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Heart Racing: Causes and Treatment

A racing heart isn’t unusual. In fact, it’s perfectly normal under certain circumstances (during exercise or while feeling anxious, for example). However, a racing heart can be alarming because the heartbeat isn’t something we otherwise feel. At CardioVascular Health Clinic, we provide complete heart care, helping diverse patients identify and correct complex heart health issues.

Here, we explain why your heart might be racing and when to contact us. 

Why is My Heart Racing?

Heart racing, also called heart palpitations, is the feeling that your heart is pounding heavily, beating at an abnormally fast rate, or beating irregularly. The sensation can sometimes be felt throughout the chest and even in the neck.

A racing heart might occur during activity or while at rest. While you might be alarmed by the suddenness or intensity of your racing heart, it might not be the symptom of a serious medical condition. Nevertheless, you should undergo a medical assessment if other symptoms accompany your heart palpitations.

Several issues can cause a racing heart. These might include:

  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety
  • Certain medications
  • Certain nutritional supplements
  • Dehydration
  • Fear
  • Fever
  • Intense physical activity
  • Loss of blood
  • Low blood sugar
  • Menopause
  • Menstruation
  • Narcotics/stimulant drugs
  • Nervous excitement 
  • Panic
  • Pregnancy

Potentially serious medical conditions can also trigger heart racing. These include:

  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • Heart Disease
  • Infections

A racing heart caused by a medical abnormality is typically accompanied by additional symptoms, which might include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling faint or loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating

If you experience the above symptoms, please seek medical assistance immediately.

Are There Treatments for Heart Racing?

Before effective treatments for a racing heart can be administered, your medical team must determine the underlying cause or causes. Your primary care physician might ask you to make a note of when your heart palpitations occur, their duration, how you feel before they occur, and your activities prior to their occurrence. During your evaluation, your doctor will review the following:

  • Medical history
  • Co-occurring symptoms
  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Physical fitness

Your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs, and possibly order additional tests. These might include the following:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Stress test
  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Heart ultrasound
  • Chest X-ray

You might be asked to wear a heart monitor so your physician can better understand your cardiac activity throughout the day and night.

Treatments for heart palpitations can vary significantly. If your doctor determines the cause of your symptoms to be stress or anxiety-related factors, you might be able to manage the symptoms with relaxation exercises, yoga, deep breathing, or mindful meditation. If you are a heavy alcohol user, smoker, or regularly consume caffeinated foods and beverages, you might be advised to abstain. Weight loss or a fitness routine might also be advisable. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight could ease symptoms considerably.

Discuss any medications you are currently taking that could contribute to your symptoms.

If you have concerns about your heart health, please contact our dedicated representatives to schedule a comprehensive consultation. 

Patient Resources

We’re committed to timely, efficient, and affordable care.
Here is a collection of useful resources our new and existing patients need in one convenient location.
Please let us know if you need additional information or have any questions.

Testimonials

Professional staff working in a beautiful facility with great doctors who sincerely care about their patients. Without Dr. Schmidt's skill, I would have needed heart bypass surgery instead of a stent. Follow-up has been thorough. I can't recommend them highly enough.
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LeAnn Harner

Dr. Jim Melton and all the staff are fantastic. He is an excellent surgeon and his team is GREAT!!!! I just had surgery at the surgery center, I have only great things to say about my experience. Without him I really don't think I would be here to write this. If you’re looking for a good cardiovascular team, they are a 5 star for sure.

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Susie Brooks Harrison

Dr. Parsons and staff are amazing. He truly listened to me from the consult. Staff showed genuine care for my progress post procedure. I had my follow up appointment today so satisfied with results. Blake made me comfortable from the start. He is an activist for uterine fibroids treatment beyond the standard.

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Tamara Means

Professional and caring staff. Dr. Smith is very knowledgeable and shows genuine concern for your personal health. I enjoyed the background music in the procedure room, it really adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

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David Lambert

Dr. John Schrader is the most personable doctor we know. He stays on top of my dads health care and is genuinely concerned about his health. We never leave his office with questions. He answers them all. Even questions we don’t think of. Always professional but never cold or bad bedside manner. In our opinion he is THE BEST around.
Thank you Dr Schrader.

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Kathy J

I came to Dr. Warren by a self referral for mals when it took me 8yrs 50+ doctors and thousands of dollars spent on no answers. My first visit I was scared I was just going to be gaslighted just like the past however I was pleasantly shocked when Dr. Warren immediately believed me. She took the time to review many disk I had brought from past tests. She never once dismissed me and listened to ever word I had to say. She scheduled one last test to confirm the diagnosis then I was scheduled for surgery right away. Surgery was a success and I can’t thank her and her staff enough. Dr. Warren truly saved my life.

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Angie W

Dr. Garner literally saved my life 18 months ago and I've followed him to his new practice with Cardiovascular Health. He explains things so clearly, listens and is just a very nice person. His staff is great, too! I highly recommend!

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D Watts

Some of the nicest staff that I have ever dealt with!! They have been so incredibly awesome to my mom!! Would definitely recommend them to anyone!! Thank you so much for being so great with her!!

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Christy Garvie

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