Palpitations are an awareness of your heartbeat, often described as a sensation that your heart may feel like it is pounding, fluttering, beating irregularly or a sensation of missing beats. Symptoms of palpitations may occur for only a few seconds or minutes although they may continue for longer periods of time. They may be seem alarming but in most cases they are usually harmless and are not a sign of a problem with your heart.
In some circumstances, palpitations may be associated with other symptoms such as
and in this situation or if symptoms are recurrent without a clear cause, early assessment with a Cardiologist should be sought.
Palpitations may be triggered by stress, anxiety, exercise, drinking excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, smoking, and using recreational drugs. In some cases, palpitations can be triggered by certain medications or due to an overactive thyroid gland or as a result of hormonal changes that occur during periods, pregnancy or the menopause.
Occasionally, there will be an underlying cause of the palpitations such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter or supraventricular tachycardia and very rarely due to ventricular tachycardia.
The experts here at the London Cardiac Group are highly trained to tailor your assessment to your individual circumstances and will be able to discuss what course of action is right for you.
Simple reassurance and avoidance of triggers may be the only treatment required in many patients. Occasionally further treatments for heart palpilations may be required to deal with the underlying cause.