Heart palpitations with the urge to cough is apparently a common problem, according to this discussion. Many here reported that they have experienced the exact same symptoms as the discussion starter's sister. The member who replied first told that her problems started about two months ago.
It feels like my heart is catching and it makes me cough.
This is how she described the feeling, which many other participants confirmed later in the discussion. She also said that the cough and palpitations were usually worse at night when she was laying down, although they happened during the day as well. At times, the palpitations and cough were much worse than other times. She did EKG and echogram and the results were good. She also wore Holter monitor (heart monitor) for 24 hours but it only detected a few skips, most of those during sleep.
The participant who responded next also had a Holter monitor, ECG and blood work, but everything was good with no signs of heart attack or other heart problems.
In the following reply, the member said that he/she was suggested to visit the endocrinologist, who partly helped with the problem.
He diagnosed me with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and started me on Thyroid medicine. Surprising the hard 'thud' and cough has lessened back to a 'flutter' and cough.
After one month on the medicine, the endocrinologist sent this member to a cardiologist, suggesting that the symptoms might be caused by mitral valve prolapse.
Several other members also mentioned that they were diagnosed with Hashimoto's or other thyroid disorders (mostly underactive thyroid) and that they have experienced similar symptoms that involve cough and heart palpitations.
Certain cardiovascular disorders were also mentioned in the discussion as common causes for these symptoms.
The tests showed that I had a hole in my heart in between the top 2 chambers. The specialist said it was quite common and I didn't have to worry about it.
Another participant who experienced these symptoms also reported having a hole between atrial chambers, as well as leaky internal valves.
I was diagnosed with having Premature atrial heart contractions. It is completely normal. It isn't an extra beat, it is a "skipped" beat. Everyone has them but only about 50% of people can actually feel them when they happen.
Premature atrial contractions were named as one of the possible causes for cough and palpitations. Usually, premature atrial contractions have no clear cause and no health risks. In most cases, premature atrial contractions aren’t a sign of heart disease and just happen naturally. They don't require therapy.
My cardiologist said I could take medication to keep them from happening, but the side effects wouldn't be worth it.
Another participant in this discussion was diagnosed with Premature ventricular contractions, abnormal heartbeats similar to premature atrial contractions, except for that they begin in the ventricles - lower heart chambers - not in atria.
Some other causes mentioned in the discussion include:
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), an abnormally fast heart rhythm arising from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart
- Viral cardiomyopathy
- Hypokalemia (low potassium levels)
- Too much caffeine, etc.
Several participants reported that symptoms get worse after drinking alcohol or after strenuous activity, such as the gym.
What do experts say?
Feeling your heart suddenly and unexpectedly starting to race or pound, fluttering or skipping beats is a sensation called heart palpitations.
Heart palpitations can be bothersome or frightening, but they usually aren't serious or harmful, and often go away on their own. Most of the time, palpitations are caused by stress and anxiety, or because of excess caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. They can also occur in pregnancy.
Sometimes, although rarely, heart palpitations can be a sign of a more serious heart condition. This is why it is important to see your doctor if you have heart palpitations, especially if they're accompanied by some of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
The cough may also occur along with heart palpitations and could indicate a more serious condition, such as heart failure.
Possible causes of heart palpitations
There can be many causes for heart palpitations that can be related to your heart or not. Non-heart-related causes are quite common, such as anxiety, fear, or stress. Heart palpitations often occur during panic attacks. An imbalance in electrolytes (usually due to dehydration) is also a possible culprit. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can also cause fluttering in chest and abnormal heart rhythm.
Not only unhealthy habits can cause heart palpitations, but healthy ones, such as vigorous physical activity, too. Certain medical conditions not related to heart, such as thyroid disease, low blood sugar levels, anemia, low blood pressure, fever, and dehydration can cause palpitations.
Palpitations can develop as a side effect of certain medications, including diet pills, decongestants, asthma inhalers, and some medications used to prevent arrhythmias or treat an underactive thyroid.
Heart-related conditions can cause heart palpitations, including:
Conditions that affect the heart's upper chambers (atria), such as premature atrial contractions (PACs), which are almost always benign, meaning they aren't life-threatening or the sign of a heart attack in the making; or more serious conditions that affect atria such as atrial fibrillation and supraventricular tachycardia that both should be evaluated by a physician.
Conditions that affect the heart's lower changers (ventricles) such as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) which are not a reason to worry unless accompanied by other symptoms such as fainting or shortness of breath. On the long run, premature ventricular contractions can lead to the deadly cardiac condition known as ventricular fibrillation.
Other heart conditions can also cause heart palpitations, including, mitral valve prolapse, myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart (myocardium), and heart failure. The latter two can result in "coughing spells", or a long-term (chronic) cough, which can be either dry or productive (with mucus).
Diagnosis of heart palpitations
Heart palpitations tend to come and go, so it is important to keep a record of the frequency of their occurrence, as well as to keep an eye on other possible symptoms that may indicate a serious condition behind this sensation.
In any case, heart palpitations should be evaluated by a physician who may conduct a series of tests including:
- a physical exam that can reveal telltale signs of palpitations, such as murmur
- a blood tests, if a thyroid imbalance, anemia, low potassium, or other problems that can cause or contribute to palpitations are suspected
- an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a standard tool for evaluating heart palpitations
- an exercise stress test, if heart palpitations come with chest pain
Treatment depends on the cause of heart palpitations. In most cases, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, or reducing stress, as well as self-help techniques, such as deep breathing, Valsalva maneuver, or splashing with cold water are enough to help.
If these not help, especially if some heart condition is causing palpitations, medications called beta blockers may be prescribed, or a medical procedure called an ablation.
What symptoms have been reported?
- I have heart palpitations and pounding, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue (extreme), and have to be careful that I don't blackout when I change positions.
- I've had similar symptoms, although mine don't feel like they are in the chest, more like the diaprahgm.
- It never happens when I am standing up, only sitting, and mostly at night laying down.
- It feels like my heart is catching and it makes me cough.
- abotu a year ago i started having heart palpitations whilst i was lying in bed - relaxed not stressed at all.
What diagnosis has been made?
- I just got diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome where I have an increased fast heartrate usually about 110 - 130 bpm and a low blood pressure.
- I was wondering if it was normal that I keep coughing when I have a PVC or APC, which I have already been diagnosed with.
- i was on one diabetic drug when this started i now have a daily medication dose of 15 pills and have currentlyhave had 4 stents in my heart and been diagnosed with CORANARY ARTERY DISEASE and on a transplant list
- My doctor said he thinks they were PVC's (premature ventricular contractions).
- I have mitral valve prolapse and everything you say is what I experience.
What medications and treatments have been prescribed?
- Toprol as I understand it is a drug that cardiologists like because it works well.
- He did perscribe me atenolol and ativan.
- I have bags of cough drops all over the place for when it gets bad.
- She gave me a 2-week sample of Toprol (a beta blocker) at 25 mg, but told me to take 1/2 a pill every day for 3 days and if the palpitations are still going on, to take a whole one.
- When I was pregnant with my daughter, my cardiologist found my electrolytes (magnesium) were REALLY low and gave me IV magnesium, and told me to take Magnesium-Oxide (You have to get it behind the pharmacy counter, but it's nonprescription) It is just delivered more accurately.
Verification Claims & Medical Studies
Taking bananas and potassium supplements (available at most drug stores) will help reduce palpitations because many palpitations are caused by low potassium and/or low calcium.
Hi, there is a connection with coughing and heart failure - so it is important to really get checked, and double-checked.
I am chronically dehydrated and I have seen that the palpitations can be caused by an imbalance in electrolytes.