Heart palpitations are fairly common and can happen to anyone. While they may be widely experienced by people every year, most people feel them fleetingly. Recognizing and understanding your heart palpitation symptoms can help both you and your doctor should you need a specific treatment. 

What Are Heart Palpitations?

Heart palpitations are irregular heartbeat patterns that are described as feeling like fluttering, fast-paced, or pounding feeling in the chest. Heart palpitations may be harmless and don’t necessarily require medical intervention, however, if they progress or become more severe, they may require treatment. 

A variety of factors can produce heart palpitations. The most common causes of heart palpitations are due to arrhythmias or heart rhythm disorders.  However, some other common causes are also due to

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Stimulants including but not limited to caffeine, nicotine, and cold medications
  • Hormone changes, especially around pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause
  • Too much or too little thyroid hormones
  • Intense exercise

If possible, try to figure out the cause of your heart palpitations to see if you can rectify the issue on your own. In some cases, identifying the issue and making changes may not provide relief from palpitations, in that case, going to your doctor to seek treatment is the best option. 

Symptoms of Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitation symptoms can range from mild to severe and may require you to sit and fully process the feeling in your chest. Some of the most common symptoms of heart palpitations include:

  • Rapid fluttering in your chest
  • A heartbeat that is too rapid
  • Pounding in the chest
  • A skipping heartbeat

Oftentimes, these symptoms won’t last for long or will alleviate in severity over a period of time. However, if these symptoms persist and elevate you may need to see a doctor. If you’re wondering if you should see a doctor, pay close attention to these additional concerning symptoms:

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath

These additional symptoms may allude to a deeper and more concerning issue. These symptoms need to be addressed as soon as possible so that you can avoid a severe or dangerous outcome. 

How to Monitor Your Heart Palpitations

In order to better understand your heart palpitations, a doctor may recommend that you wear a heart monitor for a day or two. The most common heart monitor is called a Holter monitor.  It tracks your heart rhythm and provides your doctor with useful information on your condition so that they can administer the proper treatment to you. 

While it is important for your doctor to monitor your heart, it is also important for you to pay close attention to your heart monitor. If you notice your heart palpitations getting more severe, it may be an indication that you need to seek immediate medical attention. 

Contact Us

If you have been experiencing heart palpitations or are feeling any other pain associated with your heart, contact the professionals at Virginia Arrhythmia Consultants. You can call us at 804-410-9749 or send us a message here.