Heart Palpitations: Understanding, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and More

Heart-Palpitations

Heart palpitations are when heartbeats suddenly become more noticeable. They can feel like the heart skips a beat, or it’s pounding, fluttering, or beating irregularly. These sensations may be felt in the throat or neck. Experiencing heart palpitations can be frightening, especially for the first time. While they may not always indicate a serious issue, they should be evaluated by a doctor, as they can sometimes require medical attention. For more research you can also visit Harvard Health.

What is Heart Palpitations?

Normally your heart rate at a steady pace. It goes faster when you’re active and slower when you’re resting. However, some people feel strange sensations in their heart from time to time. They might say it feels like their heart skipped a beat, is racing and pounding. Sometimes, a person feels their heart is racing, but when a doctor checks their heart with a machine called an electrocardiogram (ECG) it looks completely normal. According to heart expert Alfred E. Buxton this can happen when people are very aware of their heart’s normal rhythm.

What are the Types of Heart Palpitations?

The types of heart palpitations are following, Such as:

  • Atrial flutter
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial premature complexes
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Premature beats
  • Heart block
  • Sinus rhythm
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Supraventricular tachycardia
  • Tachycardia

What are the Causes of Heart Palpitations?

The heart skipping a beat can be the result of several factors, including:

Lifestyle Triggers

  • Strenuous exercise 
  • Excess caffeine or alcohol use 
  • Nicotine from tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars 
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Dehydration 
  • Smoking  

Psychological or Emotional Triggers:

  • Stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Fear 
  • Panic 
  • Shock 

Drugs and Medications:

  • Over the counter medications like cold and cough medicines, herbal supplements, and nutritional supplements. 
  • Prescription medications such as asthma inhalers and decongestion. 
  • Stimulates like amphetamines and cocaine.

Heart Conditions:

Although heart palpitations can be harmless, they can also be an indications of an underlying heart conditions, such as:

  • Arrhythmia 
  • Irregular heart beat 
  • Abnormal heart valves 
  • Heart disease 
  • Congestive heart failure 

Other Medical Conditions:

  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause 
  • Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism 
  • Fever 
  • Sleep insomnia 
  • Electrolyte abnormalities 
  • Low levels of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the blood 
  • Blood loss 
  • Anemia
  • Low blood sugar 

What are the Symptoms of Palpitations?

Heart palpitations are often described as a fluttering or pounding sensation in the chest or neck. They can also feel an irregular heartbeat. When more serious arrhythmias are the cause, palpitations may occur along with the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness

If a person experiences these symptoms alongside heart palpitations, they should seek immediate medical attention. In severe cases, heart palpitations can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

What is the Diagnosis of Palpitations?

To determine the cause of heart palpitation, a doctor typically asks about the person’s symptoms and medical history. They may also suggest blood tests and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess the heartbeat. An ECG is a straightforward test used to examine the heart’s electrical activity. The doctor attaches small electrodes to the body, which are connected to an ECG machine with wires. This test enables the doctor to evaluate how the heart is functioning. If the doctor suspects a heart problem or an arrhythmia, they may request:

  • Physical activity 
  • Stress levels 
  • Health conditions 
  • Prescription medicines use 
  • OTC medicines and supplements use 
  • Sleep patterns 
  • Caffeine and stimulate
  • Alcohol use 
  • Menstrual history  

If necessary, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist, who may order specific tests to diagnose or rule out certain diseases or heart problems. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests to check hormone and blood cell levels, as well as electrolytes like potassium that can affect heart rhythm. 
  • Urine test to measure electrolytes, blood cells, hormones, and blood sugar levels. 
  • Stress test to study your heart while your heart rate is elevated, either by walking on a treadmill or through medications. 
  • Echocardiogram to create live, moving images of your heart using sound waves. 
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) to record the electrical activity of your heart. 
  • Chest X-rays to assess if your heart is enlarged.
  • Holter monitor, a small device worn to record your heart’s rhythm for 24 to 48 hours. 
  • Electrophysiology study to evaluate your heart’s electrical function. 
  • Coronary angiography to assess blood flow through your heart. 

What is the Treatment of Palpitations?

