Have you felt a peculiar thump or a fluttering heartbeat? This happens when our heartbeat is irregular and we call these palpitations.

Unlike in the movies or on TV, our heartbeat is not as regular as we think. Sometimes, our body will skip or sneak in a beat. Often, these heart palpitations are not cause for alarm. Common triggers include stress, excitement (think of watching a particularly scary horror movie), working out, and even menopause.

Warning signs that palpitations may be a warning of a greater problem include irregular heartbeats across more than a few days, continuous heartbeats over five minutes, shortness of breath, chest pain, and passing out. If you experience any of these symptoms, tell a member of the staff at Warren Center.

Serious underlying causes for heart palpitations include heart abnormalities, heart disease, electrolyte imbalances, clogged arteries, and overactive thyroids. To identify the cause of your heart palpitations, your doctor will perform an electrocardiogram, or EKG. This easy test records your heart’s electrical activity using electrodes attached to your chest.

If there is no serious underlying cause for your palpitations, the chances are that your healthcare professional will help you to modify your lifestyle and suggest cutting back on excess caffeine, limiting the use of decongestants, and recommending regular aerobic exercise. For a more serious cause, your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker medicine. These help reduce palpitations by slowing your heart rate down.

Warren Center is part of the Centers Healthcare network; New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island’s premier group of skilled nursing, rehabilitation and senior care services. To speak to a healthcare specialist and find out more about Warren Center, contact us by phone 24/7 at 518.761.6450, or visit us at 42 Gurney Lane, Queensbury NY 12804.

Heart. Health. Home.