Palpitations…When To Know It’s Serious?

October 11, 2007

imagesgl.jpgWe do get palpitations once in while…its the sensation of your heart that is racing and then you feel like having a skipped heart beat!  Almost always this is Benign meaning…nothing to worry about BUT palpitations may signal the onset of certain diseases.

When you get palpitations…the first thing you have to make sure….is if you are taking medications like decongestants that may cause it.  Likewise check if you have been drinking too much caffeinated drinks lately… the frappucino, the Kafe latte…. or simply munching on your favorite chocolates!

If you have ruled out any medications of drinks responsible for the palpitations then have yourself examined for the following possibilities:

  1. Toxic Goiter.  This is very common in our setting where patients will have symptoms assoiciated with hyperthyroid state or overactive thyroid gland.  You will have associated sympotms of shortness of breath, weight loss and tremors.
  2. Mitral Valve Prolapse.  Also very common especially among young women and very easy to diagnose through 2dEchocardiogram.  A very benign condition also.
  3. Menopausal State can manifest with palpitation so be sure to check with your primary care physician if you are already 45 years old with irregular menses.
  4. You may just have Anxiety!!!  Being anxious on something can make your heart run fast. 

Or just simply being excited may all you have causing you to palpitate. Too much excitement can make you produce stress hormones including cathecholamines that can cause palpitation.

Just remember… any symptom that is new should be checked for possibility of finding something treatable and therefore life saving! A simple palpitation should therefore not be taken for granted!

Better Early Than Sorry!

4 Responses to “Palpitations…When To Know It’s Serious?”

  1. joshua Says:

    Doc what are the other symptoms of toxic goiter? I believe my wife has one.

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    Joshua…I missed your question and just realized I havent responded to you yet.
    Other symptoms of toxic goiter insclude weight loss, tremors, nervousness, excessive sweating and shortness of breath especailly with minimal activity

  3. Hi Doc. I’ve been contacting your office to book for a consultation. The woman who gave me your number told me that you’re the one who were in-charge with her goiter operation.

    I’m actually experiencing all those symptoms of toxic goiter right now. I sweat a lot, and sometimes I find it difficult to breath.

    I’ve already consulted an ENT specialist before but she required me to have a biopsy to check if the lump in my right thyroid is benign or malign.

    Hope I can book a consultation tomorrow.

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