Salamat Dok: How to stop palpitations

By Yam dela Cruz, Multimedia Producer, Salamat Dok

Posted at Jul 28 2012 11:26 PM | Updated as of Aug 11 2012 01:26 AM

Do you sometimes feel your heartbeat is irregular, like it’s skipping a beat, or beating too hard or too fast? A normal heart beats 60 to 100 in a minute, but if you feel that it’s fluctuating or fluttering, you may be experiencing what’s known as palpitations.

What causes it? According to Dr. Marian Almajar, a cardiologist from The Medical City, “It could be related to stress or fatigue. Sometimes, it is due to lack of potassium especially during hot weather when you body dehydrates easily.”

Other Possible Triggers

  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much caffeine
  • Recreational drugs
  • Hormonal changes
  • Other medications
  • Other medical conditions

The next time you experience palpitations, you can try to slow it down. Try any one of the following tips from Dr. Almajar:

  • Take deep breaths
  • Try coughing hard thrice
  • Try to tighten your abdominal muscles like you are suppressing bowel movement or giving birth
  • Try to feel your pulse for 10 seconds: right arm first, then left arm

In most cases, palpitations are normal so you have nothing to worry about. But you need to see a doctor if palpitations are accompanied by:

  • Difficulty of breathing or gasping for air
  • Sweating
  • Fainting

“It could lead to a heart attack then eventually or probably to a stroke, especially for patients who are old, those with risk factors, like if they are hypertensive or diabetic; it might also bring complications to the heart,” said Dr. Almajar. – with a report from Gina Tobias, Segment: Payo ni Dok,

May 13, 2012