Can Palpitations Damage the Heart?

A palpitation is a fluttering feeling in your chest caused by your heart. While they are alarming, palpitations are usually harmless.

  1. Common Causes of Palpitations

    • The most common causes of heart palpitations are stress, anxiety, exercise, caffeine, nicotine, fevers and certain drugs like cold medicines and asthma inhalers. Women also experience palpitations related to hormonal changes that occur during menstruation, menopause or pregnancy.

    Other Causes

    • Infrequently, heart palpitations occur because of an underlying medical condition, including hyperthryoidism or arrhythmia.

    Diagnosis

    • Often, your doctor can diagnose palpitations simply by listening to your heart with a stethoscope. In other cases, it may be necessary to have an EKG, echocardiogram or chest X-ray to rule out any potentially harmful underlying conditions.

    Effects

    • If your heart palpitations are not due to an underlying condition, they will not damage your heart; but if they are a sign of something else, there is a possibility of heart failure or heart attacks.

    Considerations

    • If heart palpitations are bothersome, try limiting stress and stimulants like caffeine, suggests the Mayo Clinic.

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