If you feel like your heart is skipping a beat or racing too fast, these are classic signs of heart palpitations. While these episodes are often temporary and not terribly dangerous, if you have persistent problems, they could be signaling something more serious.

If this is the case, a trip to see one of the arrhythmia specialists at St. Louis Heart and Vascular is in order. Equipped with the latest diagnostic tools and the best arrhythmia doctors in the St Louis area at their seven locations in St. Louis, Des Peres, St. Charles, and Bridgeton, Missouri, and Granite City, Illinois, the doctors can get to the bottom of your problem and start your treatment. If you’re having heart palpitations, call to schedule an appointment.

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Arrhythmia Treatment Q&A

What are heart palpitations?

If you’ve ever been extremely excited or nervous, you may have felt like your heart was pounding crazily, and you could even feel it in your neck and throat, as well as your chest. These episodes are typically fueled by adrenaline and last just seconds.

If you’re experiencing heart palpitations that last longer than a few seconds, or you have frequent episodes, it’s important to get them checked out to rule out a problem with your heart.

What causes heart palpitations?

More often than not, heart palpitations don’t pose a serious health risk, even though they feel like something is terribly wrong. The most common causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Panic attacks caused by anxiety, fear, or stress
  • Exercise
  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine, alcohol, and drugs
  • Hormonal changes, such as menopause

While heart palpitations tied to these conditions may not necessarily pose a health risk, your fluttering heart could also be a sign of abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmia, which is why getting checked out at St. Louis Heart and Vascular is a good idea.

How are heart palpitations diagnosed?

The heart specialists at St. Louis Heart and Vascular are equipped with the latest diagnostic tools. They can record your heart rhythms with an in-office electrocardiogram, also called an EKG, as well as portable Holter monitors that record the activity of your heart over a period of 24-48 hours as you go about your daily routine.

These readings give your doctor an idea of how your heart rhythms throughout your day, and they help your doctor spot potential problems that may not show up during your visit.

How are heart palpitations treated?

There is no blanket answer to this question since it depends upon what’s causing your heart palpitations. If caffeine seems to be the culprit, you’ll need to cut back. If anxiety is at the root of your heart palpitations, your cardiologist counsels you on ways to manage your anxiety attacks.

If your doctor spots a functional issue, they can get you started on an appropriate treatment plan to get your heart back on track and in a regular rhythm.

If you’re experiencing frequent heart palpitations, call St. Louis Heart and Vascular and make an appointment to visit one of their seven locations.