If you suffer from heart palpitations, you know that they can be more than just frustrating. They can cause anxiety due to feelings of uncertainty about your health — which is a catch 22 in itself, as anxiety is one of the causes.
While heart palpitations can be worrying and annoying, they aren’t usually harmful. This doesn’t stop the sufferer from looking for some heart help in the form of remedies, medications, or treatments.
If you want to know more about how you can cope with and even get rid of heart palpitations, keep reading.
What Are Heart Palpitations?
Have you ever experienced short spells where it feels like your heart is beating too fast, fluttering, or skipping beats? If you have, you’ve likely had heart palpitations.
There are many causes of heart palpitations, so the first step towards stopping them is identifying the cause.
Anxiety is a strong emotion, and while it’s a psychological illness, it can manifest in physical symptoms, too. Palpitations are one of these symptoms, and while it’s not helpful to tell you not to be anxious, there are methods to help yourself cope.
If you’ve ever doubled up on your morning coffee to kickstart your day, only to find your heart racing some time afterward, then you’re probably suffering from caffeine-induced heart palpitations.
Caffeine is a stimulant. It causes your body to release hormones that have a similar effect to adrenaline. But if you have too much, it can cause your heart to beat faster than it should.
Intense exercise causes your heart rate to elevate. Sometimes, when your heart is working harder than it is used to, you may sense palpitations.
These palpitations are nothing to worry about, but it might be a good idea to rest and allow yourself to recover before going back into intense exercise.
Some drugs — such as cocaine and ecstasy — act as stimulants, which will increase your heart rate. In these cases, due to the unpredictable nature of illegal drugs, palpitations may be a cause for concern.
How to Stop Heart Palpitations
Some of the causes above have simple solutions to alleviate your heart palpitations. In the case of stimulants (whether drugs or caffeine), the advice would be to reduce your intake or give it up altogether.
However, if you are unsure of the cause of your palpitations, or they are not caused by substances, there are still things you can do to safely treat and even stop them.
One of the best ways to give your heart help when it’s under stress is to stop and have a time of intentional relaxation.
Sit on the floor of a quiet room with some calm music playing. Cross your legs and close your eyes. With your back straight, breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Repeat this exercise for a few minutes, and you should start to feel your heart rate regulate.
Blood contains water, so when you are dehydrated, your blood thickens. This means your heart has to work harder to keep blood pumping efficiently around your body.
This extra exertion on the heart can cause palpitations, so it’s important to drink water regularly to give your heart the best chance of working.
Staying hydrated has a multitude of other health benefits, too, so if you don’t drink at least 2 liters of water a day, it’s something you should probably consider.
Advising you to exercise may seem counter-intuitive given that exercise can also be a cause of heart palpitations, but palpitations brought on by exercise are often due to the sufferer putting the heart through strain that it isn’t used to.
The solution here is to exercise regularly, starting with light exercise if you feel that you are out of shape. How does exercise help your heart? The more your body and your heart get used to physical exertion, the more your heart will be able to cope with it.
Try not to shock your body into too much exercise too early, as this can have the opposite effect.
Keep a Balanced Diet
Keeping a record of what you eat and drink might help you identify which foods may not be good for your heart health. Foods high in cholesterol are not good for the heart, so try to keep these foods in balance.
In addition to refraining from too many unhealthy foods, you can also eat foods that help to restore your electrolyte balance.
Electrolytes help your brain by moving signals throughout your body. Potassium, sodium, magnesium, and sodium are all electrolytes and can improve your heart health by keeping your body working efficiently.
You will find potassium in banana and avocado, and magnesium in spinach and other dark leafy greens. Sodium will be present in most people’s diets due to it being in salt.
When to Seek Professional Heart Help
While palpitations are usually harmless and relatively easily resolved, there are some cases where it may be necessary to seek medical attention. In these cases, the palpitations are usually caused by an underlying health condition.
If your palpitations don’t subside with any of the techniques above, you may be suffering from arrhythmia, which is a condition that causes your heart to beat inefficiently. Without treatment, this could result in cardiac arrest.
Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your health. If you are found to be suffering from a condition that causes your heart palpitations, your doctor will likely start you on a course of treatment that should help you manage your palpitations.
Look After Your Heart
Most of the causes of palpitations are self-inflicted, so it’s important to be aware of your own health. Your diet, exercise routine, and stress levels are all things you can manage to give your heart help to work efficiently.
If you’re interested in reading more health advice, check out the health section of the blog for a range of articles covering topics including weight loss, skin care, and fitness.