What Are Heart Palpitations?

Find out what heart palpitations could be trying to tell you about your heart health.

Experiencing a flutter in your chest? If so, you may be experiencing heart palpitations. While some heart palpitations are short-lived and nothing to worry about, some heart palpitations could warn our Sugar Land, TX, cardiologist Dr. Naim Al-Adli that you could have heart disease. That’s why it’s important not to ignore regular or recurring heart palpitations.

What does a heart palpitation feel like?

While heart palpitations are often felt in the chest, it is normal to also experience them in the neck and throat, as well. Heart palpitations may feel like your heart is beating fast, fluttering, skipping a beat or pounding. This may occur with activity or at rest. While we understand that heart palpitations can often be distressing it’s important to know that oftentimes they are harmless.

When should I see a cardiologist?

While heart palpitations are typically nothing to worry about, sometimes this symptom is a sign of heart disease so it’s just as important to recognize when you may need to turn to our Sugar Land, TX, cardiologist to further evaluate your heart palpitations.

You should schedule an evaluation with us if you have a family history of heart disease or if heart palpitations are occurring regularly or getting worse. Seek immediate medical attention if your heart palpitations are accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness.

What can cause heart palpitations?

Common causes of harmless heart palpitations include,

  • Infection or illness
  • Fever
  • Intense exercise
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Depression
  • Stimulants such as caffeine, cold medications and nicotine
  • Hormonal changes (e.g. menstruation; pregnancy)
  • Thyroid dysfunction

If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or you’re dealing with a highly stressful situation, you may find yourself dealing with heart palpitations as a result. It’s important to see your doctor to rule out cardiac issues and to find out if other health problems such as an overactive thyroid could be to blame.

How are heart palpitations treated?

By figuring out what might be triggering your palpitations you can often just practice avoidance. For example, if you know that your heart palpitations are caused by stimulants you may wish to switch to natural cold and flu remedies or drink decaf coffee instead. Of course, if our cardiologist does detect a heart problem, this may require more than simple lifestyle changes, we may also need to prescribe certain medications.

If you are experiencing heart palpitations, it’s always best to play it safe. Schedule an appointment with our top-rated Sugar Land, TX, cardiologist Dr. Al-Adli and the team at Fort Bend Heart Center by calling (281) 265-8500.

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