Why Does My Heart Pound After I Eat?

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Heart palpitations, the feeling of a rapidly beating heart, pounding heart or irregular heartbeat, are common after indulging in a meal that is rich in carbohydrates, sugar or fat, notes WebMD. This is due to the rapid changes in blood sugar that occur after such a meal and the fact that more blood is pumped to the digestive tract to aid in digestion, according to MDhealth.com.

While a pounding heart is common after eating a large meal, it can also be a sign of sensitivity or allergy to certain foods or ingredients. MDhealth.com recommends keeping a food diary to zero in on potential culprits. The site also says to break down large meals into small, frequent meals to prevent palpitations after eating.

In addition to a pounding or fluttering feeling in the chest or neck, other symptoms may accompany palpitations, including nausea, dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, tightness in the chest, yawning, sweating, abdominal pain, insomnia and shortness of breath, notes MDhealth.com.

Palpitations are normally harmless and go away on their own. MDhealth.com recommends avoiding foods high in sugars and fat, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, nicotine and certain medications that may make palpitations worse. Since some palpitations are caused by hormonal imbalances, anemia or cardiovascular illness, it is important to rule out any underlying causes.