Heart Palpitations

What are heart palpitations? If you are having heart palpitations, you may feel your heart is racing, fluttering, skipping beats, or pounding. The intensity and frequency of heart palpitations can be different from person to person. Heart palpitations are usually harmless, though in rare cases they can be a symptom of a more serious heart condition, like an arrhythmia, that could require treatment.


Different people can experience heart palpitations in different ways. You could feel like your heart is fluttering, pounding, murmuring, skipping a beat, flip-flopping or throbbing. Some feel their heart palpitations in the chest or neck, and some simply feel a general sense of unease. If you're unsure whether what you are experiencing is heart palpitations or if you're unsure about your cardiac health, speak to your doctor or cardiologist: there are tests such as holter monitors and implantable loop recorders that you can use to find out more. If you notice that your heart is particularly fast or slow during palpitations, or that you're doing the same thing when they occur, be sure to tell your doctor as they'll take this into consideration when helping you.


Heart palpitations can be caused by:

  • Anxiety,
  • Stress,
  • Panic attacks,
  • Fear,
  • Diet pills,
  • Exercise,
  • Fever,
  • And stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and cocaine.

There are also various heart conditions that can cause heart palpitations.

What can you do to limit heart palpitations?

Ways you can prevent or reduce palpitations include reducing caffeine and nicotine, managing stress and anxiety, breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, relaxation, tai chi, and regular exercise.

If you find that these methods don't work for you, then you may want to speak to your doctor about your options for medical treatment.

Be sure to see a doctor if you have heart palpitations at the same time as you have chest discomfort/pain, fainting, severe dizziness, or severe shortness of breath.