Have you ever experienced your heart fluttering or pounding more than usual? Perhaps it seems like your heart is skipping beats or beating irregularly, or you feel your pulse in your chest and neck. All these may be signs of heart palpitations. The condition may last for only a couple of seconds and can occur anytime, such as when you’re standing still, sitting or lying down, or just moving around. If you know you have experienced this condition, the natural remedies for heart palpitations available in this post may be the solution you need.
You will learn the following from this post:
What are Heart Palpitations?
Heart palpitations are those feelings of a racing or pounding heart. Sometimes they can be feelings of missed heartbeats that you can feel in your chest, throat, or neck. Palpitations can surface at any time of the day, whether you are doing regular activities or resting. Although the feelings may be scary, palpitations are not usually severe or harmful, but they can be associated with abnormal heart rhythm.
- Meaning of heart palpitations
- Causes of heart palpitations
- Diagnosing heart palpitations
- Risk factors for heart palpitations
- Complications associated with heart palpitations
- Symptoms of heart palpitations
- Natural remedies for heart palpitations
- Tips for a healthy heart
Causes of Heart Palpitations
It is often hard to find what causes heart palpitations because various factors can result in the condition. The common causes of heart palpitations, however, include the following:
- Too little or too much thyroid hormone
- Strong emotional responses, such as panic attacks, anxiety, or stress
- Hormone changes related to menopause, pregnancy, or menstruation
- Stimulants, such as amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, and cold and cough drugs that contain pseudoephedrine
- Medical conditions, including an overactive thyroid; low levels of oxygen, potassium, sugar or low carbon dioxide in your body; anemia; fever; blood loss; dehydration and shock
- Medications such as beta-blockers (taken for heart disease or high blood pressure, decongestants and asthma inhalers, some cold/cough medicines, antiarrhythmic and thyroid medications, and some nutritional and herbal supplements
- Alcoholic beverages
- Some diet or weight loss pills
- Sometimes the cause is unknown
More on causes of heart palpitations
On some occasions, heart palpitations can indicate serious health problems, like abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) or an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
Changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmias) might trigger a prolonged heart rate (bradycardia), a fast heart rate (tachycardia), a regular heart rate that is different from the usual heart rhythm, or it could be a severe blend of the three.
Some people develop palpitations after eating heavy meals that are rich in fat, sugar, or carbohydrates. Sometimes, consuming high amounts of monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium, or nitrates can trigger palpitations.
If you have palpitations after eating some specific foods, your palpitations could result from food sensitivity. You can keep a diary to help you determine the kinds of food to avoid eating.
Diagnosing Heart Palpitations
In determining whether you have heart palpitations or not, your doctor will:
- give you a physical examination
- record your medical history
- be interested in knowing about your lifestyle, diet, and current medications
- ask for specific details about when, how often, and under what circumstances your heart palpitations happen.
In some cases, a blood test can help your doctor determine the cause of the palpitations.
Other essential tests for detecting heart palpitation problems include:
Electrocardiogram (ECG): You can do this while resting or exercising. The test records the electrical signals of your heart.
Holter monitoring: A monitor on your chest will continuously record the electrical signals in your heart for a day or two.
Event recording: This will require that you wear a device on your chest, and a handheld gadget will record your heart’s electrical signal.
Chest x-ray: For this test, your doctor will check for changes in your lungs that could result from heart problems.
Echocardiogram: This particular test is an ultrasound of your heart, which will provide detailed information about the heart’s structure and its functions.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist for more treatment or tests.
Risk Factors of Heart Palpitations
You might be susceptible to developing heart palpitations if you:
- have other heart problems like arrhythmia, previous heart attack, a heart defect, or previous heart surgery
- are highly stressed
- have an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- have a regular panic attack or anxiety disorder
- take medicines containing stimulants, such as some asthma or cold medications
- are pregnant
Complications Associated with Heart Palpitations
Unless your heart palpitations result from an underlying heart condition, the risk of complications is pretty minimal. However, if your heart palpitations are a result of a heart condition, the following are possible complications that might occur:
Your blood pressure may have a significant drop if your heart beats rapidly, and this may result in fainting. This can even be more likely if you suffer from a heart problem, such as specific valve problems or congenital heart disease.
Although it is scarce, heart palpitations can result from life-threatening arrhythmias and can prevent your heart from beating effectively.
If the palpitations result from the condition where the upper chambers of the heart quiver rather than beating properly (atrial fibrillation), your blood can pool and result in the formation of clots. And if the clot breaks loose, that may block a brain artery, resulting in a stroke.
This can happen if your heart has been pumping ineffectively for an extended period because of an arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation. In some cases, controlling arrhythmia’s rates causing heart failure may significantly improve your heart’s condition.
Symptoms of Heart Palpitations
The significant symptoms of heart palpitations are likely related to an abnormal heart rhythm if you have:
- an abnormal heart valve
- heart disease
- important risk factors for heart disease
You may have heart palpitations when your heart is:
- beating too fast
- fluttering rapidly
- skipping beats
Palpitations can indicate a more serious heart condition. Seek immediate medical attention if your palpitations come with:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
9 Natural Remedies for Heart Palpitations
The following are natural ways to reduce your heart palpitations and help your heart’s beating rate go back to normal. You can carry out these natural remedies for heart palpitations at home.
