Symptoms A-Z

Racing Heart Beat Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand racing heart beat symptoms, including 8 causes & common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: arrhythmia

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  1. 8 Possible Racing Heart Beat Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

8 Possible Racing Heart Beat Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced racing heart beat. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Mitral valve prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between the heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn't close properly because the flaps of the valve are "floppy." Most people who have the condition are born with it.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, rib pain, shortness of breath, racing heart beat

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a chronic condition that involves repeated episodes of panic attacks, as well as worry about future attacks or consequences of attacks, or unhelpful changes in behavior to avoid the attacks. Panic attacks are episodes of sudden-onset fear, discomfort, and/or other symptoms that may or may not be associated with a specific trigger.

Symptoms of panic attacks include chest pain, shortness of breath, shaking, trembling, sweating, abdominal discomfort, nausea, dizziness, heat or cold sensations, numbness or tingling, or fear of dying.

Treatment options include psychotherapy and antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: anxiety, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, depressed mood

Symptoms that always occur with panic disorder: anxiety

Symptoms that never occur with panic disorder: agoraphobia

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Premature ventricular contractions

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra,.

Symptoms of PVCs are sometimes difficult to notice, but may present as feelings of fluttering or pounding in the chest, skipped or missed heartbeats, or an increased awareness of your heart beating.

Treatment for PVCs often includes at-home measures, such as managing stress and being aware of triggers from both substances and behaviors. More serious action is sometimes taken via medication or surgery.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: racing heart beat, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, racing heart beats that lasts for seconds, irregular heart beat, racing heart beat that lasts for minutes

Symptoms that always occur with premature ventricular contractions: racing heart beat

Urgency: In-person visit

Vitamin b12 deficiency

B12 is an essential vitamin for the production of myelin, a compound that speeds up the conduction of nerve impulses, and the production of red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. It only occurs naturally in diets containing animal byproducts.

B12 deficiency can cause serious and irreversible damage to the nervous system and lead to difficulties in cognition, balance, motion, and an inability to create sufficient blood cells to supply the body with oxygen.

The main and most effective treatment is taking B12 supplements with a specific recommendation from a medical provider.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, history of headaches, racing heart beat

Symptoms that never occur with vitamin b12 deficiency: menstrual period changes

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterized by a rapid rate and irregular rhythm that feels like the heart is quivering. It can lead to chest discomfort, shortness of breath,.

Heart damage from high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, viral infections, and sleep apnea can cause atrial fibrillation. Other risk factors include increasing age, obesity, family history, and drinking alcohol.

Symptoms include a jerky, fluttering heartbeat (palpitations);( is a medical emergency requiring a call to 911.

Treatment involves cardioversion with mild electrical shock or medication to return the heart to normal rhythm. Blood thinners and medication to maintain heart rhythm will be prescribed. Procedures may be needed in some cases.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart beat, lightheadedness

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Atrial flutter

Atrial flutter is an arrhythmia, meaning the system that regulates the heartbeat is not working correctly. The upper two chambers of the heart – the atria – beat faster than the lower two chambers and end up quivering, or fluttering, rather than beating.

It can be caused by high blood pressure; coronary artery disease; alcoholism; hyperthyroidism; and a previous case of rheumatic fever, which damages the heart valves.

Symptoms include fast, regular pulse; weakness or faintness; shortness of breath; and sometimes chest pain.

Since the quivering, fluttering atria cannot properly pump out the blood, the blood can stagnate and clot. A clot that travels through the body can cause a stroke. Also, the stagnated blood can cause blood pressure to drop and heart failure can result.

Diagnostic tests may include physical examination; EKG (also known as ECG); x-ray; MRI; and/or long-term monitoring with the patient wearing a Holter monitor.

Treatment first consists of medication to slow the heart rate and prevent blood clots. Defibrillation, catheter ablation, and surgery may also be done, as well as treatment of any underlying disorders.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, racing heart beat, lightheadedness, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, shortness of breath on exertion

Urgency: In-person visit

Aortic valve regurgitation

Aortic valve regurgitation occurs when the aortic valve one of the four valves in the heart fails to function properly and allows blood to flow backward through it. When some blood flows back from the aorta into the heart, it puts pressure on the heart and decreases the amount of blood flowing to the rest of the body.

There are two main types of aortic valve regurgitation, acute (sudden-onset) and chronic (long-term), that may present with different symptoms. Acute symptoms include sudden paleness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, chest pain or back pain. Chronic symptoms present with exertion, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and an uncomfortable pounding of the heart.

Treatments include medication and surgery to repair the aortic valve.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, racing heart beat, shortness of breath on exertion, shortness of breath when lying down, brief fainting episode

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Folate (vitamin) deficiency

Folate is also called folic acid or vitamin B9. It is needed to create red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. A shortage of folate leads to a shortage of healthy red blood cells, which is also called anemia.

Folate deficiency can be caused by poor diet; alcohol use; some medications; diseases of the large intestine; and pregnancy, since the growing baby requires folate in larger amounts.

Symptoms include severe fatigue; loss of appetite; diarrhea; paleness; sore tongue; and irritability. The same symptoms can appear in other conditions, especially blood disorders.

Folate deficiency is also a cause of abnormal brain and spine development in a fetus. For these reasons, it is very important to see a medical provider if these symptoms occur.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood tests, and sometimes digestive tract studies.

Treatment involves immediate supplementation of folate with injections, followed by folate and other vitamin and mineral tablets; improvement in diet; and treating any underlying digestive or blood disorder.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, irritability, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea

Symptoms that never occur with folate (vitamin) deficiency: abdominal swelling

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Racing Heart Beat

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Have you been experiencing dizziness?
  • Is your heart beating more quickly or slowly than usual?
  • Did you faint?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

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Racing Heart Beat Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced racing heart beat have also experienced:

  • 6% Tight, Heavy, Squeezing Chest Pain
  • 5% Shortness Of Breath
  • 5% Chest Pain

People who have experienced racing heart beat were most often matched with:

  • 45% Premature Ventricular Contractions
  • 27% Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • 27% Panic Disorder

People who have experienced racing heart beat had symptoms persist for:

  • 37% Less than a day
  • 32% Over a month
  • 15% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Racing Heart Beat Symptom Checker

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