Palpitations are abnormality of heartbeat that ranges from skipped beats to rapid or accelerated heart rates. They can cause a more noticeable heart beat to feeling of dizziness, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
Palpitations can be caused by abnormal beats either from the top (Atrium) or bottom chambers of the heart (Ventricle).
In benign cases they can be premature atrial contractions (PACs), when from the top chambers of the heart, or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), when from the bottom chambers of the heart. In more serious conditions, they can be due to serious diseases such as atrial fibrillation, super ventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, or fibrillation.
Palpitations may be brought on by stress, overexertion, anxiety, fatigue, dehydration or a panic attack. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, energy drinks, cocaine or amphetamines can exacerbate symptoms.