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6 Reasons You May Be Getting Heart Palpitations

By HERWriter
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6 Reasons You May Be Having Heart Palpitations Vasily Merkushev/Fotolia

If you have ever felt a fluttering sensation in your chest or throat, you may have just had some heart palpitations. Most causes of heart palpitations are not serious, and they typically stop on their own.

If you have a concern that the palpitations are caused by a heart problem, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Do so right away, particularly if they are accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating or chest pain.

However, there are a number of other reasons why palpitations may occur. Knowing possible reasons may help you modify an activity in your life to prevent palpitations.

1) Anxiety or Stress

Strong emotions like fear can cause a run of extra beats. The medical term for the most common type of palpitation due to stress is supraventricular tachycardia. SVT may occur in response to the body’s release of adrenaline and a need for extra oxygen, so the heart tries to speed up. Episodes of SVT also can happen during exercise for the same reason.

2) Caffeine, Nicotine or Alcohol

Supraventricular tachycardia may also occur when chemicals stimulate the heart the same way adrenaline does. Caffeine and nicotine can do this. Alcohol functions both as a stimulant and depressant, but according to Dr. Chris of Healthhype.com, alcohol may also affect the electrical rhythm of the heart and lead to palpitations.

More seriously, a combination of alcohol, lack of sleep and overeating can to lead to“holiday heart syndrome” where a potentially more concerning arrhythmia can develop called atrial fibrillation.

3) Medications

Pseudoephedrine, asthma drugs, and stimulants such as diet pills have qualities similar to adrenaline so may cause palpitations. Even certain drugs that are intended to block other arrhythmias, like beta blockers, can cause SVT.

Too much thyroid hormone replacement can stimulate palpitations, as can certain herbs such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng and valerian in high doses, according to Ray Sahelian, M.D.

What are the different types of palpitations? Medicine.net. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2016.

Understanding Heart Palpitations After Eating. Healthline.com. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2016.

Ray Sahelian, M.D., Heart Palpitations Cause and prevention using herbs, vitamins, supplements, natural home remedy. October 18 2015. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2016.

Lankenau Heart Institute. Heart Palpitations: How Common Are They and Should You Worry? Retrieved Feb. 14, 2016.

Understanding Heart Palpitations After Eating. Healthline.com. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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