Heart palpitations are the feelings of having rapid, fluttering or pounding heart. Heart palpitations can be triggered by stress, exercise, medication or, rarely, a medical condition. Although heart palpitations can be worrisome, they're usually harmless. In rare cases, heart palpitations can be a symptom of a more serious heart condition, such as an irregular heartbeat. Palpitations can be due to:
• Anxiety, stress, panic attack, or fear
• Caffeine intake
• Nicotine intake
• Cocaine or other illegal drugs
• Diet pills
HOW IS PALPITATIONS DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of the condition will be done with the help of an ECG or electrocardiogram that will study the heart rate and look for the frequency and cause of the palpitations. Usually, these palpitations are a symptom of a larger cardiovascular condition.
HOW IS PALPITATIONS TREATED?
Treatment of heart palpitations depends on their cause. In most cases, palpitations are found to be harmless and often go away on their own. In those cases, no treatment is needed.If palpitations are not due to an underlying condition, your doctor may advise you to avoid the things that trigger them. Strategies may include:
• Reducing anxiety and stress. Common stress-reducing therapies include relaxation exercises, yoga, tai chi, biofeedback, guided imagery, and aromatherapy.
• Avoiding certain foods, beverages, and substances. This may include alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and illegal drugs.
• Avoiding medications that act as stimulants. These include cough and cold medicines, and certain herbal and nutritional supplements.
DID YOU KNOW?
Some people experience palpitations after eating heavy meals that are rich in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. Sometimes, eating foods with high levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium can bring them on.