Palpitations Treatment Specialist Q&A
Heart palpitations are common but if you have a medical concern, get it addressed right away at an urgent care. Call our team of healthcare professionals at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations to serve you at Tibbetts St Portland, Stark Street Portland and Tigard, OR.
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Palpitations affect the heart and cause the heart to appear to be pounding, fluttering, or beating faster than normal. While generally harmless, they can be worrisome for people who are not used to experiencing heart palpitations. The cause isn’t always known, however, they can be brought on by changes to physical activity, emotional responses, stimulants, illness, or hormonal changes.
They are typically caused by exercise, stress, and medication, but very rarely are they the result of a medical condition. More specifically, the following factors can cause people to experience heart palpitations:
– Anxiety, stress, panic attacks, or other strong emotional responses
– Strenuous physical activity and exercise
– Stimulants such as caffeine, amphetamines, nicotine, and cocaine
– Cough and cold medications containing pseudoephedrine
– Menstruation, menopause, or pregnancy that cause hormonal changes
– Imbalances in the thyroid hormone
While most cases of heart palpitations are nothing to be worried about, in some cases they can be an indication of a serious problem such as hyperthyroidism or arrhythmia. If you are really concerned about heart palpitations that you are experiencing, you can get them checked out through urgent care, such as Columbia Clinic Urgent Care.
Palpitations are sensations that affect the heart, resulting in a change to the heart’s normal beating rhythm. They can vary in the feeling or sensation a person experiences, depending on the cause or trigger that started the palpitations. Typically, heart palpitations will create feelings in the heart such as skipping beats, rapid fluttering, pounding, flip-flopping, and beating faster than normal.
Despite the change in the heartbeat, most cases of heart palpitations are completely harmless and are simply the heart’s way of responding to a change in your body. Triggers like exercise, strong emotional responses and fever can cause it to beat faster, whereas triggers like caffeine or nicotine can cause it to skip beats. Heart palpitations can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition such as an arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heart rhythm, or hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid gland.
Heart palpitations are usually the result of a change to something in the body, that is causing a change in the natural heartbeat. They should be infrequent or associated with an event or change that can easily explain the alteration in the heart’s rhythm. Bouts of heart palpitations will typically only last for a few seconds, on an occasional basis. If the heart palpitations become more frequent, get worse or take longer to recover from, it is a good idea to get them checked by your doctor.
People who have existing heart conditions or a family history of heart problems should also work with their doctor on monitoring the frequency, duration, and severity of their heart palpitations, as well as the triggers. If you experience heart palpitations that are accompanied by fainting, severe dizziness, chest pain or discomfort, or severe shortness of breath, seek emergency medical attention.
In the majority of cases, heart palpitations will resolve themselves with time and when the trigger is no longer affecting the body, this means that treatment is often not needed as the heart will regulate itself back to its normal rhythm on its own, either as it recovers from a tough workout or adjusts to a stimulant or stressor. Your doctor can provide recommendations on ways to avoid heart palpitations, although in some cases they may be unavoidable, such as a rapidly beating heart as the result of strenuous exercise or physical assertion.
This can be good for your heart, although your doctor can provide recommendations on a safe range to keep your heart rate in so as to avoid causing it too much stress. In the presence of a heart condition, such as an arrhythmia, your doctor will treat you for the condition, not the heart palpitations. While most cases of heart palpitations are completely normal and harmless, if you are concerned about your heartbeat, you can always seek out care through your doctor or somewhere like Columbia Clinic Urgent Care which takes patients on a walk-in basis. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.