Q

Heart and Circulatory System

What causes a heart palpitation?

A Answers (1)

  • Heart palpitations describe the experience of feeling as though the heart is pounding or racing, that the heartbeat is irregular or rapid or that the heart is skipping beats. Palpitations can be felt in the chest, throat and neck.
    Palpitations can be caused by factors including:
    • Overexertion or exercise
    • Stress
    • Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or diet pills
    • Fever
    • Overactive thyroid
    • Anemia
    • Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
    • Low blood pressure
    • Heart disease or heart valve abnormalities
    • Medications such as thyroid pills, cold medicines, asthma drugs, beta blockers for high blood pressure
    To manage palpitations, the underlying cause must be treated. Lifestyle changes that include a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise may be recommended. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine may also reduce the occurrence of palpitations.
    In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe medication.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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What is a heart palpitation?