Having A Racing Heart Chest Pain And Dizziness
A racing heart, chest pain, and dizziness are warning signs of a heart attack. If you or someone else are experiencing these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency services right away.
A heart attack is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical treatment. Go to the nearest emergency room if you experience these symptoms.
Your doctor will begin by asking about your symptoms and performing a physical examination. Theyll listen to your heart and check for signs of conditions that can cause a racing heart, such as an enlarged thyroid.
Your doctor may also order one or more of the following tests:
Diagnosis For Heart Palpitations When Lying Down At Night
The following procedures are used to test the number of beats of an individuals heart beats. This depends on the seriousness of the condition and the duration of the test needed to get the number of heartbeats required to happen.
The tests that the doctor may require to do will depend on the overall condition of ones heart. The tests are taken while incorporating the signs you narrate to the doctor, this allows them to come up with the correct diagnosis or any other hidden factor that may lead to them happening. The diagnosis procedures include
Is It Possible To Stop Heart Palpitations
In most cases, palpitations disappear on their own, and its best just to wait until this happens. Forcefully trying to stop palpitations may only increase your tension, and thus the beatings get worse.
Remember, its often the stress response, your bodys tendency to go into a state of fight-or-flight to deal with potential threats that often exacerbate certain conditions.
So when you have palpitations, try to gain greater awareness of whats going on in your body. Locate where you feel the discomfort and then slowly breathe into these parts. This is simple awareness and breathing technique that often helps alleviate the symptoms.
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Should I Worry About My Heart Palpitations At Night
If you are experiencing heart palpitations at night, and you have already been evaluated by a doctor, there are some things you can do to help the situation.
First, cold water seems to work wonders. Though there is no scientific research as to why this method benefits, but it does.
Relaxation techniques, which include deep breathing exercises can help too. This method seems to be suitable for those who suffer from chronic stress or anxiety.
According to The Cleveland Clinic, coughing resets the heart rhythm. In fact, some studies show that coughing can help you during a heart attack.
According to Dr. Joseph Marine, when dealing with palpitations, especially at night, take a deep breath and see if they pass.
If it was a one-time ordeal, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, if they continue and come in pairs, then you need to see a doctor.
Why Do I Have Heart Palpitations At Night
The reason why you experience palpitations more often or only at night is not fully known, but one could be that there are fewer distractions at night and the noise level is much lower. If you are lying awake in bed, in the dark, with nothing else to think about, you will notice them more.
Some people also report that they are more prone to palpitations when they sleep on their side, especially the left side. In this position, your heart is directly against the chest wall, and the heartbeat sensation reverberates.
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How Are Palpitations Treated
As palpitations are often harmless, they usually don’t require treatment.
However, you’ll need treatment if tests reveal your palpitations are caused by an underlying heart condition. The type of treatment you’ll receive depends on your condition.
For example, if you’re diagnosed with an arrhythmia, your doctor might prescribe beta blockers to regulate your heart rate and rhythm.
If you don’t require treatment, the easiest way to manage your symptoms at home is to avoid the triggers that bring on your palpitations or ectopic beats. This might include:
- not drinking caffeinated drinks
Dont Wait For Another Sign: Talk To Your Doctor About Your Heart Disease Symptoms
If youre noticing one or more of these seven symptoms, then the best place to start is by making an appointment with a primary care doctor to have your heart checked out and tested.
Your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat hundreds of conditions. They can help you build your heart wellness by working with you to create a tailored treatment plan. And if specialist help is needed, your doctor can connect you with an expert in cardiology for more testing and treatment.
Theres no doubt that symptoms of heart disease can be concerning, especially if youre not sure whats behind them or what the next steps are. But answers, care and treatment are available to help keep your heart as healthy as it can be so you can live your best life.
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What Heart Palpitations Feel Like
Everyone feels palpitations differently, according to Robinson. For some people, their heart may feel like its beating faster or stronger for others, it may feel like its flip-flopping or skipping a beat.
Some people describe it as a salmon flipping around in their chest, Robinson says.
Its more common to feel palpitations at night when the body is at rest, especially if someone is lying down on their left side, which brings the heart closer to the chest wall.
A change in rhythm can resonate more and use the chest and the chest wall as a drum, Robinson explains.
Feeling palpitations during exercise is also common. Less common is feeling them during mild activity, like walking or cleaning around the house.
