Palpitations refer to an abnormal awareness or sensation of the heart beating

What is Palpitations?

Palpitations refer to an abnormal awareness or sensation of the heart beating rapidly, irregularly, or forcefully. While palpitations can be unsettling, they are often harmless and temporary. However, in some cases, they may indicate an underlying heart condition that requires medical attention. Here is an overview of the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of palpitations.
Palpitations refer to an abnormal awareness

Causes of Palpitations:

Anxiety and stress:

Emotional and psychological factors can trigger palpitations.

Physical activity and exertion:

Intense exercise or physical strain can temporarily increase heart rate and cause palpitations.

Caffeine and stimulants:

Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, nicotine, or certain medications can lead to palpitations.

Hormonal changes:

Palpitations can occur due to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disorders.

Medications and substances:

Certain medications, such as asthma inhalers or decongestants, as well as illicit drugs, can cause palpitations.

Heart conditions:

Palpitations may be a symptom of underlying heart conditions like arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), heart valve disorders, or heart muscle problems.

Other medical conditions:

Palpitations can be associated with conditions like anemia, low blood sugar, or electrolyte imbalances.


If you experience palpitations, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for evaluation. The diagnosis may involve the following steps:

Medical History:

The healthcare provider will inquire about your symptoms, medical history, and any triggering factors.

Physical Examination:

A thorough physical examination will be conducted, including checking your heart rate, rhythm, and listening for any abnormal heart sounds.

Diagnostic tests:

Depending on the suspected cause, your healthcare provider may recommend additional tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG), Holter monitor (24-hour ECG monitoring), echocardiogram, stress test, or blood tests.

Treatment and Management:

The treatment of palpitations depends on the underlying cause. Here are some general approaches:

Lifestyle modifications:

Avoid triggers like caffeine, nicotine, and excessive stress. Practice stress management techniques and ensure regular exercise and adequate sleep.


If palpitations are related to an underlying heart condition, medication may be prescribed to regulate heart rhythm or manage other contributing factors.


In certain cases, electrical cardioversion may be performed to restore normal heart rhythm.

Catheter ablation:

This procedure involves using heat or cold energy to destroy abnormal heart tissue responsible for causing palpitations.


In rare cases, surgery may be recommended to correct structural abnormalities or implant devices like pacemakers or defibrillators.


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