Does A Fast Pulse From Stress Require Medical Treatment
It does not usually require treatment to suppress the heart rate except in certain conditions such as hyperthyroidism, says Dr. Denier.
It should always be recognized as an important warning sign and may indicate that a persons stress level has moved into the unhealthy zone.
Chronic anxiety can result in poor sleep, bad eating habits, dehydration and too much indulgence in vices like smoking, which can all increase heart rate.
This is the reason that a good medical exam is so important, says Dr. Denier.
Treatment should be focused on recognizing the underlying contributing factors and finding more effective coping mechanisms.
As mentioned, modern peoples cant fight or flee, and instead, often hold their stress inside.
Men and women need to develop coping skills to subdue stresss negative effects.
Exercise is a perfect healthy release of stress and is always good for the heart, says Dr. Denier.
Dr. Denier has been practicing medicine for over 15 years and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Disease.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
A heart attack is when part of your heart doesnt get enough blood. This usually happens because an artery that supplies blood to the heart is blocked. Common heart attack symptoms include:
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Feeling of impending doom.
A heart attack can be life-threatening, so dont wait to see if the symptoms go away. Seek immediate medical care if you have signs of a heart attack.
How To Monitor Heart Rate
Once a person has calculated their target heart rate zones, they can find out whether or not they are meeting these ranges by measuring their heart rate while running.
The most basic method for testing heart rate is to count pulse rate by hand. To do this, a person can place two fingers lightly on the opposite wrist until they can feel the pulse.
Count the number of pulse beats that occur in 30 seconds and multiply this by two to find out the number of beats in 60 seconds.
An easier way to measure heart rate during exercise is to wear a wristwatch or chest monitor that picks up on heartbeat. There are many products to choose from, such as heart rate watches and heart rate straps, online.
Otherwise, it may be a good idea to book some time with a treadmill or a personal trainer to get accurate heart rate readings and set goals.
Although an increased heart rate is one aim of exercise, pushing the heart too far can be harmful.
Signs that a person is pushing their heart too far include chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and a relative inability to talk while running.
If a person notices any of these signs, they should slow down and concentrate on breathing steadily. If a person always experiences chest pain with exercise, they should seek a professional medical opinion immediately.
It is important to note that these target heart rates are for average individuals who are otherwise healthy.
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Factors That Can Affect Resting Heart Rate
In addition to age, a few other factors can affect your resting heart rate.
- Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
- Medication side effects. Medications, like beta-blockers, can lower your resting heart rate.
- Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight. People with obesity may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- Anemia. In anemia, low levels of red blood cells can cause the heart to beat faster in order to supply your body with oxygen-rich blood.
- Endocrine or hormonal abnormalities. Abnormal levels of some hormones can influence heart rate. For example, too much thyroid hormone can increase heart rate while too little thyroid hormone can decrease heart rate.
- Postural tachycardia syndrome . This syndrome produces an abnormal increase in heart rate after sitting up or standing. In addition to heart palpitations, some typical symptoms of PoTS include dizziness and fainting.
- Body positioning. Heart rate can increase temporarily when you move from a sitting to a standing position.
- Smoking. Smokers tend to have a higher resting heart rate. Quitting smoking can help bring it back down. This is often difficult, but a doctor can help build a cessation plan that works for you.
Your maximum heart rate is a calculation that helps you figure out what your ideal target heart rate is during exercise.
Positive Stress And Your Heart
When you go for a run, stress hormones trigger your heart to pump faster and harder, which increases the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, so they can perform. And if a car pulls out in front of you on the road, within a fraction of a second, your stress hormones and heart work together to trigger a series of lightning-speed reactions that enhance your ability to swerve out of the way.
These reactionary situations arent the only ones where temporary stress can be healthy. If youre just starting your career or growing a family, those are positive types of stress, says Dr. Bhatheja. If youre supporting a loved one after a loss, youre stressed, but youre helping them. Its point-in-time stress that brings the best out of you, Dr. Bhatheja explains.
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Managing Stress To Protect The Heart
Some people are simply more prone to stress than others, whether due to their genetic makeup or past experiences. For these individuals, it is especially important to learn healthy coping mechanisms that can effectively reduce stress. The most commonly effective stress reduction techniques include:
- Regular exercise
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Clues That Indicate Abnormal Heart Rhythms
In my clinic, I’m often faced with two possibilities:
- Did anxiety cause the rapid heart rate?
- Did the rapid heart rate cause anxiety?
Here are some clues:
1. Symptom pattern This is the most straightforward clue. If anxiety makes your heart race, then something causes stressful feelings that are followed by an elevated heart rate. But if your heart is causing the anxiety, then heart palpitations or a racing heart comes first, followed by anxiety. Sometimes the racing heart causes lightheadedness or chest discomfort, and anxiety escalates.
