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Ways to stop heart palpitations
by admin | March 27, 2021 | Prevention | 2 comments

If you have ever experienced an unusual sensation that your heart is racing fast or has just skipped a beat or added an extra beat, you would certainly understand how heart palpitations feels like. This sensation, also called as heart palpitations, is a condition associated with the way your heart is beating. Palpitations are mostly caused due to a harmless hiccup in the heart’s rhythm and it usually happen once-in-a-blue-moon, for a few second. However, in certain cases these flutters are sometimes so strong that it may represent a heart stroke risk or a sudden heart failure.

This article will help you learn more about heart palpitations, its causes, associated risk factors, and ways to stop it naturally as well as when to seek a medical help to treat high heart rate and palpitations.

What are heart palpitations and its symptoms?

Heart palpitations are a condition that causes a sensation of a pounding heart rate or a racing pulse.  The symptoms of heart palpitations may vary from person to person. Often so, it can be best described as the feeling that you get after stepping-up a long flight of stairs. The way you start breathing heavy, feel your heart beating too quickly and strongly, and you also hear the fast heart beats in your ears when you reach on the top – are the sensations equivalent to heart palpitation. One can feel these symptoms of heart palpitations usually in the chest, but at times it can also be felt in the throat or neck. Don’t be alarmed if you notice the symptoms because palpitations gets subsided on it’s own in few seconds. You can seek some recovery tips to stop heart palpitations from any medical expert.

However, if your palpitations are accompanied by dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, or chest pain, seek medical help immediately.

What are the main causes of heart palpitations?

The main causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Emotion upheaval such as anxiety, stress, fear, and panic
  • Eating spicy foods and drinking aerated drinks and caffeine
  • Consuming alcohol and tobacco
  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Getting less sleep
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy
  • Medical conditions such as an overactive thyroid; low levels of sugar, potassium, oxygen or low carbon dioxide in your blood; fever; anaemia; dehydration; blood loss and shock
  • Medications for asthma (inhalers and decongestants), high blood pressure or heart disease (beta blockers), thyroid and antiarrhythmic medications, some cough/cold medicines, and some herbal and nutritional supplements may cause heart palpitations or high heart rate.
  • Illegal drug such as cocaine and amphetamines (speed)

Palpitations can sometimes also result due to some underlying conditions, such as:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias
  • Atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heart beats irregularly and faster than normal.
  • Heart failure, in rare cases
  • Thyroid problems

Remember, a person who had a heart attack are more likely to develop palpitations.

Are heart palpitations a sign of a more serious health problem such as heart attack?

Heart palpitations is a sign of heart attack or an indication of a more serious health problem if a heartbeat gets out of rhythm for a longer duration. If palpitations make you feel:

  • Dizzy, confused or lightheaded
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain, pressure, or tightness in your chest, neck, jaw, arm(s), or upper back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual sweating

Right away consult a specialist.

How are heart palpitations diagnosed?

To diagnose heart palpitation and high heart rate associated risk factors, your healthcare practitioner will ask you about the time when palpitations usually happen, how long do they last, how you feel and what you were doing when the palpitation start. Along with this information, s/he will also review your medical history, symptoms, diet, and medications and herbal products that you take, if any. S/he will also listen to your heart rhythms and lungs, and accordingly may suggest some tests, such as:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)
  • Stress test
  • Chest X-ray and echocardiogram (heart ultrasound)

You may be asked to wear a 24hour monitoring gadget as well for a period of week or more so that your doctor can better understand your daily heart function and gauge any associated symptoms.

For detecting any probable heart complications in a better manner your doctor may also perform an electrophysiology study and cardiac catheterization. Based on your reports, he may advise you to see an Electrophysiologist — a doctor who has specialization in abnormal heart rhythm.

What is a normal heart rate and what is considered abnormally high heart rate, age-wise?

 Typically, a normal heart rates at rest should be:

  • For Children (ages 6 – 15) 70 – 100 beats per minute
  • For Adults (age 18 and over) – 60 – 100 beats per minute

A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute (BPM) is considered abnormally high heart rate in all age groups.

Can high heart rate lead to heart stroke or sudden heart attack chances?

High heart rate (also known as tachycardia) that’s consistently above 100 beats per minute disrupt the normal heart function and may lead to serious complications, including heart failure, heart stroke risk or sudden cardiac arrest. A heart rate constantly below 60 beat per minutes (in non-athlete people) also needs a prompt medical examination. So, in any circumstances consult a cardiologist online or visit nearest medical centre.

