Why Are You Having Heart Palpitations?

Why Are You Having Heart Palpitations?

Heart diseases and complications caused by other issues are among the world’s top ten causes of death. Part of the reason why problems related to this vital organ are nearly always deadly is because the diagnosis comes when they have reached a dangerous stage.

Other than that, a majority of people seem to take the symptoms of hearts diseases as normal conditions. For example, pain in the left shoulder is often taken as a muscular or joint pain rather than an indication of a potential heart attack.

There are also many other signs that you might also be ignoring such as burning sensations in the left side of the chest which is assumed to be pointing towards increased acidity in the stomach due to having some spicy or acidic food.

A problem similar to this which is faced by a good number of people today in the United States as well as rest of the world is heart palpitations or in other words irregular heartbeats. It is also referred to as arrhythmias especially in nearly all of the scientific journals.

According to the recent studies based on the prevalence of irregular heartbeats, every two in four Americans tend to develop heart palpitations after crossing the age of 40 especially the ones with considerably stressful lifestyles.

Already having heart problems or diseases can also lead to higher chances of having heart palpitations. The patients with coronary heart diseases are commonly seen to develop irregularity in heart beats along with the disease.

What Is A Heart Palpitation?

The common belief about a heart palpitation is that it is the fluttering or sudden feeling you get in your heart after feeling excited, seeing someone, trying out something new, or doing or thinking about something that makes you nervous.

This is partly true. Most of the fluttering feelings you get in the chest in everyday life after seeing someone special or doing something that makes you happy can give you mild form of heart palpitations but there’s also much more to them additionally.

A person who experiences the problem of arrhythmias, there are three situations he or she can face. Some people with heart palpitations can have a very fast heartbeat while others can have slower than the usual heartbeat.

In addition, it is also possible to have both at the same time or just irregularity in the heart beats and patterns. One of the most common among these is the extra and faster beats or premature beats type of arrhythmias.

A premature heartbeat feels more like a sudden fluttering when there is an increase or the feeling of your heart skipping a beat similar to the ones that also occurs in day to day life but for a very short period.

Another common type of heart arrhythmias is Atrial fibrillation. In this type of heart palpitation, the upper chamber of the heart is the irregular one which results in the blood from the upper atria not flowing properly down into the lower chamber.

A heartbeat that is faster than the normal one is known as tachycardia while the one that is slower than the usual is called bradycardia. Do you know the process of normal heartbeats?

When the heart beats, an electric signal is carried into the heart starting from the top and ending at the bottom which results in the heart contracting and pumping the blood. The cause of heart palpitation is any kind of disturbance in this part.

There are a lot of situations that can disrupt this procedure and slow down or make it harder for the signals to spread downwards in the heart. Delayed or blocked signals are usually the reasons that cause irregular heartbeats in a person.

Delayed or blocked signals are typically the result of a problem with the nerve cells specialized to produce the specific nerve signals in the heart.

What Are The Signs Of Heart Palpitations?

As mentioned before, heart palpitations are considered complicated when they are diagnosed at a much later stage and many times this is the case because many people tend to ignore the symptoms while confusing them with trivial health conditions.

Secondly, a majority of the people who take symptoms of serious heart palpitations as usual problems also tend to take over the counter medicines or antibiotics for them which in turn worsens the issue instead of having any positive effect.

Taking medicines you do not need especially while in cases of any kind of heart diseases or issues is the worst thing you can do as a side effect of many of the commonly used pills is an increase in blood pressure or numbing of nerves.

Do not take medicines and visit a doctor if you see the following signs commonly:

  • Fainting or getting the feeling that you are about to pass out
  • Fatigue that does not go away
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating (more than normal)
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pounding
  • Nausea
  • Burning feelings in the chest
  • Difficulty of concentration
  • In extreme cases, you can have extreme difficulty in breathing often resulting in a cardiac arrest and collapse


One of the most important signs is chest pain or sudden fastening of the heartbeat. If you experience either of the two randomly every other day, it means that you are having heart palpitations and need medical attention.

Secondly, getting the condition checked on time is not necessary only to avoid further complications related to the heart but also because heart palpitations make it difficult for the heart to pump blood which means that other vital organs such as brain may be damaged due to lack of blood.

What Can Cause Heart Palpitations?

Heart palpitations can even be faced by people who watch their diets and try to keep away from foods that can be potentially harmful. Why is this so? There are a number of daily habits that can greatly affect the health of your heart generally.

A person can have heart palpitations due to a number of reasons including:


A study published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2012 showed that smoking can be a big factor when it comes to heart palpitations due to oxidative stress and carbon monoxide.

In addition, smoking can also be the reason behind coronary artery diseases as well as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Syndrome, both of which can cause irregular heartbeats.

RELATED: COPD – Causes And Prevention

Drug Use

According to studies published in European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, nearly all of the illicit drug use can lead to direct or indirect arrhythmogenic effects and causes different and most lethal types of heart palpitations.

Such drugs can include heroin, amphetamines, cocaine and even the misuse of common, over the counter drugs.

Alcohol Use

In the light of the most recent research on the relationship between alcohol and arrhythmias, heavy drinking can cause some of the most dangerous types of heart palpitations which typically come with an increased chance of sudden cardiac arrests.


You might already be aware of the fact that your emotions have a lot of effect on your heartbeat. In a similar way, emotional stress and negative emotions can raise heartbeats and the pressure of your blood by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system.

This might sound like the least dangerous of all types of palpitations but studies have shown nearly 20-40 percent of the cases of cardiac arrest and heart dysfunctions are a result of emotional stress.


It has become very clear that people in older age groups, especially the ones who cross 60, are at the highest risk of dangerous and frequent heart palpitations as well as other hearts problems because heart problems tend to correlate with age.



Andrea White

As a graduate of Public Health and Policy, Andrea developed an interest in disease development, food and safety and the latest advancements in health. She is a Freelance writer who had affiliations with multiple blogs. Andrea is now pursuing her post-doctorate in Behavioral Sciences.

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