How Can I Manage The Anxiety Caused By Palpitations
If your palpitations are bothering you, its a good idea to see a doctor and determine if its caused by an underlying disease. You may even get a Holter monitor, a type of portable electrocardiogram which monitors your heart for at least 24 hours. Chances are that it will turn out fine, and your doctor tells you theres nothing to worry about. That might help you feel less anxious at night.
If you then still feel anxious and cant sleep, its necessary to seek a mental solution to your sleep problem, which might reduce the palpitations. Ive written a blog post on how to better deal with racing thoughts at night.
You may also try meditation for stress reduction or even the use of a weighted blanket. For some people, these simple changes helped them better manage their anxiety and put them to sleep.
However, please resist the urge to take sleeping pills right away they are rarely a suitable long-term remedy, either for your anxiety or for your sleep.
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Are Premature Ventricular Contractions Life Threatening
If someone has normal heart function and no evidence of structural heart disease, the PVCs are a nuisance, but benign. If the PVCs are so symptomatic as to be disruptive, try eliminating all of the factors such as caffeine, certain foods, stress, before considering any treatment with medications. When we do treat with medications, we usually try to use simple medications such as beta-blockers first before going on to specific anti-arrhythmic agents. Very frequently, this is enough to improve patients’ symptoms.
Unexplained Swelling Especially Around Your Legs Ankles Or Feet
Swelling is your bodys natural response to inflammation or fluid buildup. From itchy bumps left by mosquito bites to pain and tightness in an injured area, swelling can be caused by a range of different conditions.
But if youre noticing that areas around your body are getting larger especially your legs, ankles or feet and you cant tie it to a known condition, medication or injury, dont ignore it.
The swelling youre experiencing may be simply annoying, like being unable to get your shoes on. However, it can also be painful. The swelling may make your skin more sensitive, and you may notice it becomes worse at the end of the day or when youre standing for a long time.
The good news is that there are treatments, such as compression socks, that can help reduce or manage swelling. But youll want to discover and treat the root cause, too.
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How Are Exercise And Pvcs Related
The relationship between extra beats and exercise is a complicated one. Many patients experience PVCs or palpitations before and after exercise, but not during exercise.
When most patients start to exercise, their own heart rate rises and the PVCs or other extra beats disappear at higher heart rates. After exercise, the body’s natural adrenalin level remains high for a period of time while the heart rate begins to go down during rest. This period of time often permits the extra beats to come back, and sometimes their rate and frequency are higher than before exercise.
If the other symptoms are mild or not present, usually there is not any reason for serious concern. If other symptoms accompany the palpitations such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or severe lightheadedness or loss of consciousness, those symptoms with palpitations in any setting are a cause for concern and require further evaluation.
Heart Palpitations After Eating And When Lying Down
Heart palpitations are a sensation that your heart is beating too quickly or feels like it is fluttering. This can be felt in your chest, throat, or neck. Although anyone can feel heart palpitations after a meal, it is more commonly experienced in obese or anorexic individuals.
A common cause of heart palpitations after eating is the fact that the meal was simply too large. You may also experience heart palpitations after a meal if the meal contained high amounts of carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. Foods high in monosodium glutamate , nitrates, or sodium can also cause heart palpitations. In order to narrow down which foods lead to your heart palpitations, it may be helpful to document your eating in a diary for a week or so.
Lying down, too, can cause your heart to flutter. Causes for heart palpitations when lying down include:
- Stress, anxiety, panic attack
- Heart disease
Heart palpitations may worsen if a person specifically lies down on their left side. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Lying down changes the demands of the body, and lying on the left side puts the heart in closer proximity with the chest and ribs.
- Lying on the left side compresses the stomach and the left lobe of the lung and heart.
- Lying down after a meal can lead to heart palpitations because circulation increases, so there is a higher demand from the heart.
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What Are The Health Risks Of Experiencing Heart Palpitations
The irregularity of the heart rhythm per se usually does no damage to the heart itself. Patients with a very rapid heart over a long period of time do run a risk of developing enlargement and failure of the heart.
We see heart enlargment with a very common cause of palpitations called atrial fibrillation. Patients can be in atrial fibrillation for many years without harm, but some patients with very little symptoms may have too rapid and irregular a rhythm present with symptoms of heart failure. There may also be some increased risk of stroke because of blood clots that can form in association with atrial fibrillation.
What Causes Heart Palpitations At Night
Anxiety is a very common reason for people to develop heart palpitations at night. People who are stressed out, anxious, or have an underlying anxiety disorder may notice changes in their heart rhythm in bed, and this includes people who are excited, as well as people who are nervous or afraid. There can be other causes, including certain habits or underlying medical conditions. People who notice palpitations at any time should get evaluated by a physician to see if they are dangerous.
