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  • Dr. Brian Lum

How To Fix Heart Palpitations Naturally

Updated: Mar 22

Heart palpitations are a broad categorization of temporary heartbeat irregularities that can make it feel like your heart is skipping a beat, beating too fast, or 'fluttering'.


When palpitations last longer than a few seconds, make you feel nauseous, cause chest pain, dizziness, excessive sweating, or fainting - seek medical help immediately.


A primary care physician will usually attribute heart palpitations to dehydration, stress, medication, alcohol use, anxiety, exercise, sleep problems, or a host of other reasons.


Many patients continue to experience heart palpitations even after making recommended dietary and lifestyle changes. In this article, we will talk about other potential causes of heart palpitations and how to reduce them naturally.


a diagram of a heart on a blue background. Text overlay how to fix heart palpitations naturally. www.drbrianlum.com Dr. Brian Lum, DC, IFMCP

Increased Liver Burden Due To Toxicity


As a functional medicine doctor who specializes in hard-to-treat chronic illnesses (as well as those symptoms that affect your quality of life) heart palpitations are something I see often.


Often, patients with heart palpitations have a liver that is working overtime.


If you do not have a strong family history of heart problems then, more often than not, the cause of heart palpitations is environmental.


Mold can inhibit your immune system and can adversely affect the normal function of your autonomic nervous system which is responsible for things like sweating, heartbeat regulation, breathing, and digesting which, in turn, can cause asthma-like symptoms, anxiety, and digestive problems. (1)


I test for mold exposure whenever there is a patient suffering from anxiety, insomnia, depression, excessive sweating, dizziness, fatigue, and other 'unexplained' symptoms.


Other potential sources of toxicity include pesticide exposure, heavy metals, household cleaning chemicals, traffic exhaust, and even beauty products which can produce a wide range of symptoms (including palpitations).


Merely covering up the problem - closing off a room if there is mold or taking a medication to cover up symptoms - will not give you a long-term solution.


Exposure to pesticides, for instance, has also been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease and air pollution causes an estimated 4.3 million deaths a year. (3) (4)


In addition to reducing your risk of mortality, reducing the toxic load on your detoxification organs will make you feel better overall. Once your liver and other organs have reached their capacity for effectively cleaning your blood, the blood pumping through them will not be as clean.


This will affect your nervous system (including the nerves around the heart) and you will have a harder time digesting food, having energy throughout the day, and may develop muscle pain, food allergies, or migraines.


A Patient Example With Underlying Conditions


There is a correlation between histamine production and the Epstein Barr virus. (6) I have found that viral load (underlying viral infections that are not immediately obvious and would not show up on routine tests) can contribute to the liver burden which often causes histamine to skyrocket.


As an example, a patient could have had mono when they were in college and be carrying the Epstein Barr virus as a result. Mold exposure inhibits the normal function of their immune system which impairs the body's natural ability to keep viruses at bay.


This underlying viral infection coupled with mold exposure can lead to the development of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which affects the healthy function of the thyroid gland, Each of these conditions by itself can cause heart palpitations.


Combined, these conditions can cause a variety of other symptoms as well.


When the cause of your symptoms is properly identified and your health landscape is treated as a whole, then full symptom resolution is possible.


Functional Medicine Tests For Heart Palpitations


Testing can be done to determine how your detox organs (kidneys and liver) are functioning if you have high levels of potential toxins in your bloodstream or being stored in your tissues.


Once we determine what is causing your heart palpitations (and other symptoms if you have them) we can figure out the best way of safely removing those toxins from your body, thus lowering your risk of developing health conditions later in life and improving your quality of life now.


The tests below are meant to be merely a starting point. Other tests would likely be done once I know the patient's history and other symptoms. Since I offer online consultations for patients around the world, I can order these tests for you, or I can work with your primary care physician.


Mycotoxin Test - this tests for different mold toxins


Advanced Lipid Profile - this heart test goes beyond a typical cholesterol panel and can actually tell you if your arteries are creating plaque or are inflamed


Magnesium and Coq10 - these deficiencies are a common cause of heart palpitations


Nutritional Deficiencies and Heart Palpitations


Always check your magnesium and CoQ10 levels as deficiencies in these vitamins is another common cause of heart palpitations.


Dehydration is another frequently missed cause of heart palpitations. If you feel dehydrated despite drinking a ton of water you may want to get your adrenal glands tested.


Even this testing is best done under the supervision of a functional health doctor as different forms of magnesium are best for different combined symptoms (such as heart palpitations and anxiety) and dosage will vary based on the individual.


Functional Medicine Online Consultation


My approach with all of my patients is never a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Each supplement I choose and test I order is specifically tailored to your needs.


Too often, practitioners focus on a single cause of illness (ex. impaired gut health) and only treat that factor.


Just like prescribing a pharmaceutical that masks symptoms does not get to the root cause of your illness, neither does generic probiotics or high dose vitamins.


Just because it's a 'good idea' for some does not mean it's good for you in particular. The right intervention, at the right time, and at the right dose makes all the difference.


My first patient appointments are an hour-long because all of the details are important - your goals, family history, previous testing and treatments, genetic considerations, and other long-term symptoms are all relevant in crafting your treatment plan.


My practice is now 100% online and I can have a consultation with you anywhere in the world. You can read more about an online consultation here.


I can personalize treatment and even work with your primary care physician or order testing if you are out of state or outside of the US.


If you would like to speak with me directly you can schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation here or call or text my office directly at 913-728-5291.


 

If you think that you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Nor should you ever delay seeking medical advice or treatment due to the information contained on this Website.