The treatment varies depending on the underlying cause. If lifestyle factors like excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption are responsible, individuals can take steps to avoid those triggers. For those experiencing palpitation due to stress, anxiety, or pain attacks, learning breathing exercises and stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation can be beneficial. Speaking with a therapist may also help. Some arrhythmias are harmless and don’t require treatment, while others may need long-term medications. Individuals diagnosed with heart conditions like heart failure typically follow a treatment plan involving lifestyle changes and medication. Although not everyone with a congenital heart defect requires treatment, some may undergo surgery or cardiac catheterization.

Lifestyle Changes:

Lifestyle changes like adopting a healthy, balanced diet can promote heart health. People can incorporate the following foods into their diet:

  • A range of fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • Seafood

In addition, people can minimize or avoid:

  • Processed foods
  • Fries foods
  • Added sugars
  • Excess salt 
  • Red meat
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

Staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol level are essential aspects of managing heart conditions.

Other Treatments:

Other treatment options can include:

  • Medications
  • A pacemaker-a device that stimulates a regular heartbeat
  • An implantable cardiac defibrillator-a device that monitors and corrects an irregular heart rhythm
  • Mild electrical shock-a procedure to return the heart to its usual rhythm
  • Heart surgery to remove any section of the heart that is not functioning as expected

If your palpitations don’t have a medical cause you may be able to reduce symptoms by:

  • Managing stress and anxiety 
  • physical activity 
  • Breathing exercise 
  • Yoga 
  • Tai chi 
  • Meditations 
  • Biofeedback 
  • Avoid caffeine 
  • Manage your diet 
  • Changing medications 
  • Quit smoking 

What is the Prevention of Heart Palpitations?

If your doctors and cardiologist determines that treatment isn’t necessary, you can take the following steps to help lower your risk of heart palpitations:

  • Identify triggers and avoid them in the future. 
  • Keep a log of your activities, including foods, beverages, medications state, noting when palpitations occur. 
  • Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine to manage psychological stress and overwhelm. 
  • If medications are causing palpitations, ask your doctor about alternatives. 
  • Limit or avoid caffeine intake including energy drinks and coffee. 
  • Steer clear of stimulating recreational drugs. 
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products, or at least limit their use. 
  • Exercise regularly to promote heart health. 
  • Follow a nutrient rich diet to support overall health. 
  • Manage your blood sugar levels.
  • Manage your high cholesterol and blood pressures. 

Protect Yourself From The Damage Of Chronic Inflammation.

It has proven that chronic, low-grade inflammation can turn into a silent killer that contributes to cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and other conditions. Get simple tips to fight inflammation and stay healthy from a Harvard Medical School expert.

Fight Health-Robbing Inflammation with Simple Steps.

 Eat to Beat Inflammation:

Harvard experts warn that many anti-inflammatory diets are not grounded in science. In this special report you’ll discover the three best diet choices plus essential food does and doesn’t help suppress inflammation levels.

 Manage Your Weight:

Discover the simple strategies to help you zero in on reducing abdominal fat, the kind that produces pro-inflammatory chemicals. For example you’ll learn surprising no-pain secrets to help reduce sugar in your diet.

Get Moving:

 Fighting Inflammations reveals how much aerobic exercise surprisingly little it makes to lower inflammations levels and how too much exercise may actually provoke an inflammatory response.

 Get Enough Sleep:

Inadequate sleep not only robs you of energy and productivity it also elevates inflammation which is especially hazardous to heart health. Fighting Inflammations reveals 4 simple steps to help you get a healthier and more refreshing night’s sleep.

Stop Smoking:

Kicking the habit can result in a dramatic reduction in inflammatory levels within just a few weeks, experts say. Even if you’ve tried to quit before, the steps revealed in this special report can help you succeed.

Limit Alcohol Use:

When it comes to inflammations alcohol can be either your friend or foe. Find out this special report why a little alcohol may be helpful and how much is over the line for keeping inflammations in check.

Conquer Chronic Stress:

Chronic Stress can spark the development of inflammation and use and cause flare ups- of problems like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, depression and inflammatory bowel disease. Fighting Inflammation reveals 10 powerful ways to help lower unhealthy stress. Whether you’re aiming to prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia or other conditions to chronic inflammation, the sooner you incorporate these seven steps into your life the better.

