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What causes palpitations?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11953 Questions
Just shoveld snow , came in and heart was racing . I just a pancakes also and went out to shovel. I dont have heart disease . I am 43 female .and now scared becUse i read about shoveling snow and heart attack . Inhave some chest discomfort but the palpatations is what is scaring me
Posted Thu, 20 Feb 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: palpitations do not necessarily mean heart attack Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Physical activities that require more effort such as shovelling snow can be associated with heart attacks but this is usually in persons with a history of either known heart disease or illnesses that increase the risk of heart disease (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smokers, overweight). During these types of intense activities, the heart requires more blood because it is working more, if it is not able to get enough blood then angina or a heart attack can occur. During any intense activity, the heart rate would increase, this is normal. The heart has to pump faster because it is worker more and the muscles would also need more blood for the activity.Your increased heart rate is the expected response to physical activity.It does not mean that you are at risk of a heart attack. Chest pain would be an abnormal response, the heart beats faster because it is working more but there should not be any pain.The heart related pain only occurs if parts of the heart are not receiving enough blood. If you experience chest pain with this or any physical activity then you should consider visiting your doctor for an evaluation. This would include an ECG test. If this shows any abnormality further testing would be needed. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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