The heart is a muscle that adapts its rhythm to the body's need for oxygen and nutrition. Therefore, it is normal to experience palpitations in certain situations such as physical exertion, stress, worry or fear. Infections, fever and pain can also cause an increased heart rate. These transient reactions are usually completely normal and harmless to the heart. However, a strong and persistent heart rhythm can be serious and in some cases life-threatening. Palpitations, or palpitations in medical terms, are common in both adults and children. Research shows that the heart normally beats an extra beat every day. In severe cases, palpitations can increase the heart rate to approach 200 beats per minute in adults.
If you experience palpitations along with chest pain, dizziness or fainting, you should seek emergency care. Call 112 for advice.
Symptoms of palpitations include the heart beating
- Extra fast
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Sometimes it can feel like a double whammy followed by a short pause
Rapid palpitations can be temporary and go away on their own, or it can be a symptom of an underlying health problem. Palpitations can also be caused by severe anxiety or panic attacks. In women, hormonal changes can cause palpitations, for example during pregnancy or menopause.
If you experience heart palpitations and it worries you or is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness or loss of consciousness, you should seek medical help for proper diagnosis and possible treatment. A doctor can perform a thorough examination and assess your symptoms to determine the cause of the palpitations and provide appropriate care.