Supplements that might help
- Many people with irregular heart rhythms are low on magnesium. So you might try taking 400 milligrams of magnesium twice a day. (Off-limits if you have kidney disease.)
- Take coenzyme Q10. This naturally occurring substance, sold over the counter in pill form, helps keep your heart rhythm regular, especially if you have heart disease. Take 150 milligrams once a day with food.
- If you’re not eating much fish, take 2 to 3 grams daily of cold-pressed marine fish oil, which is high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Check your meds
- The amino acid taurine helps quell irregular electrical impulses in the heart. Take 11⁄2 to 3 grams daily. Taurine is available by prescription.
- Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause palpitations, so check the package insert. It might say something like: “Do not use this product if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.” Or it might give a specific warning about the drug’s effect on heartbeat. Pay close attention to over-the-counter cold and allergy medications that contain decongestants. One ingredient that is frequently implicated is pseudoephedrine.
- Some bronchodilators for asthma, such as terbutaline (Bricanyl), can increase the risk of palpitations. So can antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin). If you’ve been taking these, ask your doctor about switching to different medications.
- Avoid any diet remedy or supplement containing the ingredient ma huang, or ephedra. This can sharply increase your risk of irregular heartbeat or palpitations sometimes with dangerous consequences.
- Always check with your doctor before adjusting medication or taking any new supplements.