What are heart palpitations

Palpitations are essentially an abnormality of the heartbeat, characterised by hard, fast and/or irregular heart beats.

These symptoms are commonly reported to a practitioner by the patient as well as determined upon medical examination.

Although heart palpitations can be distressing to a person who has to live with the symptoms, they are rarely dangerous.

However, the patient still needs to live with other symptoms associated with heart palpitations.

These may include breathlessness, fatigue, chest discomfort, light-headedness or sometimes blackouts, although this last symptom is rare too.

What do heart palpitations feel like?

Palpitations are a symptom that is sensory, with patients describing them as either a beat that skips or a fluttering in the chest.

Others may describe it as something similar to a pounding in the chest or neck.

Palpitations and anxiety

Heart palpitations can be found to be associated with anxiety rather than an abnormality of the heart.

Associated symptoms include dizziness, breathlessness, sweating, headaches and pains in the chest.

Other associated conditions to heart palpitations

Heart palpitations may be associated with other conditions such as:

  • coronary heart disease
  • hyperthyroidism
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • asthma or emphysema
  • previous chest surgery
  • kidney disease


Other factors that are associated with heart palpitations include:

  • drugs such as antidepressants
  • statins
  • alcohol
  • nicotine
  • caffeine
  • cocaine or amphetamines
  • electrolyte imbalances of magnesium, potassium or calcium

Treatment for heart palpitations

Ablation an be carried out at the same time as the diagnostic electrophysiology study or at a later stage.

Energy is delivered through one of the wires in your heart to damage the abnormal electrical circuits responsible for your symptoms.

If the ablation doesn’t work first time, you may need another ablation procedure or to explore alternative treatments.

Make your appointment with Dr David Begley

If you’re concerned about heart palpitations, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Begley and make an appointment.

Simply contact his Personal Assistant, Lynn Thomas by telephoning 01223 850423 or 07368 364147.

Alternatively, email her on lynn@drbegleycardiology.co.uk