Natural Products
Customer Reviews
Hormone Learning
Wellsprings Store

What Causes Heart Palpitations?

They can be very disturbing, but not necessarily a serious health risk, so it will definitely help you to know what can cause them and when to seek help.


What it can feel like

Your heart pounds, flutters, or seems to skip beats. You might call these feelings palpitations. Although they can feel scary, most aren’t serious and rarely need treatment.

Knowing what makes your heart race can help you not panic when it happens and know when to call your doctor.

What can cause it

1. Intense emotions such as stress or anxiety can trigger the release of hormones that speed up your heartbeat. Your body gets ready to face a threat, even if you’re not in danger.

Panic attacks are intense bouts of fear that can last a few minutes and symptoms include a racing heart, sweating, chills, trouble breathing, and chest pain. A panic attack can feel like a heart attack. If you’re not sure which it is seek immediate help.

2. Exercise might be when you experience palpitations, as although exercise is good for you it will naturally make your heart beat faster. That helps your heart pump more blood to power your muscles through the workout.

If your heart flutters or pounds, it could be because you haven’t worked out in a while and you’re out of condition. An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, can also cause palpitations when you exercise.

3. Caffeine is a stimulant that raises your heart rate, whether you get it from coffee, cola, an energy drink, tea, chocolate, or another source.

One study found that caffeine from coffee, tea, and chocolate isn’t likely to cause palpitations in people with healthy hearts. But experts don’t know whether it might trigger them in people with heart rhythm problems.

4. Nicotine contains addictive chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products that raises your blood pressure and speeds up your heart rate.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart, though it might not slow your heartbeat right away.

Patches and other nicotine replacement products can make your heart race. Palpitations can also be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal, but they should stop within 3 to 4 weeks after you quit.

5. Hormone changes that occur throughout your life also can affect women as their heartbeat speeds up when they have their period, they’re pregnant, they’re close to menopause, or they’re in menopause.

This boost in heart rate is usually temporary and no reason for worry, but if you’re pregnant, palpitations can also happen if you’re anaemic, which means you don’t have enough red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.

6. Fever during an illness means your body uses energy at a faster pace than usual. This can set off palpitations.

Usually your temperature needs to be above 100.4 F to affect your heart rate.

7. Medicines can also have palpitations as a side effect and there are quite a number of them. Check with your pharmacist, but among the common ones are antibiotics, anti fungal medicines. antipsychotic drugs, asthma inhalers, cough and cold medicines, diet pills.

That’s the ones that would be most consistently prescribed for women at Menopause, high blood pressure, medication, and thyroid medication, so always check with your doctor or pharmacist for the side-effects listed for your particular drug.

8. Low blood sugar can also lead to palpitations because when your blood sugar level drops, your body releases stress hormones like adrenaline to prepare for an emergency food shortage and adrenaline speeds up your heart rate.

You may have noticed that you feel shaky, cranky, and weak when you’ve skipped a meal so keep an eye out for the signs.

9. Overactive/Underactive thyroid gland  your thyroid needs to be working efficiently to help manage your metabolism and other things.

If yours is over active (hyperthyroidism) it means you can make too much thyroid hormone. If it is overactive that can speed up your heart so much that you feel it beating in your chest.

Taking too much thyroid hormone to treat an underactive thyroid gland (called hypothyroidism) can also rev up your heartbeat.

10. Heart rhythm problems can occur when an irregular heart rhythm, called an arrhythmia, causes palpitations.

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, happens when the heart’s upper chambers, called the atria, flutter instead of beating normally.

Supraventricular tachycardia is an abnormally fast heartbeat that starts in the heart’s upper chambers.

Ventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rate due to faulty signals in the heart’s lower pumping chambers, called the ventricles.

11. Alcohol affects your heart rate so if you drink a lot, or just have more than usual, you might feel your heart beating faster or fluttering.

It often happens on holidays or weekends, when people drink more, earning it the nickname of “holiday heart syndrome.” But for some people, it can happen even when they only drink a little bit.

12. Premature ventricular contractions are extra heartbeats and happen when your heart’s ventricles squeeze too soon. The extra beat throws off your heart’s normal rhythm and makes it flutter, pound, or jump in your chest.

If your heart is healthy, occasional PVCs are nothing to worry about. But you might need treatment if you have heart disease and you get these extra beats often.

13. Illegal drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, and ecstasy are dangerous to the heart. Cocaine boosts blood pressure, raises heart rate, and damages the heart muscle. Amphetamines stimulate the nervous system, which ramps up your heartbeat.

Ecstasy triggers the release of a chemical called norepinephrine, which makes the heart beat faster.

Helpful information

If you’re healthy, you probably don’t need to worry about palpitations that happen once in a while and last only a few seconds. But make a doctor’s appointment if they come more often or you also have symptoms like these:

* Chest pain or pressure

* Shortness of breath

* Dizziness

* Fainting

It might also be helpful to know that one of the most common symptoms of menopause, hot flushes, responds well to progesterone and the article below will give you more information on that.