Heart Palpitations: A Message from Your Midlife Heart

Causes of Heart Palpitations

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

There’s no question that heart palpitations at menopause are related to changing hormones. However, my experience has been that in many midlife women, heart palpitations — also known as rapid heart beat or heart flutter — are primarily from increasing heart energy trying to get in and be embodied in a woman’s life.

What Causes Heart Palpitations

At midlife our hearts and bodies often become increasingly sensitive to those things that don’t serve us, including caffeine, refined carbohydrates, aspartame, alcohol, or monosodium glutamate, all of which may overstimulate our hearts. You also might need to avoid scary, violent, or emotionally draining news, movies, books, or individuals. Your heart may also be telling you it’s time to pay attention to your deepest desires or what your heart is longing to express.

The following letter from Terri, one of my e-letter subscribers, is typical of how midlife heart palpitations are often present.

I am a forty-eight-year-old female with no major health problems. I do not take any prescription medicine. I walk five times a week and go to the gym about twice a week to do some light weight lifting. My periods are still fairly regular. I have a fairly healthy diet, although it could be better. I drink about a cup of coffee a day, but usually don’t drink soft drinks. About a month ago, after a fatty fast-food meal and a large cup of coffee in the early evening, I started experiencing heart irregularities. I felt like my heart was skipping a beat and was going to beat out of my chest!

This went on for a couple of days and I went to see my doctor. She did an EKG, which was slightly abnormal, and scheduled me for a stress echocardiogram and Holter monitor. Of course, by the time I had these tests, the heart palpitations had stopped and the results were normal. Then about a week later, they started again.

I have cut out drinking coffee and started doing more yoga. I have also started taking more magnesium, in addition to my multivitamins. I have monitored what is going on with my life and I can’t seem to find any pattern to when these occur. Most nights when I lie down in bed they usually start up, especially when I lie on my left side. My doctor wants to start me on a low dose of a beta-blocker. I told her I would like to start using natural progesterone cream routinely for a couple of months because I feel these palpitations may be related to hormonal changes.

I would really like to avoid taking heart medications. However, these heart palpitations can interrupt my sleep and are very uncomfortable. Are these palpitations hormonally related?

My suggestion to Terri was that she go through the program for creating heart health that I outline in the revised edition of The Wisdom of Menopause in the chapter “Living With Heart, Passion, and Joy.”

Her midlife heart is obviously becoming very sensitive, alerting her to the need to balance freedom and connection and also to nourish her heart fully. I concur with her intuitive desire to start on some natural progesterone as a way to balance potential estrogen dominance. (Note: Natural progesterone is not the same as Provera. Provera is a man-made form of progesterone, and studies have shown this synthetic hormone can harm the heart.) Besides, progesterone is known to be very calming to the nervous system. It may well help her with sleeping.

In addition, her heart is telling her to stop drinking caffeine. The caffeine in one cup of coffee can take up to ten hours to be metabolized in women, so it exerts a stimulatory effect on the central nervous system and the nerves of the heart for quite some time.

For many women, heart palpitations stop as soon as they begin to take progesterone cream or estrogen, stop caffeine, and also normalize blood sugar and insulin levels through dietary change.

But it’s also important to find out what your heart is yearning for. One of my patients with heart palpitations found that they stopped soon after she asked for a promotion at work, something she hadn’t had the courage to do before. She got the promotion and finds her work more fulfilling than ever. Her heart no longer has to speak so loudly.

What kinds of messages have you received from your heart? What steps have you taken to honor those messages? Please leave me a comment and let me know.

Adapted with permission from The Wisdom of Menopause (Random House, 2012).

Last Updated: February 1, 2012

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. Christine Miller
    7 months ago

    I sent this article and the comments to my husband and my mother.

    So much of this is me.

    Hospital, ER, changes…. I thought I was going to die and left letters for my family. Suddenly, after 6 months the PVCs and tracycardia stopped.

    I wasn’t sure if it was the COVID vaccine or hormones, because both made sense.

    Well, this week I know.

    My period has been offbeat for a couple years. The last period I had was August. September was when my period stopped and I hadn’t gotten it again.

    It is now January. After 4 months of not having the heart flippy floppies… They came back. 3 days later, I got my period for the first time since August.

    Damn hormones.

    1. Kathleen D
      3 months ago

      I am 46, had a hysterectomy 3 years ago due to excessive bleeding, endometriosis and I have a meningioma (brain) so hormones were (still are) out of the question. I have been having what feels like an extra hard heartbeat, often. I will note it seemed to start after covid vaccine but may well be my hormones. I am exhausted every morning, I am able to bike 8 miles 4 days a week so I don’t think my heart is unhealthy per say. I am also struggling from incredibly dry recurrent eyelid infections, my eye health has been awful for a year now. I tore a tendon in my thumb and had surgery, I have tendon issues in general, but that started in my thirties. I feel like when I hit my 40s, the endometriosis happened and I just started to feel awful and can’t seem to get back to a healthier me. With hormones out of the question, I just don’t seem to get much information on what to do. It always feels like you get the ‘it’s anxiety’ response, very common for women. I also went from 140 to 164, I felt like I woke up one day and ballooned (this was before the hysterectomy) I cannot kick this weight. My daughter has autoimmune diseases and since she was little, same thing. The brush off. This article is wonderful. I need to note, I was always told I have a healthy heart so having these double and pausing beats is strange. At least others understand. I feel it’s all related, dry eyes, sore tendons, heartbeat, exhaustion, weight.

