Your heart is one of the most important organs of your body. It responsible for pumping blood to and from various organs so that they are oxygenated well in order to function efficiently. When you hear about so many cases of heart diseases and strokes almost on a daily basis, it is quite easy to go into a panic mode each time you notice your heart acting in a weird way. But before you jump to conclusions, you need to know what exactly is wrong with your heart so that you can treat it correctly and effectively. Sometimes, you may notice your heart pounding or fluttering or skipping a beat. These are known as heart palpitations. Though they may feel extremely scary, they are often not that serious and may not require any treatment. By having a clear idea of what can cause heart palpitations, you will be able to stay a bit calm when it happens next, and you will know exactly when you should rush to the doctor. Here are some of the common causes of heart palpitations.
1. Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are often the causes of a wide variety of health issues these days. They can also result in heart palpitations because they trigger the release of hormones that speed up your heartbeat. These hormones prepare your body to fight a threat that does not actually exist. Such panic attacks are often intense and last a few minutes, and they are often accompanied by breathing difficulties, sweating, and chills.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause your heart rate to increase. So if you have heart palpitations after you’ve had your morning coffee, it may be time to switch to a milder drink. Your chances of having heart palpitations due to caffeine increase if you have heart rhythm problems.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products offer no health benefit whatsoever but are extremely addictive. They increase your blood pressure and can increase your heart rate. If you have frequent heart palpitations and use a lot of tobacco, you may need to mend your ways as soon as possible. It may take an extreme amount of willpower but it is definitely not impossible. And don’t worry if you have heart palpitations after you quit as it could be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal.
When you workout, your heart beats faster in order to pump blood to your muscles. But if your heart flutters or pounds excessively when you exercise, it may be because you are jumping on the treadmill, cycling, or lifting weights after a long time and you are probably out of condition. If you are exercising after quite some time, take it slow so that your heart is not shocked by the sudden increase in physical activity.
5. Low Blood Sugar
If you feel weak and shaky and have heart palpitations after you’ve skipped a meal, low blood sugar levels may be the cause. When your blood sugar level is too low, your body releases stress hormones that prepare you for an emergency food shortage, resulting in a faster heart rate. Just eat some simple carbs to balance your blood sugar levels.
Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that control your metabolism. If your thyroid is overactive, it can cause increase your heart rate so much that you feel your heart beating out of your chest. You need to visit your doctor to see if your thyroid gland is the cause of your heart palpitations.
7. Alcohol And Drug Use
Alcohol is a stimulant and a diuretic, which can cause your heart rate to increase. If you binge drink over the weekend or on holidays, you may feel your heart fluttering. Illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines are extremely dangerous for your heart. Cocaine not only increases your heart rate and your blood pressure but also damages your heart muscles. Ecstasy makes your heart beat faster by releasing a chemical called norepinephrine. And amphetamines increase your heart rate by stimulating your nervous system. If you are a heavy alcohol drinker, you should drastically reduce the frequency and volume of how much you drink, and if you are into drugs, you should get yourself some help in order to stay away from them as much as possible.
You do not need to worry much if you are generally healthy and experience heart palpitations every once in a while only for about a few seconds. But if you experience dizziness, fainting, chest pain, arm pain, and shortness of breath along with palpitations, you should probably go see a doctor.