Heart palpitations can occur after eating or when lying down. A normal heart beat is between 60 to 100 beats per minute but heart palpitations can lower or increase this number. Generally, heart palpitations are not of concern as they can occur due to many lifestyle factors like drinking caffeine or from your emotional state like being stressed. In rare cases heart palpitations can be severe and be a sign for a heart condition. If heart palpitations are accompanied by shortness of breath and chest pains that is usually an indicator of something more serious.
Another lifestyle factor which can contribute to heart palpations is consuming food or lying down. Let us explain why this phenomenon occurs and what you can do to prevent it.
Heart palpitations after eating
Heart palpitations are a sensation that your heart is beating too quickly or feels like it is fluttering. This can be felt in your chest, throat or neck. Although anyone can feel heart palpitations after a meal it is commonly experienced more so in obese or anorexic individuals.
A common cause of heart palpitations after eating is the fact that the meal was simply too large. Other factors of a meal contributing to heart palpitations are that the meal contained high amounts of carbohydrates, sugar or fat. Foods high in monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium can also cause heart palpitations. In order to narrow down which foods lead to your heart palpitations it may be wise to document your eating in a diary for a week or so.
Symptoms and causes of heart palpitations after eating
Symptoms which can accompany heart palpitations after a meal include:
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Chest pain
- Tightness and soreness in chest
- Excessive yawning
- Sweating and restlessness
- Abdominal discomfort and stomach palpitations
- Inability to sleep peacefully
- Shortness of breath
Other causes of heart palpitations aside from eating are:
- Physical activity
- Stimulants like caffeine or nicotine
- Medical conditions like low blood pressure, thyroid disease
- Hormonal changes in women
- Medications like decongestants, diet pills
- Nutritional or herbal supplement
- Irregular levels of electrolytes
Causes of heart palpitations when lying down
Aside from the above causes of heart palpitations, lying down, too, can cause your heart to flutter. Causes for heart palpitations when lying down include:
- Consuming caffeine
- Smoking nicotine
- Stress, anxiety, panic attack
- Heart disease
Heart palpitations may worsen if a person specifically lies down on their left side. There are many reasons for this including:
- Lying down changes the demands of the body and lying on the left side puts the heart in closer proximity with the chest and ribs
- Lying on the left side compresses the stomach and the left lube of the lung and heart
- Lying down after a meal can lead to heart palpitations because circulation increases and so there is a higher demand from the heart
Treatment of heart palpitations when lying down
Treatment of heart palpitations when lying down depends on the underlying cause. For example if you lay down after a meal and experience heart palpitations you may not wish to make that a habit any longer. Additionally if you notice smoking a cigarette or drinking coffee are the cause for your heart palpitations these habits, too, must be changed.
Some simple and effective treatment options for heart palpitations include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Avoiding certain foods and beverages
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine or medications which act like stimulants like decongestants and some natural supplements
The important part to treating heart palpitations is knowing the underlying cause and managing that. If you can’t figure out what the trigger is you may want to speak with your doctor and have them run some tests on your heart.