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symptom

Heart palpitations

Symptom

Hearts fluttering sounds so romantic, doesn’t it? The truth is, if your heart is racing, galloping, or thudding, especially if you feel it in your throat as well as your chest, you've got heart palpitations—and that can be a bit unsettling! If your heart is beating faster than usual or pumping extra hard, it could be totally harmless—but it could also be something you want to get checked out. Lots of things can trigger heart palpitations, including exercise, a super-caffeinated cup of coffee or energy drink, a scene from a scary movie, stress, anxiety, a heart condition like atrial fibrillation, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Heart palpitations that happen often and for no reason, or won't go away, can sometimes indicate an underlying condition. Autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for example, increase your risk for heart disease, because they cause accelerated atherosclerosis (aka hardening of the arteries) and coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart palpitations and other symptoms. If you've got this symptom, check in with your practitioner to find out why, exactly, your heart won't stop fluttering. If it’s not due to heart disease or another medical condition, try to avoid triggers that cause your heart rate to rise—like caffeine, stimulant drugs, and stress. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help. If you have any doubt about whether to take this symptom seriously, remember that it’s always a good idea to play it safe when it comes to your heart. (That’s not dating advice—we mean it literally!)

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