Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Veena Angle, MBBS, MD

Quiz: What Do Your Heart Palpitations Mean?

Many times, heart palpitations are harmless and can be remedied by staying hydrated or handling stress better. Other times, they might be telling you something more serious is wrong. Take this quiz to help narrow down the cause so you can seek proper treatment.

Heart palipations min scaled

Heart palpitations can be scary if you are not sure why they are happening. Many times, they are harmless and will go away on their own.

However, in some cases, they may be a symptom of a serious underlying health condition that requires immediate attention.

Take our quiz to help you find out what your heart palpitations mean. Then, read what our medical experts have to say about seeking the right treatment.

What’s Causing Your Heart Palpitations?

Over-consumption of caffeine can lead to an irregular heartbeat. Dehydration can, too.

Multiple factors can lead to heart palpitations that are typically harmless. These include: 

Additionally, ailments not related to the heart can cause palpitations, such as anemia, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, fever, and dehydration.

Are Your Heart Palpitations A Sign Of A Severe Health Condition?

Learning the reasons behind your heart palpitations can help you decide on treatment options that target your specific condition. Let’s learn what your answers suggest.

If you answered mostly “A”

Your heart palpitations may reveal symptoms of an underlying heart condition. Examples of these are: 

  • Heart failure – the heart being unable to pump blood properly throughout the body 
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – heart muscle and walls enlarging and thickening 
  • Mitral valve prolapse – an upward bulging of the two valve flaps into the left atrium 
  • Congenital heart disease – birth defects that inhibit the normal functioning of the heart 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), heart palpitations happen if a person: 

  • Has a weak body constitution
  • Experiences an overall reduction in the Blood, qi, yin, and yang due to a weak Spleen
  • Has a long-term illness that depletes the Heart’s qi (vital energy) and yin 
  • Experiences overstimulating emotions 
  • Experiences an invasion of “evil” qi 

Usually, a healthcare provider will diagnose heart conditions by firstly understanding your diet, symptoms, medical history, and use of medications. They may also opt to perform several tests to ascertain the health of your heart and lungs, such as: 

  • Blood tests 
  • Stress tests 
  • Urine tests 
  • A chest X-ray 
  • An echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) 
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) 
  • An electrophysiology study 
  • Cardiac catheterization 

Separately, you may also need to wear a heart monitor when you’re at home. Doing this will help the healthcare provider better understand your symptoms. 

If you answered mostly “B”

Your heart palpitations are likely not dangerous and may disappear without medical treatment. However, if you are concerned about your condition, be sure to have it cleared by a medical professional to ease your mind.

You can make several lifestyle changes to help stop an irregular heartbeat. For instance, you can engage in activities that reduce your stress level. Dehydration can also cause heart palpitations, so make sure you are well hydrated at all times.

Qigong, yoga, and deep breathing exercise are the techniques you can use. You should also limit your consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. Avoid using tobacco or nicotine products. Also, control your cholesterol and blood pressure levels by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.

How To Manage Heart Palpitations

A healthcare provider will prescribe a combination of modalities to address the heart condition triggering your palpitations. You may require medication, undergo surgery or a procedure, or use cardiac devices.

TCM physician Kong Teck Chuan recommends several acupoints to help improve the symptom of heart palpitations. The Neiguan (PC6) acupoint is mainly used for chest discomfort, which includes the Heart, Lungs, and Stomach health to attend to symptoms like nausea, chest tightness, and anxiety.

Zusanli (ST36) is mainly used for gastrointestinal issues. When used together, both Neiguan and Zusanli acupoints can help regulate cardiac and gastric functions – regulating intragastric pressure helps with blood pressure.

Tianshu (ST25), Weidao (GB28), Zhongwan (RN12), Shuifen (RN9), Guanyuan (RN4), and Sanyinjiao (SP6) acupoints are also beneficial for regulating systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In addition, a 2012 study showed that cupping therapy shows promise in alleviating ischemic myocardial conditions. Using herbal ingredients like safflower (Hong Hua), turmeric (Jiang Huang) and red sage root (Dan Shen) can improve the symptoms and clinical outcomes of angina. Astragalus (Huang Qi), ginseng (Ren Shen), Chinese Angelica (Dang Gui), and licorice root (Gan Cao) can also be included in herbal formulas that treat heart failure.

Being aware of the symptoms accompanying heart palpitations can help differentiate between a normal or a life-threatening condition. If you want to consider using TCM, speak to a licensed practitioner to ensure the safety of use. If this quiz has helped you better understand the disorder, share it with your loved ones.

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