Ever had that odd feeling in your chest that made you rush to the doctor? You know, the one with the skipped beats, a fluttering sensation, or an extra forceful thump. You probably received one of two reactions:
“Relax, heart palpitations are no big deal. We’re not sure what causes them, but they’re common.”
“Let’s try this medication and see if it helps.”
Either way, you likely walked out of the doctor’s office feeling that your heart concerns were left unanswered, and it’s entirely possible you still feel that way.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine tends to fall short when it comes to heart palpitations. The truth is most doctors haven’t been trained to dig deep and uncover the root causes of these issues, including arrhythmias.
But here’s the thing: while heart palpitations might be widespread, they’re not normal.
Heart palpitations explained
Picture your heart like a cozy home with four rooms: the top two are the atria, and the bottom two are the ventricles. Usually, they’re a perfectly coordinated team, working together under the guidance of a group of cells in the right atrium called the sinoatrial (SA) node. The SA node directs the electrical impulses that make your heart contract and relax, pumping oxygenated blood through your body.
At times, the heart’s regular rhythm can be thrown off course, leading to the sensation of irregular beats, known as heart palpitations. The usual suspects behind these palpitations are premature atrial contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). These anomalies can make the heartbeat feel “off” and cause concern for those experiencing them.
PACs happen when the atria contract too soon, while PVCs occur when the ventricles squeeze out of turn. Both situations cause the heart to momentarily lose pace, resulting in a flip-flopping, skipping, or pounding feeling.
Although these offbeat heart rhythms are concerning, becoming familiar with the anatomy behind them can provide some peace of mind as we delve into natural ways to bring the heart’s rhythm back to its normal state.
9 natural ways to treat heart palpitations
Conventional medicine excels at chasing and managing symptoms, all while overlooking the importance of addressing the root cause of a condition. However, when it comes to heart palpitations, it’s absolutely essential to uncover what’s behind the irregular beats before jumping to treatment.
It’s time to stop settling for a temporary fix. Instead, NHD aims to dig deeper and explore what’s truly impacting our heart rhythms. Doing so means looking honestly at our daily lives and evaluating our relationship with stress, food, exercise, sleep, sunshine, and environmental toxins.
The most effective approach to taming erratic heartbeats is a well-rounded, holistic one. By embracing these nine key recommendations, you’ll be well on your way to banishing heart palpitations for good.
1. Soothe palpitations with heart-healthy food
Our eating habits can make a huge difference in keeping our hearts beating normally. We should take a leaf from our paleolithic ancestors’ cookbooks. They had it all figured out, focusing only on wholesome, organic food that was chock-full of nutrients and devoid of nasty chemicals.
Sadly, our run-of-the-mill American diet is far from this ideal, teeming with sugar, seed oils, ultra-processed snacks, GMOs, pesticides, and a cocktail of chemicals that has left our health in shambles.
Our modern-day plate should be a colorful medley of organic veggies brimming with antioxidants and essential vitamins. Additionally, they should include grass-fed meats, especially nutrient-packed organ meats. They’re the real deal in providing our bodies with a healthy balance of protein, good fats, and easily absorbed nutrients.
Rich in omega-3s, wild-caught seafood is also excellent for our cardiovascular health. Packed with heart-friendly fats and fiber, nuts and seeds are nature’s perfect little snack. So, embrace a diet that honors our primal roots, and watch your heart palpitations fade away.
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2. Recruit your gut to help kick palpitations to the curb
Many people are surprised to learn of the intimate connection between the gut and the heart. There is an entire bustling community of living organisms in our guts. These collective microbes, the gut microbiome, play a huge role in cardiovascular health.
Balanced gut microbiomes aid digestion, nutrient absorption, inflammation, and immune function. When our gut buddies are in harmony, they can keep the heart beating steadily. However, when out of balance, our gut flora triggers inflammation and stress on the heart. Studies show that an imbalanced microbiome can lead to heart arrhythmias.
Interestingly, heart palpitations aren’t always a product of the heart itself. In numerous instances, they stem from the gut. Digestive troubles like acid reflux (GERD), a queasy stomach, or even the presence of gallstones can provoke heart palpitations.
Incorporating prebiotic and probiotic foods into our daily meals is a delicious approach to supporting our gut microbiome, ultimately aiding in warding off heart palpitations. For a prebiotic kick, search no further than crispy cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and assorted pickled veggies are excellent probiotic foots that will help to maintain a content a balanced gut environment.
3. Give some love to the vagus nerve
The vagus nerve, the 10th cranial nerve, connects our brain to almost all our organs. This “wandering nerve” plays a role in managing various bodily functions, including our heart rate and rhythm.
Vagal tone is all about that delicate balance between our parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. A strong vagal tone means our vagus nerve works like a charm, keeping our hearts steady and relaxed. Unfortunately, chronic stress, aging, and spinal misalignments often lead to decreased vagal tone.
