A palpitation is the word people commonly use to describe their heart racing. It can on suddenly, gradually, and sometimes be associated with other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness. It can last for seconds, hours, or even days! They are common, and most people will experience some sort of fluttering sensation in their chest at some point in their lives. Mostly they are harmless, but sometimes they can be serious, even causing people to have a stroke or worse. If palpitations are associated with the symptoms mentioned above they are definitely worth getting checked out properly. If you ever pass out with palpitations, you should seek urgent medical attention.
Problems such as thyroid issues, a family history, other heart problems, high blood pressure, caffeine, smoking and being overweight can all make palpitations more likely.
There are lots of different treatments available for palpitations, but the first step is to find out exactly what they are caused by. This often involves having a paper tracing of the heart taken by putting some stickers on the chest, called an ECG. Often your doctors would do a scan called an echo too. This is like what pregnant ladies have, and doesn’t hurt at all. You might be asked to wear a heart monitor under your clothes for a period of time. All this helps the specialist decide if the palpitations are anything to worry about, and what the best treatment is. This is often just reassurance, but could include medication, or even a medical procedure.
Are you worried about chest pains or palpitations?