Northwest Houston Heart Center
Cardiology located in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, & The Woodlands, TX
Occasional palpitations are common and usually harmless. But when these sensations recur or get worse, they signal an underlying heart problem. The experienced cardiologists at Northwest Houston Heart Center, A. Adnan Aslam, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Roy Norman, DO, specialize in getting to the root of the problem and implementing a customized treatment plan for your unique condition. If you experience ongoing heart palpitations, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call the office in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, or The Woodlands, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.
Palpitations Q & A
What are heart palpitations?
Palpitations occur when you can feel your heartbeat, usually because your heart rate is too fast or your heart is beating in an irregular or chaotic rhythm.
When you have palpitations, you experience different sensations. It may feel like your heart is racing, pounding, or skipping a beat. Or you may feel a flip-flopping or fluttering movement in your chest.
What causes palpitations?
You may have occasional heart palpitations due to extreme stress, anxiety, or a panic attack. A fever, thyroid disease, or too much caffeine or nicotine can also lead to palpitations.
However, ongoing heart palpitations signal a condition such as:
- Atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart valve disease
- Heart muscle disease
Atrial fibrillation is the most common reason for palpitations.
What other symptoms accompany heart palpitations?
Heart palpitations may occur alone or together with other symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty exercising
- Syncope (fainting)
If you experience palpitations together with chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, you should seek immediate medical care in case they’re signs of a heart attack.
How do cardiologists diagnose the cause of palpitations?
After reviewing your medical history and learning about your palpitations, your provider at Northwest Houston Heart Center performs diagnostic testing on-site. You may be advised to have one or more of the following:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Stress testing
- Electrophysiology studies
You may also need to wear a Holter, event, or tele monitor to monitor or record your heartbeat over the course of 24 hours or even several days depending upon your symptom frequency
How are heart palpitations treated?
The only way to stop heart palpitations is to treat the underlying condition. You may need to avoid things that trigger palpitations, take medications, or have a minimally invasive procedure to treat the cause.
Palpitations frequently develop when you have a fast or irregular heartbeat. A few examples of the procedures used to treat these arrhythmias include:
Your provider uses a catheter to deliver radiofrequency energy to the tissues in your heart that cause the arrhythmia. The energy destroys the tissues, so your heartbeat returns to normal.
Pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
After your provider implants a pacemaker or ICD, they monitor your heartbeat and send an electrical impulse to the heart when needed to restore a normal rhythm.
This procedure restores your normal heart rhythm by sending controlled electrical impulses to your heart through electrodes on your chest.
If you experience palpitations, call Northwest Houston Heart Center, or book an appointment online today.
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