Natural Healing Center

Heart Palpitations

24 May 2024 // comments: 0

Perhaps you’ve had the feeling that your heart is beating too hard, or too fast. Maybe it feels like it’s fluttering, or even skipping a beat. You might even feel the sensation in your neck or throat, not just your chest. This sense that your heart isn’t keeping a steady rhythm is known as heart palpitations, and while they can be frightening and uncomfortable, they’re only rarely a sign of a serious underlying condition. Knowing that heart palpitations are usually not harmful doesn’t necessarily make them easier to live with, though.

Heart palpitations can have many different causes, and identifying what brings them on can help point the way to eliminating them. Here’s what you should know about heart palpitations, when they may be a sign of concern, and what you can do when you’re struggling to find answers.

What Can Cause Heart Palpitations?

If the rhythm of your heart seems off, even for the space of only a few seconds, your first thought may be heart disease. While some heart palpitations can be related to heart problems or arrhythmia (an ongoing irregular heartbeat), there’s a long list of potential non-heart-related causes, including:

  • Strong emotions: Fear, stress, anxiety, and/or panic attacks
  • Physical activity: Vigorous exercise or exertion
  • Stimulants: Caffeine, nicotine, or illegal drugs like amphetamines or cocaine
  • Alcohol: Especially after heavier consumption
  • Certain medical conditions: Thyroid disease, low blood sugar, anemia, low blood pressure, fever, or dehydration
  • Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause
  • Medications: Decongestants, diet pills, asthma inhalers, medications to treat an underactive thyroid, as well as some drugs used to prevent arrhythmias
  • Food sensitivities: Heavy meals rich in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat; also, foods high in monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium

In addition, a growing number of people have reported experiencing heart palpitations as a prolonged symptom after suffering a COVID-19 infection.

When should you seek immediate medical attention for heart palpitations? Shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or fainting in conjunction with heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious underlying heart condition, and should never be ignored.

Finding and Treating Heart Palpitations

To try to find the cause of your heart palpitations, a doctor will start with conducting a physical exam; taking a medical history; asking about your lifestyle, diet, and medications; and getting as many details as possible about when and how often the palpitations occur. They may order tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) or Holter monitoring (a portable electrocardiogram that records your heart’s activity for 24 hours or longer). If these tests don’t reveal any heart-related causes for the palpitations, treatment then generally focuses on eliminating possible triggers.

This can include trying to reduce stress and anxiety, perhaps through avoiding stressful situations or using calming techniques such as relaxation or biofeedback. You may be advised to cut out triggering foods, beverages, or substances like caffeine. Another strategy is to avoid medications that have a stimulant effect.

What happens, however, when traditional medical tests can’t find an underlying cause and lifestyle changes aren’t working? If your primary care physician hasn’t been able to come up with an answer, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

Getting to the Root Cause of Your Heart Palpitations

At the Natural Healing Center, we know that being told that an alarming-feeling symptom like heart palpitations isn’t dangerous doesn’t mean it isn’t upsetting or disruptive. Furthermore, we believe that such symptoms are in fact a signal of an underlying dysfunction that can be effectively addressed through natural healing remedies and whole-food nutrition designed to promote your overall well-being and reduce inflammation. Rather than attempting to suppress symptoms, our individualized programs focus on supporting your body’s natural healing abilities to truly address the root cause of troubling symptoms.

If you have been struggling with heart palpitations, whether post-COVID or not, and you’re frustrated with the lack of results you’ve been getting from traditional medical care, we can help. We’ll take the time to get to the bottom of your symptoms and create a personalized wellness plan designed to effectively support both your physical and mental well-being. To schedule your free introductory consultation, contact us here today.