Atrial fibrillation, Diagnosis, Heart Diseases, Heart Health

Why Does the Heart Feel Like It’s Quivering – 5 Most Common Cases & Tips

Heart quivering causes and management tips

Have you ever felt as if your heart would jump out of your chest? Maybe you are wondering why does my heart feel like it’s quivering? In fact, this sensation has happened to almost all of us. Strong emotions such as stress and fear, but also extreme happiness, can cause our hearts to skip a bit. However, when these sensations happen without an obvious reason, they may require a visit to the doctor. 

A Quivering Heart – How Is This Sensation Explained?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is commonly referred to an as irregular or quivering heartbeat. Usually, the first sign of AFib is a skipped heartbeat. However, this condition tends to worsen over time. Therefore, patients often experience a thudding or flipping feeling inside their chests. Additionally, this feeling is often accompanied by a fast heart rate.

The symptoms can range from mild to more severe. Some patients report feeling as if they have a heart attack.

The quivering heartbeat happens because of the irregularities that affect the atria.

Because the atria are no longer able to beat in sync with the ventricles, a quivering heartbeat happens.

The Five Most Common Causes of Quivering Heart

1. Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is considered to be the most common heart disease. According to a 2017 report, it affects around 16.5 million Americans over the age of 20. 

Often the cause of coronary heart disease is cholesterol plaque buildup inside the arteries known as arteriosclerosis.

Coronary heart disease can lead to a variety of symptoms, with angina, or chest discomfort, being the most common one.

This condition is also considered to be a common cause of arrhythmia. Especially AFib, due to myocardial ischemia or infarction. 

Coronary heart disease is also the leading cause of death in both men and women. If left untreated, it can cause heart attack and stroke. If you experience any symptoms whatsoever, consult a professional right away.

2. Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

The most common answer to the question of why my heart feel like it’s quivering is AFib itself. AFib stands for atrial fibrillation. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain, AFib affects between 2.7 and 6.1 million American adults. Moreover, this number is expected to increase in the future. 

This condition causes the heartbeat to be irregular, and the heart rate to speed up. Often, people refer to the sensation as if there is a butterfly in their chest.

Left untreated, AFib can lead to stroke, heart failure, blood clots, etc. potentially ending the patient’s life. 

Other than coronary heart disease, other possible causes are sleep apnea, lung disease, high blood pressure, and others. Do not make the mistake of leaving your AFib untreated. There are many treatment options to be explored that can help stabilize the heart rhythm and heart rate. 

3. Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is described as a progressive disease of the heart muscle.

In the majority of cases, cardiomyopathy is referring to a weak heart muscle.

Once weakened, the heart muscle is unable to properly pump blood to the rest of the body. This is where the symptoms take place. 

Often patients with cardiomyopathy report experiencing arrhythmias with AFib, or a quivering heart, being the most common one. In this case, the quivering heart is caused due to the changes in the heart muscle and structure. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type linked to AFib. This type affects approximately five in 100,000 adults and 0.57 in 100,000 children.

Cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that requires medical assistance. Because of its tendency to get worsen over time, treatments can help prolong your life and increase its quality.

4. Electrolyte Imbalance

In your blood, various substances, called electrolytes, can be found. Potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium are considered to be the most important ones. These electrolytes are responsible for triggering and then conducting the heart impulses.

Too high or too low levels of these electrolytes can affect the heart’s electrical impulses. As a result, arrhythmias, especially quivering heart, are expected to happen. A 2016 study showed that hyponatremia and hypokalemia increase the risk of AFib from happening.

A good tip is to reduce your daily salt intake. Also, pay attention to increase your daily mineral intake. 

5. Heart Surgery

A quivering heart is labeled as the most common complication after heart surgery. That is why doctors pay close attention to their patients after the surgery is done. The supposed cause is probably the inflammation in the chest.

As time passes and the wound is healing, the AFib should gradually decrease until it is no longer present. 


Why does my heart feel like it’s quivering, you ask? The answer is simple – you are probably experiencing AFib. The question of what is causing this very same AFib may be more complicated to answer. There are different ways how to follow your heart condition. One of the easiest and most effective solutions for that is an electrocardiogram ECG/EKG device. These solutions can be used anywhere anytime with the assistance of your mobile device. They evaluate your normal heart rate and heart rhythm trends. Therefore letting you draw conclusions about causes.

If you are worried about AFib and the complications that may follow, we advise you to contact your doctor as soon as possible.

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1 Comment

  1. I am laying down on my bed. And notice my heart rate was up sometime during my sleep to 111. Sometimes it happens during the day . It goes up pretty high like 129 or even higher. My cardiologist told me not to worry about it. But I am reading more about heart disease.

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