The Ultimate Guide to Heart Palpitations in Singapore

By Michael MacDonald

Heart Palpitations

Symptomatic heart palpitations are incredibly common. While they are usually nothing to worry about, pounding and irregular heartbeats can indicate a serious heart condition in some cases. If you experience heart palpitations, you should get yourself checked by a cardiologist.

Where Can I Get Myself Checked?

The earlier you see a heart specialist, the better. Studies show that early detection and management of palpitations result in better patient outcomes. At Harley Street we have 3 convenient locations where your palpitations can be investigated: Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena and Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Orchard.

5 Things You Should Know about Palpitations

1- What are Palpitations?

The symptom of palpitations varies between individuals. For some, people describe palpitations as having fluttering, skipped beats, other times it can be a strong or a fast heart rhythm. The symptom is often caused by some form of heart rhythm problem.

Electrophysiological

2 – What Causes Palpitations?

There are many different causes of palpitations. Usually they are not life threatening. It is important to perform a series of tests to work out the underlying cause. The table below lists some different causes of palpitations.

Causes Examples
Cardiac source Atrial fibrillation
Atrial tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia
Ectopic beats
Sinus tachycardia
Psychiatric etiology Depression
Panic attacks
Anxiety
Medication-induced Stimulants
Health condition Anemia
Thyrotoxicosis
Electrolyte imbalances  
Hormonal Pregnancy
Menopause
Excessive consumption Caffeine
Alcohol
Energy drinks
Extreme stress or physical activity  

3-Why Do You Need to See a Heart Specialist for Palpitations?

In one study, researchers found that more than 80% of patients with palpitations have heart arrhythmias as the cause. Seeing a heart specialist will allows accurate diagnosis and treatment of the arrhythmia.

4-How Your Cardiologist Diagnosed Palpitations?

In most cases of palpitations your cardiologist will perform a series of tests:

  • ECG – a 12 lead ECG will provide details on the electrical rhythm and wiring of the heart
  • Echocardiogram – A heart ultrasound will look for any underlying heart structure problems that could cause palpitations
  • Holter monitoring – An ambulatory ECG monitor will be attached for a number of day to record your heart rhythm while you are at home or exercising.
  • Blood tests – To exclude problems like anemia and thyroid issues.

Other tests can also be done:

  • Electrophysiological (EP) Study is an invasive procedure that examines the heart's electrical activity and determines abnormal heart rhythms.
  • In some cases, your cardiologist may insert an implantable loop recorder to verify the causes of palpitations. An implantable loop recorder is a small monitoring device fitted underneath the skin and may stay under the chest for up to 3 years to keep your heart under surveillance.

5 – How Can I Prevent Palpitations?

Preventing Palpitations

Management and treatment for palpitations varies depending on the cause. If the symptoms are caused by an arrhythmia, management may include medications, and catheter ablation.

General lifestyle tips to reduce palpitations include:

  • (Abstain or) Limit alcohol intake.
  • (Abstain or) Cut down caffeine intake.
  • (Abstain or) smoking.
  • Keep a food diary. List down food triggers, such as spices.
  • Manage stress.
  • Ensure adequate sleep of 7-8 hours daily.

3 Reasons to Visit Harley Street for Your Palpitations

Visit Harley Street

1 – We promise prompt and accurate diagnosis.

We can often see patients within 1 or 2 days of referral, and we aim to see emergency cases the same day. All the necessary tests can usually be performed in our clinics in just 1-2 days to allow prompt diagnosis and treatment.

2 – We promise a personalized care plan.

At Harley Street, we arrange necessary investigations and create a bespoke treatment plan tailored to your needs.

3 – We deliver outpatient consultation and continuous monitoring.

At Harley Street, we can arrange comfortable, unobtrusive ECG monitoring at home for several days to months.

Why Choose Harley Street

Why Choose Harley Street

At Harley Street, we deliver the state-of-the-art management of cardiovascular disease.

  • Cutting edge equipment. Our in-house diagnostic laboratories provide the most advanced and latest cardiovascular investigations in measuring health and wellness. Patients with palpitations may benefit from the electrophysiological study and loop recorder implantation.
  • Patient-centred care. Our doctors are committed to achieving excellence, and keep patients at the centre of the decision making process. As part of a multidisciplinary team, the specialists at Harley Street ensure management and resolution of a wide range of heart diseases, including heart palpitations.
  • Continuity of care. Besides highly accessible clinics in three (3) convenient locations in Singapore, we offer teleconsultation and remote monitoring services that allow us to care for you even when you are not in Singapore.

Conclusion

Palpitations are very common. However, they can be unpleasant. If you have been experiencing palpitations for a long time, not to mention, when not improved with simple conservative measures, see your doctor. The Harley Street Medical Group is a group of medical specialists that will help you find out the root cause of the abnormal beats so that you live the best life with your families and friends.


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