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Rapid Heart Rate (Pulse) And Shortness Of Breath
Symptoms and signs of Rapid Heart Rate (Pulse) And Shortness Of Breath and their most common related conditions.
rapid heart rate, shortness of breath article
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Your symptoms match a wide variety of different medical conditions, including anxiety and a panic attack. Call your doctor if you don't get better. In some instances, these symptoms can point to something more serious like a very fast and abnormal heart rhythm. If these symptoms concern you, it's best to give your doctor a call right away.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Atrial flutter is a problem with the atria of the heart. In atrial flutter the atria of the heart rapidly and repeatedly beat due to an anomaly in the electrical system of the heart. It is a type of arrhythmia and can be dangerous because complications can develop easily. Signs and symptoms of atrial flutter include near fainting, palpitations, mild shortness of breath, and fatigue. While the exact cause of atrial flutter is not clearly understood, it's most likely related to your health, what medical conditions you certainly have, poor diet, lack of exercise, and drinking too much alcohol. Atrial flutter is diagnosed by physical examination, medical history, and a sawtooth ECG wave pattern.
Arrhythmia (Irregular Heartbeat)
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. With an arrhythmia, the heartbeats may be irregular or too slow (bradycardia), to rapid (tachycardia), or too early. When a single heartbeat occurs earlier than normal, it is called a premature contraction.
At MedicineNet, we believe it is important to take charge of your health through measures such as a living healthy lifestyle, practicing preventative medicine, following a nutrition plan, and getting regular exercise. Understanding your symptoms and signs and educating yourself about health conditions are also a part of living your healthiest life. The links above will provide you with more detailed information on these medical conditions to help you inform yourself about the causes and available treatments for these conditions.
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Heart palpitations and ectopic beats
Read out about the main causes of heart palpitations and ectopic beats and find out when to get medical advice.
Heart palpitations and ectopic beatsHeart palpitations are heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.
Your heart may feel like it's pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for just a few seconds or minutes. You may also feel these sensations in your throat or neck.
Palpitations may seem alarming, but in most cases they're harmless and are not a sign of a serious problem.
Sometimes you may feel an extra or missed beat. These are known as ectopic beats and are also usually nothing to worry about.
Causes of heart palpitations
Causes of heart palpitations include:
emotions and psychological triggers
medicines hormone changes
heart rhythm problems
other medical conditions
Common triggers of heart palpitations include:
not getting enough sleep
drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks
illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy and cannabis
rich or spicy foods
In these cases, the palpitations should go away on their own. Avoiding these triggers may help stop them from coming back.
Emotional or psychological triggers
Heart palpitations are also often caused by emotions or psychological issues, such as:
excitement or nervousness
stress or anxiety
panic attacks – an overwhelming sense of anxiety or fear, accompanied by feeling sick, sweating, trembling and palpitations
Doing breathing exercises and learning how to deal with a panic attack may help if you're feeling stressed, anxious or panicked.
Palpitations can occasionally be triggered by some medicines, including:
asthma inhalers, such as salbutamol and ipratropium bromide
high blood pressure (hypertension) medicines, such as hydralazine and minoxidil
antihistamines, such as terfenadine
antibiotics, such as clarithromycin and erythromycin
antidepressants, such as citalopram and escitalopram
antifungal medicines, such as itraconazole
Speak to a GP if you think a medicine may be causing your heart palpitations. But do not stop taking a prescribed treatment without first getting medical advice.
Heart palpitations in women can sometimes be the result of hormonal changes that happen during:
periods pregnancy the menopause
In these cases, the palpitations are usually temporary and not a cause for concern.
Heart rhythm problems
Palpitations are sometimes caused by a problem with the heart rhythm (arrhythmia), such as:
atrial fibrillation – this is the most common type, where the heart beats irregularly and faster than normal
atrial flutter – a fast and irregular heartbeat
supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) – abnormally fast heart rate
ventricular tachycardia – a more serious condition where the regular heartbeat is typically fast. It can be associated with dizziness or blackouts
Some palpitations may be associated with other types of heart conditions, such as:
a problem with the heart valves, such as mitral valve prolapse
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – where the heart muscle and walls of the heart become enlarged and thickened
heart failure – where the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly
congenital heart disease – birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart
Some of these conditions can be serious and often require treatment.
Other medical conditions
Other conditions that can cause heart palpitations include:
an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) – where the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones
a low blood sugar level (hypoglycaemia) – this is most commonly associated with diabetes
types of anaemia, which affects the red blood cells
postural or orthostatic hypotension – dizziness and low blood pressure triggered by changing position (such as standing up)
a high temperature dehydration
When to see a GP
You do not usually need to see a GP if the palpitations pass quickly and only happen occasionally. They're unlikely to be caused by a serious problem and probably will not need treatment.
