When Should You Worry About Heart Palpitations?
Taking care of your heart with routine check ups, regular exercise, and a healthy diet is essential. Even in the healthiest individuals, however, heart issues can arise. In some cases, these can be life-threatening. If you experience abnormal symptoms related to your heart, it is critical to seek help at the first sign of a problem. The expert team of board-certified emergency room physicians and professional staff at iCare ER & Urgent Care in Fort Worth and Frisco, TX are knowledgeable and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of even the most complex heart conditions. Learn more about one of the most common heart-related symptoms – heart palpitations – including when it may be appropriate to seek emergency care.
What are heart palpitations?
Heart palpitations involve a rapid, strong, and/or irregular beating of the heart. In the majority of cases, heart palpitations are harmless and resolve quickly on their own. For some men and women, however, heart palpitations may be a sign of a serious underlying condition that requires immediate evaluation and treatment.
What do heart palpitations feel like?
Most often, heart palpitations are described as feeling like the heart is racing or pounding, similar to the way it may feel after running a sprint. Additional feelings you may experience with heart palpitations include:
- Heart is beating too quickly
- Heart is beating too strongly
- Heart is being irregularly
- Skipping heartbeat
- Rapid fluttering
- Heart feels like it is “flip-flopping” in the chest
What causes heart palpitations?
There are a number of potential reasons that you may experience heart palpitations, most of which are situational and/or harmless. However, there are some serious health conditions that may be responsible for your heart palpitations, making immediate evaluation and treatment with emergency care necessary. Possible causes for heart palpitations include:
- Emotional trigger (anxiety, panic, fear, or stress)
- Strenuous physical activity or exercise
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Hormone changes
- Stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, and certain medications
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Know when to visit the ER for heart palpitations
If you are experiencing any abnormal symptoms related to your heart or heart rate, it is always best to seek immediate emergency care to avoid a potentially life-threatening event, such as a heart attack. Our exceptional team of board-certified ER physicians and staff at both iCare ER & Urgent Care locations in Frisco and Fort Worth are fully certified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), catheter, and central venous line insertion and are committed to providing prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment for your heart condition.
While some heart palpitations may have an obvious cause, such as an emotional trigger, others may be unexplained and not resolve on their own. Furthermore, heart palpitations may be accompanied by additional symptoms, which can mean something more serious is going on. If you are unsure about the cause of your palpitations and/or are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms along with your heart palpitations, visit your nearest ER as soon as possible:
- Loss of consciousness
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating or chills
How are heart palpitations treated?
When you arrive at iCare ER & Urgent Care, our knowledgeable staff will assess your situation and determine whether emergency treatment or urgent care services are most appropriate. For heart-related symptoms, emergency care is often required for immediate treatment to diagnose the problem and prevent serious complications, including heart attack, stroke, or death. Your provider will likely perform a number of studies, such as an ECG, echocardiogram, physical exam, and labs, and take a detailed health history to determine what may be causing your heart palpitations. Depending on the cause of your symptoms, appropriate treatment will be administered. In some cases, behavioral modification alone may be enough to calm your heart palpitations. For some patients, medication or other therapies may be required.
Protect your health by seeking immediate emergency care for heart palpitations in North Texas
Feeling your heart begin to race, pound, or beat abnormally can certainly be frightening. Fortunately, most heart palpitations are harmless and resolve on their own. However, some heart palpitations may point to a serious underlying condition that requires immediate treatment. If you are experiencing heart palpitations, we encourage you to seek evaluation at your nearest ER as soon as possible. iCare ER & Urgent Care is proud to offer rapid, reliable, and effective treatment for a wide range of heart issues, including heart palpitations, at both of our convenient locations in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX. When it comes to your heart, every second counts. Ensure your health by seeking emergency heart care at iCare ER & Urgent Care at the first sign of a problem.