If anxiety isn’t the cause of night palpitations, a potential culprit is habits. Caffeine and stimulant medications can cause irregular heartbeat and if people consume these things too soon before bed, their hearts may beat irregularly. People may also develop palpitations after eating, and if they eat shortly before going to bed or get up at night to eat, the heart rate can change. In addition, heavy exercise can change heart rhythms and many people exercise at the end of the day, causing them to experience palpitations at night.
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Fever Or Illness In The Body
Fevers are caused by a bacterial or viral infection within the body. Did you know that these illnesses can have a dramatic effect on the heart?
When the body is under attack, the heart will lag or feel the pressure from the disease.
Some viruses can do permanent damage to the muscle structures causing a condition known as myocarditis, which is inflammation and disease.
Possible Causes Of Palpitations At Night
Although there are no known medical conditions that cause irregular heartbeat solely at night, various factors are recognized to contribute to nocturnal palpitations. They include:
Eating large or unhealthy meals before going to sleep is a common cause for palpitations at night. It can also cause nightmares, which can increase the heart rate. Caffeine, cigarettes, or strenuous exercise right before going to bed can overstimulate the body and result in irregular heartbeat.
Sleeping position, particularly sleeping on the left side, where the heart is located, or on the back can compress the vague nerve, which plays a role in controlling the heart rate. This compression triggers sudden palpitations.
Stress and anxiety contribute to nocturnal palpitations. At night, when our defenses fall down, we become more vulnerable to worrying and over-analyzing.
Hormonal changes, associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, are known to cause an irregular heartbeat, both in the day and at night.
Diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, anemia, dehydration, fever, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar, as well as many cardiac illnesses trigger daily and nocturnal palpitations.
Medications, especially those for cold, hyperthyroidism, diet, and asthma, often list irregular heartbeat in their side effects, especially if they are taken at bedtime.
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How To Get The Right Diagnosis For Palpitations
If you want to get a medical check for your palpitations, its good to be prepared before visiting your doctor. Keep a journal and write down your experiences because your doctor will most likely ask the following questions:
- When do the palpitations occur?
- What are the sensations that cause it?
- How long do the palpitations usually last?
- How often do they occur?
- What are suspected triggers of the palpitations, such as medications, caffeine, or a heavy meal?
The doctor may also ask a few questions about your lifestyle if you exercise regularly and what kind of sports you do, about your diet, and if there are any known underlying medical conditions.
However, the problem with palpitation is that they usually only occur randomly . Therefore, for the right diagnosis, the doctor may also order some more thorough testing, including Holter monitoring, a portable device to monitor your heart for 24 or more hours to see if there is any irregularity in your hearts rhythm.
The doctor may also do blood tests to detect underlying conditions such as anemia, thyroid dysfunction, or low potassium levels.
What Is The Mechanism
The mechanism of heart palpitations at night depends on the reason it is caused.
Lying on the left side or back when sleeping, can put pressure on the vagus nerve .
This external pressure on the vagus nerve can trigger errant electrical impulse which travels to the nerve length and can cause temporary awareness of the heart beating, so palpitations.
Eating large meals before bed or consuming caffeine, nicotine or other products containing stimulants, causes palpitations due to the direct stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system .
Some medications like high- blood pressure drugs, anti-asthmatic, or cold drugs contain pseudoephedrine, which is a stimulant of sympathetic nervous system and can cause heart palpitations at night, especially when taken before bed.
In most of the cases, there is no particular reason causing night palpitation, they are caused by the same reasons that those occurring during the day, but are perceived more due to the lack of noises and distractions during the night.
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About Irregular Heartbeat At Night
It is very unlikely that palpitations, defined as a heart rate outside the 60-100 beats per minute range, occur only at night without any episodes during the day. Usually their frequency is similar during daytime and nighttime hours.
However, most women do not realize that, because they are typically more active in the day. At night, when the noises and distractions are quieter, it is much easier to be suddenly aware of any deviations from the regular heartbeat.
How Could A Pacemaker Improve Heart Palpitations
In recent years, patients with the most severe types of heart rhythm disorders have benefited from sophisticated pacemakers and devices capable of correcting the heart rhythm with an electrical shock delivered automatically after the heart rhythm disorder occurs. Obviously, these are highly specialized devices, and they are normally prescribed and tested by heart specialists.
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