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Palpitations

Feelings of having pounding, fluttering and rapid heartbeat are termed as palpitations. Palpitations are triggered by exercise, stress, certain medications or any underlying medical condition. Heart palpitations are worrisome but largely harmless, and resolve on their own without any treatment. However in a few cases, heart palpitations could be an indicator of an underlying heart condition. Heart palpitations can be felt in the chest, throat or neck.


Heart palpitations can occur when the person is active or at rest, while lying down or while standing or sitting. If the person experiences dizziness, discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, see the doctor soon.


Common causes of palpitations

Commonly reported symptoms include fluttering heartbeat, skipped heartbeat and heartbeats faster than usual. Some of the common causes that give rise to palpitations are caffeine, exercise, smoking, or anxiety. In women, palpitation may also occur due to hormonal changes associated with menstruation, menopause or pregnancy. Cold and asthma medication also triggers palpitations. In rare cases, heart palpitations can be a symptom of serious heart condition, such as arrhythmia or hyperthyroidism that requires treatment.


  • Strenuous exercise, vigorous physical activity.
  • Stress, string emotions such as anxiety, fear
  • Low levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood
  • Fever
  • Menopause, pregnancy or menstruation induced hormonal changes
  • Nicotine use
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Certain cold and cough medications
  • Blood loss
  • Medical conditions such as low blood sugar, thyroid disorders, dehydration, low blood pressure and anemia.
  • Certain herbal and nutritional supplements
  • Abnormal electrolyte levels

Palpitations are monitored with a physical examination and the following:

ECG
Echocardiogram
Chest X-ray
Event recording: A Holter Monitor is worn in the chest, it continuously records the hearts signal for 24-48 hours. It can detect rhythm abnormalities that were not detected using an ECG.


Pyrophobia

Pyrophobia is an excessive fear of fire. A person suffering from pyrophobia experiences breathlessness, nausea and anxiety when he sees fire. These symptoms of pyrophobia are noticed even if there is no danger from the fire. There might be heart palpitations and trembling.


Vertigo

Vestibular imbalance, an imbalance in the inner part of the ear is a major cause of vertigo. There are health conditions that contribute as well certain factors that can result in vestibular imbalance.


  • Anemia and migraine can trigger vertigo.

  • Signals possibility of stroke, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, seizures or a bleed in the brain. Neck ailments like severe spondylosis.

  • Cardiovascular disorders like low blood pressure, heart rhythms and valve diseases.

  • Arthritic pains can contribute to aggravating vertigo.

  • Inflammation or infection of the inner ear that aid with balance and sense movement.

  • Viral illnesses like common cold and flu.

  • Severe migraines, Meniere's disease that causes a buildup of fluid in the inner ear and extends a feeling of ringing in the ear.

  • Decreased blood flow to the brain.

  • Certain medications can damage the ear and lead to vertigo.

  • Psychological disturbances, post-traumatic vertigo, and post-partum vertigo can cause an off balance feeling from time to time.



Intake of certain medications like anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs, drugs to control high blood pressure, sedatives and tranquilizers may cause sudden dizziness. General health problems such as thyroid, vitamin deficiency, diabetes, anemia, and immune system diseases are other possible causes.

If dizziness or vertigo, dizziness or lightheadedness, dizziness or disequillibrium persists, you should seek medical attention immediately. Monitor and record the symptoms. Take it along and explain in detail to the medical practitioner. If constant dizziness is associated with chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, changes in vision or speech, serious head injury, leg or arm weakness, loss of consciousness that lasts for few minutes, it is best to seek emergency medical attention. It may imply a serious health condition. An in-depth diagnosis is urgently required.

Diagnostic tests that may be required include measuring blood pressure, ECG, hearing tests, neurological tests, balance testing and MRI. Many disorders can be treated with medication, surgery, diet, a change in lifestyle, or a combination of these.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 13, 2019