  2. carol
    1 year ago

    This article describes exactly what I’ve been experiencing. Thank you for all the information.

  3. Tammy Stapleton
    1 year ago

    I am sad and glad at the same time to see that other women are suffering with this heart thing . I went to bed one night as my self woke up the next morning as a crazy person. My PVC happen anytime of the day , I also have been to all the specialists. I just hope and pray for all our relief. One more thing I have to tell myself that it’s not a heart attack. Lord be with all us women.

    1. Rachel Luxton
      1 year ago


    2. Monica
      6 months ago

      Thank you for that because like you I have been in and out of the hospital to three times a week had every since there was I think anyway and I never can find anything wrong I do have a CAT scan of the heart coming out on March 1 I’m praying everything well when this test is completed. I trust GOD to believe that everything is ok and will Continue to be ok!

  4. Kimmy
    2 years ago

    I’m a 57 year old lady. Periods stopped 3 1/2 years ago. Perimenopause was horrendous and the palpitations/skipped beats started during this time. I went to the doctors and over the first few years attended ER as I thought I was about to die the palpitations were that often. I had all the tests done three times in all and nothing was wrong just some benign pvc . I was told I had anxiety and was offered beta blockers. I did not take these and worked on my anxiety with yoga, relaxation healthy diet cut out caffeine, alcohol. I still had severe menopause symptoms most of the time with hot flashes no matter what I do however I had about 12 months without any palpitations. Just this last month the palpitations have reappeared after a stressful year and brought along the anxiety with it. My question is do the symptoms keep coming back or do I get these palpitations checked out yet again, I feel terrible asking for the tests again when it could be anxiety I just can’t control. Any advice would be grateful.

  5. Anitha George
    2 years ago

    I have same palpitation for a week, especially while I am sitting and lying down. I am 42 yrs old. please advise

    1. Iris Morales
      1 year ago

      Ive had palpitations since 2016 (I was 35) , I went to the cardiologist and they told me it was normal but I had mild mitral valve prolapse and that my palpitations were probably cause of stress and anxiety. Also I had anemia. After I got iron levels back to normal, palpitations went away for a while but came back maybe a week before my period on and off. Now I am 39 and palpitations are back, I feel them most when I am sitting and at night for some reason. I get very anxious!! Also I can’t sleep until very late at night and started to have irregular periods. Does anyone have experience something like this?

      1. Molly
        7 months ago

        This is me! I started having heart palps at 36. I am now 39. They happen on and off. I have had everything checked and everyone says I have anxiety. I did have a doc tell my I had MVP with mild regurgitation but that wasn’t the cause of the palps.

  6. Phyllis
    2 years ago

    I just turned 53, June 29th 2020. I have recently had an EKG and and Echo both were normal. I was told to wear a heart monitor and register my blood pressure for 14 days. (waiting on the results from the heart monitor) My blood pressure is higher than normal. The palpitations come and go and seem to last longer and longer. I have large fibroid’s and have a heavy period each month. I have never given birth so I don’t know if my body is out of wack from that as well. All blood work came back normal. Maybe, I am not asking the right questions or having the right tests but I am starting to feel anxiety as I don’t know what is causing this. I don’t eat rice, potatoes or sugar enough for that to be the problem. I just hope this stops soon. It is very disturbing and no matter how many times it happens, I can’t get use to this feeling. Just helpful to know it’s not a heart attack.

    1. Rose
      2 years ago

      Hi Emmy,
      I was looking up information about palpitations and stumbled upon this site. Sorry to hear of the increasing PVCs you are experiencing. I’ve had palpitations over the years and just figured it was due to pre/post menopause. For the past month or so I am getting really bad palpitations that have kept me in bed off and on for a 2-3 days at a time. They feel terrible and it is so scary. I think the most scary part is not really knowing what is going on. Not having an answer is so frustrating. I’ve taken 2 EKGs and even had a heart monitor on for 3 days and nothing shows up. I have a couple of books on adrenal fatigue in case that is what’s going on. They’re pretty good. One of them mentions one can have palpitations when going through adrenal fatigue and suggests taking some OTC progesterone cream. I’m going to order some and try it out, I’m desperate. I want my old life back. I am a very active person and I feel captive because of what’s going on. I just needed to air out in case anyone else is going through what I’m going through. Feel free to reach out if you just want to talk. I believe that helps bring some comfort during this crazy time.

  7. Emmy
    2 years ago

    I am so glad that I found this message board because I have been about to have a nervous breakdown due to my increasing PVCs. I have been on Atenolol for about 10 years and I feel like maybe they have caused my PVCs–no PVCs prior to being on the meds. I am now 43, have a marked history of panic disorder and GAD, so I have always had some form of palpitations. Now that I am perimenopausal, I am having much more frequent PVCs and have recently noticed them with exercise. I have tried to track these events and they seem to occur between ovulation and menstruation. For example, I was treading water (which I do a few times a week for exercise), and I began to feel runs of PVCs. It has scared me terribly. I feel that I should see a cardiologist again to rule out anything physical. I have seen cardiologists off and on for the past 10 years and they have never mentioned any adverse effects from Atenolol. They often jest that I am “too young” for any heart issues and that my issues are psychosomatic. This is crippling, honestly. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I know that I need to see a medical professional and I am not looking to be digitally diagnosed. I am just venting, I guess. I am exhausted from being so scared all of the time. Thank you for listening! <3

  8. Sandy Shepherd
    3 years ago

    I was getting major heart palpitations before I got diagnosed with sleep apnea at 53 years old. I now use a CPAP and the palpitations only seems to happen when I have unsettling dreams. I am 62 years old. As you alluded to, Dr. Northrup, my unexpressed career aspirations could also be a factor. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Sandy Shepherd in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada.

