01 February 2019
Valentine’s Day is approaching and love is in the air - but a heart beating faster than usual might be a sign of much more than just a romantic reaction!
Palpitations – the speeding up or changing of your heart beat – can be caused by a variety of things and the excitement of seeing a loved one can be one of them. But in some cases they can be associated with much more serious conditions.
Dr Jerome Ment, a consultant cardiologist at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, near Birmingham West Midlands explained: “You may feel your heart pounding or beating irregularly – often for just a few seconds or maybe minutes – or sometimes it seems like your heart missed a beat.
“These symptoms may seem alarming but, the truth is, in most cases they are quite harmless. However, they can also be a sign of more serious problems involving heart valves or a thickening of the muscles and walls surrounding the heart and it can also indicate an abnormality in the electrical activity of your heart and may be a sign of heart failure.
Dr Ment has extensive experience in the assessment of possible coronary artery disease and heart failure as well as in general cardiology including the management of palpitations and heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
And as part of Heart Awareness Month, which runs throughout February, Dr Ment is urging people suffering from any type of irregular heartbeat to get themselves checked out.
He said: “In most cases palpitations are not a cause for alarm, but it is wise to be aware of palpitations and how long they last and how often they occur.
“If they last a long time or occur quite often it is best to get yourself checked out by your GP. If they think there is something amiss then we can carry out ECG (electrocardiogram) or cardiac ultrasound tests that enable us to make a rapid assessment and diagnosis of the patient,” she said.
“If you are worried about palpitations its best that you discuss it with your Doctor. As with so many health problems the quicker you get medical advice the better your treatment outcomes will be,” he added.
Q: How quickly could I have a consultation, and how much would it cost?
A: It depends on the availability of the consultant, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access to diagnosis and you can often get a consultation within 24/48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but between £175-£250 is a reasonable guide.
Q: I don’t have health insurance, can I self-pay?