But it's a good idea to see a GP if:
the palpitations last a long time, do not improve or get worse
you have a history of heart problems
you're concerned about the palpitations
To help find the cause, a GP may:
ask about your symptoms and medical history
arrange a blood test
carry out an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check your heart rate (if the GP has the equipment available)
If you cannot have an ECG at the GP surgery or the GP wants to arrange heart monitoring over a longer time period, you may be referred for tests at a local hospital.
When to get emergency help
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E if you have heart palpitations and any of the following symptoms:
severe shortness of breath
chest pain or tightness
dizziness or light-headedness
fainting or blackouts
These symptoms could indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening heart problem that should be checked by a doctor straight away.
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Heart Palpitations at Night: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Heart palpitations at night usually aren’t harmful. Too much alcohol, caffeine or stress can cause them. Rarely, they can be a sign of heart disease.
Heart Palpitations at Night
Heart palpitations feel like your heart is pounding, fluttering, skipping a beat or doing a flip in your chest. Heart palpitations at night usually aren’t harmful. Many factors, including alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, stress or hormones can cause them. Less often, they result from a health condition such as heart disease or a thyroid disorder.
What are heart palpitations at night?
Heart palpitations feel like your heart is pounding, racing or beating quickly. It can also feel like your heart is skipping a beat or like you have an extra heartbeat. Palpitations make you aware of your heart rate. You may feel your heart beating in your chest, but it’s also common to feel it beating in your neck or throat.
Heart palpitations can happen anytime, including at night or when you’re resting during the day. They can be scary, but they aren’t usually dangerous. Many people have the same heart palpitations during the day but don’t notice because they’re busy.
Less commonly, heart palpitations at night can be signs of a serious health condition, such as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). If your heart often races when you lie down, you should see your provider for an examination. Get help right away if you have palpitations and trouble breathing or chest pain.
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How common are heart palpitations at night?
Heart palpitations are very common. They happen to many people throughout the day. But you’re more likely to notice heart palpitations when you aren’t distracted. You might sense them when you’re sitting still, resting or lying down.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
What are the symptoms of heart palpitations at night?
When you lay down you may feel:Fluttering. Some people describe this sensation as a flapping or fluttery feeling in the chest. Your heart may feel like it’s doing flips.Irregular heart rate. It might feel like your heart is beating out of rhythm, skipping a beat, or speeding up and slowing down. It can also seem like your heart stops for a second or two.Pounding. You might feel like your heart is beating very hard or forcefully. Some people who have heart pounding say they can hear it beating in their ears.
What causes heart palpitations at night?
Usually, heart palpitations are harmless and don’t result from an underlying health problem. They happen when the heart beats out of rhythm or contracts (beats) too soon. Providers call this a premature ventricular contraction (PVC) or premature atrial contraction (PAC). Nearly everyone has a PVC or PAC from time to time. But not everyone feels them.
Some people get heart palpitations when lying down because of the position in which they sleep. Sleeping hunched over on your side can increase pressure inside your body, causing palpitations. Many other common causes of heart palpitations include:Anxiety, stress and depression. Heart palpitations are common during a panic attack.Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Electrolytes are minerals in the body. They control your heart’s rhythm.Drugs, including diet pills and nasal decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine. Nicotine can also cause heart palpitations.Extra weight and obesity. People who carry extra weight have a higher risk of abnormal heart rhythms and heart disease.Fever.Hormonal changes during menopause and changes that happen to the body during pregnancy. Heart palpitations during pregnancy are very common and usually harmless.Some food and drinks, including alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, sodium (salt), sugar or fat can lead to heart palpitations.
Less commonly, heart palpitations result from a health condition or disorder, including:
Anemia (low red blood cell count).
Heart disease, including heart attack, heart failure or cardiomyopathy.
Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) including atrial fibrillation (Afib), tachycardia (fast heart rate) and bradycardia (slow heart rate).
Hypotension (low blood pressure) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart’s muscles that results from a viral infection.
Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism.
Structural problems in the heart, including valve disease.
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS
How do healthcare providers diagnose heart palpitations at night?
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and listen to your heart. They may recommend a blood test (complete blood count or CBC) to look for anemia or infection. A blood test can also show signs of a vitamin deficiency or a problem with your thyroid.
To monitor your heart rate, they may do an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). This test measures your heart rate using sensors that attach to your skin. They may ask you to lie down during the test, which usually takes about 15 minutes.