What Do Heart Palpitations Feel Like?
Heart palpitations are a general category for any time your heartbeats don’t feel healthy or normal. Although they can be scary, especially the first time you experience them, heart palpitations aren’t usually a cause for concern. If you experience them frequently or have a personal or family history of heart problems, you should contact a cardiologist.
What Heart Palpitations Feel Like
People describe heart palpitations in many ways. People often describe heart palpitations as a heartbeat that is:
- Beating too fast
- Skipping beats
- Having extra beats
In addition to feeling them in your chest, you might feel them in the throat or neck, sometimes even in the head.
It’s not always necessary to seek care for short, occasional heart palpitations. However, you should seek emergency care if you also experience:
- Pain or discomfort in your chest, arm, or jaw
- Shortness of breath
You should consult with a cardiologist if:
- Heart palpitations occur frequently
- Heart palpitations worsen
- You have a personal or family history of heart disease
Your cardiologist may recommend monitoring to learn more about what’s causing your palpitations.
What Are Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations are a subjective symptom: they’re defined by the way you feel about your heartbeat. You could be having heart palpitations if you notice any of the heartbeat feelings listed above. They might be actual irregularities in your heartbeat, or they might be a perception that your heart is beating irregularly, even if it’s not.
The only way to tell the difference – and determine if any irregular heartbeat is a cause for concern – is with heart monitoring.
What Causes Heart Palpitations
There are many potential causes of heart palpitations. Most are not serious. Some of these you can control, while others are beyond your control. Possible causes of heart palpitations include:
- Heart conditions
- Low blood sugar
- Strenuous exercise
- Stress, anxiety, or panic attacks
- Stimulants, such as:
- Opioids like heroin and fentanyl
- Other medications
- Illness and fever
- Hormone changes linked to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
- Thyroid hormone shortage or deficit
- Certain foods
Heart conditions associated with heart palpitations include heart arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and some types of tachycardia. Structural heart problems and heart failure can also cause heart palpitations. When palpitations occur frequently, you should see a cardiologist to rule out these types of heart conditions.
A Comprehensive Cardiology Approach to Heart Palpitations in South Denver
If you have regular heart palpitations or a personal or family history of heart disease, it’s essential to talk to a cardiologist. However, you might also want to speak to a cardiologist simply for reassurance about the health of your heart.
At South Denver Cardiology, we take a comprehensive approach to all heart conditions, including heart palpitations. We want to help you figure out what’s causing your heart palpitations and recommend an appropriate treatment to eliminate them and head off any serious complications such as heart failure or stroke.
We start by taking the time to listen to you. We want to make sure we understand the situation where heart palpitations occurred and identify any potential heart palpitations causes. We take your experience seriously and will recommend heart monitoring when appropriate. Other times, we might recommend lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes, more regular exercise, and others.
Please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form to request an appointment with South Denver Cardiology.
As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.Sign Up