Palpitations: When should we be concerned?

Palpitations are the sensation by the patient that the heart is beating too fast, too hard, or irregularly.

What can we do to calm palpitations?

The first thing is to try to calm down and rest, waiting for them to diminish or disappear. It is also necessary to be evaluated by a cardiologist as soon as possible to diagnose the problem causing the palpitations.

When should we see a specialist?

Every patient with palpitations should be evaluated by a cardiologist to rule out the presence of a heart problem.

Are they always associated with a serious health problem?

Most often it is not associated with a serious health problem, since the most frequent cause of palpitations is anxiety. In a minority of patients a cardiac cause of palpitations can be found, which can sometimes have its severity, and therefore it is necessary to rule it out completely by a complete cardiological study.

What kind of tests are necessary?

Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and Holter-ECG are usually performed in all patients.

The electrocardiogram is a simple test to detect heart rhythm disturbances, although it is not very sensitive for detecting arrhythmias because it only lasts a few seconds. For this reason, the Holter-ECG is usually used, which is a 24-hour electrocardiogram, which increases the probability of detecting arrhythmias. The echocardiogram is a fundamental test to rule out the presence of structural alterations in the heart, as well as to check the correct functioning of the heart valves and the pumping function of the myocardium.