Q:

Why is my heart beating so fast?

A:

Quick Answer

The feeling that the heart is beating too fast or too hard, fluttering or skipping a beat is called a heart palpitation, and it is usually caused by stress, anxiety or consumption of stimulants, according to WebMD. People experience heart palpitations in the chest, throat or neck.

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Why is my heart beating so fast?
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Full Answer

Heart palpitations are typically not harmful, although they can be bothersome, notes WebMD. Intense emotions, such as stress, fear and anxiety, tend to cause palpitations. Heart palpitations are also associated with rigorous physical activity and stimulants, such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Medical conditions that cause the feeling of a rapid heartbeat include thyroid disease, anemia, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, fever and dehydration. Medications, such as diet pills, and hormonal changes during pregnancy and menstruation are also possible causes. Palpitations sometimes occur after a person eats a heavy meal that contains plenty of fat, sugar or carbohydrates. Food sensitivity is a problem related to heart palpitations that occurs after consuming certain foods.

In rare cases, heart palpitations are a sign of a serious heart condition, such as coronary artery disease and prior heart attack, states WebMD. Palpitations that are related to an underlying heart disease are likely to represent arrhythmia. A person should seek immediate medical help if palpitations are accompanied by dizziness, chest pain or shortness of breath.

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