  9. Caitlin
    3 years ago

    This is great but what about women who aren’t mid life? For months now I’ve been getting ectopic beats. They definitely happen more often when I’m PMSing, menstruating, and anxious/stressed. None of my doctors understand the spiritual side of things and they just tell me to deal with it. I’m sick of this and I want to go back to normal. Any advice for someone young dealing with this? Thank you!

    1. Lauren
      3 years ago

      I have no advice but I too am younger and experiencing this. It’s awful! I’ve been to the obgyn, cardiologist, PCP, and endocrinologist. Pretty much my assumption is low estrogen. I now see a functional medicine MD for hormone replacement therapy of progesterone but I do still get palpitations. She did a full hormonal lab panel and no signs of menopause but track when they occur and see if it matches a hormonal graph/chart of estrogen. Estrogen dips a couple of times in the cycle…prior to menstruation, a few days after your period ended and I believe after ovulation. It sucks. There’s no other way to say it. I’ve had them for almost a year now and I’m hoping it’s a transition that once they level out, will go away. I also get hot flashes when they occur and they occur mostly (or worsen) at night (when estrogen declines). Good luck to you and I hope yours go away.

    4 years ago

    I totally agree with what you women are saying and I do believe stress and outside forces are a major cause for heart palpitations. The other night after stressing all day I woke up seemingly in a panic attack heart racing out of my chest to a hundred and forty to 150 beats back down up and down up and down. Stress, stress, stress, it’s time to simplify my life.

  11. Christine Cositore
    4 years ago

    Answer: All of the above
    Exactly! I have been eating fried chicken once a week. I sneak in an extra cup of JOE or 2. Truthfully. Nevermind Mo is cuddly right now

  12. Daisy
    4 years ago

    I’m 39 years old and have been experiencing fluttery palpitations for the past 3 years. I’ve been to cardiologist had multiple exams (ekg, echo, stress test, pet scan) done all came back negative. And when I feel them my anxiety acts up because I feel and think my heart is gonna give up on me any second and I’m gonna die leaving my 3 girls orphans. . Doctor recommended me to loose weight which has been hard for me to do and I stopped consuming anything that has caffeine or stimulants. I’ve tried so many herbal teas, supplements and can’t seem to get these palpitations under control. I’ve noticed them more when I’m going to start my cycle or after. Can anyone please recommend me something that can help me live a bette life. I’m so desperate for a miracle.

    1. Andi
      4 years ago

      Hi Daisy,
      I have benign PVCs, and have had palpitations (or ectopic beats) for over 15 years. Look up Dr. Sanjay Gupta on YouTube. He has an outstanding video series on heart palpitations that saved me from the insanity of health anxiety. He explains types of palpitations, their causes, how to treat naturally, and when to seek further opinions. This series has been a God-send to me!
      Best of luck to you!

    2. Rachel
      4 years ago

      I am too 39 years old and experiencing the exact same thing. I have cut out gluten completely 3 months ago when they first started. The reason for this is my sister is a coleiac ( sorry not sure how you spell that) and I heard it can run in families. Since doing this my heart hasn’t been beating as fast when I have the palpitations. All my heart tests have come back normal. My doctor has said I could try a beta blocker but I want a natural method… I wish I could find out why all of a sudden this has happened. I suffer with anxiety and this hasn’t helped as when they occur it makes me panic more. I would love to know of a way to control this also. I am going to try a local Holland and Barrett shop and explain i would love some help. I am nearly always aware of my hear beat, even throughout the day at work or just sat with a cold drink. its getting me down 🙁

    3. Sharonda
      4 years ago

      I would talk to your obgyn.

    4. Karen Gray
      4 years ago

      I feel our stories are similar. I just turned 40, have had heart palps for 3-4 years, lately they have been really bad lasting hours. Mine skip beats so my heartrate drops. Went to cardiologost and had echo done all normal. Wore a holitor monitor a month and was told just pvcs no big deal. But they are a bug deal to me! I feel like im gonna die! I also have anxiety and they said meds would help so tried that and it helped anxiety but not the palps. Now trying acid reducers since they said it could be gerd acting up. I am so frustrated and dont think they really understand. Have u found anything to help?

    5. Danielle Viramontes
      3 years ago

      I know this was posted 2 years ago but have you tried magnesium? Its helped me with my palpitations

  13. kim james
    4 years ago

    54. Still fairly regular 90% of the time. Big grapefruit sized fibroid, so no estrogen bio identicals. Some herbal extracts around PMS time of Black Cohosh. Oh boy years of this on and off, the weird thing is the skip or stop or jazz band, triggers an adrenaline rush that leaves me very shaken and undone for 10 minutes to a whole day. I have had monitors ER trips. I do protest bio progesterone cream the last two weeks of the cycle. I can live with the skips, but it’s the adrenaline rush that turns into a panic attack. I take no pharmas, so I have searched for a holistic solutions. Many, dietary, Herbal, meditation, Qi gong, Made my home a Monestary. I am getting a hysterectomy in June after 2 years of working with a fibroid. I have 34 symptoms of Peri Meno and it’s palp induced panic attacks that are the deal breaker. And I did all natural childbirths, a couple of home births and one was twins. I can barely pee, up 7 times a night and I am bleeding to shocky shaky anemia once a month. The only reason I don’t take the anti estrogens for the fibroids is I am terrified of the palms. When it’s out, I am getting bioidentical creams. Sometimes I think, this is so hard and exhausting, I’d take the evil premerin. My days are spent studying hormones and herbs and spiritual practices. I do not have THE answer, but I have lots of little ones. And many I have gotten from the good Dr. here. They usually show up around 7 days prior to peroid and last through a few days after period. I am pooped from it.

