Experiencing heart palpitations after eating can detract from the experience of an otherwise enjoyable meal. But why does it happen in the first place? And does it mean there’s anything you should worry about? This article will explore why you can get heart palpitations after eating and some solutions to treat them.
Heart Palpitations After Eating: Why Do They Happen?
A heart palpitation often feels like your heart skipped a beat or beat more than it was supposed to. It can be accompanied by a strange feeling in your chest or neck, and you might suddenly have an awareness of your heartbeat. Your heart might feel like it’s racing or fluttering.
But does this sensation mean something’s wrong? Well, the heart is an organic timekeeper, and it can sometimes skip a beat or beat when it’s not supposed to. Fortunately, these events are usually benign and harmless, and the heart returns to its normal rhythm soon afterward.
If you only experience palpitations when you eat, then there could be several causes:
- Caffeine intake.
- Nicotine intake.
- Emotions surrounding mealtime.
- The physical act of swallowing.
It’s an ingredient in many foods and beverages, but it’s a potent stimulant that can cause jitters, an increased heart rate, and heart palpitations. It’s found in energy drinks, coffee, and tea, but also some sodas and chocolates.
Nicotine is a stimulant and increases your heart rate. Smoking, using tobacco products, or vaping before or after your meal can increase the occurrence of palpitations.
Heart palpitations can occur due to an emotional response. If you’re experiencing a lot of stress or anxiety around the time that you eat your meal, you might be more likely to feel palpitations.
This, on its own, may activate the sympathetic nervous system and cause palpitations.
How To Treat Heart Palpitations After Eating
There are many ways to treat heart palpitations, but first, a medical professional must assess the symptoms and see if there’s anything concerning them. If your symptoms fall under the common, harmless category, then some changes to your lifestyle may improve them.
Lowering your caffeine intake is a good way to start. Experts recommend not consuming any caffeine after the late afternoon, as it can inhibit your ability to fall and stay asleep at nighttime.
Quitting smoking is also a great idea. Along with a whole series of other health benefits, not consuming nicotine can decrease the frequency of heart palpitations.
If you don’t use any stimulant substances, your palpitations may be related to an emotional response. Try to log your eating habits and emotions throughout the day, as well as any palpitations. This may reveal patterns or triggers that you can avoid in the future.
It’s a great idea to see a doctor, particularly a cardiovascular specialist, if your heart palpitations are worrying you. They’ll be able to assess your symptoms and perform diagnostic tests to determine whether these palpitations require treatment or are harmless.
At the Northwest Cardiovascular Clinic in Houston, TX, we listen to all of our patients and keep you confident and comfortable through our high-quality care practices. We’re equipped to perform a comprehensive suite of tests to diagnose any potential heart problems. These include electrocardiography, heart rhythm monitoring, and blood tests. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach us at (281) 807-5253.