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What Are the Causes of Throat Palpitations?

By S. Berger
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Feeling one's heart beat is fairly common, but sometimes it may seem as if the heart is skipping a beat, beating irregularly, or simply beating too fast. Sensations like these are known as palpitations, and while they can often be felt in the heart, they may sometimes occur elsewhere, including the neck and throat. Throat palpitations can be caused by a variety of factors, not all of them serious, although they may occasionally be a symptom of underlying medical problems that could require treatment.

Throat palpitations are similar to these sensations felt elsewhere in the body, in that they can stem from the heart's activity and blood flow. Sometimes, they may be due to certain medications, intense exercise, or even strong emotional responses. Causes like these tend to make the heart beat faster, and occasionally to beat prematurely, which can still be felt as throat palpitations at times. Thyroid disease and other medical conditions can lead to these variations in the heart's activity, as well. Generally, these types of sensations are not harmful, and do not require immediate medical attention, although a person with other underlying conditions may wish to consult a doctor about them.

Other causes of throat palpitations are more serious, and may be linked to arrhythmia, or an abnormal heart beat. Heart diseases affecting the valves or muscle, or heart attacks may generate arrhythmia that can sometimes be felt in the throat. Often, arrhythmia is caused by disruptions to the electrical signals that control the pumping of the heart muscles and the actions of its valves. Situations like these are more rare, however, and account for less than half of palpitations, but they often require medical intervention to prevent them from becoming life-threatening. X-rays or electrocardiograms could be required to determine the exact source of these conditions.

Treating throat palpitations can require the underlying health issue to be resolved, if one exists, but there are other ways of managing them, as well. For the most part, this management involves making healthy lifestyle changes that reduce stress on the heart. Avoiding emotionally stressful situations and learning how to cope with them is one such method, and regular exercise can help improve how the heart reacts to environmental challenges. Additionally, individuals who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol sometimes choose to limit their intake of these substances, as well as avoiding diet supplements and illegal drugs. Finally, healthy eating habits can improve overall health and help to control weight, which can assist in managing palpitations.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Jun 09, 2013

@burcidi-- Have you seen a cardiologist or a psychiatrist?

A routine check-up won't show irregularities with heart function. You need to see a cardiologist to make sure that there isn't an underlying condition.

The reason I suggest a psychiatrist is because people who experience a lot of anxiety can have throat palpitations. I used to have them too and it went away after I started psychological counseling and anti-anxiety medications. You might want to look into this if everything else is normal.

By burcidi — On Jun 08, 2013

I've been experiencing throat palpitations for the past few months. It's not constant, it comes and goes. It usually happens after a stressful work day or when a problem comes up.

I can feel my heart beat in my throat and I can also feel it when it skips a beat. Sometimes it feels like someone just squeezed my throat.

I just had a routine medical checkup and everything came back normal. I don't know why I'm having throat palpitations.

By serenesurface — On Jun 08, 2013

I had heart and throat palpitations when I was on synthetic thyroid hormone medications for hypothyroidism. I wasn't worried though because the doctor had warned me about these side effects. I had palpitations for about a week initially, and then they went away. I guess my body got used to the medication.

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