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Most Common Causes for Heart Palpitations

If you’ve ever felt your heart skip a beat, flutter, flip-flop, pound, or otherwise beat oddly, you’ve experienced heart palpitations. In most cases, heart palpitations aren’t cause for concern. But if you also have pain or shortness of breath, you feel dizzy, or you faint, you should get checked out.

The experts at Heart & Vascular Institute have treated patients with all kinds of heart palpitations, that stem from a variety of causes. In this post, we describe some of the most common reasons you may have heart palpitations


Stress is so common in modern life that it seems like a ridiculous reason to see your doctor. But stress causes real, physical issues, including heart palpitations and panic attacks. 

If you’re living with a lot of stress, begin taking steps to reduce it. Make sure you schedule time to take care of yourself with exercise and good nutrition. Look for ways to lower the number of commitments you must keep up with, and consult your doctor if you’re struggling with stress. 


There are so many reasons to stop smoking, and having heart palpitations is one of them. Nicotine both raises your blood pressure and increases your heart rate. If you smoke and frequently have heart palpitations, nicotine may well be the cause. 

There are numerous aids to help you quit. Talk to your doctor. They’re happy to help you find what works best for you. 


Exercise is great for your overall health. But if it’s been a while since you worked out, you may have heart palpitations while you exercise or afterward. Don’t be alarmed unless you also have pain or dizziness. 

As you continue a routine of regular exercise, you probably won’t experience the palpitations anymore. 


When you have a fever, your body uses its resources differently than when you don’t. A fever of over 100.4 degrees can lead to heart palpitations. 


A number of medications contain stimulants that can cause heart palpitations. For example, some hypertension medications and thyroid medications can affect your heart. If you’re having heart palpitations, be sure to discuss your medications with your doctor. 

Low blood sugar

Missing meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can cause heart palpitations. If you feel cranky or weak when you need to eat, you’re probably feeling the result of a drop in your blood sugar. 

Underlying heart problems

Several heart conditions can cause heart palpitations, including atrial fibrillation, which is often called Afib. Afib causes the upper chambers of your heart to flutter instead of beat properly. 

Supraventricular tachycardia causes an abnormally fast heart rate, and may feel like palpitations. When your heart’s electrical system malfunctions, you may have ventricular tachycardia, which changes how your heart’s lower chambers function. 

If you have heart palpitations regularly, or they’re accompanied by pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or other symptoms, book an appointment at Heart & Vascular Institute right away. 

We have three locations, in Dearborn, Detroit, and Southfield, Michigan, and you can schedule an appointment by calling the office most convenient for you or using our online scheduling tool.

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