How to stop heart palpitations
How to Manage Palpitations
Palpitations are when you have a sudden awareness of your heart beat. Usually people with palpitations feel that their heart is beating rapidly, irregularly or forcefully. Some people feel a pounding or flip-flopping sensation in their chest or neck, while some others feel that occasionally their heart suddenly stops working and then re-starts.Palpitations are caused by a variety of problems. Measures to manage palpitations depend on the specific cause. Therefore it is important to know what is causing your palpitations so you can apply appropriate actions stop them. If you do not know what is causing your palpitations, move down to "Determining What Is Causing Your Specific Palpitations."
Finding Fast Relief
Understand that you must seek the help of a doctor if your palpitations are not normal.One point must be emphasized before discussing management of individual causes of palpitations one by one. All the palpitations which are notnormalmust be evaluated by a doctor, and you must begin a management plan as prescribed by your doctor.
- If you do not know whether or not your palpitations are normal, scroll down to Method 3.
Control your palpitations caused by stress.For management of palpitations caused by stress, anxiety, depression and panic attacks, your doctor may have prescribed you some medications. In addition to those medications, the following strategies have been tried with variable success. These strategies can help to stop palpitations from occurring.
- The following steps can also be used to try to control palpitations caused by intense exercise.
Hold your breath.Holding your breath for a few seconds, or taking slow and deep breaths to calm yourself can help to control your palpitations. Breathing deeply can help you to feel relaxed. This can be a particularly effective method for people who experience fast, shallow breathing along with your palpitations.
- Try to breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath in for two seconds, and then release the air slowly through your mouth for four seconds.
Make yourself cough.Coughing can help to ‘reset’ your heart’s rhythm and can end spells of tachycardia.This is particularly effective for people who have panic attacks that cause palpitations.
Use cold water to control your palpitations.Taking a cold shower, jumping in a cold pool, or even washing your face with cold water can help to control your palpitations.
- In particular, this can help if you feel like your heart is racing uncontrollably.The cold water can have a soothing effect on your body and slows your heartbeat.
Try to tense the muscles of your stomach or try the Valsalva maneuver.Tensing the muscles in your stomach, or the muscles all over your body, can help to focus your body and end your palpitations. The Valsalva maneuver may also help to do this:
- The Valsalva maneuver involves forcefully exhaling against a closed airway. This is done by closing your mouth, pinching your nose, and then pressing out as if you are trying to blow up a balloon. This can also help with other forms of abnormal heart rhythm.
Stop palpitations caused by intense exercise.If you are feeling palpitations during intense workouts, the most effective way to control them is to take break. Get a drink, take a slow-paced walk, and focus on your breathing. When you begin again, or trying working out the next day, you should warm up to help prevent palpitations.To do this:
- Start with a mild exercise at the beginning of the workout, and then work your way into intense exercise. This will help your body transition into the intense exercise, so palpitations are less likely to occur.
Cut out substances that can trigger palpitations.Palpitations caused by excessive consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol and chocolateare usually short-lived and terminate automatically. To find fast relief, immediately stop consuming the substance that is triggering the palpitations. You should avoid excessive consumption of these substances in future.
- However, if you have palpitations even when you only eat small quantities of these substances, you should talk to your doctor.
Managing Palpitations Caused by Medical Conditions
Treat noncardiac medical conditions that cause palpitations.Some conditions that are not related to the heart (noncardiac) can cause heart palpitations. If you think you may have a condition that is causing your palpitations, it is important to talk to your doctor about what you can do to treat the condition. Noncardiac conditions that can lead to palpitations include:
- Beta-blocker withdrawal.
- Some medications.
Meet with your doctor if you are experiencing palpitations caused by cardiac conditions.Cardiac conditions are conditions that involve your heart. Your doctor will create a prescribed plan for you to follow to treat or manage these conditions.
- The next step will describe some of the recommendations or requirements your doctor may prescribe for you so that you can keep your palpitations to a minimum.
Follow your doctor’s orders.As mentioned above, if you have a cardiac condition that can cause palpitations, you will have to create a management plan with your doctor. This management plan may involve things like:
- Avoid substances and drugs that cause palpitations, like caffeine, alcohol or cocaine.
