When should you be concerned about palpitations?
Most heart attacks are caused by a blockage in the coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle. Heart palpitations can technically result in a heart attack if the heart is racing too fast and for too long. When it does so, it is unable to pump properly and becomes starved of blood and oxygen. You should see a doctor if you experience heart palpitations frequently, for longer than a few seconds, or if they are accompanied by dizziness, loss of consciousness, or any other concerning symptoms.
How are heart palpitations diagnosed?
Your physician will examine you physically, record your medical history, and inquire about your present medications, diet, and way of life. They will also ask specifically about the timing, frequency, and conditions of your palpitations.
Blood test. Occasionally, a blood test can assist your doctor in determining the reason for your palpitations.
EKG. The electrocardiogram (EKG) can be performed while you’re at rest or working out and is known as a Stress EKG. It monitors the electrical impulses coming from your heart and can detect abnormal cardiac rhythms.
Holter monitoring. Another means used in checking heart palpitations is holter monitoring. Holter monitoring involves wearing a device on your chest that records your heart’s electrical activity continuously for 24 to 48 hours. It can detect rhythm variations that an EKG can’t pick up.
Event recording. When symptoms appear, you’ll wear a device on your chest and utilize a handheld device to record the electrical activity of your heart.
Chest X-ray. During a chest x-ray, your doctor will look for alterations in your lungs that could be caused by heart issues. For instance, if fluid is found in your lungs. It could be a sign of heart failure.
Echocardiography. An echocardiography, often known as a type of ultrasound of the heart, gives precise details on the structure and operation of the organ.
If additional testing or treatment is required, your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist. Also, please note that besides these tests, the patient’s accurate medical history will also be collected and physical examination will be performed to rule out neurocardiogenic causes. Neurologic exams are also important.