Heart palpitations refer to a feeling of the heart fluttering, pounding, or “skipping a beat.” There are no studies (that we know of) looking specifically at heart palpitations in PMDD - but it is something that we have heard reported by multiple patients.
However, heart palpitations can be triggered by stress. If you are more sensitive to stress during your premenstrual phase, you might experience more palpitations.
Many with PMDD find that anxiety is part of their symptoms, and palpitations are common as part of this. Aside from heart palpitations, when you become anxious or are having a panic attack, this activates a fight or flight response, which increases the heart rate as your body prepares to ‘take flight’ to protect itself.
If you are concerned, see your provider, who can check for underlying conditions.
Deep breathing and mindfulness can be useful to slow down racing hearts.
Reducing the intake of stimulants like caffeine or nicotine can help reduce palpitations.
If that doesn’t help, beta-blocker medications prescribed by your doctor may be an option.
Useful listening: The Four F's in PMDD
Updated May 2023
Liisa Hantsoo, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist & Assistant Professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine