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Rapid Heart Beat

Palpitations

can feel like the heart is beating very erratically or fast, or skipping a beat, or as if there are butterflies in your chest. Usually they occur with hot flashes and night sweats, but they can appear on their own.

It is known that levels of estrogen during Perimenopause alternate between very high and very low. This causes a destabilization of the cardiac rhythm, which can lead to palpitations.

It may be menopause, but ...

While palpitations are usually harmless, they could be signs of a serious heart rhythm abnormality or heart disease until proven otherwise.

A revved-up thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can increase the effects of adrenaline, a stress hormone in the body, which can cause a rapid heart rhythm or arrhythmia. It's diagnosed with a TSH test.

Palpitations that occur in the absence of hot flashes on a recurring basis or are associated with light-headedness or shortness of breath warrant a cardiac evaluation. One test that can be done is an electrocardiogram, called an EKG or ECG, which measures the electrical impulses of the heart and can show an irregularity in the heartbeat. (Your doctor may have you wear a portable ECG device called a Holter monitor for 24 hours to record how your heart responds to normal, everyday activities and to determine whether the sensation of palpitations corresponds to a heart rhythm abnormality.)

A stress echocardiogram is a very accurate method of diagnosing heart disease in women. It's an imaging technique, which combines a treadmill stress test with cardiac ultrasound to check your heart's size, movement, shape, and pumping ability.

There's a danger to ascribing palpitations to changing hormone levels. "When a perimenopausal or menopausal woman says "I'm beginning to experience palpitations". Don't blow it off as just that time of life it could be coronary disease.

If it turns out that your palpitations are related to menopause, they can usually be relieved with natural herbal remedies that help balance the estrogen to progesterone ratio. See below for recommendations.

Recommended herbs:

Hawthorn
Menopause Formula
 
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