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5 Questions to Ask if You Have Heart Palpitations

Does your heart race, skip, or do flip-flops? The medical term for what you are experiencing is heart palpitations. Millions of people suffer from similar symptoms.

You can also feel these heart palpitations in your throat, chest, and neck. Sometimes, they are dangerous. Most of the time, they are not.

Heart palpitations are a symptom of something out of balance

Jenny is a 24-year-old female who complains of heart skipping. The issue started two months ago after an argument with her boyfriend. Work has been stressful too, and she is not sleeping well. 

She is scared and wants to make sure this is nothing serious, but she wants to feel normal again. Does this sound like you? If so, you are not alone. An increasing number of people are experiencing palpitations due to a poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and stress. 

Questions to ask if you have palpitations

The cardiologist’s job is to find the scary stuff regarding your heart. Here are some questions your doctor should ask to decide what the symptoms are from and why they may or may not be dangerous.

  • How long have you had the symptoms? There is safety in time. If you have had symptoms for years, it is less likely to be severe than if the symptoms started recently.
  • Do the symptoms occur at rest or with activity? Symptoms with activity are usually linked to a more significant issue. Symptoms at rest are usually nothing dangerous. 
  • Do the symptoms occur with food, stress, alcohol, caffeine, or in a particular environment? Identifying triggers helps to uncover the root cause of the palpitations.
  • Do you feel lightheaded, or have you passed out? These complaints send up red flags. Pay attention to how you feel when the palpitations occur.
  • Has a family member died suddenly or at an early age? Alert, alert! This can be a vital warning sign and an important reason to know your family history.

What causes palpitations?

There are many causes of heart palpitations. Here are some situations that can lead to the feeling of an irregular heartbeat:

  • Can anxiety cause heart palpitations? Anxiety is the number one cause of palpitations worldwide. We have all been nervous or tense before and may get sweaty hands and feelings of uneasiness when something causes us to become anxious. Anxiety is likely at the root of your palpitations if they occur along with other known symptoms of anxiety. Stress is a demon, and stress reframing methods are essential.
  • What medical conditions cause heart palpitations? Medical conditions, including blood sugar fluctuations, anemia, dehydration, fever, and thyroid disease, can be at the root of palpitations. 
  • Can medications cause palpitations? Medications like diet pills, asthma inhalers, and decongestants can cause the heart to race and flutter. Sometimes, cardiac drugs used to treat irregular heartbeats may worsen symptoms.
  • Can alcohol or recreational drugs cause palpitations? Alcohol and illicit drugs, especially cocaine and amphetamines, may cause palpitations.  The morning after alcohol and drug use is often when symptoms arise.
  • Can a poor diet cause palpitations? Consumption of foods loaded with sugar, artificial color, and flavors such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) may cause palpitations. Eating a healthy diet loaded with heart-nourishing vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats is essential.
  • Is my morning cup of coffee causing palpitations? It is unlikely that one cup of quality organic coffee would cause palpitations, but heavy caffeine consumption can sometimes lead to symptoms. 

Uncovering the root cause of palpitations

To find the root cause of palpitations, it is essential to do the following:

  • Dig deep into medical and family history.
  • Assess diet and lifestyle.
  • Assess any known triggers.
  • Conduct a detailed physical examination
  • Conduct lab work for detailed blood analysis.
  • Conduct heart tests like an ECG, an echocardiogram, and a heart monitor. The Zio Patch monitor is a bandaid-sized device that sits on the skin of the chest. It monitors and records every heartbeat for two weeks.

Are there natural treatment options for heart palpitations?

Treatment will depend upon the cause of the palpitations. Sometimes they’re harmless and go away on their own. If that happens, no treatment is necessary.

If the diagnosis is not immediately life-threatening, take the time to look at your lifestyle. Here are some things to do:

  • Ease stress and anxiety. Try activities like yoga, meditation, or essential oils.
  • Stop excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, and illegal drug use.
  • Avoid over-the-counter and prescription cough and cold medicines. These act as stimulants.
  • Eat like our ancestors. Consume clean, nutrient-dense food that fuels the heart and body.
  • Get an appropriate amount of sleep. Our ancestors went to sleep at sundown and awoke before the sunrise. We would be wise to follow their lead.
  • Embrace the sun. The morning sun is critical, but any sun exposure throughout the day benefits health. The sun makes vitamin D, melatonin, and nitric oxide and has benefits science has yet to discover. Sunburn is bad, sunshine is good. 
  • Drink high-quality water and plenty of it. Install a Pristine Hydro water revival system in your home to crank up your water and mineral intake. 
  • See your chiropractor regularly. Chiropractic care uses the bones of the spine to influence neurologic changes in the body. This includes the autonomic nervous system. When the autonomics are in balance, palpitations often stop.

Next steps

Each case is different, and the key to understanding the severity of your palpitations lies in determining what is causing them in the first place. Keep a journal, including what you eat, how you feel, stress levels, how you sleep, and triggers you notice. This is essential for health and will help your practitioner get to the bottom of your palpitations.

For more information regarding palpitations, listen to this episode of the Healthy Heart Show!

Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well 

Medical Review: Dr. Jack Wolfson D.O, FACC 2022

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