What Are Heart Palpitations?
Heart palpitations are the hard pounding or fluttering sensations you feel in your chest or the feeling that your heart rate is accelerated or is skipping a beat. Sometimes, palpitations are also felt in your neck or throat. Heart palpitations alert you that something is abnormal with your heart, which can be frightening or bothersome. Palpitations are generally harmless; however, they can be an indication of a more serious issue.Common Symptoms of Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations can occur at any time, including when you are at rest, active, seated, or standing up and typically occur infrequently or only last for a few seconds. Some of the most common symptoms of heart palpitations include:
- The feeling that your heart is pumping harder than usual
- Heart fluttering
- The feeling that your heart is skipping a beat
- Accelerated heart rate
Heart palpitations are sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, which can indicate a more serious issue. Some signs that your heart palpitations may be caused by a more serious condition include:
Common Causes of Heart Palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort or pain
Sometimes your diet can bring about heart palpitations. Some people report experiencing palpitations following the consumption of fatty, high carbohydrate foods. Diets high in sugar, fats, MSG, nitrates, and sodium have also been reported to bring about palpitations in some individuals. Palpitations brought on after consuming certain foods could point to a food sensitivity. Caffeine, nicotine from tobacco products, and dehydration can also cause heart palpitations.
Heart disease can also cause your heart to beat abnormally. When palpitations are associated with heart disease, it generally causes your heart to beat out of regular rhythm, meaning too fast or too slow, which causes palpitations. People who are at a greater risk of experiencing palpitations as a result of heart disease include, those with prior heart attacks, those with congestive heart failure, those with heart muscle or heart valve problems, and those with coronary artery disease. An overactive thyroid
, anemia, low blood sugar, electrolyte abnormalities, low levels of carbon monoxide or oxygen in the blood, anxiety, stress, and hormonal changes can also cause heart palpitations.
Certain medications can also cause heart palpitations. Over-the-counter medications, such as cough and cold medications and diet pills as well as prescription medications, such as asthma inhalers and beta-blockers have all been known to cause palpitations. Illegal street drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, can also cause your heart to beat abnormally.