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Feeling your heartbeat throughout your body - Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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A bounding pulse is when an individual starts to feel strong and vigorous palpitations all through the body. The article is a brief overview of this condition.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sugreev Singh

Published At May 4, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 23, 2024

Introduction

A bounding pulse is a medical condition when an individual begins to feel their heartbeat abnormally harder and faster than average. People are generally anxious that a bounding pulse may pose a symptom of an underlying cardiovascular disease. However, anxiety, stress, or even panic disorders may have the potential to cause many forms of palpitations throughout the body, which usually disappear on their own. Individuals might observe their heart beating in a manner that feels like knocking on the chest. They may also experience strong heartbeats that are easily palpable when the pulse of the wrist or neck is checked. They might additionally feel an irregularity in their heart rate.

Strong palpitations make a person assume that their heart is beating surprisingly hard or extremely fast, skipping a beat or even a fluttering feel within the chest. One might notice heart palpitations in the night time in the chest and the throat, head, eyes, face, limbs, and neck. Feeling the heartbeat throughout the body can be pretty bothersome. But it should be kept in mind that they are generally not serious, and most of the time, they resolve on their own. They may occur due to stress, anxiety, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, pregnancy, etc. particular tests to find the exact treatment aids to get rid of palpitations. In case any underlying condition is absent, lifestyle modifications can prove valid.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Feeling Your Heartbeat Throughout the Body or Palpitations?

There are no similar clinical manifestations seen or recorded in individuals who experience palpitations throughout their bodies. Signs and symptoms vary according to the underlying reason. Determination of the cause is thus necessary in order to keep the symptoms at bay by providing the correct treatment modality. Mentioned below are some of the signs and symptoms of palpitations.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Chest pain.

  • Dizziness.

  • Lightheadedness.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Fainting.

  • Nausea.

  • Flip-flopping.

  • Pounding.

  • Excessive sweating.

  • Hot flushes.

  • Feeling of heart racing.

  • Feeling of heart skipping a beat.

  • Fluttering feeling in the abdomen and chest.

  • Tightness in the jaw and neck.

  • Heaviness in the chest.

  • Pressure around the abdomen.

  • Confusion.

  • Delirium.

  • Pressure in the upper back.

  • Passing out.

  • Increased urinary output.

  • Anxiety.

  • Tremors.

  • Instability or not being able to balance.

  • Pain in the arms.

  • Being unable to walk on a straight path.

  • Alternatively, feeling hot or cold.

  • Sensitivity to sound.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Insomnia.

What Are the Causes of Feeling Your Heartbeat Throughout the Body (Palpitations)?

There are numerous causes that may lead an individual to feel their heartbeat throughout their body. Palpitations generally are related to the cardiovascular system or the nervous system. However, it should be noted that there are many non-cardiovascular-related causes as well. Mentioned below are some of the causes of palpitations.

  • Strong emotions.

  • Anxiety.

  • Fear.

  • Stress.

  • Panic attacks.

  • Vigorous physical activity.

  • Caffeine.

  • Nicotine.

  • Alcohol.

  • Cocaine and amphetamines.

  • Thyroid disorder.

  • Low blood sugar levels.

  • Anemia.

  • Low blood pressure levels.

  • Fever.

  • Dehydration.

  • Hormonal alterations during menstruation.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Menopause.

  • Certain medications.

  • Diet pills.

  • Decongestants.

  • Asthma inhalers.

  • Underactive thyroid.

  • Antiarrhythmic drugs.

  • Certain herbal medications.

  • Nutritional supplements.

  • Abnormal electrolyte levels of the body.

  • Heavy meals rich in carbohydrates.

  • An excessive amount of sugar intake.

  • Fat-rich food.

  • Foods that contain monosodium glutamate or MSG.

  • Ingestion of nitrates.

  • High sodium intake.

  • Lactose intolerance.

  • A significant sign of an oncoming episode of a heart attack.

  • Coronary artery disease.

  • Heart failure.

  • Heart valve disorders.

  • Heart muscle abnormalities.

What Are the Diagnostic Tools for Palpitations?

A thorough physical examination and case history documentation are vital before jumping to any conclusions. In addition, the patient must inform the healthcare provider about their current diet, medications, and lifestyle. They must also notify the incidence of events that may trigger the onset of palpitations. Mentioned below are some of the specific tests used to diagnose palpitations.

  • A complete blood picture.

  • Electrocardiogram or EKG can be done at rest or exercise.

  • Holter monitor testing to record the heart signal for up to 48 hours.

  • Treadmill test or stress test.

  • Event recording with a handheld cardiovascular device.

  • Chest X-ray to detect any changes in the structure of the heart.

  • Lung X-rays to check fluid accumulation in the lungs.

  • Echocardiogram or an ultrasound to assess the heart’s function and structure.

How Can People Feeling Their Heartbeat Throughout the Body or Palpitations Be Treated?

The exact line of treatment solely depends on the cause of palpitations. Once the cause is identified, management becomes much easier and more successful. Palpitations, in general, are short-term and harmless. They go on their own over time. Palpitations should not always be ignored but should also not disturb the sanity of one’s mind. A regular visit to the healthcare provider will be able to catch hold of any underlying cardiovascular issue. In case there is no heart disease, some of the treatment modalities to stop the heart palpitations are as follows-

  • Stress management sessions.

  • Anger management classes.

  • Alcohol anonymous.

  • Yoga.

  • Relaxation exercises.

  • Walking regularly.

  • Biofeedback.

  • Tai chi.

  • Aromatherapy.

  • Psychotherapy.

  • Cutting down on alcohol.

  • Limiting intake of fatty food.

  • Avoiding high sugar drinks.

  • Avoiding energy drinks.

  • Following a regular sleeping pattern.

  • Counseling sessions.

  • Meditation, and deep breathing can reduce the stress and heart palpitations.

  • Heart palpitation is produced by the stimulants. Eliminate abusing drugs like cocaine, tobacco, and avoid medications of mental problems.

  • Balancing electrolytes in the body is important for maintaining the various functions.

  • Stay hydrated, drink a lot of water.

If there is a firm diagnosis of an underlying cardiovascular condition leading to recurrent events of palpitations, a multidisciplinary approach that involves cardiologists, neurologists, etc., comes into action to draw a successful treatment plan.

Conclusion

Palpitations or bounding pulses are when individuals start to feel their heartbeat throughout the body. In most cases, this feeling is resolved on its own due to the absence of any underlying condition. However, in case the individual is a known cardiac patient, consulting a cardiologist is necessary. Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, eating a heart-smart diet, and increased physical activities are some factors that may help keep episodes of palpitations as well as the development of any cardiac condition at bay.

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Dr. Sugreev Singh
Dr. Sugreev Singh

Internal Medicine

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