Often the cause of your heart palpitations can't be found. Common causes of heart palpitations include:
- Strong emotional responses, such as stress or anxiety
- Strenuous exercise
- Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
- Taking cold and cough medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a stimulant
- Taking some asthma inhaler medications that contain stimulants
Occasionally heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious problem, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Arrhythmias may include very fast heart rates (tachycardia), unusually slow heart rates (bradycardia) or an irregular heart rhythm.
April 02, 2014
- Zimetbaum PJ. Overview of palpitations in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 26, 2013.
- Palpitations. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hpl/hpl_all.html. Accessed Nov. 26, 2013.
- Wexler RK, et al. Outpatient approach to palpitations. American Family Physician. 2011;84:63.