& Your Belly Could Tell You Your Risk
If you have a lot of fat around your middle or belly, compared to your hips, you may be more likely to have heart disease One recent study found that women who carried their fat around their middles were twice as likely to have heart problems, including heart attacks. Fortunately, losing even a little weight can make a difference for your heart.
The Root Cause Of Anxiety And Heart Flutters
Anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitation, or flutters of your heart can be very concerning. Youre worried about whether youre having a heart attack, or whats wrong with your mind that youre so riddled with anxiety. Theres one root cause thats missed by doctors most of the time that has nothing to do with a heart or brain problem. Give a listen to learn more.
Hiatal Hernia is the reason whyThe problem is called a hiatal hernia. Hiatus means hole or opening a hernia is when something is protruding through an opening that it shouldnt. You may have heard of abdominal or inguinal hernias where someones intestines are pushing through an opening or tear in their abdominal muscles.
-Dr. Vikki Petersen, Founder
Is this hidden influence causing your symptoms?Is your health being affected by a hidden influence? Is there something your doctor is missing?
A huge percentage of Americans suffer from hiatal hernia and dont know it. Traditional medicine says it rarely causes symptoms, but thats because the symptoms it DOES cause, they never look for.
Do you suffer:
- bloating or pain in your abdomen?
- acid reflux or heartburn?
Anxiety Palpitations Or A
A-fib can produce symptoms that are similar to anxiety palpitations as the heartbeat becomes rapid and causes chest pain.
The table shows the main differences between symptoms.
What To Expect At The Doctors
When you go to the doctor to get evaluated for heart palpitations, your general practitioner will likely listen to your heart with a stethoscope. The doctor would be able to detect a palpitation if it occurred, and they would also be able to determine the presence of mitral valve prolapse or a heart murmur in many cases. But the tricky thing is that during the few seconds the doctor is listening, your heart likely wont palpitate.
So, if youre worried about your palpitations, your general practitioner will refer you to a medical specialist in cardiology, or a cardiologist. When you visit the cardiologist, you may get an EKG . An EKG will reveal abnormalities in your heart rhythm. However, its also very likely that an EKG will not reveal anything abnormal, since it is only a 12-second test.
A cardiologist may recommend that you wear a Holter monitor for as short a duration as 24 hours, or as long as a month. When wearing a Holter monitor, you will be asked to press a small button whenever you feel symptoms. You may also be asked to record your symptoms on a sheet of paper. This information is useful because it allows the doctor to read the results of the Holter, and line them up with what you are experiencing.
Can Herbal Remedies Help Prevent Heart Palpitations
In terms of herbal remedies, I am not aware of an herbal remedy specifically effective for heart palpitation. I should say that low levels of potassium or magnesium in the body may be associated with palpitations and occasionally even more severe heart rhythm disorders, and in those cases supplements or foods high in potassium and magnesium are quite helpful.
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Eating Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables
Eating loads of fruits and vegetables is very therapeutic for the heart. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that fight against inflammation. Antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids fight against oxidative damage that occurs within cells and contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Many vegetables are also packed with nitrates that naturally increase the movement of the endothelium in blood vessels, allowing them to dilate more readily. This in turn decreases blood pressure, which takes the pressure off of the heart and decreases the incidence of heart palpitations. To add more nitrates to your daily diet, eat foods like beets, arugula, and spinach.
To support your heart health, incorporate lots of fresh fruits and veggies into your diet on a daily basis. Great options include kale, carrots, sweet potato, swiss chard, celery, pomegranate, blackberries, blueberries, and watermelon.
What Are Anxiety Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations feel like your heart pounds, flutters, races or skips a beat. When you have a palpitation, you may feel your heart beating in your chest, neck or throat.
Many people experience heart palpitations along with anxiety. Anxiety sets off the bodys fight or flight response as part of the autonomic nervous system . When you feel uneasy about a situation, your ANS kicks in, increasing your heart rate.
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How To Reduce Anxiety And Chest Pain
The best way to manage chest pain is with prevention and by reducing your overall anxiety symptoms. The less you experience anxiety, the less risk you’ll have for chest pain.
