Heart Palpitations: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Heart palpitations, often described as the sensation of a skipped beat or a fluttering heart, are a common phenomenon experienced by many individuals. While these occurrences can be attributed to hormonal fluctuations, heightened emotions, or external factors, it is important to distinguish between benign palpitations and those that may indicate an underlying heart condition. In this article brought to you by Cardiovascular Specialists of York, we explore the general aspects of heart palpitations and shed light on the causes, symptoms, and when to seek medical attention.

Understanding Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations refer to a sensation of irregularity, rapid beating, or fluttering in the chest. It's essential to note that palpitations can arise from various factors, and not all instances are indicative of a serious medical issue. Stress, anxiety, caffeine intake, and hormonal changes, especially during periods of heightened emotion, are common triggers.

Causes of Heart Palpitations

While heart palpitations can be indicative of a heart condition, that is not always the case. Here are just some causes associated with heart palpitations:

  • Emotional Factors: Stress and anxiety can stimulate the release of adrenaline, causing the heart to beat faster. Excitement or nervousness can also contribute to palpitations.
  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can lead to palpitations in some individuals.
  • Caffeine and Stimulants: Excessive caffeine, nicotine, or certain over-the-counter medications can trigger palpitations due to their stimulant effects on the heart.
  • Physical Activity: Intense physical exertion or sudden vigorous exercise can elevate the heart rate and result in palpitations.
  • Medical Conditions: Underlying medical issues such as thyroid disorders, anemia, or low blood sugar levels may contribute to palpitations.

When Heart Palpitations Are Reason for Concern

While occasional palpitations are often benign and can be attributed to external factors, persistent or severe symptoms may warrant further investigation. Here are some key points to consider.

First, normal palpitations are usually brief and infrequent. If the sensations persist for an extended period or occur frequently, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

It’s also important to note any accompanying symptoms. Pay attention to additional symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting, as they could indicate an underlying heart condition.

All in all, it’s best to consult with a licensed cardiologist, or heart doctor, if the heart palpitations are interfering with your daily activities or peace of mind.

When to See a Cardiologist

It is crucial to recognize when heart palpitations may indicate a more serious issue. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience persistent palpitations, severe chest pain, and/or fainting or near-fainting spells.

These extreme symptoms may signify a serious cardiac issue and require emergency medical care. If palpitations are recurrent, prolonged, or worsen over time, a comprehensive cardiac evaluation is warranted.

Consult with a Licensed Cardiologist

Residents in the area are welcomed to call Cardiovascular Specialists of York to schedule an appointment or arrange a consultation with a licensed cardiologist, or heart doctor. Our team is on standby to take your call today.


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Sylvia Savoie

Hanover, PA

My mom was seen by Dr. Gilbert. She was treated like a queen. Treated her with respect and dignity and took his time even going through writing the information down so she would have the paper. I can’t say enough and the staff at the Cardiovascular Specialist of York clinic was great and friendly.

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Joann Bernard

York, PA

Dr. Gilbert provided excellent service. Both personable and professional. Went above and beyond to provide detailed explanations that I could readily understand. I've never felt more comfortable and better served. If you need a cardiologist in town, I strongly recommend seeing Dr. Gilbert.

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Pennville, PA

Excellent experience. Dr. Gilbert gave me a wealth of information about taking good care of myself.  I went into this appointment a little worried but came out relieved after his clear explanation and valuable health tips. If you are looking for the best cardiologist in town look no further than Cardiovascular Specialists of York.

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