Heart palpitations and ectopic beats
Heart palpitations are heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable. Your heart may feel like it’s pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for just a few seconds or minutes. You may also feel these sensations in your throat or neck.
Palpitations may seem alarming, but in most cases they’re harmless and are not a sign of a serious problem.
Sometimes you may feel an extra or missed beat. These are known as ectopic beats and are also usually nothing to worry about.
Causes of heart palpitations include: lifestyle triggers, emotions and psychological triggers, medicines, hormone changes, heart rhythm pro-blems, heart conditions and other medical conditions.
Common triggers of heart palpitations include: strenuous exercise, not getting enough sleep, drinks containing caffe-ine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, alcohol, smok-ing, illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy and cannabis and rich or spicy foods.
In these cases, the pal-pitations should go away on their own. Avoiding these triggers may help stop them from coming back.
Emotional or psychological triggers
Heart palpitations are also often caused by emotions or psychological issues, such as excitement or nervousness, stress or anxiety, panic attacks (an overwhelming sense of anxiety or fear, accompanied by feeling sick, sweating, trembling and palpitations).
Doing breathing exercises and learning how to deal with a panic attack may help if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or panicked.