Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Alternative Name: Trepidatio cordis, irregular heartbeats.

Palpitations are an uncomfortable awareness of the heart beat. Sometimes they feel like a missed beat or a thump that can be widely felt in the chest, throat or ears.

Palpitations are the awareness that your heart is beating forcefully, rapidly, or irregularly. There often is a feeling of "skipping beats" or "fluttering in the chest." They can occur in normal healthy people, as well as in people with heart problems.

Palpitations usually occur when something disrupts the normal electrical activity or function of the heart. They may be felt when the heart is beating quickly, slowly, or irregularly or when the heart is contracting more forcefully than usual. From within the body, abnormal levels of electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and calcium can cause palpitations. Anemia and hyperthyroidism are also potential causes of palpitations.

Lifestyle factors that can cause palpitations include:

    Strong emotions.

  • Smoking.

  • Drinking too much alcohol.

  • Illicit drugs.

  • Consuming too much of a caffeinated beverage (such as coffee, tea, cola) or other caffeine-containing product (such as chocolate)

  • Stress or anxiety.

  • Strenuous exercise.

  • Certain medications.

Conditions that can cause palpitations include:

    Serious illness or fever.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Thyroid gland disease.

  • Anemia.

  • Heart disease.

  • Lung disease

  • Hypoglycemia.


Symptoms may include:

    Feeling of irregular beating or skipped beats.

  • Thumping, pounding, or racing sensation in your chest.

  • Fluttering sensation in your chest.


Your GP will perform a full evaluation including careful history ofsymptoms, medication and dietary history focusing onstimulants, past medical history, family history, fullphysical examination and an ECG.ECG can help detect irregular heart rhythm that occurs in case of heart palpitations. Besides ECG, blood tests and thyroid tests are also important ways to diagnose heart palpitations. Holter monitor, event monitor tests are the techniques adopted within the same. Electrophysiology study, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography are the other tests that are conducted for diagnosing heart palpitations under the supervision of Cardiologists and electrophysiologists.


Treatment of palpitations depends on the cause. Since there are numerous types of palpitations, the treatment is usually specific to the diagnosis. In those people with a yet undiagnosed palpitation, minor lifestyle changes may help minimize symptoms. These include stopping the use of caffeine, alcohol, and over the counter cold medications. If the palpitations are frequent, particularly if you also have chest pain, breathlessness, or dizziness, you may have another medical problem that your health care provider can identify and treat.

Home remedies may include: Grapes, guava, honey, snake guard leaves, dry coriander, and aniseed.

Preventive Measures:

    Do not smoke.

  • Do not drink excess alcohol.

  • Eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Proper sleep.

  • Try stress management techniques such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation.

  • Make sure that your blood pressure and cholesterol are under control.

Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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