What Are Anxiety-Related Heart Palpitations, Expert Explains

According to our expert, anxiety-related palpitations are a disorder when they occur for no apparent reason.

Sambhav Kumar
Written by: Sambhav KumarUpdated at: Dec 13, 2022 18:41 IST
What Are Anxiety-Related Heart Palpitations, Expert Explains

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Palpitations are characterised by your heart pounding, fluttering, racing, or skipping a beat. If you have palpitations, you may feel your heartbeat in your chest, neck, or throat.

Many people suffer from heart palpitations as well as anxiety. Talking to OnlyMyHealth, Dr Ajay Kaul, Chairman of cardiac sciences at Fortis Hospital, Noida, said that anxiety leading to palpitations is very normal. But if you get anxious without any reason or for the most trivial issues, then it could be an abnormal case. 

Signs of Anxiety and Heart Palpitations

According to Dr Kaul, anxiety is a ‘fear of the unknown’, and it can be about anything, be it exam fear or unpleasant news. The problem occurs when we become anxious without any reason, causing palpitations that lead to the following problems: 

Fluttering: Some people experience a flapping or fluttering sensation in their chest. Your heart can feel as if it's flipping. It is a pathological condition when the heart starts beating above 200 beats per minute. The patient may become unconscious in this case, and needs to be treated very carefully. 

Also read: Study: Meditation As Effective As Medication To Manage Anxiety

Irregular heartbeat: You may experience the sensation that your heart is skipping  beats or beats out of rhythm. You may notice your heart rate increasing and decreasing. You may also experience a little drop in your heart rate.

Pounding: Your heart could be beating swiftly or violently. Some claim to be able to hear their heartbeat through their ears.

When should you see a doctor?

If you experience frequent heart palpitations as a result of anxiety, your doctor may suspect you have an anxiety condition. An anxiety disorder occurs when extreme anxiety interferes with daily activities such as going to work, school, or meeting friends. 

If you have regular anxious sensations or are experiencing anxiety for no apparent reason, consult your primary care doctor or a mental health specialist for assistance. You could have an anxiety problem that can be addressed with counselling and medication.

Also read: “Rule of Three” strategy To Manage Anxiety

Treatment

If a doctor determines that an anxiety condition is causing heart palpitations, they may recommend the patient to see a therapist for treatment. When developing an anxiety treatment plan, a doctor will take into account the individual's preferences. Anyone suffering from heart palpitations should consult a doctor as soon as possible so that a treatment plan can be charted right away. As stated by the expert, anxiety can be treated by medications called beta blockers that can reduce the heart rate. However, there are also other ways to calm a patient down which is why consultation with an expert is recommended. 

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