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Heart Palpitations

Cardiology Specialists of Orange County

Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases & Interventional Cardiology located in Santa Ana, CA; Newport Beach, CA; & Irvine, CA

Your heart may race or pound for several reasons, including stress or an underlying heart condition. Though heart palpitations may be benign, it’s not a symptom you should ignore, especially if they occur frequently. The board-certified cardiology physicians at Cardiology Specialists of Orange County use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and tests to determine the underlying cause of your heart palpitations. To schedule a consultation, call the office in Santa Ana, Irvine, or Newport Beach, California, or book an appointment online today.

Heart Palpitations Q & A

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are a sense that your heart is beating faster than normal. Your heart may feel racy, or you may feel a pounding sensation in your chest, throat, or neck.

In most cases, heart palpitations are not a serious health concern. However, they may indicate an underlying heart condition.

What causes heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations may develop from many causes, including lifestyle choices and health conditions. 

Common causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Too much caffeine
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Depression
  • A side effect of medication
  • Exercise
  • Hormonal changes (menopause, pregnancy)
  • Nicotine
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Heart disease
  • Heart valve problem
  • Change in blood potassium levels
  • Lack of oxygen in your blood

Health complications related to heart palpitations are rare unless the condition is due to a cardiac problem.

When should I seek medical care for heart palpitations?

If your heart palpitations occur once in a while and resolve on their own quickly, you may not need medical intervention.

However, if you have frequent bouts of heart palpitations or your symptoms are getting worse, you should schedule a medical evaluation at Cardiology Specialists of Orange County.

You should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if your heart palpitation symptoms also include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual sweating

These serious symptoms may be warnings of a heart attack, stroke, or congestive heart failure. 

What can I expect during an evaluation for heart palpitations?

When you visit Cardiology Specialists of Orange County for a heart palpitation evaluation, you can expect a comprehensive, patient-focused exam. The assessment looks for the root cause of your symptoms so you get the most effective treatment.

Your provider reviews your symptoms, personal medical and family history, and the types of medications and supplements you take during your evaluation. Your provider then performs a physical exam.

To confirm or rule out a cardiac condition to explain your heart palpitations, your cardiologist may run various diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Stress testing
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Holter monitoring
  • Event recording

Your provider performs most of your cardiac testing on-site. 

To find out what’s causing your heart palpitations, call Cardiology Specialists of Orange County or book online today.