Palpitations are a common occurrence that many people have experienced at some point in their lives. Symptoms include a racing or pounding heartbeat and general state of anxiety or discontentment. Heart palpitations can be a normal reaction to stress or physical activity but can also indicate a more serious problem.
What are palpitations?
Palpitations are the sensation of a rapid or irregular heartbeat, which might be accompanied by a feeling of thumping, racing, or fluttering in the heart. People of all ages and sexes can experience palpitations, and each person’s symptoms will be unique to them. In some people, palpitations manifest in the chest, while in others, they travel to the throat or neck.
What causes palpitations?
This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Anxiety and stress: Anxiety and emotional stress can raise heart rate and cause palpitations.
- Physical activity: Physical activity and exercise have been linked to an increase in heart rate and palpitations.
- Medications: Palpitations are a common side effect of some medications, including asthma inhalers, decongestants, and even some antidepressants.
- Medical conditions: Heart palpitations may indicate a number of underlying health issues, such as anemia, hyperthyroidism, or arrhythmia.
- Lifestyle factors: Palpitations can be caused by several lifestyle factors, including smoking and consuming caffeine or alcohol.
Symptoms of palpitations
The symptoms can vary from person to person but may include the following:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Fluttering or pounding sensation in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fainting or near-fainting episodes
- Chest pain or discomfort
How are heart palpitations diagnosed?
Your doctor may perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your health and lifestyle to make a diagnosis of palpitations. They may also advise you to get tests like an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check your heart’s electrical activity or a Holter monitor to record your heart’s rhythms over 24 hours.
How are heart palpitations treated?
The treatment for palpitations depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Common treatments include:
- Lifestyle Changes. In some instances, modifying one’s lifestyle may be a helpful treatment for palpitations. They may include limiting coffee and alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, committing to regular physical activity, and managing stress.
- Medications. Some medications, such as beta-blockers, can be used to treat palpitations by slowing the heart rate and reducing the strength of the heart’s contractions. Other prescriptions may be used to treat the underlying diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, that are causing the palpitations.
- Surgery. Surgical techniques are sometimes suggested as a means of treating palpitations. Catheter ablation is one example of a procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to eliminate specific areas of heart tissue responsible for an irregular heartbeat.
- Therapy. In some instances, anxiety or stress-related palpitations may be treatable with therapy. Symptoms may be lessened with cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation exercises.
Book your appointment at Novomed today!
Talking to your doctor can help you figure out what’s causing your palpitations and get you on the road to recovery. Although heart palpitations are usually harmless, they may be an indicator of a more serious health issue and warrant medical treatment.
Our cardiologists at Novomed are among the best in the UAE in diagnosing and treating heart disorders, emphasizing integrated patient care. Being a comprehensive cardiology facility, we treat various cardiac illnesses. We are qualified to deliver precise diagnostics and the most innovative scientific treatments for cardiac diseases.
If you have any concerns, make an appointment with our experienced Cardiologist by calling toll-free 800 (NOVO) 6686 or filling out the booking form below.