Palpitation of the heart is a feeling of a fast and irregular heartbeat. It causes the sensation of racing and pounding in the heart that can be triggered by exercise, stress, and medications. Usually, it is harmless, but in rare cases, it can be a symptom of heart disorders like arrhythmias.
Causes of palpitation of the heart
The causes of heart palpitation are as follows:
- Lifestyle: The poor lifestyle triggers the pulse of the heart.
- Food: Heart palpitation occurs after eating spicy food or certain ingredients like sugar, carbs, salt, etc.
- Emotional causes: Stress, anxiety, fear, panic, and shock can also trigger the palpitation of the heart.
- Medications: Over dosages of medicines trigger the heart’s palpitation.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the heartbeat rate increases. Doctors suggest some medication to control it.
- Heart disorders: Usually, it is harmless but can indicate severe heart disorders.
- Other diseases: Some medical conditions can also trigger the palpitation of the heart, such as fever, anemia, low blood sugar level, etc.
Symptoms of palpitation of the heart
The symptoms of heart palpitation are as follows:
- Skipping beats
- Fast beating
- Fluttering too fast
- Flip and flopping
The symptoms of heart palpitation can be shown during exercising or at rest. The sensation of heart palpitation occurs in the throat, neck, or chest.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you must get immediate medical attention:
- Dizziness, weakness, fainting
- Lightheadedness, stress, confusion
- Anxiety, loss of consciousness
- Trouble breathing, sweating, pain
- Pressure and tightening of the chest
- Pain in chest, arms, neck, jaw, and back
- Fast beating
You can prevent heart palpitation by following the steps:
- Try to determine the causes that trigger the palpitation of the heart.
- Try to note your activities, edible items, and your emotional and psychological state when you feel palpitation in your heart.
- Try to relax your mind when you feel stress, anxiety, and consciousness.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks, and coffee.
- Stop taking stimulants like cocaine.
- Perform exercise daily.
- Take a nutrient-rich diet.
- Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Try to avoid spicy food.
The complications are as follows:
- Fainting: If the heart is beating too fast, it can cause fainting. Moreover, it mainly occurs in patients with heart valve problems, congenital heart disease, or heart failure.
- Heart attack: In rare cases, the palpitation of the heart is lethal. It can be caused by heartbeat disorders and cause the heart to stop working.
- Stroke: If the heart’s upper chamber does not beat properly, the blood can pool and cause clotting. Once a clot breaks, it causes the blockage of brain arteries and can lead to stroke.
- Heart failure: Arrhythmias cause an abnormality in a heart pumping, and heart failure occurs. If we control the arrhythmia, we can improve heart functioning.
To diagnose the palpitation of the heart, the cardiologist will use a stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat. He will ask some questions about your causes, symptoms, and medical history. If the cardiologist thinks that palpitation occurs due to irregularity of heartbeat, he will suggest the following test:
- Electrocardiogram: It is a quick or painless test used to check the heartbeat and helps to determine the symptoms of palpitation of the heart.
- Holter monitoring: It is a device to record the heartbeat and heart rhythms during daily activities. The patient wears it for one day or more. Smartwatches also record heartbeats.
- Event recording: The doctor recommends ‘event recording’ if you wear a Holter device for a week and your heartbeat becomes normal during this monitoring. It is a device in which you press a button when you feel palpitation symptoms. You can wear this device for a month or until you have palpitation or arrhythmia symptoms.
- Echocardiogram: This test is used to identify how well the heart pumps blood. Sound waves are used to develop images of the heartbeat. The transducer inserted in the chest area produces sound waves in the heart and records them when they return.
- Chest X-ray: The chest X-ray shows a clear chest image to determine the heart’s structure. It can detect the calcium in the heart and blood vessels that damage the heart valves, coronary arteries, and heart muscles.
- Blood test: In this test, blood is taken from the arm’s blood vessel to measure red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
- Urine Test: It examines the urine’s visual, chemical, and microscopic aspects. It can detect the different cells, chemicals, and other substances in the urine.
Treatment of palpitation of the heart
Heart palpitation does not require any treatment unless caused by some heart problem. The cardiologist suggests you avoid the lifestyle that triggers the heart’s palpitation. If palpitation is caused by arrhythmia, it requires the following treatment:
- You can avoid palpitation by managing stress and anxiety through physical activity, yoga, meditation, etc.
- If medicine triggers your palpitation, talk to your doctor about its alternatives. Don’t stop taking any medication without consulting your doctor.
- Take a healthy diet and avoid sugary drinks and bakery products. Avoid oily and junk food.