CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Often the cause of your heart palpitations can't be found. Common causes of heart palpitations include:
- Strong emotional responses, such as stress or anxiety
- Strenuous exercise
- Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
- Taking cold and cough medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a stimulant
- Taking some asthma inhaler medications that contain stimulants
However, occasionally heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious, underlying problem, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Arrhythmias may include very fast heart rates (tachycardia), unusually slow heart rates (bradycardia) or an irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation).
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