  14. JoLynn B
    5 years ago

    I am 45 years old and just recently have begun to experience heart palpitations quite frequently. I have panic disorder as well, so when they occur they cause my panic to rise considerably. It’s quite exhausting. I am presently wearing a 24 hour heart monitor and have had a normal EKG. Can perimenopause truly be a cause of heart palps??

    1. Lorenda G Hanley
      4 years ago

      I have the exact same issue I am also 45 and the palpitations are crazy at times I also have panic disorder which makes them worse. Just remember there are others out there going through this with you Prayers being sent your way!

    2. Sharonda
      4 years ago

      Hi JoLynn,

      I’m 46 and have been in menapause since 39. The hot flashes became unbearable so I got on depo. I got off depo due to the weight increase. A year of no depo. My hot flashes triggered heart palps this year. I like most have been to the ER multiple times and to the cardiologist. I’m now on birth control pill. Lolo and just until things level out hopefully I’m taking 5 mg of colanor twice a day. I must say the the birth control pills have helped. Palps are less frequent and less severe. I hope this helps. We all have to hang in there.

  15. Sandra
    5 years ago

    I’m 47 and I am relating to this as if I wrote this. I am experiencing palpitations and more during my increased hormonal week. But i’m not trying to get pregnant. LOL I exercise almost daily with walks and drink decaffeinated coffee 2-3 times a week. Of course, I would love to drink more but you all know what happens then. Palps!!! When they occur it can set off anxiety for me too. Stress is definitely a factor. I have worked on decreasing the “bad vibes” and this has made a tremendous difference. I will take into heart to “follow my heart and find what I’m looking for”. Also going to read books Dr. Northrup, Cheryl Richardson and Louise Hay. Thank you so much.

  16. linda
    5 years ago

    Hi I just start feeling my
    heart beating every day I went to the doctor they say my heart rate is fine it stop and now again it start up again in going back to the doctor on Monday life spare I will be 60 yrs next month.

  17. Kellee'
    5 years ago

    This is me!!! I’m 51 and these started about 3 years ago and have progressed to 1x in a blue moon to every month. I wondered if it was hormonal because they come in a cycle, usually the last week of the month. This makes total sense. I have a loving heart healthy life emotionally. I also have a drs appt to address this, electrocardiogram and then home with a halter, then a stress test. Im pretty in tune w my bod and it seems like I may also need to cut out caffeine and alcohol. Thank you! I feel so much better now.

  18. DPX3
    5 years ago


    1. Kay
      5 years ago

      We are not perfect and you did what you could at the time. Guilt will not resolve anything. But love will. Forgive yourself and put as much love in your life as possible. If my Mom felt this way it would destroy me. I am not perfect and have made many mistakes. I have hurt people and have been hurt by people. I’m am trying to let it all go.

      I have Palpitations also, I think it is hormones.

    2. Polly
      5 years ago

      Hi dpx3
      What is your first name, I will pray for you.
      What helped me was returning back to church and speaking to a priest in confession.
      Take care

  19. Amy Schlindwein
    6 years ago

    I am 45 and have had heart palpitations for 2 to 3 yrs now. I thought I was having a heart attack went to ER had all the tests run and told point blank there is nothing wrong with my heart.

    I have anxiety attacks and I feel like my chest is tight, nausea and it starts ll over again. Can this be a sign on peri-menopause. About a week before period extreme anxiety, moody, chest hurts heartburn, etc so frustrating to trying to sleep and hear your heart beating

    1. Wendy Bernacki
      5 years ago

      This has been me! I’m a 53 yo mother and have had my uterus removed but still have ovaries. I’ve been to the ER twice now because of this skipping heart beat and I feel like there is restriction on my neck. It’s worse when I lay in my side; bloodwork comes back excellent and I leave there and my Dr.’s office with no solutions. My Dr. says it’s my new normal and it’s benign, but that does not help me. The “why’s” are so stressful. I don’t drink caffeine, or eat junk, I don’t excercise as much as I need to….I just found this from a google search and I can’t tell you how haooybto hear I’m not alone. I have tears right now, it’s strong today. I’m going to get Christine’s book right now. Thank you for posting this.

      1. Brit
        2 years ago

        Have you considered the possibility pf a hiatal hernia?

    2. yoannette wulur
      4 years ago

      hi Amy
      did you find the answer already?

  20. Denise Bueno
    6 years ago

    Im 36. Ive had palpitations off and on for the past few months. Now they are throughout the day and very scary. Im awake now as my heart flutters and jumps. I first experienced this at age 30. Then it went away. Now its back with a vengeance. It takes my breath away. I have spent 15 years with a mean man. I think the stress I carry from him causes this. I feel like my heart wants me to feel happy.

