WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Palpitations are fast, forceful heartbeats in an irregular rhythm. You may feel like your heart is racing, jumping, throbbing, or fluttering. You may feel extra beats, no beats for a short time, or skipped beats.
- Heart medicine: This medicine is given to strengthen or regulate your heartbeat. It also may help your heart in other ways. Talk with your caregiver to find out what your heart medicine is and why you are taking it.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Keep a record:
Record when your palpitations start and stop, what you were doing when they started, and your symptoms. Record anything you ate or drank within a few hours of the start of your palpitations. How were you were feeling before the palpitations started? For example, were you stressed or tired? Include anything that seemed to help your symptoms, such as lying down or holding your breath. This record will help you learn what may trigger your palpitations. Bring this record with you when you see your primary healthcare provider.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: This may help you have more energy and heal faster. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Drink liquids as directed: Adults should drink between 9 and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid every day. Ask what amount is best for you. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juice, and milk.
- Get plenty of exercise: Talk to your caregiver about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. You are more likely to have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and other health problems if you smoke. Quitting smoking will improve your health and the health of those around you. If you smoke, ask for information about how to stop.
- Manage stress: Stress may slow healing and cause illness. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your palpitations happen more often or get more intense.
- You have new or worsening swelling in your feet or ankles.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have pain, pressure, or fullness in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or returns.
- You have pain or discomfort in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
- You have an upset stomach.
- You have a sudden cold sweat.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and are short of breath. You have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You cough up blood.
- You have a painful red lump in your arm or leg.
- You have weakness or numbness in your arm, leg, or face.
- You are confused or have problems speaking or understanding speech.
- You have a severe headache or feel dizzy.
- You have vision changes or loss of vision.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.