Heart Racing – Is It Love or Something Else?

Heart pounding? When you feel flutters, pounding sensations or that your heart has skipped a beat – it could be love, but the medical term is heart palpitations. Sometimes heart palpitations are also felt in the neck.

“Although it may cause curiosity or even concern, heart palpitations are generally not serious,” said Mitch Rogers, Memorial Health System administrator, cardiovascular services. “In some cases – depending on symptoms, duration and the situation – an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, may require treatment.”

Heart palpitations usually occur during times of strong emotion, stress or exercise. They can also be induced by medication or during times of illness. Symptoms include:

  • Pounding heartbeat
  • A feeling of a skipped heartbeat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fluttering heartbeat

Whether you are active or at rest, it is possible to experience heart palpitations.

“Almost always your heart ‘racing’ is harmless, but if you have a history of heart disease or palpitations increase or get worse, you should speak with your doctor for more tests,” Rogers said.

Speak with Your Doctor

Schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit your nearest emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency. Heart palpitations that include dizziness, fainting, chest pain or sever shortness of breath should be evaluated as soon as possible. Memorial Health System has five emergency departments in central Illinois:

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