Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists
Cardiology & Vascular Specialists located in Las Vegas, NV
You may be at work, resting at home, or engaged in your favorite activity when you suddenly feel your heart pounding or fluttering. You just experienced a heart palpitation. When your palpitations are frequent, or you have a history of heart disease, it’s time to consult with the cardiac experts at Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists. They perform tests on site to quickly determine whether you have an underlying heart problem. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Las Vegas or use the online booking feature.
Palpitations Q & A
What are heart palpitations?
When you have a heart palpitation, you can feel unusual activity in your heart. Palpitations may feel like your heart is:
- Racing or beating too fast
- Skipping beats
You may experience palpitations whether you’re resting or active.
What causes heart palpitations?
Palpitations are alarming, but they’re often harmless. Many people who don’t have heart disease occasionally have palpitations. However, they can also be the symptom of a serious heart condition.
Some of the most common causes of palpitations that aren’t related to your heart include:
- Strenuous exercise
- Overactive thyroid
- Strong emotions, such as stress or anxiety
- Psychological disorders, such as depression or panic disorder
- Hormone changes that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
- Stimulants, such as caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and pseudoephedrine (in cold and cough medications)
When your palpitations are due to your heart, it’s a sign that you have an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia.
What causes heart arrhythmias?
When you develop an arrhythmia, your heartbeat is too fast, too slow, or irregular. Arrhythmias occur when there’s a problem with the heart’s electrical system.
Your heart has a natural pacemaker, the SA node, that initiates regular electrical signals. These signals travel through specific pathways in your heart, where they make the heart muscles contract to pump blood through the heart’s four chambers.
An arrhythmia can occur when there’s a problem anywhere in the electrical system. For example, the SA node may not work properly, the electrical signal may be blocked, or the electric signals may not follow their normal pathways.
Coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems increase your risk of developing an arrhythmia. When you have an abnormal heartbeat, you may experience palpitations, as well as symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, fainting, and heart failure.
How are palpitations diagnosed and treated?
To diagnose your palpitations, the team at Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists performs an EKG. As the EKG records electrical activity, your doctor can determine where the problem occurs in your heart.
If your arrhythmia doesn’t occur during an EKG, you may wear a Holter monitor, which records a continuous EKG for about 72 hours, or an event recorder that you may wear for several weeks or up to several years.
When your doctor identifies an underlying heart condition, your treatment focuses on the specific problem. Otherwise, your treatment includes a plan to avoid stress, stimulants, or other issues that may trigger your palpitations.
To receive expert treatment for palpitations, call Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists or book an appointment online.