If the vagus nerve isn’t performing at its best, it can upset the nervous system’s balance and lead to heart palpitations. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies to keep the vagus nerve in prime condition. Regular chiropractic adjustments, deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and grounding are all excellent ways to improve vagal tone.
4. Move your body
Regular physical exercise, particularly when enjoyed outdoors in the fresh air and beauty of nature, is imperative in maintaining a normal heart rhythm. Regular exercise bolsters the heart muscle, boosts blood circulation, and keeps the heart rate steady, which in turn helps lessen the likelihood of facing heart palpitations.
However, movement is not just about breaking a sweat. It’s also about nurturing well-being from the inside out. Exercise helps alleviate stress and balance the nervous system, further reducing the risk of abnormal heartbeats.
Moreover, taking your workouts outside brings added benefits. Surrounding yourself with nature’s beauty has a soothing impact on your mind and soul, easing stress and anxiety—two prominent factors that can trigger heart palpitations.
Engaging in activities that raise the heart rate when dealing with a cardiac issue might appear contradictory. However, incorporating exercises like brisk walking, leisurely cycling, or lively dance classes can help reduce both the frequency and severity of heart palpitations. It’s essential, however, to pay close attention to your body’s signals and pause if palpitations intensify during exercise.
5. Check your medicine cabinet
Individuals with heart palpitations should take a closer look inside their medicine cabinets. Both prescription medications and over-the-counter remedies are often overlooked causes behind those fluttery sensations in the chest.
Some medications, such as antibiotics, asthma treatments, and even everyday painkillers, can sometimes cause heart palpitations as a side effect. But interestingly, some of the most frequent triggers for palpitations are the very medications prescribed to manage high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats in the first place.
6. Eliminate alcohol
Undoubtedly, going overboard on booze can wreak havoc on our hearts. Research has revealed that alcohol is a frequent culprit behind heart rhythm irregularities. Alcohol’s inflammatory properties, dehydrating effects, and impact on heart rate variability are all factors that can lead to heart palpitations.
Most people assume that enjoying an occasional drink poses no real risk. However, recent studies suggest that even light or infrequent alcohol consumption might provoke irregular heartbeats. In some cases, just one drink could be enough to set off palpitations.
Research has shown that steering clear of alcohol can greatly lower the chances of recurring arrhythmias in people who’ve dealt with them previously. Although giving up alcohol is a personal choice, it may be the most sensible one for those with a history of heart palpitations.
7. Kick out the toxins
When patients present with seemingly unexplained symptoms, such as heart palpitations, it’s essential to consider the possibility of environmental toxins. These chemicals lead to free radical damage and inflammation. For example, a recent study revealed that teenagers exposed to air pollution experienced increased heart palpitations. If this happens with young, healthy hearts – imagine what it could do to yours!
While outdoor pollution is dangerous, indoor air pollution is sometimes more harmful due to chemicals released by furniture, cleaning products, and other everyday household items.
Toxic chemicals lurk in our water. Even seemingly safe drinking water can harbor hidden dangers, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful substances.
Mold can cause serious problems in the body, compromising the immune system, increasing inflammation, and interfering with the autonomic nervous system. In fact, mold is one of the most commonly overlooked causes of abnormal heartbeats.
Individuals with heart palpitations should get their blood tested to identify any environmental exposures. In addition to removing the potential toxins from their lives, individuals should consider investing in a high-quality water filtration system and air purifier.
8. Use the sun as medicine
Doctors give a lot of misguided advice, and avoiding the sun is at the top of the list. However, sunlight is medicine, and exposure is vital in stopping heart palpitations.
Soaking up some rays is a fantastic way to combat inflammation and boost the immune system, thanks largely to the vitamin D production it spurs. Plus, basking in the sun sets off a cascade of nitric oxide release, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Together, these benefits can help keep heart palpitations at bay.
Furthermore, sunlight plays a crucial role in mood regulation, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety – two factors that can trigger irregular heartbeats. Therefore, as part of a holistic approach to addressing heart palpitations, spending time in the sun is essential.
9. Add evidence-based supplements
The heart requires specific vitamins and minerals to maintain a normal rhythm. Unfortunately, obtaining the necessary amounts of these nutrients from food alone has become increasingly challenging, as the depletion of our soil has led to lower mineral content in the produce we consume.
People grappling with heart palpitations may discover they’re running low on essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and CoQ10, among others. Thankfully, once these nutrients are added back, the heart often returns to a normal rhythm. Our Palpitation Complete Support Protocol is often a great place to start for individuals dealing with heart palpitations.
Healing heart palpitations naturally involves a holistic approach and addressing the root cause rather than merely treating the symptoms. Medications often fail to provide lasting relief for palpitations, emphasizing the importance of identifying and resolving underlying factors.
If you’re experiencing heart palpitations and seeking a natural path to wellness, consider contacting Natural Heart Doctor for a virtual second opinion or schedule a free coaching call with a certified health coach. Our expert guidance and support can help you embark on a journey toward a palpitation-free life.