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Palpitations is the feeling that you experience when your heart beats abnormally. Heart palpitations can be felt in the form of rapid, fluttering or pounding heartbeats. They can be frightening as when you palpate, you heart beats so hard that it even skips a beat and the sensations are so strong that they can be felt all through your chest, neck, and throat.
Palpitations are also common especially in young people because of abnormal electrical circuits in heart from birth. However, they may have normal hearts on Echo. Such palpitations are curable by a nonsurgical methods called Radiofrequency Ablation.
Palpitations can be triggered as a result of a number of reasons like stress, certain medications, exercise etc.
Here are a few prominent causes of heart palpitations.
Causes unrelated to the Heart -
- Anxiety, fear, and stress
- Consumption of alcohol and drugs like caffeine, nicotine etc.
- Consumption of street drugs likes cocaine, amphetamines etc.
- Certain medical conditions such as thyroid, anemia, dehydration, low blood pressure and low sugar levels etc.
- Hormonal changes that occur as a result of menstruation, pregnancy, menopause etc.
- Certain nutritional and herbal supplements
- Certain medications like asthma inhalers, diet pills etc.
- Abnormal levels of electrolyte
- Sensitivity to certain food items like some carbohydrates
Causes related to the Heart -
- Coronary artery disease
- Prior instances of heart attack
- Congestive heart failure (a condition wherein your heart's chambers get affected)
- Problems associated with the heart valves or the heart muscles
Immediate Relief Mechanisms-
It is crucial to go to the most easily available doctor to get an ECG done during palpitations as ECG will give an exact diagnosis, which helps in identifying the clear line of treatment.
Here are a few techniques that can help you in getting immediate relief from heart palpitations until you are able to visit a doctor in case of a serious condition.
- Cough it out
- Splash cold water on your face or take a cold shower
- Practice slow, deep breathing exercises. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.