The human body is really fascinating and complex. We live our lives unaware of the internal body organ functioning that keeps us alive, unless there are some disruptions in the proper functioning. Any abnormalities in any of the internal organs of our body can make us aware that something is not right inside our body.
You can say that the human body is no less than a machine. As we take good care of any machinery for its smooth functioning, the same is the case with our body. If we don’t take proper care of our health with proper diet and lifestyle, our body gradually becomes weak with time.
However, some individuals may suffer from a congenital disease affecting their health, which may get detected at any point of time.
Today here, you will find out everything you need to know in short about the malfunctioning of the heart leading to heart palpitations.
Heart palpitations meaning?
Heart palpitations occur when you get the sensation of raising pulse too fast or may even skip a beat, or in some cases, your heart has an extra beat. In simple terms, your heart beats abnormally in a prominent manner.
Heart palpitations can make you feel uncomfortable as you will be suddenly aware of your unusual heartbeat. Point to be noted, you may get this sensation on your chest, throat, or neck as well.
It is also possible for a person suffering from heart palpitations may suffer from a cardiac arrest in the future, with no medical attention.
What is the normal heartbeat or heart rate of a healthy adult?
A normal resting adult appears to have 60 to 100 heartbeats per minute (bpm).
What are the possible causes of heart palpitations?
The foolproof cause behind the occurrence of heart palpitations is unknown in some cases, but the most probable reasons causing fast heart beat are as follows:
- Continuous extreme stress and anxiety, leading to panic attacks
- Prolonged depression
- Performing physical activity excessively
- Excessive intake of caffeine
- Excessive consumption of alcohol, nicotine
- Extreme feeling of fear
- Sick sinus syndrome, an umbrella term to describe bradycardia, tachycardia, and bradycardia-tachycardia
- Any other underlying heart condition
- Loss of blood
- Excessive use of stimulant drugs
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Certain medications
Should I visit a doctor for heart palpitations?
In some cases, heart palpitations usually go away on its own, but in some cases, continued episodes of heart palpitations now and then maybe an indication of any underlying health issue.
Moreover, if you experience heart palpitations along with the following symptoms, see a cardiologist right away for diagnosis:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in breathing
- Extreme dizziness
- Discomfort in the chest area
- Chest pain
- Excess dehydration
- Lightheadedness or fainting
It is normal to feel your heart fluttering or heart palpitations after a heavy workout which should disappear once you start to relax.
Diagnosis of heart palpitations
Doctors find it hard to diagnose heart palpitations if you are not having an episode of palpitations at the time of check-up. Commonly, doctors suggest the normal ECG or electrocardiogram test for the diagnosis of palpitations.
However, if the results remain inconclusive, despite your heart palpitations, then you may be required to use the Holter monitor or external cardiac loop recorder or ELR to monitor and record the rhythmic activity of your heart.
For both these types of monitoring methods, you have to wear the device which is pretty compact on your chest. The Holter monitor is usually used to monitor and record the rhythmic activity of the heart for one to two days max.
Sometimes, when doctors cannot conclude with the results of the Holter monitor, this is when they suggest the trial of an external cardiac loop recorder that monitors and records the activity of the heart for a longer period.
The doctor may also recommend the requirement of blood tests, urine tests, angiography, etc. to rule out all possible reasons for heart palpitations.
Treating heart palpitations
As mentioned above, the cause of heart palpitations can be numerous. So, accordingly, doctors recommend the treatment to stop the heart palpitations.
Possible complications due to heart palpitations
When your heart beats too fast, your blood pressure can significantly decrease, causing low blood supply, which can lead to losing consciousness. Continued heart palpitations, if left without treatment, can lead to a stroke, heart failure.
How to live your life if you have heart palpitations?
Depending on the condition of your heart and intensity of the heart palpitations, your doctor may advise you to make some lifestyle changes. You have to make certain sacrifices and adopt a healthier lifestyle to keep your heart safe and healthy.
- You have to stop or minimize drinking alcohol as much as possible
- Smoking is a risk as well, so say your goodbyes to nicotine soon
- Start practicing yoga to keep your body and mind calm and composed
- Start eating healthy
- Stay away from excess stress if that triggers your palpitations
- Stay away from any strenuous physical activity
Life is full of stress, and at present, we barely have time to rest or eat properly. Life is like a race, and we all are in the race to make something out of our lives. But in between all these, always remember to live a healthy and stress-free life, otherwise, all your efforts to shine in life will be for nothing if you fall sick.
It is also true that our lives have become more hectic than ever. All we can do is try pacing ourselves up, along with keeping our minds relaxed to keep up with this competitive world.
Also, never neglect any health issues, always consult a doctor if anything feels unusual. It is common for many people to self-diagnose any of their health issues and come to a conclusion by themselves, which is a bad habit. It is good to know and understand what might be happening to your body, but it is more important to consult with a doctor for confirmation.
On a different note, if you have been experiencing heart palpitations, and have consulted with the doctor, follow the doctor’s advice religiously. Don’t get scared and live your life in the right manner to avoid any more health issues.