I can feel my heart beating strongly. Should I be worried?

A woman running

I'm a fit and active 54-year-old. Recently, I can really feel my heart beating strongly. Sometimes it feels like it's fluttering. Should I be worried?

Cardiac nurse June Davison says:

It sounds as though you might be experiencing a heart palpitation. This is the sensation of feeling your own heart beating.

When someone has a palpitation, they may feel that their heart is pounding or fluttering, and some people can feel their palpitation in their ears when they are lying down.

Palpitation can be a sign that there's something wrong with your heart, so you should go to your GP

Most of us experience this occasionally and, although it can feel unpleasant, it's often harmless. Many factors, including stress and anxiety, can trigger a palpitation. Not smoking, and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine, can help to reduce them.

If you have a palpitation it can be a sign that there's something wrong with your heart, so you should go to your GP to get checked out, just in case.
Your GP will assess you and may send you for an electrocardiogram (ECG) test, which is an electrical tracing of your heart rate and rhythm.

June DavisonMeet the expert

June Davison is a Senior Cardiac Nurse. Her extensive experience includes caring for patients after heart surgery and running cardiac rehabilitation programmes. She has specific training in supporting families with inherited heart conditions.

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