1. Perform Relaxation Techniques
Stress can have a great ill-effect on a person’s general health. It can trigger heart palpitations or worsen it. The following relaxation techniques may help you relieve stress and ultimately reduce your heart palpitations:
- Taking brief breaks from school or work
- Spending time outdoor
2. Eliminate or Reduce the Intake of Stimulant
Symptoms of heart palpitations can occur after taking stimulants. The following are items that contain stimulants:
- Some medications for high blood pressure
- Tobacco products
- Some drugs for mental health
- Illegal drugs
- Some cough and cold medicines
- Appetite suppressants
- Caffeinated beverages like soda, tea, and coffee
Palpitations vary from person to person. Therefore, it is not everyone who takes stimulants that will develop palpitations.
3. Stimulate the Vagus Nerve
One of the primary functions of the vagus nerve is to connect the brain to the heart. Stimulate this nerve can go a long way in calming palpitations. You can stimulate your vagus nerve by:
- taking a cold shower
- chanting the word “Om”
- splashing the face with cold water
- placing a cold, damp towel on your face for some seconds, or putting ice on it instead
- holding your breath and trying to push down, as if you are making a bowel movement
You should wisely consult your doctor before trying any of these methods. The doctor will advise you on the best technique, probably based on your medical history.
4. Balance Electrolytes
Electrolytes are molecules present in the entire body. These molecules help transfer electrical signals, which play an essential role in regulating the heart rate.
You can boost the level of electrolytes in your body by eating foods rich in:
A balanced diet usually provides a source of sodium sufficient for the body.
The following are foods that have a high content of potassium:
Dark leafy greens and dairy products are rich in calcium. You can also find magnesium in these vegetables, including in fish and nuts.
You may be tempted to gain these nutrients by taking supplements. Seek your doctor’s advice before you consider taking any supplements, especially if you are also taking prescription medications.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
The heart must pump much harder to circulate blood when the body is dehydrated, resulting in heart palpitations. Always drink enough water every day. Even if you do not feel dehydrated, drink plenty of water to keep your body well-hydrated. The recommended amount of water intake will vary, depending on the sex, age, and whether a person is carrying a baby.
It would help if you drank a full glass or cup of water when:
- your skin is pruny or dry
- your urine is dark
- you feel dizzy
- there is an increase in your heart rate
- you have a headache
- you have a dry mouth
- you’re feeling thirsty
6. Avoid Taking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol does not raise the heart rate because it’s a depressant. While moderate drinking is relatively fine, some research explains that even a drink per day can increase your risk of developing such a condition as atrial fibrillation. A palpitating heart may be one symptom of heart palpitations; others may arise from alcohol intake.
7. Exercise Regularly
Regularly exercising your body can help restore the heart’s natural rhythm and improve overall cardiovascular health. It is also effective for reducing or preventing palpitations.
Some healthy exercises include:
However, exercise is not meant for everyone because it can trigger palpitations in some people. Therefore, you need to identify that exercise that may worsen your palpitations and avoid doing it. Ask your doctor about the safe exercise routine you can start.
8. Do Vagal Maneuvers
As mentioned in this post about natural remedies for heart palpitations, the vagus nerves carry out many functions, mainly connecting your brain to your heart. For example, vagal maneuvers stimulate this nerve to regulate a fast heartbeat. Although you can stimulate the vagus nerve in your house, you should get your doctor’s approval before beginning the process.
Here are ways you can stimulate the vagus nerve:
- Take a cold shower or splash cold water on your face. The shock the cold brings will help stimulate the nerve
- Hold your breath and bear down
- Cough, gag, or chant the word “Om”
For best results, carry out these maneuvers while you lay on your back. Please consult your doctor to show you how to perform them correctly.
9. Additional Treatments
Most heart palpitations require no treatment. Instead, you should observe when you are experiencing palpitations and avoid foods, activities, and whatever else may trigger them.
Writing down when you experience the palpitation may help identify the trigger. Keeping a log may also be essential when you experience more palpitations over time. In addition, you can take this log to your doctor during future appointments.
If your doctor can identify what is causing the palpitations, they may recommend treatment. For instance, if your diagnostic test shows that you have heart disease, your doctor will begin treatment for that particular condition. Treatment options for such conditions as heart disease may include surgery, medication, or implantation of a device.
Tips for a Healthy Heart
Besides natural remedies for heart palpitations that will help relieve your symptoms, it is essential to ensure that you have a healthy heart. There are seven things you can do to keep yourself from developing heart disease.
- Exercise moderately for about two and half hours every week
- Keep your bad cholesterol count low
- Consume a diet with lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains
- Check your blood pressure regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight range
- Know your blood sugar level
- Quit smoking
Most cases of heart palpitations are not severe, except you are suffering from underlying heart disease, which may prevent the effectiveness of natural remedies for heart palpitations. Therefore, your heart palpitations may require special treatment beyond the natural remedies given in this post.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.