Heart Palpitation Risk Depends On The Cause
The most important part of evaluating heart palpitations is determining whats causing them. I always liked to start by asking patients some questions about their lifestyle:
- Were they eating too much sugar, caffeine, or other foods that cause palpitations?
- How much stress and anxiety did they have in their lives?
- Were they feeling emotions that they didnt feel they could talk about?
- Did their palpitations tend to happen at a certain time?
- What medications are they on?
The answers to these questions helped me understand whether external issues could be causing the skips, jumps, or flutters. If, after I finished my work-up, all of a patients risk factors fell into this bucket, I didnt worry too much about their heart palpitations. Instead, Id start working with them on adopting new habits that could address the problem.
What concerned me was when I found internal issues with the heart that could be causing someones palpitations, or that could become dangerous if it was combined with palpitations. Here are six specific examples of when its right to worry
What Causes Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations may have a cause thats unrelated to your heart health, including anemia, thyroid problems, and low blood potassium.
Many people get palpitations in specific situations, including feeling stressed, drinking alcohol, or using stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. Theyre also a side effect of certain medications, including diet pills and asthma inhalers, and may be the symptom of a food sensitivity.
Some people with heart palpitations have an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, such as atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation can lead to complications such as heart attack or stroke. If your heart palpitations result from a more serious condition, theyll likely last longer than a few seconds at a time, and you wont be able to trace them to a specific trigger.
How Are Palpitations Treated
The best type of treatment for you depends on what causes your palpitations. You may not need any treatment. If the palpitations are related to certain foods, you should avoid those triggers. If you have heart disease or an abnormal heart rhythm, you may need medication, a procedure, surgery or a device to correct the problem. It is important to keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor.
If your palpitations get worse or suddenly happen more often, call your doctor.
What Should You Do If You Have Heart Palpitations
The clots can then move into the brain and block vital blood flow. You can live a full and active life with A-fib, but its essential that you be on some sort of blood thinner to protect against clotting. When you have your heart palpitations evaluated, make sure your doctor checks for A-fib as the cause.
The Carotid Sinus Baroreceptor Has A Crucial Role In The Control Of Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
The glossopharyngeal nerve / Carotid baroreceptors connection:
- In the medical publication STAT PEARLS housed at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine an explanation of function for the glossopharyngeal nerve / Carotid baroreceptors connection is given.
- Carotid sinus baroreceptor has a crucial role in the control of blood pressure and heart rate. Afferent signals travel from carotid baroreceptors to the cardiovascular control center in the midbrain via the glossopharyngeal nerve. The efferent signals transmit via parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves to the heart and blood vessels. This response brings appropriate changes to maintain heart rate and blood pressure in normal physiological limits, which is known as carotid sinus baroreflex
The Vagus Nerve / Aortic Baroreceptors
- Returning to the medical publication STAT PEARLS lets get an explanation of the function of the Vagus Nerve / Aortic Baroreceptors connection. Lets focus on some of the key points:
- Misinterpretation of the existence of hypertension
- Increased pressure on the carotid artery
- Fainting or syncope
To briefly review:
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What Causes Heart Flutters
Palpitations can appear out of the blue and disappear just as suddenly. They can be linked with certain activities, events, or emotions. Some people notice their heart skipping a beat when they are drifting off to sleep others, when they stand up after bending over. Palpitations can be triggered by:
- stress, anxiety, or panic
- too much caffeine, chocolate, or alcohol
People with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, anemia, and an overactive thyroid gland are more likely to experience palpitations. Palpitations can be related to drugs and medications such as cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills, some cough and cold remedies, some antibiotics, thyroid hormone, digoxin, or asthma remedies.
What Are The Causes Of Palpitations With Dizziness
Several medical conditions can be responsible for palpitations with dizziness. Palpitations are felt when the heart beats abnormally, which can be too quickly, too slowly, or out of normal rhythm. Accompanying dizziness is typically caused by a sharp drop in blood pressure during the palpitations, which in turn causes a shortage of blood pumped throughout the body Examples of conditions that can cause palpitations with dizziness include taking certain medications, caffeine, atrial fibrillation, heart arrhythmia, and anxiety attacks.
Palpitations are normally felt in the chest, neck, or throat, and are described as pounding or racing heartbeats. These sensations can occur when the patient is exercising, going about daily routines, or simply sitting still. In some cases, the palpitations start slowly and continue to increase, while in other cases they come on suddenly and without warning.
Anxiety is a common cause of palpitations with dizziness. Stress, panic, or fear cause the body to react, which gets the palpitations going. Some people are more prone to anxiety attacks than others. Treatment for anxiety can include stress reduction, caffeine elimination, mental health therapy, and anxiety medication.