  21. Jennifer Lombardo
    6 years ago

    Hi my name is jennifer and im 33 years old my gram stoped having periods at 38 and my mom stopped having periods at 42. 5 months ago my life started falling apart i started having sever panic attakcs i got insominia and i always feel weak and tired i used to be at the gym 4 days a week and full of life. I have had every test you can have and everyone has come back perfect. Im very frustrated! Do you think i could be starting the change?

  22. Melanie
    6 years ago

    Win was diagnosed last July (2015) with lone atrial fibbrilation.
    I had an ablation 4 weeks ago….not sure if it has worked yet as I am in the blanking 3 month period …but reading this forum …I am 53 had my last period last June ….the AF
    Started in July …maybe they are a symptom of menopause ?

  23. Sheri
    6 years ago

    Hello I am 52 female. Started getting heart palpitations. I went to Doctor my ekg was normal. Tomorrow I go for blood work echocardiogram stress test X-ray. I still have menstrul and I have been on birth control to regulat. I wonder if it is my pre menopause, very nervous about all these doctors. My new internal med doc put me on a pill to calm me down. When I lay down at night I hear my heartbeat.

    1. Wendy
      6 years ago

      heart palps VERY common if Perimenopause hmmm…on the pill at that age? getting off can also cause the pals too.
      Basically a fluctuation in Hormones: Estrogen and progesterone. i cant say for sure which is more the culprit, since i am still dealing with and trying to figure that out, but one thing is for sure, the Adrenal Glands jump in to help out and you might think you are dying, when YOU ARE NOT!!! i promise u.

      Google Adrenal Fatigue during peri menopasue

      (i am 52 this Nov.)



    2. Kelly
      5 years ago

      What was the diagnosis? Did they link the heart palpitations to be menopausal?
      Have you tried something that helped?

  24. Nick
    6 years ago

    I’m a dude and i have palpitations from a very young age.. it just goes beating that i can feel it.. not fast but beating that i can sense it.. but i comes and goes… I think it’s more of stress and more of mental for me.. I do have murmur when younger but doctors don’t mention it as i am older.. hope it helps.. but all is well with physical.. I don’t take any meds for anything.. i keep it natural..

  25. Debbie
    6 years ago

    I forgot to add that when I went to the emergency room with my first episode, I was very low in potassium and magnesium. When I start getting palpitations now, I grab a banana and it takes them away right away. If it is from stress, calming down helps. Since my palpitations first began after I got my very first period, I am looking forward to not having anymore once they stop. At 49, I hope they stop soon. I have had perimenopause symptoms now since I was 46. I am reading Dr. Northrup’s book now and it is a blessing. I recently read something by Oprah on the heart palpitations when it happened to her when she was in perimenopause and Dr. Northrup helped her with hers. I am glad there is a forum where we can hear other stories because three years ago I thought I was going crazy until I understood the many symptoms women go through before they actually reach menopause.

    1. Wendy
      6 years ago

      low potassium from high cortisol during this change of life
      Google: Adrenal Fatigue during perimenopause also Google: potassium loss with high cortisol
      plus: high cortisol form Adrenal Fatigue due to perimenopause
      Pseudo Cushings from AF: potassium loss from pseudo cushings….
      just a lot of stuff going on here.

      GOOD LUCK and Vit C helped me

      Wendy 😉

  26. Jenny
    6 years ago

    I was rushed to ER two days ago and again this morning and I was never so scared! My ekgs, stress test, etc passed with flying colors. They want to check for sleep apnea and get me a Holter monitor- meanwhile I’m keeping a journal. First thing- I cut caffeine and alcohol completely. Second thing- so far I had palpitations on the days I went for a run, but not on the days I did yoga. Is running too harsh right now? I look at the rest of my life- it’s great! I’m on a teaching Sabbatical! I sing in a choir! I’m doing my art! I’m trying to lose weight by eating better, but maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself… I’ll have to think about that one.

  27. Robin
    6 years ago

    I used to get terrible panic attacks and heart palpitations. I ended up being prescribed an antidepressant to stop them. Later, I got divorced and stopped taking the medication and lo and behold, I didn’t have panic attacks or palpitations anymore. I always tell women, before you diagnose yourself with mental illness, make sure you are not instead married to an asshole. 😉

    1. Roz Robertson
      6 years ago

      That happened to me also. My doctor prescribed them to me almost immediately I opened my mouth. My ex wasn’t an ass but there certainly were issues that weren’t addressed. I stopped after 2 years of use and 1 month after separation from him.
      Antidepressants didn’t help, they simply covered what my heart was trying to say.

    2. Kir
      6 years ago

      OMG, I laughed so hard when I got to the end of hour email! I so needed that!

    3. Carrie
      4 years ago

      Haha. Brilliant. So much truth in that. X

    4. Rachel Luxton
      1 year ago

      Love it!!!

  28. Brooke
    7 years ago

    I’m so grateful for this article, and for the comments. I’m 48 years old and have been experiencing sporadiac heart palps. I believe that stress is a huge cause. This will sound silly, but it began after my fiance and I got a very high-energy Rottie puppy. I have a stressful job with a stressful big-city commute, and while I love the pup…this wasn’t a bright idea. He’s very demanding of the little free time we have, requiring constant monitoring and training and being dragged away from whatever he’s chewing. We just took a 13-hour car trip with him, and the constant whining (when he was made very comfortable) made me want to leap out of the car from my pounding heart. I’d say it’s time to put some of the principles of this article into motion. 🙂

  29. Jeni
    7 years ago

    At almost 59 I thought I was perfectly healthy, good food, good sleep, no stress. 3 years ago my BP was 120 over 80. Haven’t needed to see a Dr. since then. Checked my BP at a friends house yesterday and it was 138 over 99! Is this possible? I am reading your blog and planning new dietary and exercise regimes.

