Heart Palpitations: What Do They Mean?

If you’ve ever felt your heart flutter or it seems like your heart has skipped a beat, or you even feel like your heart is beating to hard or too fast, you’ve likely experienced a heart palpitation. There are many reasons why they occur, some of them harmless, and others being a sign of an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat that can be identified with a Holter test, EKG, or event monitor.

Physicians will want to know if they are a sign of something more serious by doing a physical exam along with a few basic tests to see if there is anything noticeably wrong. Your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist, a specialist in diagnosing heart diseases and heart conditions. Often the first test done is an EKG, which records your heart’s electrical activity and the timing of your heartbeats. If nothing is immediately noticed or there’s not enough information with an EKG, you might have to wear a Holter monitor for 24 to 72 hours.

The Holter test is used to observe any heart irregularities over a period of time. The information recorded will then be examined by the doctor for diagnosis. The Holter monitor doesn’t always provide enough information for a definitive diagnosis, especially if no symptoms occurred during the time you wore it. Those who should use a Holter monitor include people who have recurring palpitations and those who are already being treated for abnormal heartbeats.

Most heart palpitations are not serious and can be the result of:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Smoking
  • Exercise
  • Cocaine and other illegal drugs
  • Caffeine
  • Hormonal changes

Conditions associated with heart palpitations include:

  • Heart disease
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Prior heart attack
  • Heart valve problems
  • Coronary artery disease

ReactDx specializes in providing customers with cardiac monitoring systems that make heart monitoring as accurate as possible and allow for faster diagnosis. Contact us today at 800-23-HEART to find out more about our cardiac monitoring solutions that will help you live a healthier life.

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