Ways to stop heart palpitations Ways to stop heart palpitations

Ways to stop heart palpitations

People with heart palpitations may attempt to self-manage the condition with relaxation techniques and exercise. However, if the palpitations are frequent or severe, medical attention should be sought to assess and treat the condition properly.

 

Symptoms of heart palpitations include:

  • Beating too fast

  • Having an irregular heartbeat

  • Beating abnormally

  • Fluttering

  • Pounding

 

Heart palpitations can result from alcohol and drug use, strenuous exercise, and other lifestyle choices.

 

In most cases, they are harmless and do not require medical attention. However, if the symptoms persist, it may indicate an underlying illness, and you may need to consult a doctor.

Perform relaxation techniques

Experiencing significant amounts of stress can lead to physical and mental health issues, such as palpitations, which are an awareness of one's heartbeat. Stress can worsen existing palpitations or even cause new ones.

 

The following relaxation techniques may be advantageous for those seeking to de-stress:

  • Exercising

  • Deep breathing

  • Using guided imagery, which a person can access online

  • Spending time outdoors

  • Taking short breaks from work or school

  • Journaling

  • Meditating

  • Practising yoga

Reduce or eliminate stimulant intake.

It is possible to experience heart palpitations after using stimulants such as:

  • Tobacco items

  • Illicit substances like cocaine and amphetamines

  • Sure, cold and cough remedies

  • Beverages containing caffeine, like coffee, tea, and soda

  • Appetite-reducing agents

  • Specific medications used for mental health conditions

 

Palpitations, however, are not caused by all stimulants.

Stimulate the vagus nerve.

Increasing vagus nerve activity, which is responsible for connecting the brain to the heart, may be beneficial in reducing vibrations.

 

An individual can activate the vagus nerve through various techniques known as vagal manoeuvres, including:

  • Performing the Valsalva maneuver by holding one's breath and pushing down, as if having a bowel movement.

  • Apply ice or a cold, damp towel to the face briefly.

  • Splashing the face with cold water.

  • Engaging in chanting, such as "Om."

  • Exhaling forcefully through a partially blocked straw.

 

A person should consult a doctor before using any of these methods, as they can determine the most appropriate techniques for the individual.

Keep electrolytes balanced

Electrolytes are molecules with an electrical charge found throughout the body. They are essential for various processes, especially for controlling the rhythm of the heartbeat.

 

An inadequate amount of electrolytes in the body can indicate cardiac disorders, leading to heart palpitations.

 

Consuming foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients contributes to a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, and other sources of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

 

Therefore, individuals with a history of medical conditions restricting potassium intake should consult with their doctor before increasing their potassium intake. Too much potassium can lead to arrhythmias and heart palpitations, so it is important to ensure that the amount of potassium in the diet is within safe limits.

 

It is essential to consult a doctor before trying supplements for nutritional needs, particularly if an individual is also taking prescription medication. Supplements should not be used as a replacement for a balanced, healthy diet.

 

Stay hydrated

When the body is dehydrated, it can cause the electrolyte levels to change, which can lead to a decrease in blood pressure. This decrease can result in heart palpitations.

 

People consume six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. However, the amount of water suggested to be consumed daily will depend on an individual's age, sex, and whether they are pregnant.

 

Signs of dehydration can include:

  • Increased heart rate

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Thirst

  • Dark urine

  • Dry skin

  • Headaches

 

If any of these symptoms are observed, it is recommended that an individual drink an entire glass of water.

Avoid excessive alcohol use.

Even small intakes of alcohol can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, characterized by heart palpitations. Research indicates that having as little as 1.2 alcoholic drinks per day can increase the chance of developing this condition.

Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity can boost cardiovascular health and restore the regularity of the heartbeat. Additionally, exercise can be beneficial in decreasing stress and worry.

 

Cardiovascular activities can help build strength in the heart, reducing the risk of palpitations.

 

Forms of exercise that can have positive effects on the body include:

  • Running

  • Jogging

  • Biking

  • Swimming

  • Brisk walking

 

People with heart disease or irregular heart rhythms should consult their doctor before beginning an exercise program. People with a history of arrhythmias should also consult with their doctor before starting an exercise program.