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Heart Rate Variability Monitoring For Chronic Health Conditions And Cervical Instability Cases
Ross Hauser, MD explains how monitoring HRV can be a helpful way to see how a persons vagal tone and overall health are improving or declining. This is an objective test we have some patients monitor at home and we have a more comprehensive version that we can do in-office.
The summary transcript is below video:
Heart rate variability or HRV measures the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. It measures if the balance between the sympathetic nervous system and the Parasympathetic system is good or if this balance is off. When it is good the body is in a good position to heal and regenerate.
We do heart rate variability testing in the office and this testing gives us a sense of how balanced someones autonomic nervous system is. When somebody has a high vagal tone meaning their vagus nerves, which are the nerves in the body that give the body health, when the HRV is high, the person has better athletic ability they also have a greater resistance to stress.
When people have a low vagal tone they cant handle stress, theyre much more prone to getting illnesses, they tend to have depression or they might have other signs like brain fog or melancholy and other psychological conditions. They are easily fatigued.
Diseases associated with low heart rate variability
- multiple chemical sensitivity
- Chronic Lyme Disease symptoms
Can Sugar Cause Rapid Heartbeat
Excess Sugar Consumption. Eating foods that cause your blood sugar to spike, or rapidly increase, may cause a rapid heartbeat as well. According to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, high blood sugar interferes with proper blood vessel function, causing heart rate and blood pressure to rise.
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Should I Limit Caffeine Intake
You should definitely limit your caffeine intake to a healthy amount if you dont want to experience caffeines negative effects like heart palpitations.
As researchers point out, low intakes of caffeine dont cause heart palpitations, but high intakes will. So there you go! Cutting on caffeine altogether or a large amount can not be good for your heart either.
People who take caffeine daily can show sensitive reactions if they cut the caffeine from their life. The best thing to do is to consider lowering your intake and changing brands with lower caffeine.
Heres a data table comparing different instant coffee brands and their caffeine content to help you out:
|120mg||8 fl. oz|
If coffee is not the culprit behind your heart palpitation, then why do you still feel a fast heartbeat after drinking coffee? Thats might be because of additional reasons other than coffee that cause irregular heartbeat.
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Cardiology Located In Beltsville Md & Bowie Md
If you ever feel your heart race or skip a beat, you may be experiencing heart palpitations. Heart palpitations may be unsettling, but at Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants, LLC, board-certified cardiologist Ayim Djamson, MD, can diagnose and treat their underlying cause, no matter how serious it is. For help with heart palpitations, call the office in Beltsville, Maryland, or use the online booking tool today.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
These events typically dont occur until high cholesterol leads to the formation of plaque in your arteries. Plaque can narrow arteries so less blood can pass through. The formation of plaque changes the makeup of your arterial lining. This could lead to serious complications.
A blood test is the only way to know if your cholesterol is too high. This means having a total blood cholesterol level above 240 milligrams per deciliter . Ask your doctor to give you a cholesterol test after you turn 20 years old. Then get your cholesterol rechecked every 4 to 6 years.
Your doctor may also suggest you have your cholesterol checked more frequently if you have a family history of high cholesterol. Or if you demonstrate the following risk factors:
- have high blood pressure
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
If you have never had heart palpitations before, see your provider.
- Loss of alertness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- You often feel extra heartbeats .
- You have risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
- You have new or different heart palpitations.
- Your pulse is more than 100 beats per minute .
- You have related symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling faint, or loss of consciousness.
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Fixing The Vagus Connection Vagal Tone Vagus Nerve Stimulation And Stabilizing
Much has been said about fixing, repairing, or increasing vagal tone with various vagus nerve stimulation techniques. Vagus nerve electrical stimulation may be one aspect of how we support the repair and reversing of cardiovascular-like symptoms. It is however typically not the primary treatment strategy we employ. Our treatment goal is to remove the compression on the nerves, arteries, and veins that travel through the cervical spine from the brain to the body and back again. We achieve these results by stimulating the repair of the cervical spine ligaments. The connected tissue prevents the bones of the cervical spine from wandering out of place and impinging, squeezing, and compressing the nerves and blood vessels. While electrical stimulation can help repair vagal tone, cervical spine curve correction and cervical spine stability will prevent nerve compression.
Interesting Heart Palpitations Causes And Treatment For A Case Of The Heart Flutters
Does your heart unexpectedly start to race or pound, or feel like it keeps skipping beats? These sensations are called heart palpitations. For most people, heart palpitations are a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence. Others have dozens of these heart flutters a day, sometimes so strong that they feel like a heart attack.
