Can Anxiety Cause Irregular Heartbeat?

Irregular Heartbeat

Yes, anxiety can cause irregular heartbeat, also known as palpitations. Palpitations are sensations of a racing, pounding, or irregular heartbeat that may feel like the heart is fluttering, skipping beats, or beating too hard or too fast.

When you experience anxiety, your body undergoes physiological changes in response to the perceived threat or stress. These changes can include the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can affect the cardiovascular system in various ways:

  • Increased heart rate: Anxiety can cause the heart to beat faster than usual, a phenomenon known as tachycardia. This increased heart rate can sometimes feel irregular or fluttery.
  • Premature contractions: Anxiety can trigger premature contractions of the heart’s upper or lower chambers, known as premature atrial contractions (PACs) or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), respectively. These premature beats can cause sensations of palpitations or irregular heartbeat.
  • Sensitization to normal heart rhythms: People with anxiety may become hypersensitive to normal fluctuations in heart rate and rhythm, leading them to perceive benign variations in heartbeat as irregular or abnormal.

While palpitations caused by anxiety are typically harmless and resolve on their own, they can be distressing and may exacerbate feelings of anxiety. If you experience persistent or severe palpitations, it’s important to seek evaluation from a healthcare provider to rule out underlying cardiac conditions and to receive appropriate guidance and support for managing anxiety-related symptoms.

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