 

It is advisable to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. A doctor can provide advice and guidance.

Additional treatments

 

The type of treatment for heart palpitations will be contingent on the underlying cause, such as lifestyle factors, medications, or an underlying medical condition.

  • Premature atrial complexes (PACs)

  • Supraventricular tachycardias (SVTs)

  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)

  • Atrial flutter

  • Atrial fibrillation

 

If a patient is healthy and has no underlying medical conditions, a physician may provide reassurance that the palpitations are not a cause of concern.

 

The following medications may help control a person's palpitations and heart rate, however:

  • Calcium channel blockers

  • Beta-blockers

  • Antiarrhythmic medications

 

A catheter ablation procedure can stop frequent palpitations if medications do not work. During this procedure, a tube is inserted into the heart through a blood vessel.

 

Additionally, some other potential treatment options include:

  • Surgery

  • Changing medications that may be causing palpitations

  • A pacemaker

When to speak with a doctor

If a person is having heart palpitations that last longer than a few seconds, it is recommended that they consult a physician.

 

The doctor may be able to identify the cause of the palpitations by investigating any possible underlying conditions, such as:

  • Thyroid issues

  • Structural or electrical heart conditions

  • An abnormal heart rhythm, known as arrhythmia

  • Heart failure, in rare cases

  • Anxiety

  • Heart disease

  • Significant anaemia

 

Additionally, individuals who have experienced a heart attack may be prone to experiencing palpitations.

Diagnosis

They may ask questions about:

  • The age at which the individual initially experienced symptoms.

  • The nature of the person's symptoms.

  • The timing of symptom occurrences.

  • Whether symptoms onset gradually or abruptly.

  • The duration of the symptoms.

  • What provides relief from the symptoms?

  • The presence of any additional symptoms, like fainting, pain, or lightheadedness.

  • The family's medical history.

  • Information regarding their lifestyle and dietary choices, including caffeine and alcohol consumption, physical activity, sleep patterns, and the use of drugs and medications

 

The healthcare professional will measure the patient's blood pressure and pulse rate, and they will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart.

 

If the patient is not currently experiencing heart palpitations, they may be asked to tap out the rhythm of the palpitations as they typically present. This can help the doctor to understand the individual's condition better.

 

The doctor may request blood tests to evaluate electrolyte, hormone, or thyroid concentrations if required.

 

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) can evaluate the heart's performance and detect potential abnormalities.

 

Diagnostic testing is used to detect individuals who may be at risk of arrhythmia, such as those with:

  • A history of heart attack

  • Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

  • Heart valve regurgitation

  • Underlying heart disease

 

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about heart palpitations

What should I drink to stop heart palpitations?

To reduce heart palpitations, it is important to stay hydrated. Water consumption of six to eight 8-ounce glasses daily and drinking water when palpitations arise can help. Additionally, avoiding alcohol and drinks that contain stimulants such as caffeine can help reduce the chances of experiencing palpitations.

Can heart palpitations go away on their own?

If a person is experiencing frequent, long-lasting, or bothersome heart palpitations, it is important to speak with a doctor. This is because palpitations can have various causes, including serious health complications. Additionally, some palpitations can go away independently, while others may require treatment.

What is a normal heart rate?

The typical rate of heartbeats per minute is between 60 and 100.

Summary

Heart palpitations are a common occurrence that a number of different factors can cause. While they can be harmless, they can also indicate an underlying health condition. It is important to seek medical advice if you experience prolonged or frequent palpitations.

 

People suffering from heart palpitations may find the following helpful:

  • Engaging in specific physical actions, like vagal manoeuvres.

  • Preserving heart health through dietary and lifestyle choices.

  • Sustaining balanced electrolyte levels.

  • Steering clear of stimulants.

 

If you experience palpitations that last longer than a few seconds or have other symptoms, including chest pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness, it is important to speak with a doctor. These may be signs of a more severe issue that requires medical attention.

 

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