Palpitations are one of the most common problems of outpatients who present to internists and cardiologists
They are defined as an unpleasant awareness of the forceful, rapid, or irregular beating of the heart. Patients may at times describe the sensation as a rapid fluttering in the chest, flip-flopping in the chest, or a pounding sensation in the chest or neck, and these descriptions may help elucidate the cause of the palpitations
Palpitations are characterized as a general or heightened awareness of your own heartbeat – whether it’s too fast, too slow, or otherwise irregular. You might feel like your heart is thumping, racing, or fluttering. And you could feel this sensation in your chest or your neck.
Palpitations are symptoms of everything from short or long-term stress to a variety of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). They may feel alarming, but do not always reflect a serious heart condition
Palpitations can occur for a variety of reasons unrelated to heart disease. These include:
Palpitations can also result from a range of heart arrhythmias. These are classified by location, and type of heartbeat. A few common types:
Separating serious palpitations from harmless ones.Learn about when you should be evaluated for heart palpitations.
It’s important to differentiate palpitations caused by stress or minor arrhythmias from those that may point to an underlying heart disease. Inconveniently, palpitations don’t always occur during the time you’re with your doctor.