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Palpitations

Palpitations are feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or too fast. You may have these feelings in your chest, throat, or neck. They can occur during activity or even when you're sitting still or lying down. Although heart palpitations can be worrisome, they're usually harmless. In rare cases, heart palpitations can be a symptom of a more serious heart condition, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), which may require treatment.

Symptoms

  • Skipping beats
  • Fluttering
  • Beating too fast
  • Pumping harder than usual

Diagnosis

Your doctor will listen to your heart and look for signs of medical conditions that can cause heart palpitations, such as a swollen thyroid gland. Other tests might include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) 
  • Holter monitoring 
  • Event recording
  • Echocardiogram (Echo)

Complications

Unless a heart condition is causing your heart palpitations, there's little risk of complications. For palpitations caused by a heart condition, possible complications include:

Treatment

Unless your doctor finds that you have a heart condition, heart palpitations seldom require treatment. Instead, your doctor may recommend ways for you to avoid the triggers that cause your palpitations. If your palpitations are caused by a condition, such as an arrhythmia, your treatment will focus on correcting the condition.

The electrophysiologists UT Erlanger Cardiology are leaders - and international physician trainers - in the diagnosis and treatment of palpitation and other heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias). Contact us to learn more.

UT Erlanger Cardiology
Erlanger Medical Mall
979 East 3rd Street
Suite C-520
Chattanooga, TN 37403
423-778-5661