Heart palpitations take on varied forms: Does your heart ever skip a beat? Or beat much faster or pound harder than usual? Can you feel your pulse in your chest and neck? These may be signs that you are experiencing heart palpitations.
Heart palpitations are often symptoms of a heart condition, which can be understandably worrying. But equally they be a result of stress, underlying illness, or even exercise and dehydration. In addition, certain medications, drugs, caffeine and pregnancy can also induce these symptoms.
If you’re unsure why you’re suffering from heart palpitations, and they occur more than once, we recommend seeing a cardiologist. A diagnostic consultation with our specialists will include a thorough physical examination and a discussion about your habits and family history, to identify any risks to your heart.
There are also some steps you can take to reduce thefrequency of heart palpitations, listed below:
Try to relax
As stress can often trigger heart palpitations, it’s vital to try not to worry about what can’t be helped. Managing your stress is essential for anyone that suffers from this symptom frequently. You can try to increase relaxation through:
- Better mindfulness habits
- Talking with friends and family to try and alleviate some of your burdens
Simple breathing exercises are also helpful to calm you down when you feel your stress levels rising or you’re becoming excited. To avoid your heart working harder than usual:
- Sit cross-legged and take slow, deep breaths through your nostrils.
- Breathe out through your mouth.
- Repeat this process until you feel calmer.
Drink more water
When you become dehydrated, your blood gets thicker. As a result, your body has a more challenging time pumping blood through your veins, which may increase your pulse and lead to palpitations.
Drinking water throughout the day can avoid heart palpitations. Reach for a glass of water if you feel your pulse start to race or when you notice your urine is dark yellow.
Several stimulants can cause your heart rate to increase. Eliminating these from your diet or your daily routine can lessen your symptoms. In some cases, they may even stop them altogether.
Here are some stimulants you might try to avoid:
- Caffeinated foods and drinks
- Tobacco and cannabis
- Heavy alcohol
- Some cold and cough medications
- High blood pressure medication
- Drugs treating mental health conditions
- Illegal drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine
Note: Always consult your doctor beforereducing or eliminating any prescribed drugs or medicines. They can help you find out if your medication might be causing your symptoms.
Balance your diet
A nutritious, balanced diet may help you manage heart palpitations. Conversely, an excess of saturated fats, salt, sugar and processed food can cause your heart to struggle.
A balanced diet consists of:
- Whole grain
- Lean proteins
- Healthy fats such as nuts and fish
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Regular exercise is not only a great stress deterrent. It also supports your physical, mental and emotional health. If you know of any pre-existing conditions, we recommend coordinating an exercise plan with your cardiologist. Specific exercises may be too strenuous for your condition.
However, generally speaking, even regular, brisk walks have a whole host of benefits to your health. For example, they can lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Walking is also a good way to burn calories and achieve a healthy weight through weight loss.
Shed light on heart palpitations with the help of a cardiologist
If you are experiencing heart palpitations but don’t know the cause, or if you are looking for better ways to manage your symptoms, you should speak to a cardiologist. A cardiologist will help you establish a diet and exercise plan. They will also be able to identify triggers in your daily routine that may worsen your symptoms. Each person has unique triggers, so whilst this article may be helpful, it might not address your specific needs.
Venturi Cardiology is a trusted clinic in the northwest of England. Get in touch today to book an appointment in person or over the phone.