Heart Palpitations

Experiencing heart palpitations can be a very frightening occurrence. These palpitations have been described as feeling as though the heart is racing, missing a beat, pounding, or fluttering. Palpitations can be felt in the chest, the neck or the throat and they are seen more frequently in women than in men.

Some of the most common causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Fever
  • Panic attacks
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications that contain pseudoephedrine
  • Consuming too much alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or narcotics ( cocaine or amphetamines)

It is important to find the reason for  experiencing heart palpitations and knowing how often they occur. Tests that will help a physician identify the cause include a blood test, an EKG, a chest x-ray, a Holter monitor and an ultrasound of the heart.

It is best to seek immediate medical help if the heart palpitations are accompanied by:

  • Feeling shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling chest pain
  • Feeling light headed

Treatment for heart palpitations will be determined by what is causing them. When possible, eliminating external influences will be the first line of treatment. If the palpitations are caused by an irregular heart beat, medications may need to be prescribed.

It is important to get immediate medical care by calling 9-1-1 if the heart palpitations are accompanied by chest pain, severe dizziness,  severe shortness of breath, or passing out.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.