  30. peg bundy
    10 years ago

    I am 53 almost 54 2 or 3 days.my heart feels real skippy like my hormones are going weird.my hubby just watches jeopardy all the time.I. feel like is this it? No! Vitaman e will help

  31. Maureen
    10 years ago

    Earlier 2012 I experienced a harrassment situation at work coupled with a very demanding workload. After reporting the harrassment to HR, the Firm retaliated with false accusations of my job performance – that’s when my heart palpatations began. Fast forward, I have left that job, reduced my commute by 144 miles/week and work for very appreciative people in a “safe” working environment. The good news my heart hasn’t had to remind me again to change my life.

    1. Caitlin
      3 years ago

      Did your heart palpitations go away when you quit?

  32. Margaret
    10 years ago

    Jenny (from 6/29/12), find out if you have a hernia, I had similar symptoms and it ended up being a hiatal hernia. good luck!

  33. Jenny M
    10 years ago

    Recently started having fast heart rate. Have had skipped beats on and off for years but noticeable in perimenopause. I don’t think my tachycardia is related to menopause — it happenes every time I eat —

  34. Rachael M
    10 years ago

    I am 43 years old and have been suffering through Perimenopause since 2008. Started off with Migraines for 2 years before period I am having really bad anxiety, depression and heart palpitations. The flutters scare me so bad I wont leave the house by myself because I am afraid to get them when I am by myself. I did get my saliva tested and I am Estrogen Dominent & Progesterone Low with high testosterone. I feel like I am coming unglued most days. I am now on Valium 1mg 2x a day.

    1. Meredith
      7 years ago

      I had the same situation several years ago when I turned 45. I got on natural progesterone cream and 400 mg of magnesium. This helped my palps and anxiety. I am now 48 and am going through adjustments with my progesterone cream by increasing my dosage to clear up any estrogen dominance symptoms. But overall have improved health. Hope you get help soon!

  35. babs
    10 years ago

    Everything here seems to relate to emotional palps – can’t there be a heart problem that needs to be addressed in our 50’s. Isn’t dangerous to blame it all on emotions and anxiety? I have been having them for 5 days and my brother got CHF in his 50’s, my other brother has Afib and had to be ablated in his 60s and my Mom died of CHF at 74 and my Gram got CHF at 68 and died at 91 though. Can’t my heart be getting a block? I am 55 now.

    1. Debbie
      6 years ago

      I have had heart palpitations since I got my very first period at 14. Since then, I have noticed over the decades that hormones bring them on, either just before period or mid-month when ovulating. Now that I am 49 and perimenopausal, I have scarier palps than I am used to having, sometimes they come with anxiety. I went to my heart Doctor and he did a stress test, EKG and Echo, nothing showed CHF, no heart failure. So, he advised quitting coke since I have them immediately after drinking one. Since quitting coke (including Pepsi, root beer and most soda), I hardly get them now. I also noticed that I can barely drink tea also because it can cause them. Oh, and another poster said they get palps after eating, I would get them after eating if the meal was full of rice, bread, or too much salt or starches. Now, there are still moments I will have them, but much less since adjusting my diet. I think the rest of my palps are from stress as it is harder to handle stress at this age for me than any other age I have ever been. I think perimenopause is the blame because of drastic hormone changes. Women that are afraid of this should go get a clean bill of health by their heart doctor, it gave me piece of mind so I can move forward and change other things causing the palps.

  36. allyson
    10 years ago

    I wish we had a way to email these articles…..my mother really needs to read this. Something to think about adding to the website??

    1. ananda
      6 years ago

      why don’t you copy-paste with a credit line? or send the link?

  37. Cindy
    10 years ago

    I have heart palps and sweating on butt each morning. I have one ovary, that seems not to be working at my age of 64. My last OB/GYN Exam the Doc said it was very small. I tried the Estrogen patch, but side effects and had to stop, then I tried Estrogen Oral meds, also with side effects too. I even tried Estroven an over the counter pill, side effects of nausea and diahrea for me. Now I’ll try Magnesium a few times a week. If anyone has any suggestions, please post your comments. Thanks

  38. Karen
    10 years ago

    Caffeine in the form of coffee-decaf or caffeine and chocolate both last 3 weeks in my system which creates hot flashes all day and night. if absolutely no coffee or chocolate for 3 weeks, the hot flashes/flushes go down to minimal if any!!! 3 WHOLE WEEKS if i even sneak in that teaspoon of wrapped pretty chocolate put next to my computer at work on a holiday!!!!!

  39. Sally
    10 years ago

    Do you realize that the physical problems stopped when each person gave attention to herself and her needs? Our body is tapping us and saying, ‘hey, something is out of balance here!’ We need to trust our inner guidance. Start today-go out and do something for you, no matter how small. A quiet walk,10 min. in a bookstore, a long bath. That inner voice will begin to be heard again–it’s always there–it just needs you to listen to it and show that you value its guidance by valuing yourself.