- If you have tachycardia, your doctor may advise you to take rate controlling drugs like beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers.
- Your doctor may advise you to take anti-arrhythmic medications to control arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and to prevent their occurrence in future.
- Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may advise you to use ‘Pill in the pocket strategy’. This means that he or she may prescribe you drugs that are supposed to be kept in your pocket always, and taken once you feel palpitations.
- Some arrhythmias are due to structural problems in the electrical pathways of heart (called accessory pathways). In such cases, your doctor may advise you to get these structural problems corrected by advanced medical techniques like catheter ablation.
Determining What Is Causing Your Specific Palpitations
Consider psychiatric causes of palpitations.Psychiatric and non-cardiac medical diagnoses can both lead to palpitations. Read the following and consider whether or not they pertain to your life and situation. The following sub steps cover psychiatric conditions that may lead to palpitations:
- Focus on the situation that triggers the onset of palpitations. If palpitations are triggered by facing a stressful situation (stress reaction), follow a traumatic event (post-traumatic stress), by exposure to an object or a situation to which you have abnormal and excessive fear (phobias),your palpitations are most likely caused by a psychological or a psychiatric cause.
- If you have repeated attacks of severe anxiety that occur at any time, not specified to any particular situation, the probable diagnosis is that your palpitations are caused by panic attacks.
Think about whether your palpitations may be caused by a non cardiac medical condition.As mentioned above, palpitations can be triggered by medical conditions that do not relate to your heart. Consider the following:
- If you have fever which has triggered palpitations, your palpitations will settle once the cause of fever has been removed. However, if the cause of fever is not obvious, you should get yourself checked by your doctor so that he may exclude the possibility of infective endocarditis (an infection of heart) as the cause of fever.
- If you have other symptoms of medical conditions like thyrotoxicosis (increased appetite but weight loss, sweating, tremors and enlarged thyroid gland) and Pheochromocytoma (facial blushing, episodic high blood pressure, abdominal pain and constipation), you must get yourself evaluated by your doctor for the presence of these conditions (both of which are noncardiac medical conditions).
- If you have are experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath on minimal exertion and a pale complexion, you may be suffering from anaemia. You should get your level of hemoglobin measured to determine if this is the cause of your palpitations.
Understand that palpitations during strenuous exercise are generally normal.If you are not used to doing exercise, short lived palpitations (less than five minutes in length) caused by strenuous exercise are completely normal.
- However, you should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing these palpitations and also have prior medical history.
Be aware that palpitations caused by substances are generally normal.Similarly, short lived palpitations caused by excessive intake of coffee or tea, excessive smoking, or the use of other forms of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs like cocaine or amphetamines, do not indicate a serious medical cause of palpitations.
- Again, you should contact your doctor if you have consumed any of these substances and also have significant prior medical history.
Understand that most palpitations during pregnancy are normal.Many pregnant women experience palpitations while they are pregnant, which means that they are generally not something that you should be overly concerned about.
- However, you should still report your palpitations to your attending gynecologist, because he or she will be able to create a plan to manage any conditions, like anemia, that may be causing these palpitations.
Understand that palpitations caused by medical conditions are not considered normal.If you do not have the above causes of palpitations, your palpitations are not normal. It is highly likely that your palpitations are caused by some medical problem that should be evaluated by your doctor.
- It must also be kept in mind that if palpitations are brought on by mild exercise or little consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco or alcohol, you should also consult your doctor.
Understand that some palpitations can be dangerous.The palpitations caused by cardiac pathologies can be potentially dangerous, or even life threatening. Therefore, it is important to work with your doctor to determine if you have a cardiac disease. You may have a cardiac condition if:
- Your palpitations lead to feelings of dizziness or cause you to lose consciousness. You may also experience shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness. If you are experiencing these symptoms, go to the hospital immediately.
- It is very important to focus on your palpitations and accurately describe your feeling because it will help you and your doctor understand the cause of palpitations.
- Meditation/yoga and other relaxation techniques help control stress, anxiety and depression. You should discuss relaxation techniques with your psychiatrist to help control your psychiatric symptoms and palpitations.
Video: Heal PALPITATIONS in minutes with this Heart Mudra!
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