What is Ectopic Beats?

The feeling of your heart skipping a beat can happen when the upper or lower chamber of the heart contracts a little earlier than usual. This can cause a pause in the heartbeat, and then the lower chambers contract earlier than they should, which can make it may seem like your heart briefly stopped and started again. These early contractions are called ectopic beats and can lead to a momentary pounding feeling in the chest. It’s important to note that in a healthy heart, these beats are strong. But if the heart is weak or sick, it might not beat as strongly.

What is AV Block & Bundle Branch Block?

Sometimes the electrical signals that make your heart rate can slow down or become irregular, leading to a condition called AV block. There are different levels of AV blocks, and some are harmless while others can result, while others can result in very slow and patiently dangerous heart rates. Another electrical issue is a bundle branch block which happens when the ventricles don’t activate properly to pump blood. The most common type is the right bundle branch block, often without obvious symptoms and can be a normal part of aging. But it can also be caused by heart rate issues like heart attacks, inflammation, or high pressure in the pulmonary arteries. Left bundle branch block on the other hand can be isolated or caused by various underlying conditions. In some cases it can lead to problems with the left ventricle’s function which might be fixed with special pacemakers.

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Sometimes, the electrical signals in your heart can go haywire, especially in the top chambers called atria. This can lead to a condition called atrial fibrillation often shortened. It makes the atria quiver instead of beating properly which can increase the risk of stroke. It can be unpredictable, happening for a few minutes, days, or even longer. Some people feel their heart flutter or race while others have no symptoms at all. Certain smart watches can briefly check your heart with an (ECG) and might detect but they’re not always accurate. In younger folks, the heart can go really fast during, but in older people it usually doesn’t speed up as much.

When Should You Be Concerned About Irregular Heartbeats?

An irregular heartbeat such as racing, fluttering or skipping a beat is usually harmless. Even in cases when palpitations are frequent and bothersome (which occurs rarely), reassurance may be the only treatment needed, but you should contact if you notice other symptoms accompanying an unusual heartbeat, such as feeling,

  • Chest Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheaded
  • Tired
  • Breathless
  • As though you’re going to faint.

FAQs:

Which fruit is good for irregular heartbeat?

Low potassium level may increase your risk of arrhythmia (48). Some good sources of potassium include: fruits such as avocados, bananas, apricots, and oranges.

Is walking good for irregular heartbeat?

Any exercise is good, but if you’re not used to it or worried you’ll make your AF worse, talk to your doctor or specialist. A brisk walk is suitable for almost everyone and getting out in the fresh air will make you feel better physically and mentally.

Is milk good for the heart?

Unflavored milk, yogurt and cheese can be a part of a heart-healthy diet. Reduced-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are better options for people with heart disease or high cholesterol. Butter, cream and ice cream are not a part of a heart-healthy diet. Unflavored milk, yogurt and cheese are neutral for heart health.

Can heart patients eat rice?

Cardiologist says that while sugar is considered the top enemy for your heart, people who overeat rice are at an equal risk of getting a heart disease. So, people who eat too many candies or too much rice should watch out for their heart health.

What are the 3 foods to avoid?

For better health, try to limit the amount of food that you eat from these categories. Such as:

  • Foods with added sugar, examples cookies, cake , ice cream, candy, sugary breakfast, cereals, flavored yogurt
  • Foods with added salt
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Processed meats

Is chicken good for the heart?

A protein rich food, chicken can help weight management and reduce the risk of heart disease. Chicken contains the amino acid tryptophan which has been linked to higher levels of serotonin (the feel good hormone) in our brains.

Which fruits cleans the heart?

The best fruits and vegetables for heart patients are bananas, avocados, oranges, grapes, tomatoes, and spinach. These fruits contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, which are good for the heart. Research shows that eating a diet rich in these nutrients can help lower blood pressure levels.

Which drink is the best for the heart?

Heart-healthy drinks (other than water). Such as:

  • Water
  • Unflavored milk
  • Plant-based milks with added calcium, like soy, almonds, oat, rice, milk
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Small glass (125ml) of 100% fruits of vegetables juice

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Heart Disease: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

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