Heart palpitations can make your feel that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering or beating too fast or too slow. It can happen due to stress, exercise or medication. It is generally not a serious or harmful condition and does not require treatment. If you seldom experience heart palpitations that last for a few seconds, there is nothing to be worried about. However, if you have a history of heart disease and are experiencing frequent palpitations, you should consult your doctor. Also, you must see your doctor if your palpitations are becoming more frequent with time and are worsening. Chest discomfort or pain, fainting, severe shortness of breath and severe dizziness are some signs that should never be ignored. Seek immediate medical help.
Your doctor will ask you to go through several tests like ECG, holter monitoring, event recording and echocardiogram. An ECG (electrocardiogram) will record the electrical impulses that make your heart beat. It will help your doctor in detecting the irregularities in your heart beat. Holter monitoring is done by wearing a portable device for 24 to 72 hours. It can detect palpitations that are not detected during ECG. Event recorder is another that needs to be worn for a few weeks to record your heartbeats. Echocardiogram is done to see the detailed images of your heart’s structure and function by doing an ultrasound of your chest. Treatment will be provided only if, after going through the test results, your doctor believes that you have a serious heart condition. In other mild cases, there is no need for treatment.
If you are experiencing frequent palpitations and they are worsening with time, you must consult a doctor.
Infrequent palpitations may be felt after exercising, exhaustion or stress. There is nothing to worry about.
Diagnostic tests may cause temporary redness or itching in your skin due to the instruments that are attached. Do not worry; the effects wear off soon.
You should avoid consuming illegal drugs. Limit the amount of tobacco and alcohol intake. Make sure that your meals are filled with healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, pulses, meat, fish etc. Avoid heavy work out sessions. Exercise according to your age and as per the instructions of your doctor.
The time period of recovery depends on the kind and severity of the condition you are diagnosed with. Normal palpitations go away with time.
One session of consultation with your doctor may cost around ₹400 - ₹800. The cost of ECG is between ₹300 and₹1100. Echocardiogram may cost ₹1200 - ₹1900. Holter testing costs ₹3500 - ₹6000.
The validity of results depend on the kind and severity of condition you are diagnosed with.
You can try to control the palpitations by reducing stress or anxiety. Meditation, yoga and deep breathing help in doing so. Illegal drugs like cocaine and amphetamines are known to bring on heart palpitations. Stay away from them. Excess caffeine, nicotine and energy drinks also contribute in bring on palpitations. Limit your consumption.