Most palpitations are caused by a harmless hiccup in the heart’s rhythm. A few reflect a problem in the heart or elsewhere in the body.
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How To Reduce Heart Palpitations At Home
For the most part, palpitations caused by non-heart related triggers can be treated with simple home remedies.
For example, if you only feel your heart race when youre anxious or stressed, relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing could be the key to reducing these palpitations.
Likewise, a thumping heart caused by stimulant use can be calmed by reducing your intake of tobacco products and caffeine. If youre taking any medication, tell your doctor about the palpitations youre experiencing to find out if your medication could be causing them.
Hydration and diet play a big role, too. Being dehydrated or having low levels of potassium can also trigger heart palpitations. If you have low blood sugar, eating too many carbohydrate-rich foods and processed sugars can increase your likelihood of experiencing palpitations.
What About Medications
Statins are the most well-researched medications for lowering cholesterol. They can lower your risk for heart disease if youre already at high risk.
However, there are a few important things to note about statins and cholesterol medications:
While many medications can lower cholesterol levels, only some, such as statins, have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whether or not you would benefit from a cholesterol medication depends on your overall risk for heart disease. Healthcare providers estimate this risk based on your cholesterol levels as well as other factors mentioned above .
If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, you are at high risk for a second heart attack or stroke. Many people with this risk should be on statins. But talk to your healthcare provider about whether a statin is right for you.
Some other cholesterol-lowering medications that your provider may recommend in addition to statins are listed below.
Your provider may also recommend other medications to help with high cholesterol, such as the following:
Fibrates, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels.
Bile acid sequestrants cause your body to get rid of bile acids. Your liver then uses up cholesterol from your bloodstream to replace the lost acids.
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At The Doctors Office
Your doctor will:
- Give you a physical exam
- Take down your medical history
- Want to know about your current medications, diet, and lifestyle
- Ask for specifics about when, how often, and under what circumstances your palpitations occur
Sometimes, a blood test can help your doctor find the cause of your palpitations. Other useful tests include:
Electrocardiogram: This can be done while youâre at rest or exercising. The latter is called a stress EKG. In both cases, the test records your heart’s electrical signals and can find unusual heart rhythms.
Holter monitoring: Youâll wear a monitor on your chest. It continuously records your heart’s electrical signals for 24 to 48 hours. It can identify rhythm differences that weren’t picked up during an EKG.
Event recording: Youâll wear a device on your chest and use a handheld gadget to record your heart’s electrical signals when symptoms occur.
If necessary, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist for more tests or treatment.
Medications For Afferent Baroreflex Dysfunction Hypertension/hypotension Why They Do Not Work For Many
Afferent Baroreflex Dysfunction can be caused by many problems. It can be caused by tumor development in the neck, it can be caused by radiation therapy in oncology. It can be caused by neck surgery, it can be caused, Familial dysautonomia it can be caused by any compression on the nerves, arteries, and veins that pass through the neck, such as compression or injury on the carotid sinus nerve, a branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve. In this scenario, high blood pressure may be caused by simply turning your head one way or the other and creating compression or pressure on the glossopharyngeal nerve.
How Does The Menopause Impact Your Heart Health
The role of oestrogen isnt just limited to female reproductive health it has countless other responsibilities throughout the body, supporting bone, brain, skin, blood vessels and heart health . So, when oestrogen drops as it begins to do in the perimenopause naturally, there will be an impact on your heart and cardiovascular system.
I Was Not Surprised That My Blood Pressure Was Elevated And That I Had Rapid Heart Rate But My Doctor Was
Here is another story:
I started having strange and unexplainable heart attack-like, panic attack-like symptoms. These included chest pains, a rapid heartbeat, and breathing difficulties. Of course, this frightened me, I am young, late 20s, how could I have a heart condition?
I did have the classic heart attack warning signs, pain in my chest, pain going down my left arm, breathing difficulties. One particularly bad day I went to Urgent Care because of chest pain and panic. I was assured that I was not having a heart attack but I should visit my primary care doctor as soon as I could. This visit to the doctor reassured me a little, but not a lot. I had an EKG which was fine. I was not surprised that my blood pressure was elevated and that I had a rapid heart rate. I could tell that on my own.
At my primary care doctor, these elevated cardio symptoms were attributed to panic attacks and white coat syndrome, the anxiety of being in the doctors office and my anxiety about taking the tests. I had had these symptoms before, I did not feel they were strong enough to see a doctor because I was convincing myself they were panic attacks. I was just not sure what caused them.
Lets stop here to explain some points. You may have already performed your own research as we find that people who suffer from symptoms like those above have done extensive reading on the internet. We will do a short summary and a video presentation with Ross Hauser, MD.
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