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The Scary Truth About Heart Palpitations And Hormones.


It may surprise you to know that heart palpitations can occur during menstruation, perimenopause, menopause, or pregnancy.


How does one define a heart palpitation?


Changing hormones can make your heart flutter or feel like it is pounding. The pounding may be mild, moderate, or feel intense. Your heart may feel as if it has skipped a beat or is beating rapidly. Though terrifying, if the cause is a change in your hormone levels, it should be short-lived. Some women may feel the pounding travel up to the neck or throat and some women may feel palpitations come on before the start of a hot flash. Because symptoms can mimic a heart attack, you may feel inclined to run to your doctor, only to find out that you are dismissed with a perfect bill of health. You return home, only to notice that the palpitations have returned, causing you to feel frustrated and stressed out.


What causes heart palpitations?


  • The rise and fall of estrogen can affect the electrical activity of the heart or decrease protection to the heart's vessels.

  • Stress can cause the nervous system to overexcite.

  • Cough, cold medicines, inhalers.

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Low blood pressure or low blood sugar.

  • Dehydration, sometimes precipitated by night sweats or hot flashes.

  • Stimulants like caffeine, spicy foods, or alcohol.

  • Imbalance between sodium and potassium levels.


When to see your doctor or get emergency care for your palpitations?


  • If they increase in severity.

  • If they last for more than a few seconds.

  • If you notice them happening more frequently.

  • Have shortness of breath, chest pain, or become dizzy.



References:


Reviewed by Wilson, D. (July 28, 2020). "Are Heart Palpitations a Symptom of Menopause", Written by Watson, S., <https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-and-heart-palpitations>.



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