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Heart Palpitations Specialist

Heart Rhythm Associates, LLC

Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS

General Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology located in Little Rock, AR

Heart palpitations aren’t always serious, but when you notice changes to your heart rhythm, it’s important to seek medical attention to protect yourself from serious complications. At Heart Rhythm Associates LLC in Central Arkansas, Van H. De Bruyn, MD, brings more than 20 years of cardiology training to men and women in Little Rock and the surrounding areas. For more information about heart palpitations and expert cardiac care, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Heart Palpitations Q & A

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations occur when you feel as though your heart is fluttering, racing, or pounding. Additional symptoms of heart palpitations include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Skipping beats
  • Flip-flopping

When you’re having heart palpitations, you might experience them in your chest, neck, or throat. These sensations can occur while you’re resting or active.

Heart palpitations are typically harmless but can indicate heart issues like arrhythmias. It’s essential to seek medical attention to rule out a serious condition, especially if you experience severe dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

What causes heart palpitations?

In many cases, heart palpitations have no obvious cause. The most common factors associated with these sensations include:

  • Stress or strenuous exercise
  • Emotions like panic, anxiety, or depression
  • Low potassium or blood sugar
  • Too many stimulants like caffeine or nicotine
  • Certain medications or illegal drugs
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

Your chances of experiencing heart palpitations also increase if you have a high-stress lifestyle, are pregnant or have other heart problems like arrhythmia or a past heart attack.

How are heart palpitations diagnosed and treated?

Dr. De Bruyn is an experienced cardiologist with advanced training in heart rhythm disorders. To diagnose heart palpitations, he usually conducts a comprehensive physical exam where he discusses your symptoms and looks for conditions that could lead to heart symptoms.

To rule out heart conditions like arrhythmias, Dr. De Bruyn might also recommend:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate the electrical performance of your heart
  • Echocardiogram to check for physical changes in your heart
  • Portable monitors to measure your heart rhythm during regular activity

Based on your diagnosis, Dr. De Bruyn works closely with you to create a personalized approach to relieve your heart palpitations. If there isn’t an obvious cause for your condition, he typically recommends making lifestyle changes to reduce the stress in your life and avoid any stimulants that could be triggering your palpitations.

If your heart palpitations are the result of other medical conditions, Dr. De Bruyn creates a personalized strategy to manage those issues that can include medications, surgery, and other therapies.

To learn more about heart palpitations, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.