If you’re currently experiencing anxiety and chest pain, the best things to do are the following:
- Control Your Breathing Recall that this type of chest pain is often caused by hyperventilation, and even if you’re not hyperventilating, getting your breathing under control is a great way to calm the nerves. Take slow, controlled breaths using deep breathing techniques that take at least 15 seconds and you’ll quickly see a difference. Try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, breathing deep from your diaphragm rather than shallow from your chest.
- Control Your Thoughts One of the reasons I recommend going to a doctor first is because understanding that your chest pain is anxiety related reduces the severity of the experience. If you know that your heart is in good health, don’t let your thoughts spiral out of control because that may make the chest pain worse.
- Control Your Environment Chest pain caused by thoughts or anxiety is often made worse when you sit and focus on the experience. See if you can give yourself a healthy coping distraction, and much of the chest pain will fade away. Some suggestions for this include changing your location , listen to relaxing or happy music, talk on the phone with a trusted friend, or use grounding techniques to focus on the present.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
When you talk with your doctor, ask these questions if you think you may have anxiety or AFib.
If you suspect anxiety:
- Could my anxiety be related to my physical health?
- Should I see a mental health specialist?
- Do I need counseling or medication?
- What can I do at home to feel less anxious?
- Are there foods or drinks I should avoid?
If you suspect AFib:
- Which type of AFib might I have: paroxysmal, persistent, or permanent?
- Whatâs the cause?
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Underlying Conditions That May Cause Irregular Heartbeats
In many cases, there is nothing inherently wrong with the heart. Instead, an underlying issue is causing disturbances in the hearts rhythm. Here are a few examples:
- Thyroid disease: Thyroid disease impacts the levels of hormones in your blood, which can disrupt the normal electrical pattern that triggers heartbeats.
- High blood pressure: Having chronically high blood pressure puts stress on your blood vessels and your heart muscle, which can increase the risk of experiencing heart palpitations.
Could Heart Palpitations Accompanied By Shortness Of Breath Be Serious
Heart palpitations can certainly be associated with shortness of breath, that is, the two symptoms together without a serious condition being present. That usually indicates that the irregularity of the heart rhythm is significant and may signal the need for a more comprehensive evaluation.
In general, the more serious the symptoms, such as lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, chest pain, shortness of breath, the more seriously one needs to take the problem.
If a patient has known heart disease such as a previous myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure , hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , and others, the symptoms of palpitations will require a thorough evaluation.
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Anxiety Disorders Poorly Affect The Quality Of Life
When one suffers from Anxiety Disorders, then anxiety can result:
- Without a trigger Or
- Be disproportionate to the trigger, that is, overblown relative to the trigger
Stress and anxiety have come to be regarded as the epidemic of our time. In India, 8.5% of the population have generalized anxiety disorder. 1% of the entire panic disorders in the world are located in India. In addition, anxiety disorders are more common in women than in men.
How To Tell The Difference
How can you tell if youâre having AFib or an anxiety attack? Itâs a good question. Studies show that stress and anxiety can worsen symptoms of AFib, but more research is needed to find out if people with anxiety and depression are at greater risk for developing it. Research also shows that people with AFib are more likely to get depression or anxiety because the condition affects your quality of life.
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What To Expect During A Doctor’s Visit
If you go into the doctor for heart palpitations, expect your physician to do a thorough medical history and exam.
Getting the patient’s story and performing an in-depth physical exam.including listening to the lungs, evaluating the heartbeat and the pulse.is very important in figuring out if a patient needs further evaluation.
Typically doctors also use an electrocardiogram, , which assesses the electrical conduction of the heart. Even if the EKG comes back normal, it doesn’t rule out an arrhythmia or heart rhythm problems.
Your doctor might recommend something called an ambulatory monitor. These include holter monitors, which are worn for 24 to 72 hours. Another device, called an event recorder, is worn for two to four weeks. The pocket size device can check for an abnormal heart rhythm when you notice symptoms.
If the underlying cause of your heart palpitation turns out to be a more serious heart condition, your doctor may do a more comprehensive evaluation.
What Melinda Ratini Md Says:
Qi gong and tai chi are relaxing ways to improve your flexibility and balance. Both are great ways to stay active and vital.
The gentle, flowing movements are easy on the joints. But check with your doctor first if you have any conditions such as diabetes or circulation problems, or if you take any medications that can make you dizzy when you change positions.
