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What do heart palpitations feel like?

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Quick Answer

Heart palpitations create sensations within the chest that feel as though the heart is skipping a beat, pounding or beating very fast, notes MedlinePlus. It is possible for the feeling to extend to the throat and neck. Heart palpitations can result in brief abnormalities to the heart's natural rhythm.

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Full Answer

According to WebMD, heart palpitations are quite common and rarely signify a medical emergency, although they can be quite unpleasant and may alarm people who are worried about why the sensation occurs. Heart palpitations commonly occur due to anxiety, cocaine use, intense exercise, fever, excessive caffeine consumption and nicotine, notes MedlinePlus. They can also occur during an illness when a person is dehydrated and suffers from an electrolyte imbalance. WebMD states that heart palpitations are known to result from anemia, the use of diet pills, low blood sugar and overeating at mealtime.

Some people experience heart palpitations after eating specific foods, which may signal an allergy. If heart palpitations are accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as dizziness or chest pain, they may signal that there is an underlying health complication, and it is important to seek medical advice. Possible concerns include thyroid imbalances, heart disease, low blood oxygen levels, reactions to certain medications and heart valve abnormalities, according to MedlinePlus.

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