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What causes a fluttering feeling in the chest?

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Quick Answer

A fluttering sensation in the chest is most likely a type of heart palpitation, according to WebMD. These are common and occur sporadically in everyone's lives. They can be caused by anxiety, intense physical activity, some medications and caffeine consumption. Alcohol use, stress, electrolyte imbalances, thyroid disease and low blood sugar can also lead to a palpitation.

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Full Answer

Illegal drugs such as cocaine are often linked to heart palpitations, as are cigarettes and some over-the-counter herbal supplements, notes WebMD. People who suffer from underlying health conditions such as diabetes, low blood pressure and anemia may be more prone to experiencing chest flutters. Heart palpitations are also likely to occur after eating excessive amounts of sugary and fatty foods or indulging in meals with high sodium or monosodium glutamate content. This type of activity may signal the presence of a food allergy.

Heart palpitations can manifest as several various sensations in the chest, including rapid, skipped or forceful heartbeats, according to WebMD. The feeling can also extend from the chest into the throat and neck. In severe cases, heart palpitations can be caused by serious medical complications, such as coronary artery disease, heart valve malfunctions or congestive heart failure. It is important to have concerning chest activity evaluated by a doctor to rule out the possibility of a life-threatening illness.

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