(HealthDay News) -- Heart palpitations are sensations that your heart isn't beating in its regular rhythm. In some cases, they can indicate a serious cardiovascular problem such as an irregular heartbeat. In other cases, they can be relatively harmless.
The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says any new or unexpected heart palpitations should be checked by a doctor. They could be caused by:
- A serious heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat (medically called an arrhythmia).
- Conditions including dehydration, fever, thyroid problems, anemia, low blood pressure or low blood sugar.
- Strong emotions, such as anxiety, stress or fear.
- Intense exercise or physical activity.
- Changes in hormone levels due to pregnancy, menstruation or menopause.
- Certain foods, alcoholic beverages. medications or supplements.
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