Everyone experiences palpitations from time to time. If you are the kind of person who takes on too much stress or gets anxious about an upcoming event, your heart beats faster in response.
Many individuals take time to gain control and realise this as being a serious episode of palpitations. Palpitations are irregular, arrhythmic or forceful beatings of the heart. Feeling you heart racing is a common sign of anxiety and impulsiveness, but certain other kinds of recurrent and severe palpitations are indicative of serious heart issues like tachycardia (rapid heart beats, more than 100 beats per minute), bradycardia (slow heart beats, less than 60 beats per minute), fibrillations (rapid, irregular heart beats).
Palpitations usually occur due to emotional outbursts like anxiety, stress, fear, shock, panic, vigorous exercise and increased caffeine intake. Certain phases of fetal development during the pregnancy could also cause palpitations. Medical conditions like hyperthyroid, low blood sugar, low potassium level, low oxygen level or low carbon dioxide level as well as high level of carbon dioxide in the blood increases palpitations. Fever, anemia, dehydration, loss of blood could also be underlined as causes of palpitations. Medications like asthma inhalers and decongestants, beta blockers (taken for high blood pressure), thyroid and anti-arrhythmic medications, can cause irregular heart beats.
It is important to balance the levels of electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium, along with minerals like calcium and magnesium help maintain regular heart beat. Palpitations usually occur when the above minerals are not in balanced levels. Hydration of the body is important for maintaining correct electrolyte levels of the body. Keep your body hydrated at all times. Here are a few other suggestions:
1.Take calcium with magnesium supplements. It helps stabilise heart beats.
2. Coenzyme Q10 is also beneficial for reducing the palpitations.
3. If you are intolerant to milk, eggs and wheat, it may be giving you palpitations.
4. Indian spices like powdered aniseed (saunf) and powdered dry coriander can also be consumed for palpitations. Peppermint tea is shown to have a soothing effect on palpitations and acts as a relaxant to the mind and body.
5. Avoid the intake of caffeine and other stimulants. Tea, coffee, carbonated beverages, alcohol and chocolate should be avoided.
6. Do not smoke or drink if you suffer from palpitations.
7. Avoid heavy meals at night. Heavy drinking, fried foods also strain the heart.
8. Apart from the diet, some lifestyle changes are neccesary. Learn the art of relaxation through yoga. Meditation helps calm the mind for anxiety related palpitations.
9. Try aroma therapy massage. It is very relaxing.
10. Use a few drops of lavender, ylang ylang essential oils in your bath or inhale it directly from the bottle. It has a relaxing effect on the mind.
Mostly, heart palpitations are harmless. However if you experience them frequently it may indicate a problem.
Dr. Anjali Mukerjee, Nutritionist and Founder, Director - Health Total