Common Causes of Heart Palpitations

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( — January 25, 2021) — According to one study, one in four Americans may develop an irregular heartbeat once they’re over the age of forty.

If you’ve recently started experiencing heart palpitations, you may be wondering why. Or you may be wondering if they even heart palpitations at all.

If you’re worried about it or want to stop them, keep reading to find out how!

How to Diagnose Palpitations

First, you should make sure that what you’re actually dealing with is heart palpitations. There are a few ways to diagnose it yourself, but in some cases, you may want to double-check with your doctor as well.

It can be difficult to have a doctor diagnose them though because sometimes they’re gone by the time you even get into the doctor’s office.

Instead, try keeping a tracking system of when you feel them and what they feel like. Also, when you feel like you’re having palpitations, make sure that you check your pulse. What is your heart rhythm at that moment?

Also, note any other symptoms you might feel. For example, do you feel out of breath or dizzy? Do you have any chest pains with it? When you take all this information to the doctor, they will also do a physical exam.

They may be able to hear a murmur and diagnose it. But they may also use an electrocardiogram, which measures your heart’s rhythm.

Causes of Palpitations

If your doctor does diagnose you with palpitations, there are a few things that may have caused it.

Some of them are out of your control, but some things you may be able to take control of to stop the palpitations.

Stress and Anxiety

One of the biggest causes is anxiety or heart problem. When you are stressed or anxious, your body will release hormones that can actually make your heart beat faster.

Your body goes into fight or flight mode which speeds up your heart. You may also experience problems breathing, chest pain, or sweating. In some cases, a panic attack may also make you feel like you are having palpitations.


Caffeine can be a great way to wake up in the morning, but it may also not be good for your heart. Caffeine is technically classified as a stimulant drug.

This will raise your heart rate, and you can get it from drinking coffee, an energy drink, soda, or eating chocolate. Even if you have a healthy heart, you could experience issues from consuming caffeine, but it generally only happens in people who already have heart issues.

Hormone Changes

Because your hormones control so much of your body, it’s no surprise that they control the rhythm of your heart as well.

Heart problems in women can be from hormones that appear when women have their period or are pregnant. It could also happen to women who are about to or going through menopause.

This should be temporary, but if they continue after your period or pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor.


Certain medications can also cause problems with your heart.

Normally these are prescription medications, like thyroid pills, high blood pressure medication, antibiotics, asthma inhalers, or antipsychotic drugs.

Your doctor should tell you about all the possible side effects before prescribing you one of these, but make sure you talk with your doctor again if you experience any of the side effects, like heart problems.

Reduce the Frequency of Heart Palpitations

If you don’t think one of the causes above initiated your heart palpitations, there are a few other things you can try to help stop them.

You might want to stop smoking cigarettes or cigars. You should also cut back on alcohol if you can. It’s better if you stop drinking all of it altogether.

Instead, make sure you drink a lot of water and eat often. If you have low blood sugar due to not eating, you could start experiencing heart problems.

If you are a regular caffeine drinker, you should try and cut out as many cups of coffee or soda as you can. It might be helpful to cut down one cup or so a day until you’re at zero so that you don’t quit cold-turkey.

You should also make sure that you get at least seven to nine hours of sleep. This can help to reduce your anxiety and stress. In order to try and reduce your stress more, you should try doing mindful breathing, meditation, exercise, or yoga.

Once you learn how to control your breathing, you may find that you’re able to have better control and stop your palpitations.

Lastly, try keeping a journal of your palpitations. You might then be able to recognize a pattern of what’s causing it for you.

When to Visit the Doctor

A few heart palpitations here and there shouldn’t need to be checked out by a doctor. However, if they persist or you have heart disease, you may want to schedule an appointment.

You should also make sure you seek attention if you have palpitations and symptoms like fainting, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or any dizziness or lightheadedness.

Learn More About Heart Palpitations

These are only a few things to know about heart palpitations, but there are many more things that could’ve caused it.

We know that it can be exhausting trying to deal with any health issue, but we’re here to help you out!

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