Four questions about heart disease you’ve always wanted to ask

Dr. Marvin Lipman and the editors of Consumer Reports on Health have come out with a useful little book called The Best of Health: 275 Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask Your Doctor.

Let’s take a look at their Q&A page about cardiovascular disorders.

Q:  Are my heart palpitations a sign of heart disease?

 A:  “Palpitations” is a non-medical term for any heart rhythm that feels abnormal. This can include extra beats, dropped beats, forceful beats, rapid beats, or irregular beats.  For proper diagnosis, the abnormality must first be captured on an EKG test or on a 24-hour heartbeat recording called a Holter monitor. Heart palpitations can be caused by:

  • emotional stress
  • an overactive thyroid
  • certain medications
  • diseases of the coronary arteries, heart muscle, or heart valves

Sometimes there is no detectable cause. First, try eliminating a few things on your own: caffeine (coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, soda), nasal decongestants, appetite suppressants – and see if that makes a difference.  Continue reading “Four questions about heart disease you’ve always wanted to ask”