Palpitations are unpleasant feelings that might make you worry you’re having a heart attack. Fortunately, most causes of palpitations aren’t life-threatening, but to make sure, you should go to Sahni Heart Center in Clark, Red Bank, Fords, or City of Orange, New Jersey. Board-certified cardiology and interventional cardiology specialists Rakesh Sahni, MD, and Sheila Sahni, MD, use the latest cutting-edge diagnostics to find the cause of palpitations, so make an appointment over the phone today. Alternatively, you can also use the online booking form for Sahni Heart Center’s Clark, New Jersey, office.

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What are palpitations?

Palpitations are odd sensations in your heart; for example, it feels like it’s beating too quickly or skipping a beat. You might describe the feeling as a fluttering, pounding, or flip-flopping.

Palpitations can affect the blood vessels in your neck as well as your heart. They’re quite common and are often due to:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Fever
  • Hormonal imbalance

Some medications can cause palpitations, and stimulants can bring on palpitations as well, including:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient in medicines used for colds.

Are palpitations dangerous?

Most of the time, heart palpitations aren’t dangerous. Sometimes, however, they can be a sign of an underlying condition that needs treating, like hyperthyroidism.

There are times when palpitations are a symptom of heart problems. The most common type of heart problem that can cause palpitations is an arrhythmia, which means you have an abnormal heartbeat.

If your heart beats very fast, it could be tachycardia; if your heart beats slowly, it could be bradycardia.

If you have palpitations with other symptoms like chest pain, feeling faint or dizzy, or severe shortness of breath, you need to seek urgent medical attention.

How is the cause of palpitations diagnosed?

The first stage in making a diagnosis is for Dr. Sahni to go through your medical history and find out about your symptoms. As well as listening to your heart using a stethoscope, Dr. Sahni might want to run some diagnostic tests.

One test you might have is an echocardiogram. This is a type of ultrasound scan used to look at your heart in more detail. Another common test is an ECG or EKG (electrocardiogram), which is a machine that records the electrical impulses in your heart that make it beat. The ECG reading produces a graph that shows whether there’s anything abnormal going on.

Sometimes with conditions like palpitations, your symptoms come and go, so your heart might look completely normal on the ECG.

You can wear a Holter monitor if this happens, which records your heart’s activity over a longer period. You might also need to undergo stress testing to see if exercise brings on your symptoms.

Sahni Heart Center has a new and innovative kind of heart monitoring technology, the BardyDx® Carnation Ambulatory Monitor (CAM™).

The CAM is a lightweight ECG patch monitor that you wear on your chest. It’s comfortable, convenient, and designed for extended wear and is ideal for the diagnosis of palpitations.

If you’re concerned about palpitations, call Sahni Heart Center today, or you can choose to book online for the Clark, New Jersey, office.