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A Racing Heart: When to See Your Doctor

If you notice that your heart rate is speeding up, or you suddenly feel like your heart is racing, your immediate reaction may be to rush to the emergency room.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, we understand how frightening this can be. And the anxiety you feel can make the situation even worse. Here are some guidelines from our team of cardiology specialists for what to do if your heart starts racing.

What’s causing your racing heart?

A “racing heart” actually describes heart palpitations, a condition that makes it feel like your heart is speeding up or pounding in your chest. You may also experience fluttering sensations in your chest.

Some of the most common causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Fever
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Hormone changes
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Overuse of caffeine or other stimulants

Strong, emotional responses from stress, anxiety, and even depression can also play a role in heart palpitations.

In some cases, having heart palpitations can be a side effect of a serious heart condition, such as an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.

When does a racing heart need treatment?

Determining when to seek professional medical care for a racing heart is a personal decision. But at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, we recommend evaluating your situation before reacting.

Generally, if the sensation lasts for just a few seconds before going away, you can relax and call your primary care physician for a follow-up.

However, if you feel like your heart is continuing to race, it’s time to seek immediate medical care at the local emergency room. 

This visit is especially important if your racing heart is accompanied by symptoms like:

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Throbbing in the neck or throat

These symptoms can indicate you have an underlying heart issue that needs medical attention. A proper diagnosis and treatment can reduce your risk for serious complications, including a heart attack, a stroke, or heart failure.

Getting treatment for heart palpitations

The goal of a diagnostic evaluation is to identify the underlying cause of your heart palpitations so that you can get the treatment you need to keep your heart and body healthy.

The providers at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, can work with you on changes you should make to protect your heart health, such as:

If you take medications for another condition, and they trigger a racing heart or other symptoms, your provider may be able to recommend an alternative.

If you often feel like your heart is racing without explanation, don’t put off having an evaluation. Call HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, today or request a diagnostic consultation at one of our five locations through our online booking feature.

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HeartCare Associates of Connecticut provides the highest level of care to our patients. From treatments of common coronary problems, to non-invasive and state-of-the-art procedures, to life saving surgeries our dedicated and compassionate staff will make you feel at ease.

Some of the most common illnesses and issues we treat are:

  • Aneurysms

  • Cardiac Catherterization, Angiography & Stenting

  • Congestive Heart Failure Treatment Center

  • Coronary Bypass Surgery

  • Coronary Heart Disease

  • Coumadin & Anticoagulation Clinic

  • Diabetes

  • Dizziness, Palpitations, & Heart Rhythmn

  • Heart Valve Problems

  • High Cholesterol & Triglycerides

  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

  • Nuclear Cardiac Scanning

  • Nutrition Programs

  • Pacemakers

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease

  • Preventive Health Programs

  • Stroke Prevention

  • Swelling (Edema) of the Legs & Ankles

  • Treatment & Prevention of Obesity

  • Ultrasound Testing & Echocardiography

  • Vein Care

  • Womens Health