If youve ever experienced a heart palpitation, you know that the feeling of having a fast, fluttering, or pounding heart is scary, to say the least. But despite the freakiness, experts say heart palpitations happen pretty oftenand theyre usually not dangerous or a sign of your impending doom.
Theyre very common, Malissa Wood, M.D., co-director of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells SELF. Most people will have palpitations at some point in their lives, even if [the palpitations] are short-lived.” Nicole Weinberg, M.D., a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, agrees, telling SELF that heart palpitations are extremely common in young women.
According to the Mayo Clinic, heart palpitations can feel like your heart is skipping beats, fluttering, beating too fast, or pumping harder than usual. If you feel your heart beating at all, that can be a palpitation, Wood explains. You might feel heart palpitations in your throat, neck, or chest, and they can occur when youre active or resting, and whether youre standing, sitting, or lying down, the Mayo Clinic says.
Its not just a sensation that your heart is skipping beats or beating too fastyour heart is actually doing this, Weinberg says, noting that there can be several reasons for it. A major cause of heart palpitations in young women is having too much caffeine, she says. Wood agrees: That second or third latte of the morning can bring out extra beats.