Heart palpitations can occur in women due to various reasons that include hormone changes, strenuous exercise, strong emotions, fever or nicotine use, according to Mayo Clinic. Sometimes heart palpitations can be attributed to a serious health concern such as hyperthyroidism or arrhythmia.
Additional possible causes of heart palpitations include low blood pressure, heart conditions, alcohol use, diet pills and the use of caffeine or other stimulants, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The cause of palpitations can be discovered through the use of a Holter or event monitor. These devices track the patient’s heart’s rhythm over a period of time and can help a doctor distinguish harmless palpitations from serious palpitations.
Common types of heart arrhythmias, or abnormal rhythms, are atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and supraventricular tachycardia, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type, and symptoms may include palpitations, shortness of breath and chest pain. Ventricular tachycardia consists of a rapid heartbeat originating in the lower heart chambers that can be very serious when associated with structural heart disease. Supraventricular tachycardia consists of a rapid heartbeat originating above the lower heart chambers, and it may also include the symptom of dizziness.
An individual with frequent or worsening palpitations and a history of heart disease should talk with a doctor, according to WebMD. A person with palpitations should have emergency medical attention if symptoms such as fainting, severe dizziness, chest discomfort or severe shortness of breath are also experienced.