Most people will also need to do some aerobic exercise, like walking, as well as additional strength building. Check with your doctor to see what type of well-rounded program is right for you.
These aren’t heart-pumping workouts. But even seasoned athletes have much to gain from a meditative, deliberate approach to movement.
Is It Good for Me if I Have a Health Condition?
One of the best features of tai chi and qi gong is that they can be adapted to fit just about any fitness level. The gentle flowing low-impact movements are easy on your joints if you have arthritis. You can even do them seated or in a wheelchair if needed.
But if you have medical issues or an injury or have recently had surgery, check with your doctor before increasing your activity.
When you are pregnant, you can gain many benefits from meditative movements like tai chi and qi gong. They can increase your flexibility and improve your balance. Both activities are low-impact, so they are not going to put your joints at risk.
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Heart Palpitations Anxiety Symptoms
Heart palpitations, including skipped, missed, unevenly spaced heart beats racing heart and pounding heart are often signs of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and others.
This article explains the relationship between anxiety and heart palpitations.
Will My Healthcare Provider Be Able To Rule Out Other Causes Of Heart Palpitations
Your provider will want to verify that anxiety-related palpitations arent dangerous. They may recommend other tests, such as:
- Chest X-ray to look at your heart and lungs.
- Echocardiogram or to examine your hearts overall function.
- Electrocardiogram to check your heart rate.
- Exercise stress test to see how your heart performs with increased activity.
- Holter monitoring to record your hearts activity over 24 to 48 hours.
If a Holter monitor doesnt show unusual heart rhythms, your provider may give you an event recorder. You can wear this recorder for weeks. You press a button to record any heart sensations that you experience.
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How Does Stress Affect The Heart
Stress that goes unmanaged can cause the following health conditions that also impact your heart health:
Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Each type of anxiety disorder has its own unique symptoms:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A person with generalized anxiety disorder has frequent or constant feelings of worry and anxiety about issues, such as health, work, social interactions, or everyday situations. These feelings can cause problems in areas of your life such as school, work, and social interactions. In some cases, people with GAD have experienced these feelings since childhood or adolescence, while in other cases, they may have been triggered by temporary stress.
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Simple Lifestyle Modifications That Lower Your Risk
Try to cut out any known triggers such as smoking, heavy alcohol use, caffeine and energy drinks. A lot of young people tend to overuse some of the energy drinks, which is one of the leading causes of palpitations. Pencil in some time for self-care to reduce stress levels and lower your chances of palpitations. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day and get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, too.
Dont Ignore The Warning Signs
If theres one parting thought I can impress on you, its to never ignore heart palpitations.
No matter what age you are or how good of shape youre in, if you feel fluttering, skipping, or any other kind of irregular heartbeat, get it checked out by a cardiologist. The cause of your situation may well turn out to be nothing to worry about. But if thats not the case, the sooner you begin treatment, the better off youre going to be. This is definitely one of those instances when its better to be safe than sorry.
References and Resources
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Heart Palpitation Risk Depends On The Cause
The most important part of evaluating heart palpitations is determining whats causing them. I always liked to start by asking patients some questions about their lifestyle:
- Were they eating too much sugar, caffeine, or other foods that cause palpitations?
- How much stress and anxiety did they have in their lives?
- Were they feeling emotions that they didnt feel they could talk about?
- Did their palpitations tend to happen at a certain time?
- What medications are they on?
The answers to these questions helped me understand whether external issues could be causing the skips, jumps, or flutters. If, after I finished my work-up, all of a patients risk factors fell into this bucket, I didnt worry too much about their heart palpitations. Instead, Id start working with them on adopting new habits that could address the problem.
What concerned me was when I found internal issues with the heart that could be causing someones palpitations, or that could become dangerous if it was combined with palpitations. Here are six specific examples of when its right to worry
What Are The Health Risks Of Experiencing Heart Palpitations
The irregularity of the heart rhythm per se usually does no damage to the heart itself. Patients with a very rapid heart over a long period of time do run a risk of developing enlargement and failure of the heart.
We see heart enlargment with a very common cause of palpitations called atrial fibrillation. Patients can be in atrial fibrillation for many years without harm, but some patients with very little symptoms may have too rapid and irregular a rhythm present with symptoms of heart failure. There may also be some increased risk of stroke because of blood clots that can form in association with atrial fibrillation.
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