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What causes my heart palpitations?

ANSWER

If your heart’s ever skipped a beat, you’ve had what are called heart palpitations. It’s a type of irregular heartbeat, also called arrhythmia. Heart palpitations can happen for no reason. Other times, they’re brought on by certain triggers, including some of the following:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Smoking and nicotine
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low potassium
  • Fever
  • Certain recreational drugs or medications
  • Dietary supplements like ginseng and ephedra
  • Exercise
  • Too much caffeine

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Skipping a beat -- the surprise of heart palpitations.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia,” “Bradycardia.”

Heart Rhythm Society: “Slow Heartbeat.”

American College of Cardiology: “Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate).”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 01, 2018

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Skipping a beat -- the surprise of heart palpitations.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia,” “Bradycardia.”

Heart Rhythm Society: “Slow Heartbeat.”

American College of Cardiology: “Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate).”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 01, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What can I do to get my heartbeat back to normal if I have heart palpitations?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

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