Palpitation is a symptom of an abnormality of heartbeat in which a person is aware of his/her pulse. It may be felt as rapid, pulsating or pounding heart.
Palpitations can normally occur in a healthy heart. They can be caused by stress, anxiety, exertion, certain drugs, pregnancy, consumption of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc. But rarely, they can also be a symptom of underlying conditions like coronary heart disease, asthma, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, emphysema, nutrient deficiency, etc. Blood loss, lack of oxygen or extreme pain can also cause palpitations.
Most cases of palpitations are harmless and often go away on their own. Lifestyle changes and avoiding the triggers that cause palpitations may help decrease their occurrence. When related to an underlying condition the focus is on treating that condition.