6 Common Causes of Heart Palpitations

Common Causes of Heart Palpitations

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are brief episodes of irregular or skipped heartbeats. They can feel like your heart is racing, pounding, or fluttering. These sensations can be caused by physical or emotional triggers and can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Common causes of heart palpitations include anxiety, caffeine, dehydration, strenuous exercise, and smoking.

Symptoms of heart palpitations can also be an indication of more serious medical conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if the symptoms worsen or become more frequent. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common causes of heart palpitations.

What causes heart palpitations?

Causes of Heart Palpitations

1. Strong emotional reactions

When you’re feeling anxious, scared, angry, or overwhelmed, your body releases hormones that can speed up your heart rate. This surge in adrenaline may feel like palpitations and is often accompanied by sweating and a racing pulse. In some cases, stress or panic attacks can cause your heart to beat too fast or irregularly, causing palpitations.

2. Strenuous exercise

That feeling of a heart that’s racing after a hard workout is usually fine, though the sensation can be disconcerting. Heart palpitations during or immediately after exercise are often benign and usually related to exercise intensity or dehydration. But it should be monitored nonetheless as it could be a sign of an underlying issue. If you have any concerns, it’s best to take your workout down a notch and speak with your doctor.

3. Excess caffeine

We all know that too much coffee can make us feel jittery, but caffeine may also trigger heart palpitations. How much is too much? That depends on the person. The amount of caffeine that triggers palpitations differs from individual to individual and can range from a single cup of coffee to more than 4 cups per day. If you find yourself experiencing heart palpitations after having your daily cup of coffee, you may want to cut back.

4. Hormone changes

Hormones help control your heart rate and can cause palpitations when they’re out of balance. Palpitations during menopause, for example, are common due to fluctuating hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

Women in their reproductive years may also experience palpitations due to menstrual cycle fluctuations. Palpitations can also occur during pregnancy, as hormones like progesterone and relaxin cause the heart rate to increase.

Basically, palpitations during certain times of the month should be monitored closely, but they are usually harmless and go away on their own. If they become persistent, though, it’s important to speak with your doctor.

5. Fever

Fevers are the body’s natural response to infection. But when your body temperature rises above normal, it can cause many uncomfortable symptoms. One of those might be heart palpitations. This is because the fever increases your heart rate and can cause your heart to beat faster than normal.

6. Certain medicines

Certain medicines, like diet pills, asthma inhalers, stimulants, and decongestants, can cause palpitations. If you’ve started a new medication recently and are experiencing heart palpitations, talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of it being the cause.

It’s important to note that heart palpitations can signify an underlying medical condition, such as atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia. If you experience any other symptoms in addition to the palpitations, or if they become more frequent and severe, it’s best to seek medical attention right away.

Take a look at How To Stop Your Heart Palpitations

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