Palpitations are feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or fast. You may have these feelings in your chest, throat or neck. They can occur during activity or even when you're sitting still or lying down.
Palpitations are very common. They usually aren't serious or harmful, but they can be bothersome. Strong emotions, vigorous physical activity, medicines, stimulants, and some medical conditions can cause harmless palpitations. Sometimes, palpitations are symptoms of arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are problems with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. Some arrhythmias are signs of heart disease, including heart attack, heart failure, heart valve problems or heart muscle problems. However, less than half of the people who have palpitations have arrhythmias. In some cases, the cause of palpitations can't be found.
You can take steps to prevent palpitations. These include reducing anxiety and stress in your life, avoiding or limiting stimulants (e.g., caffeine or nicotine), and by treating medical conditions that may lead to palpitations.