What Causes Heart Palpitations?

Experiencing heart palpitations can mimic that of a heart attack. It is scary when you don’t know what the cause is. Many times, people panic, thinking it actually is a heart attack. However, there are many reasons the heart palpitations are happening.

Panic attacks
When someone has a panic attack, their heart rate rises very high, they could have trouble breathing, and their chest could hurt. These are signs of a heart attack. The thing to stress is that every palpitation is not a heart attack. Watch for signs of the heart palpitations you have that come with shortness of breath, chest pain or pain through the arm, fainting, or dizziness.

Pregnancy and hormone changes
Pregnancy causes many changes within the body, especially with hormones. It can signal anemia in pregnant women, too. These types of palpitations can also occur during your period and menopause.

Certain cold medicines, diet pills, and other medications can increase or decrease the heart rate. Some rare instances with medicines to regular heart arrhythmia can cause irregular palpitations. Supplements and certain vitamins can have the same effect if other stimulant-type medications cause you palpitations.

Some people are so sensitive to foods it can affect their heart rate and give them palpitations just by consuming them. Fatty, sugary, sodium-filled, and MSG-contained foods all contribute to heart palpitations. Try keeping track of what you eat to show your doctor so you can make a plan on how to avoid this.

High intensity
High-intensity workouts can raise your heart to a very high rate. Sports that have constant movements, such as soccer and football, can, too. Notice when heart palpitations begin and how long after the activity ceases they stop.

Sometimes arrhythmia is associated with a more serious problem. If you’ve had prior heart attacks, it warrants a trip to the ER. Your doctor will determine what is going on after performing tests that will see what, if any, problem is going on with the heart.

Tests for heart palpitations
An EKG, or electrocardiogram, tests your heart’s rhythms and can be done while you are lying down. Your doctor might also send you in for a chest x-ray to get an even closer look at what is going on inside your body. A chest x-ray can detect if there is any fluid entering the lungs, which is an indicator of heart failure.