When Should I Be Worried About Heart Palpitations
You should be worried about heart palpitations if they are accompanied by dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc.

Heart palpitations are common and can come from exercise, stress, or caffeine consumption. However, you should be worried about heart palpitations if they persist or are accompanied by symptoms such as:

You should also seek medical help immediately if you have heart palpitations with the following conditions:

What causes heart palpitations?

Normally, you do not noticel your heartbeat while you are at rest. However, changes in your heart rate can cause your heart to beat faster or harder or irregularly.

Heart palpitations can feel like your heart is racing, pounding, fluttering, or even skipping beats. You may be able to feel this not only in your chest but also in your neck region.

Heart palpitations are often temporary and can be caused by:

Other conditions that can cause palpitations include:

What tests may be ordered if you have heart palpitations?

If you have frequent heart palpitations, your doctor will take your medical history and ask about your symptoms, lifestyle, diet, and current medications. They may also order tests such as:


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How are heart palpitations treated?

Heart palpitations are treated according to the underlying cause. For example, if medications are causing your symptoms, your doctor may lower the dosage or prescribe different medications. They may ask you to avoid certain triggers such as alcohol, nicotine, or coffee.

If your palpitations are caused by heart disease or an abnormal heart rhythm, you may be put on medications. If all other treatments fail, you may need to undergo surgery such as pacemaker surgery, which involves implanting a pacemaker into your heart.

What can I do to prevent heart palpitations?

In most cases, heart palpitations resolve without treatment. Depending on the cause, you can try to prevent them by:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, guided imagery, or biofeedback techniques
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol
  • Avoiding or limiting caffeine
  • Quitting smoking
  • Staying physically active (restrict your workouts to exercises recommended by your doctor)
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking medications as prescribed by your doctor

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Medically Reviewed on 2/17/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Clementy N, Fourquet A, Andre C, et al. Benefits of an early management of palpitations. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(28):e11466.

Alijaniha F, Noorbala A, Afsharypuor S, et al. Relationship between palpitation and mental health. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016;18(3):e22615.