August 01, 2021

Heart palpitations

Seek out the source of your flutter

You feel it in your heart. A quick couple of beats. A butterfly feeling in your chest. A trembling or quivering sensation. Pounding or skipping beats.

These are palpitations. They're the most common reason people seek medical care for heart issues. In most cases, palpitations don't signal a larger problem. But sometimes they do, and for that reason you should seek care without delay. Medical professionals can help you sort out the cause and severity. Many times, seeking care can lead to an improvement in your quality of life.

Palpitations may be harmless, and no treatment may be necessary. But they may also indicate dangerous irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

See your doctor if palpitations become more frequent, noticeable or bothersome. Drugs or procedures to treat these irregular heart rhythms may be required. If palpitations stem from an underlying factor — such as anxiety or panic attacks, depression, stimulants such as caffeine or certain medications, or an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) — addressing that factor may take care of the associated palpitations.

An Array of Arrhythmias