Sometimes I get heart palpitations, but then they go away. Is it a symptom of heart disease or something else?

Sometimes I get heart palpitations, but then they go away. Is it a symptom of heart disease or something else?

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Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D.
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Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D.

Elizabeth Ricanati, M.D., is the founding medical director of Lifestyle 180, an innovative Cleveland Clinic program aimed at treating and... Read more

Heart palpitations — which typically last for a few seconds and can feel like a rapid, fluttering or flip-flopping heartbeat — are a really common symptom for both men and women at any age. Fortunately, they are usually just a nuisance and not something serious. The causes of palpitations can usually be divided into one of three buckets:

 

•Psychiatric. These include palpitations associated with panic attacks, anxiety disorder and sometimes depression.

•Cardiac. Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and valvular disorders may be to blame.

•Miscellaneous. This means the palpitation is triggered by a medication, caffeine or a thyroid disorder, for instance.

 

In order to pinpoint the cause of your palpitations, I recommend you see your physician for a full evaluation and treatment. If the palpitations are coupled with other concerning symptoms, such as chest pain, seek emergency care immediately.

 

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