and Nutritional Supplements