Palpitations are the feeling that your heart is racing or pounding in your chest. Though it’s not always a serious symptom, Pragnesh Patel, MD, and the team at Genesis Heart & Vascular Associates in Morristown, Jefferson City, and Newport, Tennessee, recommend scheduling a consultation if you have palpitations to rule out a heart problem. The interventional cardiology practice uses state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to determine the cause of your palpitations. Call or book an appointment online today.
When you feel your heart pounding or racing in your chest, throat, or neck, you’re having palpitations. It may also feel like your heart stops beating or skips beats.
Heart palpitations are an uncomfortable sensation, but not always a sign of a serious health problem. However, they’re also a symptom of an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and not something to ignore altogether.
The rhythm of your heartbeat determines the flow of blood through your heart. An arrhythmia may affect this flow, putting you at risk of developing blood clots that lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Palpitations may occur from many causes. Some of the less serious causes of palpitations include:
You can also develop heart palpitations if you take stimulating drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine.
Palpitations may also indicate a heart problem. In addition to arrhythmias, heart palpitations may occur if you have heart valve disease, congestive heart failure, or coronary artery disease (CAD).
You need to see the experts at Genesis Heart & Vascular Associates for palpitations if your symptoms are new, you feel like your heart is beating out of rhythm, or you have other symptoms of concern like chest pain or shortness of breath.
The team reviews your symptoms and asks when they occur. They also ask about your medical and family histories and do a physical exam.
After your evaluation, the team at Genesis Heart & Vascular Associates may recommend echocardiography (echo), an ultrasound test that generates moving images of your heart.
They also do a Doppler ultrasound during your echo so they can see how blood moves through your heart.
In some cases, the team may perform a diagnostic procedure that involves advancing a catheter through a blood vessel to your heart, injecting a dye, and taking fluoroscopic X-rays, which creates moving images of your heart.
These tests help the team confirm or rule out a heart condition.
Treatment for palpitations depends on the cause. The team at Genesis Heart & Vascular Associates customizes your plan, which may include lifestyle changes, heart medication, or referrals to specialists.
Don’t ignore your palpitations. Call Genesis Heart & Vascular Associates or schedule a consultation online today.