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Heart Palpitations – After Eating, At Night, During Pregnancy

What causes heart Palpitations

The sensation of experiencing trembling, rapid or throbbing heartbeats is referred to as heart palpitations. Exercise, stress, medications and on rare occasions a pre-existing medical condition can trigger the onset of heart palpitations.

Heart palpitations can result in some distress, but the condition is generally harmless, as the major functions of the heart are still working. In certain cases, heart palpitations can be a sign of an underlying cardiac disorder, such as cardiac arrhythmia, which may need to be checked by a doctor.

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Heart  palpitations after eating

There may be occasions when an individual may experience heart palpitations after eating, where there may be feelings of a fluttering or racing heart beats. The sensations may begin post meal, or even at the time of consuming a meal. Heart palpitations after eating are generally experienced by individuals who are recovering from anorexia or by obese patients.

Symptoms of heart palpitations after eating

The heart generally needs to pump increased amounts of blood to the abdominal region to aid the process of digestion and assimilation of food. Such normal processes may sometimes result in the occurrence of heart palpitations in some individuals, post eating.

The symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue or exhaustion that is either mild or severe in nature
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the chest
  • Increased yawning
  • Sensations of a sore or tight chest
  • Restlessness and increased perspiration
  • Sleep problems, particularly at night after consuming a meal
  • Stomach pain and abdominal discomfort
  • Breathlessness

Causes of heart palpitations after eating

  • Sudden intake of food after remaining hungry for prolonged periods can result in a vicious cycle, wherein the blood sugar levels are suddenly increased causing arrhythmia leading to the development of heart palpitations. This is usually common in anorexia patients. The process starts with extreme hunger and low levels of blood sugar and proceeds to sudden consumption of food to rapid rise in blood sugar to increased insulin secretion to cardiac arrhythmia to decrease in the levels of blood sugar to adrenalin secretion to finally the occurrence of heart palpitations
  • The presence of hiatal hernia that is accompanied by acid reflux disorder can also result in the development of heart palpitations after eating.
  • Hormonal imbalance, particularly in women can result in heart palpitations after eating. Hyperthyroidism is a major cause of heart palpitations post meals.
  • Individuals who are obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle may be prone to heart palpitations after eating. This is due the fact that the heart has to work harder to pump blood into the stomach for food digestion post food intake
  • Anxiety and stress are some of the most common causes of heart palpitations, which are also accompanied by a number of other symptoms such as exhaustion, chest pain, etc.
  • Individuals with severe anemia wherein the levels of ferritin and hemoglobin are quite low, can result in the development of heart palpitations after eating.

Treatment of heart palpitations after eating

  • Stop remaining hungry for prolonged periods after a heavy breakfast. Instead, eat regular, small meals.
  • Obese individuals should change the diet that are high in sugar to a healthy diet and also engage in regular exercise
  • Women should get the hormone levels checked.

Heart palpitations at night

  • Excessive smoking, consumption of diet pills, increased intake of caffeine and alcohol can cause heart palpitations in the night
  • Cold, cough, hypertension and asthma medications can also result in heart palpitations at night. Consult a doctor to find if it is so.
  • Blood pressure disorders, hyperthyroidism, fever, stress, fear and anxiety are other possible causes.
  • Engaging in strenuous exercises or consuming a heavy meal before sleeping can also result in heart palpitations at night

Treatment of heart palpitations at night

  • It is important to consult a doctor to find the exact cause of heart palpitations at night. Also, one should avoid or limit the intake of nicotine, caffeine and high sugar diets and also maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid the condition

Heart palpitations during pregnancy

A lot of women experience heart palpitations during pregnancy. A few causes include:

  • There are many bodily changes that happen during pregnancy. This leads to increased stress causing rapid heartbeats and eventually heart palpitations
  • Intake of excessive amounts of coffee or tea by pregnant women can also cause heart palpitations during pregnancy
  • Pregnancy increases the heart’s workload as it has to pump more blood to provide for the needs of both the baby and the mother. Also, the levels of progesterone hormone increase during pregnancy making the heart work harder to pump blood to the fetus leading to heart palpitations during pregnancy.
  • Excessive indulgence in pregnancy exercises can result in exhaustions and heart palpitations
  • The presence of anemia and a magnesium deficient diet are other causes of heart palpitations during pregnancy. Anemia can be taken care of excess intake of iron.
  • Heart palpitations during pregnancy can also be a side effect of certain medications

Treatment of heart palpitations during pregnancy

  • Engaging in regular exercise and rest, consuming a healthy diet that is rich in magnesium, iron and other essential nutrients are important in avoiding heart palpitations during pregnancy
  • Consult a doctor if issue persists.
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