What Causes Heart Palpitations?
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: May 3, 2021
Heart palpitations feel like your heart has skipped a beat (or beats). It may feel like a fluttering in your chest. Though most causes are not serious this feeling can be disarming and even scary. Knowing what can make your heart race can help you identify when to call your doctor and when to simply take a few deep breaths and a time out of your day.
Anxiety & Stress – Intense emotion can activate the release of hormones, speeding up your heart rate. This is your fight or flight response. It is there to help your body face a perceived threat. These can become panic attacks. Symptoms mimic heart issues – sweating, chills, trouble breathing, chest pain, and visual disturbances. If you aren’t sure that it’s a panic attack, it is better to er on the side of caution and seek medical help.
Exercise – Your heart rate elevates during any type of cardiovascular workout. If you haven’t been in the gym for a while your heart may pound or flutter due to lack of use and sudden onset usage. It may also show an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia during exercise too as they become more pronounced.
Caffeine and Stimulants – coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, and other stimulants can cause a quickening of the heart rate. It doesn’t trigger palpitations in normal doses in a healthy person but if you have a weakened heart, stay away from caffeine.
Nicotine (smoking) – Nicotine raises blood pressure and speeds the heart. Palpitations can also be a withdrawal symptom. They may last up to 4 weeks even after quitting.
Hormones – Hormone levels fluctuate due to age and health. These hormone drops are usually temporary and not to be worried over.
A High Fever – A temperature over 100.4 can affect heart rate.
Pharmaceuticals – many medications, including over the counter varieties, can cause palpitations as a side effect. Read all materials given by your pharmacist. If it continues, talk with your doctor.
Low Blood Sugar – This little-known culprit is the same reason you feel hangry and cranky if you miss a meal. When blood sugar drops your body releases adrenaline to prepare for shortage of food. Adrenaline speeds the heart.
Hyperthyroid – If your thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone it can speed your heart so much it pounds in your chest. This is also true for those with hypothyroid (low) if medication isn’t dosed exactly correctly it can speed up your heart too much and cause unwanted shakiness and heart palpitations as well as tremors.
Irregular Heart Beats – Atrial Fibrillation, Supraventricular tachycardia, and Ventricular tachycardia all are suspect.
Alcohol – alcohol can cause heart palpitations. One glass or multiple, it just depends on the person.
When to see your doctor
If palpitations only last a little while or are occasional, they likely aren’t anything to worry about. If they happen frequently, continually, or more and more over time especially in conjunction with dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, or chest pain and pressure it is time for a cardiologist visit.
If you are in the Tampa, Florida area we would love to see you in one of our three convenient office locations. www.tampacardio.com. Give us a call at 813-975-2800 to schedule your consultation today.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio