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Conditions & Services / Palpitations

Cardiologists & Vascular Specialists located in Dallas Fort Worth and the North Texas Region


About Palpitations

Occasional palpitations are common and usually disappear on their own; however, if you repeatedly feel your heart racing or fluttering, you may have an underlying heart problem. The experienced cardiologists at HeartPlace determine the cause of your palpitations and offer personalized treatments to target the underlying problem and ease your symptoms. If you have questions about palpitations or need to schedule an appointment, call one of the 30 offices across North Texas or book online today.

Palpitations Q & A

What are palpitations?

You don’t typically feel your heart unless you place a finger against a prominent artery; however, you may become more aware of your heartbeat when you have a heart palpitation.

Palpitations cause different sensations. You may feel your heart pounding or racing as it beats at a faster than average pace. In some cases, you may feel your heart skip a beat or have the feeling of fluttering movement in your chest.

What causes palpitations?

Occasional heart palpitations develop due to anxiety, panic attacks, and stress. Additionally, a fever, infections, dehydration, too much nicotine or caffeine, and certain medications may also trigger palpitations.

But when you have ongoing palpitations, you may have a more serious problem such as:

  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Abnormal blood oxygen levels
  • Low potassium levels

Atrial fibrillation represents the most common cause of palpitations.

What other symptoms accompany palpitations?

You may have palpitations alone, or they may appear with other symptoms, including:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Syncope (fainting)


If your palpitations occur with sudden chest pain, dizziness, or difficulty breathing, you should seek emergency medical care because you may be having a heart attack.

How do cardiologists determine the cause of palpitations?

Your provider reviews your medical history and symptoms and then performs diagnostic testing to identify any underlying heart conditions. Depending on your exam results, you may need one or more of the following:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Angiography
  • Stress testing
  • Electrophysiology studies

Your provider may ask you to wear a Holter or event monitor to record your heartbeat for a while after you leave the office.

How are palpitations treated?

Most heart palpitations go away on their own when you avoid the things that trigger the problem. You may need to reduce stress and anxiety or avoid stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, cold medicines, and decongestants.

When a heart condition causes your palpitations, your provider may prescribe medications or, as a final resort, perform minimally invasive procedures to treat the underlying problem. 

If your palpitations develop due to heart arrhythmia, you may need treatments such as radiofrequency ablation or a pacemaker.

If you have ongoing palpitations or palpitations with other symptoms, call HeartPlace or book an appointment online today.