  40. Charoen
    10 years ago

    Our family has experienced plenty of heart-related problems, including heart attacks, bypass surgery, and high cholesterol. I am entering my 50’s and really have to start thinking more about this, especaily because of our genetic predisposition. Pomegranates sound like a simple and great way to get started!

  41. Lisa
    10 years ago

    I’m 42 years old in excellent health and suffered from palpitations 2x week for about 5 years. Sometimes they were so strong they would take my breath away! Six months ago, my husband and I stopped eating grain in our diet and my palpitations went away and have not returned. We are following what is known as a Paleo diet. I lost weight, have more energy and am very happy my palpitations are gone.

  42. Rebecca Twiss
    10 years ago

    I am 45 and have heart palptations ten minutes after I eat any significant amount of food. It doesn’t happen with coffee which I drink throughout the day. In the last 2 years I have moved cross country with my family and given up an active lifestyle for a sedentary 45 hour a week desk job. My self diagnosis: Eat less, and lighter, take “movement” breaks. And pursue my goal of becoming a yoga instructor. Had no idea midlife hormones might also be a factor…thank you Dr. Northrup!

  43. Paula
    11 years ago

    I have been having heart Palps for the last mo. or so. I am 66 had a hysterectomy 3 mo. ago for cancer. I am Cured thank God. What I want to know is if I take natural progesterone will I be more susceptible to cancer and heart disease. I also am taking meds. for blood pressure . I was taking Magnesium and quit. So I will try that again.

  44. Jennifer
    11 years ago

    I am 49 and have had epidsodes of PSVT for the past 15 years. My mother has the same condition. I do not take any medication but I suffer from great, unresolved grief. I constantly say that my heart “feels broken” and think that this part of my PSVT. My mother lost her father as a child in a particularly tragic way and I feel that I carry a generational grief. I can only hope to heal that grief so that my daughters don’t inherit a broken heart.

  45. Lorena
    11 years ago

    I am 42- have been having palpitations for 10 years. I am POST-menopausal, my Doc didn’t believe me or years. Then she did a blood test… she was surprised. It’s been a family tradition, all the women on my Maternal side went through it early. NONE of them did any hormones, in fact, not even vitamins. My Grammy is 84 years old and a tough cookie!! I have been wondering for years why I have the palpitations…

  46. Shari
    11 years ago

    Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  47. Andi
    11 years ago

    i am 57. I had a problem with racing heart and spiking heart rate too as well as palpatations. I started taking Homeopathic Mag Phos and it stopped completely. I have to only take it once in a great while now and it works immediately. I know of at least 2 others who use it successfully too. No beta blockers! I eat a very whole food diet and minimal caffeine. Also use Hawthorn, CoQ10 and whole vitamins and lots of pure water.

  48. Diane
    11 years ago

    I had palpitations and stopped the caffeine and also began taking magnesium and that seemed to help quite a bit. After stopping the caffeine/coffee, I began to drink herbal teas-found out some contain some ingredients that may also be too stimulating, i.e. licorice and possibly green tea-I believe-maybe Dr. N can talk about this too.

  49. adleen
    11 years ago

    im a 38 year old women, and my heart has never been the same since my mum died 15 years ago.

  50. Margie C
    11 years ago

    I first had them on a strenuous vacation, 15 years ago. I was told over-exertion could cause them. By the time I walked from my campsite to the first aid tent, they were gone. Now I notice if I have too much caffeine, they wake me up at night. I get up, drink some chamomile tea, take some melatonin, sit in my recliner for a while, and wait it out. If they go on too long, I feel a little drained the next day. I am 65 now. Are they dangerous? TV ads link them with having a stroke.

  51. Cathy
    11 years ago

    I had palpitations in my early 50’s. After all the tests came back normal, on my own, with some research, I started taking magnesium. Between the magnesium, yoga and finally facing the unhealthy dynamics of my marriage in therapy, my palpitations disappeared.

  52. Linda
    11 years ago

    I am 60 . For 1 mo. I’ve felt a shudder going through me, especially in bed, despite doing deep breathing. Echocardiogram & blood tests were normal. An herbalist had recommended I stop taking calcium 2 months ago. (Mine had magnesium in it, so I have been without mag. for 2 mos) I was later told”women are not calcium deficient, but magesium deficient”. I’m confused as to whether to go back on the cal/mag or to just get mag. I’ve taken herb balstralagus 1 mo.

  53. Terry
    11 years ago

    Lauren – yes intuition and the autonomic nervous system helps explain the fright and flight syndrome as a response to recognizing danger and/or not being in a safe place. Something is not right, you sense it, your heart starts to beat faster pumping blood enabling you to be on the alert.

  54. lauren
    11 years ago

    Is there a connection between the effects of the autonomic nervous system and one’s intuition?
    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  55. Mary
    11 years ago

    Last year I started having anxiety issues: shaking, inability to deal with stress, racing heart, You name it. (I’m 44) Doc put me on an antidepressant, though I wasn’t sad. When the drug did nothing, he added medications. I was a mess.
    After learning my symptoms could be perimenipausal, I left my doctor behind, along with the drugs, and started meditating daily. It has been an incredibly difficult journey, but the difference has been amazing.

  56. Sooze
    11 years ago

    I’m 56 & having been experiencing heart palpitations. I notice them mostly at night in bed. My heart feels like it is trying to escape from my chest. Doc ran an echocardiogram & found pericardial effusion – usually caused by a virus. When my work is less stressful the pounding is reduced. Am working w/ a wise reflexologist/naturopath, taking magnesium& hawthorn & digestive supplements and trying to hear what my heart needs from me.

