Your heart beats strongly, flutters, or seems to skip beats. You could call these feelings palpitations. Although they may feel fear, most are not serious and rarely need treatment. Knowing what causes your heart to accelerate can help you not panic when it happens and know when to call your doctor.
Stress and anxiety
Intense emotions can trigger the release of hormones that accelerate the heartbeat. Your body is prepared to face a threat, even if you are not in danger. Panic attacks are intense episodes of fear that can last a few minutes. Symptoms include an accelerated heart, perspiration, chills, shortness of breath and pain in the chest. A panic attack can feel like a heart attack. If you are not sure which one you have, seek medical help.
Exercising is good for you. And an energetic race or an intense indoor cycling class will naturally make your heart beat faster. That helps your heart pump more blood to boost your muscles during training. If your heart is agitated or accelerated, it could be because it has not worked in a long time and is out of condition. An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, can also cause palpitations when you exercise.
Does your heart beat faster after the morning latte? Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate, while you get it from a coffee, a soft drink, an energy drink, a tea, chocolate, or another source. One study found that caffeine in coffee, tea and chocolate is not likely to cause heart palpitations in people with healthy hearts. But experts do not know if this could trigger them in people with heart rhythm problems.
The addictive chemical in cigarettes and other tobacco products, nicotine raises its blood pressure and accelerates your heart rate. Give up smoking of smoking It is one of the best things you can do for your heart, although you can not slow down your heart immediately. Patches and other nicotine replacement products can make your heart beat faster. Palpitations may also be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal, but should be stopped within 3 to 4 weeks after quitting.
Women may notice that their heart rate accelerates when they have their menstrual period, they are pregnant, they are close to menopause, or are in menopause. The reason: hormone levels. The increase in heart rate is usually temporary and there is no cause for concern. If you are pregnant, palpitations can also occur if you have anemia, which means you do not have enough red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.
When you have a fever during a disease, your body uses energy at a faster rate than usual. This can trigger palpitations. In general, your temperature should be above 100.4 F to affect your heart rate.
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications cause palpitations as a side effect, including:
If you take one or more of these types of medications, ask your doctor if it might affect your heartbeat. Do not skip doses before consulting your doctor.
Low blood sugar
Have you ever noticed that you feel shaky, irritable and weak when you have skipped a meal? It can also lead to palpitations. When you glycemia The water level drops, your body releases stress hormones like adrenaline to prepare for a shortage of emergency food. Adrenaline accelerates your heart rate.
Hyperactive thyroid gland
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck. It produces hormones that help control your metabolism and other things. An overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism) can do too much thyroid hormone. That can accelerate his heart so much that he feels it beating in his chest. Taking too much thyroid hormone to treat an underactive thyroid gland (called hypothyroidism) can also speed up your heart rate.
Heart rhythm problems
Sometimes an irregular heart rhythm, called an arrhythmia, causes palpitations.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, occurs when the upper chambers of the heart, called atria, are shaken instead of beating normally. Supraventricular tachycardia is an abnormally rapid heartbeat that begins in the upper chambers of the heart. Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heart rate due to faulty signals in the lower pumping chambers of the heart, called ventricles.
If you drink a lot, or just drink more than usual, you may feel that your heart beats faster or faster. It often happens on holidays or weekends, when people drink more, earning the nickname "holiday heart syndrome." But for some people, it can happen even when they only drink a little.
Premature ventricular contractions
Premature ventricular contractions (PVC) are additional heartbeats. They occur when the ventricles in your heart tighten too soon. The extra beat eliminates the normal rhythm of your heart and makes it flutter, hit or jump in your chest. If your heart is healthy, occasional PVCs are nothing to worry about. But you may need treatment if you have heart disease and you get these extra rhythms often.
Cocaine and other street drugs
Illegal drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy are dangerous for the heart. Cocaine increases blood pressure, increases heart rate and damages the heart muscle. Amphetamines stimulate the nervous system, which increases the heart rate. Ecstasy triggers the release of a chemical called norepinephrine, which makes the heart beat faster.
When to see a doctor
If you are healthy, you probably do not have to worry about the palpitations that occur from time to time and last only a few seconds. But make an appointment with the doctor if they come more often or if you also have symptoms like these:
Chest pain or pressure Difficulty breathing Dizziness Fainting
Finding the cause
These tests can help your doctor find out what is happening:
Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test looks for problems with the electrical signals that control your heart rate. Holter monitor. You use this portable ECG for 24 to 72 hours at a time. It can detect heart rhythm problems and any pattern that may need further testing. Event monitor. You wear this device for several weeks. Record your heart rate when you press a button while you have symptoms. Echocardiogram. This test uses sound waves to take pictures of your heart. You may encounter problems with the structure of your heart.
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