What Are the Causes of a Frequently Pounding Heartbeat?

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A pounding heartbeat is the body’s response to increased stress, anxiety or physical activity; it is a completely normal body function. But if you have a frequently pounding heartbeat, it may indicate a more significant medical problem.

High Blood Pressure

When the body’s blood pressure is too high, the heart has to pump harder and faster to achieve sufficient blood flow to the body’s tissues. As the body adjusts to the consistently high blood pressure, you might experience a frequently pounding heartbeat.

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse occurs when one or both of the flaps in the heart valves do not close properly upon contraction of the heart. When this happens, a small amount of blood flows backward into the heart ventricles, causing a heart murmur. This condition often results in a frequently pounding heartbeat, among other symptoms.

Atherosclerosis

With atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque on the arteries causes them to become narrowed. This narrowing reduces the amount of blood flow to and from the heart, which cause the heart to beat faster to make up for this inadequacy.

Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental condition characterized by a persistent feeling of anxiety. The body responds with a pounding heartbeat and an increased sense of alertness.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorders are characterized by frequent panic attacks and episodes of irrational fear and panic. In addition to the mental symptoms (panic, fear, terror), the physical symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing and an increased heart rate.

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