Palpitations are an awareness that ht heart is beating irregularly, or more quickly or forcefully than usual. A racing pulse following a fright, or a steep climb, is normal and does not constitute palpitations,
Palpitations are an awareness that the heart is beating irregularly, or more quickly or forcefully than usual. A racing pulse following a fright, or a steep climb, is normal and does not constitute palpitations, which often come on at rest. If your heart is healthy they are nothing to worry about, and they can be triggered by nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, the menopause, anxiety or an overactive thyroid gland.
- A sudden awareness of your heart beat.
- Pulse irregular or stronger than usual.
- Pulse faster and weaker than usual.
- Fluttery feeling in the chest.
- Feeling faint.
- Advice would aim at a generally healthy lifestyle, including a wholefood diet, regular exercise and relaxation. Yoga and acupuncture reduce stress and restore balance. Hydrotherapy – holding the hands and arms in cold water for up to a minute – can slow down a racing pulse.
- Replace cola drinks, tea and coffee with fruit juices, herbal teas and green tea, rich in nutrients that benefit the heart. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, rich in the major antioxidants, and raw garlic, which is reputed to reduce palpitations. Specific dietary supplements include vitamin E, which reduces the ‘stickiness’ of the blood and the risks of clotting and octacosanol, a naturally occurring substance found in grain, known to combat stress effects on the heart.
- Calming herbal teas include lime, orange leaves, basil, Melissa, sage and rose petals. Liquorice, and teas and drinks flavored with this, is beneficial, as is the water in which artichoke leaves have been boiled. St. John’s wort, a herbal supplement available as tables, reduces anxiety (as well as lifting mild depression). Cider vinegar on a sugar lump or mixed with a little runny honey or added to a tumbler of water is said to stop palpitations.
- Add 2 drops each of essences of Melissa, chamomile and neroli to 5 ml of soya oil and add to your bathwater, or massage lightly into your solar plexus. Keep a tissue under your pillow moistened with a drop of rose oil for peaceful sleep.
- Try to pinpoint and avoid personal triggers such as spicy food or too much to eat or drink.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce caffeine intake which is found in cola drinks, chocolate, tea and coffee.
- Reduce stress by slow, deep breathing.
- Consult your doctor for recurrent attacks to rule out heart or thyroid disease.
- Seek medical advice for palpitations that occur with chest pain, sweating or fainting.