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A Sneak Peak Into Heart Palpitations

The heart can be described as an pump that pumps the blood to the entire body.The rhythm and regularity of heart beat is controlled by an in built electrical

circuit in the heart. When an abnormality in the normal rhythm of the beating of the heart occurs due to a “short circuit” it can be termed as palpitation. Certain extra heart beats can be minor or an occasional irritant, while others can be acutely or chronically dangerous and need expert diagnosis and management.

cardiac checkup in Mumbai
heart check up in Mumbai

Our heart's electrical system needs a normal environment to work well. However the following elements may cause palpitations:

genetics-heart-check-up
  • Presence of abnormal levels of electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and calcium
  • Intake of stimulants like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, cold and herbal medications, illicit drugs like PCP and marijuana
  • Unmonitored medication prescriptions like asthma & thyroid replacement medications
  • Stress and increased adrenalin levels
  • Structural or structural wiring abnormalities
  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • Changes in the hormone levels in a woman’s body

Prolonged periods of palpitations are accompanied by episodes of chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating,nausea,vomiting,lightheadedness or even passing out (syncope).

Diagnosis

Unless the palpitations are occuring during the medical examination, to diagnose the condition, only by a physical examination will not be possible and special heart tests need to be done If the palpitations are present at the time of the visit to the health care practitioner, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a holter monitor that records heart rate and rhythm may help establishthe diagnosis. An echocardiogram can also be used to determine the structural abnormalities of the heart as well.
Blood tests may be ordered to check hemoglobin and red blood cell counts for anemia, to determine whether there are any electrolyte abnormalities, to check kidney function (since abnormal kidney function may affect electrolyte levels), and to check thyroid function. The levels of certain medications may also be tested in the blood.

Management

Certain lifestyle management can be helpful in managing palpitations such as

  • Stress reducing relaxation excersises and therapy
  • Proper diet avoiding alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and illegal drugs.
  • Avoiding medications that act as stimulants.

If palpitations are found related to a condition such as anemia, then the focus will be in treating that condition in particular. If the palpitations represent an arrhythmia, medications or procedures may berequired and you may also be referred to a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm disorders.

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