  57. Michele
    11 years ago

    I as well as many of you have severe heart palpations, mitral value prolapse, hormone imbalance, trying to find the balance between the external environment and the internal reasonings. I am 47 and feel like I have been avoiding the internal messages, and just continue to function and keep the momentum going. I, for the first time, have stopped, and decided it was my turn. I have many good years left and I want to feel the joy, passion, and love as Dr. Northrup talks about. I am all ears!!!!

  58. Teri
    11 years ago

    With the palps, I also have Mitral Valve Prolapse which effects the autonomic nervous system and increases anxiety, so its a vicious cycle. When I feel the palps, it makes me anxious which often creates more palps and this is especially disturbing when I’m sleeping. I do believe what Dr. Northrop says is true and I must direct my attention to what my heart is yearning and telling me. This is quite a challenging stage of life!

    1. Brenda
      5 years ago

      I can relate to everything you shared here!

  59. purnima
    11 years ago

    progesterone cream or estrogen- where Can I find these cream and how much quantity. please let me know. thanks.
    i am 51 year old and done with period.

  60. margot
    11 years ago

    i have them too and had a cardiac ablation and am on verapamil but now experiencing more-and am resistant to upping my meds-i see both progesterone and estrogen being mentioned-which is better and how much? i am 63, already take magnesium and taurine and other heart healthy supplements. feeling very tired and discouraged as i have always been healthy and very conscious of eating healthy-green smoothies, organics, wholesome, vegetarian, etc

  61. Judy
    11 years ago

    I had palpitations when my youngest daughter left for the Philippines. It was the final emotional tipping point to a series of momentous changes in my life. Through the help of Emotional
    Freedom Techniques and a wonderful therapist who used this technique I was able to resolve many issues and the extreme sadness and anxiety I was feeling. I know now that my heart was telling me something – that I needed to feel and resolve the strong emotions I was not dealing with.

  62. Beckie
    11 years ago

    My mother is 85 and had heart palpatations for 2 days, recently we found out she is anemic, are heart palpatations related to anemia? Thank you for your thoughts.

  63. Denise
    11 years ago

    I was 42-years old when I hit perimenopause. I, too, had heart palpitations for a short period of time. Stress was the most important area for me that needed treatment. Once I understood this disease causing word… “Stress”, I made changes and am happy to report perimeopause became a whole lot easier.

  64. Carole
    11 years ago

    Hello, I had bad heart palpiations, tachycardia, and arrthymia in 2010. ProG cream, extra magnesium, and addressing yearnings helped, but not completely. My MD put me on Taurine (an amino acid available in capsules at health food stores). All the symptoms rapidly disappeared. My MD advises to take Taurine in irregular doses, so the heart doesn’t depend on it. eg. 1 capsule on Sunday, 2 on Mon, 3 on Tue, 2 on Wed, 1 on Thu, and none Friday/Sat.

  65. Danna Burton
    11 years ago

    Hi there – I also have heart palpitations like you describe. I found out last year that I had severe anaemia due to heavy menstrual periods and have had iron infusions and blood transfusions to “top me up” . The palpitations to me are a sign that my haemoglobin is dropping, have you had a complete blood count? Just a thought.

  66. Constance
    11 years ago

    Dr. Northrup,
    My mother died of heart disease at the age of 75. I believe her heart was yearning for a better life. Although she gave me more riches in love than all the money I have earned.
    Dr Northrup, Thank you for giving yourself to the world!

  67. alice
    11 years ago

    I’m sixty nine years old, do not take hormones, my health is good, recently had an ekg for what I described a fluttering of humming sound from my heart, the EKG is fine.

  68. JUDE
    11 years ago


  69. Kerrie Pickering
    11 years ago

    Wow- the universe is a little scary at times! I’m 47yrs old and have been feeling a flutter at the base of my throat. After reading this article and having a good cry, I realized my body is telling me I need to find my voice; to speak/write my own thoughts, not push them down. I am doing an MA at University and have really struggled to write for fear of being wrong. I see now I need to believe in my own self worth and find the courage to speak from my heart and head – seems so obvious now! LOL

  70. Leslie
    11 years ago

    I an 57 and I started having palpitations as many menopausal women do. I had all the tests and was told I would have to live with it. Being an ICU nurse as well as an athlete I found this advice less than acceptable. I have been on bio identical hormones for 7 years and when this starts I just up my estrogen and they stop. I haven’t had any for quite some time.

  71. Delphine
    11 years ago

    I noticed that my palpitations are because I give energy to that which does not serve me. I confused it with needing to “run” from a situation when I really need to “sit” with the situation. Now, when my heart starts beating fast I know that it’s an early sign that I have lost my way…it’s just like a GPS that constantly nags at you until you get back on the correct path and isn’t that great to be wired so perfectly!

  72. Leslie
    11 years ago

    Thank you for helping and guiding women to feel better and be who we really are from the heart out.

  73. Vikki H
    11 years ago

    I’m a youthful 59. Six years ago, out of the blue, I had PSVT while away from home–my heart rate shot up to 244 beats a minute. Eleven months later it happened again; Without warning it shot up to 245 beats per minute.In the years since, I’ve adopted mentors such as Dr. Northrup, Cheryl Richardson, and Louise Hay and have learned to love and listen to my heart.. no more SVT.

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