Heart Palpitations


Chest | Cardiology | Heart Palpitations (Symptom)


Description

An arrhythmia is a disturbed heart rhythm. Some arrhythmias do not affect your overall health, while others are more serious and life-threatening. Palpitations are a sensation or awareness of your heart beating. Palpitations may feel like the heart is racing, thumping or skipping beats. They can be triggered by exercise, emotional stress, caffeine and nicotine. Palpitations are usually associated with an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

A palpitation is an abnormality of heartbeat that ranges from often unnoticed skipped beats or accelerated heart beat to very noticeable changes accompanied by dizziness or difficulty breathing. Heart palpitations can be symptoms of illnesses such as coronary heart disease, asthma, emphysema, and lung cancer.

Causes

Sometimes your heart’s electrical system may malfunction because of coronary heart disease, chemicals in your blood (including some medicines) or sometimes for unknown reason. Changes in the heart’s electrical system can cause abnormal heart rhythms (arrhytmia).

Arrhythmias are pattern and/or speed changes from the normal heart rhythm. Some patients are totally unaware of their arrhythmias. Others may report symptoms including palpitations, skipping or fluttering sensations, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

In both tachycardias and bradycardias, lack of blood flow to the brain, the coronary arteries, or the rest of the body can occur. Lack of blood flow to the brain can cause dizziness or loss of consciousness (syncope). Lack of blood supply to the coronary arteries can cause chest pain or pressure (angina). Inadequate blood supply to the rest of the body can cause weakness and shortness of breath.

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