When your heart feels weird: Causes of Palpitations

Heart palpitations are a common occurrence in life and, if you’re under the age of 60, they can pass without the need of treatment because there is generally nothing wrong with the heart.  However, they can leave many individuals shaken up and concerned about their heart health.  Heart palpitations can feel like a light flutter of the heart, a skipped heartbeat, or a racing heartbeat.

Heart palpitations can be identified as anything that makes the heart feel as though it is beating in an abnormal way which increases an individual’s awareness of their heartbeat.  There are numerous causes of heart palpitations, many of which are not a life-threatening call for concern.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are well-known for causing heart palpitations.  The increased heart rate, which is accompanied by sweats, shaking, and an overwhelming feeling that everything is falling apart, makes it feel as though the heart is going to beat out of the chest.  There are times when a heart arrhythmia, or skipped heartbeat, could be the cause of a panic attack which would need to be diagnosed by a doctor.  Panic attacks are not dangerous and recurring attacks can be treated through counselling.


Caffeine has a direct effect on the heartrate which causes it to pump faster and harder.  It is a stimulant which affects the autonomic nervous system – and this includes the heart.  Everyone loves the energy kick caused by a big mug of coffee, but if heart palpitations recur on a regular basis it is advisable to restrict daily caffeine intake.  If they persist, medical attention should be sort after.


Dehydration puts a lot of strain on the body.  Heart palpitations which are accompanied by dry mouth, a dark urine, and muscle cramping are most likely caused by a drastic loss of fluid or not drinking enough water.

Prescription Medication

Some medication can be responsible for heart palpitations, especially when it comes into contact with other medications.  While these need not to be concerned about, it is advisable that your doctor is aware of the occurrence and knows about all of the different medication you are taking.  If the palpitations are occurring on a daily basis then it may be a good idea to find another drug.


Individuals who suffer from anemia do not create enough red blood cells which means that the heart will need to beat faster to get oxygen through the body at the same rate as individuals who do not suffer from anaemia.

Hormonal Changes

Women are known to suffer from heart palpitations during menstruation, pregnancy and near the time of menopause.  The fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone can lead to heart palpitations, night sweats, and foggy thinking.


Certain types of food which are high in fat, sugar, or carbohydrates rich in heavy metals may cause heart palpitations.  This is commonly due to a food intolerance or acid reflux which can result in the feeling of a tight chest and heart palpitations.

when your heart feels weirdThere are numerous causes for heart palpitations.  They are typically harmless however, if persistent, it is advisable to seek medical attention in order to minimize its occurrence.

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