Heart Flutter

The irregular rhythms of the heart due to increased heart rate or fast beating of heart chambers is referred to as heart flutter. It is also known as the heart palpitations generally. Atrial flutters are most common, however fluttering can occur in any chamber of heart.

People usually get frightened after having flutters as they take it as a sign for some serious heart problem. However, the flutters are not that bothering and damaging generally except some uncommon conditions where these flutters lead to heart attack and cardiac arrest. These can also take place in anxiety states and consumption of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol.

However, the flutters should never be ignored as these may be occurring due to serious heart problems. The patient should visit his doctor to find the underlying cause of heart flutter.


Some of the main causes of heart flutter are:

  • Medical disorders like anemia, dehydration, fever and low blood sugar etc.

  • Hormonal changes taking place in aging and menstrual cycle

  • Pregnancy

  • Certain drugs such as asthma inhalers, diet pills and decongestants

  • Synthetic supplements

  • Imbalance of electrolytes in body

  • Strong emotional states like fear and anxiety

  • Panic attacks

  • Vigorous exercises

  • Stimulant substances like caffeine, nicotine and cocaine etc.

  • Food sensitivity

  • Arrhythmias


The diagnosis of flutters can be made by the doctor after taking an adequate history and performing general physical examination, focusing on heart symptoms. The patient is asked about his/her symptoms, duration of flutters, and onset of palpitations, current drugs, dietary habits and ways of living. Since, it might be the indicative of a serious condition; lab aid is acquired to confirm the underlying cause.Blood tests are performed to rule out the anemia. Other important tests include ECG (electrocardiogram), echocardiogram and chest X-ray.


Treatment for this condition depends on rightly recognizing the cause of heart flutter and removing it in a correct way. In most of cases, flutters get resolved on their own without medications. However following tips are helpful in treating and preventing the heart flutter:

  • Avoid the excessive use of stimulants. Stay away from brain stimulating chemicals like caffeine, nicotine. Energy drinks should be avoided.

  • Try to avoid stress and anxiety. Try out some techniques to control your emotions like yoga and meditation.

  • Don’t eat medicines without the recommendation of your doctor as excessive use of some drugs can lead to flutters

  • In more severe cases, drugs like beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are prescribed by doctors. In more complicated cases, the treatment involves a combination of different strategies like a combination of drugs and assisted heart devices.