7 ways you can control high heart rate and palpitations at home

 Perform the following recovery tips to stop heart palpitations at home:

  1. Practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing to reduce palpitations.
  2. Reduce or eliminate consumption of stimulant like tobacco and nicotine, cold and cough medications, caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda, and alcohol
  3. Stimulate vagus nerve, the one that connects the brain to the heart, by:
  • Hold your breath and push down, as if making a bowel movement
  • Coughing for few seconds
  • Dabbing face with ice or a cold, damp towel for a few seconds
  • Splashing cold water on the face
  • Chanting “Om” deeply
  • Taking a cold shower
  1. Eat foods rich in sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium such as potatoes, bananas, avocados, spinach, dairy products and dark, leafy greens, as well as nuts and fish
  2. Drink plenty of water, at least 3 to 4 litres, throughout the day.

While drinking in moderation is not necessarily problematic, some research indicates that even one drink per day can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation. A palpitating heart is just one symptom of this condition.

  1. Practice cardiovascular exercise like walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming regularly to strengthen your heart function and reduce palpitations. Exercise may trigger palpitations in some people, therefore, before starting any exercise do consult a specialist to avoid problematic ones.
  2. Try raising your aortic pressure to control high heart rate instantly.  Close your mouth and nose and raise the pressure in your chest like you’re about to sneeze. Then breathe in for 5-8 seconds and hold that breathe for 3-5 seconds, and exhale slowly. Repeat several times. In this way will lower your heart rate.

Do consult a doctor before practicing any of the above techniques to treat high heart rate.

How are palpitations and high heart rate treated?

Treatment for abnormal heart rate and palpitation depends on cause of your palpitations. If palpitations are related to certain foods, a specialist may only advise certain recovery tips to stop high heart rate. However, if you’re a heart disease patient or you’ve an abnormal heart rhythm, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication, a pacemaker procedure, or surgery to resolve the problem.

Depending on the heart palpitations diagnosis, a doctor may recommend either medications, surgery, a pacemaker, or may suggest changing some of your ongoing medications to rule out palpitations. So always go for your routine health check-up.

Whatever may be the cause of heart palpitation, make sure to always get your palpitation symptoms examined with your healthcare professional or any specialist. Call an expert immediately or ask someone to drive you to an emergency department if you sense palpitations with shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or fainting.

You can visit Making India Heart Strong website, anytime, for any heart-related testing or treatment for high heart rate or heart stroke treatment. Care for your heart today to stay healthy forever!

 

References:
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heart-palpitations/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/235710#:~:text=Thenormalrestingheartrate,bpm%2Csometimesreaching40bpm.&text=Therestingheartratecanvarywithinthisnormalrange.
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-palpitations/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373201

FAQ

Q. Can high heart rate cause palpitations?

Heart palpitations can certainly happen due to high heart rate or any problem with the heart rhythm (arrhythmia) – specifically if you’re diagnosed with a condition named atrial fibrillation (when the heart beats irregular and faster than normal).

Q. Can your sleeping position cause heart palpitation?

Mostly, people who sleep on their left side is observed to be more prone to get heart palpitations at night. Doctors explain the reason for this is that our heart is right next to the chest wall, therefore the sensation vibrates and resonates.

Q. Can a healthy heart have palpitations?

When your heart beats faster than normal or it skips a few beats in the sense of excitement or panic can make your heart flap and flutter briefly. It is these flutters that is known as heart palpitations. Most people who have reported heart palpitation have usually been diagnosed with healthy heart function. Also, these palpitations go on their own.

Q. What medical tests doctors prescribe to diagnose heart palpitations with severe symptoms?

The most commonly prescribed diagnostic tests for severe heart palpitation such as substantial feeling of dizziness or light-headedness or gets unconscious with palpitation, involve:

  • An ultrasound of the heart
  • A treadmill test
  • More sophisticated blood tests including thyroid tests
  • An ambulatory EKG (Electrocardiography) or Holter monitor

Besides above, in certain cases patients may require some invasive studies, if any serious heart disease is suspected to underlie the symptom of palpitations.

Q. What are the basics to prevent a heart disease risk?

There are many things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease, such as

  • Eat heart healthy food
  • Get physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay away from smoking as well as second hand smoke
  • Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in control.
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Meditate and mingle with friends more to manage stress
  • Sleep well for at least 6-7 hours every night
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