2. Passing out or seizure This raises my concern about an abnormal heart rhythm. Anxiety disorders or panic attacks rarely cause you to pass out. You might pass out when having blood drawn or experiencing something unsettling. But if you have no warning signs before passing out, the risk of a heart problem increases. Many people feel lightheaded or dizzy if they stand up quickly but people rarely pass out while seated, standing, or during an activity. If you’ve ever passed out while exercising or experienced a seizure, you should see a heart specialist.
3. Hyperventilating When you’re anxious or panicking, you may hyperventilate. This can cause numbness and tingling in the tips of your fingers on both hands, and around your mouth. Usually, anxiety causes this hyperventilation. But if you also feel lightheaded or faint, your blood pressure may be falling, indicating an abnormal heart rhythm.
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Stress And Its Adverse Effect On The Human Heart
Depression may both cause and complicate heart disease
Stress in your life causes stress on your heart. That stress can accelerate heart disease and can lead to a heart attack.
Depression and anxiety from stress tend to go hand in hand. If you suffer from one of these mental disorders it’s likely you’re also affected by the other. The latest medical research has added a third disorder to the mix, this time a physical one. Over the last decade researchers have raised the possibility that depression and anxiety can set the stage for heart disease as well as complicate its outcome.
Stress is an inevitable part of life. But just what is stress? Simply put, stress refers to the body’s response to change. Of course, not all stress is bad and both good and bad stress affects different people in different ways. But continued ongoing stress can cause chronic anxiety and depression in some individuals.
How does stress affect the heart?
What Causes Stress?
These kinds of stresses may be caused by:
- Lack of a sense of control over one’s life.
- Relentless time pressures.
- Poor coping skills.
- Loss, including the biological vulnerabilities of aging.
How Is Stress Measured?
It’s difficult for an average individual to identify how much stress he or she has. If you believe you have stress or have unexplained symptoms you should talk to your doctor about it.
Common symptoms of stress and depression:
Depression Can Accelerate Heart Disease
Watching for Warning Signs
Q: At What Point Does Anxiety Start To Become A Problem
A: Anxiety becomes a problem when its debilitating and taking over your life. When it shifts from being something that motivates you to take an extra step in life to something that keeps you from moving forward. Anxiety is a problem when its interfering with your life and no longer helping you prepare for it.
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How You Can Lower Heart Rate From Anxiety
When you’re having a panic attack, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says it’s common to experience chest pain and palpitations as a response to your heart rate increasing. In fact, a panic attack is often mistaken for a heart attack.
In people with diagnosed anxiety, Isaacson says that the first step is to treat the underlying anxiety, which can be done through cognitive behavioral therapy , medications such as antidepressants, or a combination of the two.
In addition to CBT, several other methods may help manage heart rate and palpitations. Not only can these interventions help lower your heart rate at the moment, but they can also teach you how to manage your anxiety over time, potentially reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
How Does Exercise Affect Heart Rate Over Time
As a person starts to exercise regularly and gain fitness over time, they will be able to exercise within a higher heart rate zone. This is because they are training their heart and muscles to respond to repeat exertion.
People may start out with a target of 50% of their maximum heart rate, but before long, they will be able to comfortably train at a target of 85%.
A 2018 review study found that people can improve their heart health and lower their resting heart rate by exercising regularly. Regular exercise reduces a persons risk of heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions.
However, the researchers also suggest that continuously high levels of exercise such as marathon running could be harmful to heart health.
Engaging in aerobic and endurance exercises also contributes to improved fitness, increased muscle tone, and improvements in general physical and mental well-being. In fact, one 2016 meta-analysis reports that exercise has a large and significant antidepressant effect on people with depression.
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Start With Resting Heart Rate
You should test your resting heart rate before measuring your training heart rate. The best time to test your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, before youve gotten out of bed ideally after a good nights sleep.
Using the technique described above, determine your resting heart rate and record this number to share with your doctor. You might try checking your resting heart rate for a few days in a row to confirm that your measurement is accurate.
According to the American Heart Association , the average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, this number may rise with age and is usually lower for people with higher physical fitness levels. The AHA notes that physically active people, such as athletes, may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.
How Does Stress Affect Your Heart
You have probably heard in the past that stress can have a negative impact on your health, but you may not fully understand the specifics of the impact long-term stress can have on your body. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, the body jumps into action, releasing the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Experiencing this stress response on occasion is natural and useful to help us avoid dangerous situations. However, this primal reaction hasnt fully evolved with our modern world where stressors more closely resemble impending work deadlines than being chased by a wild animal. As a result, many people experience stress and the associated physiological response far more often than is healthy.
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Whats Your Ideal Heart Rate
Heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. You can measure it while at rest and while exercising . Your heart rate is one of the most reliable indicators that youre pushing yourself hard enough while exercising.
If youve been diagnosed with a heart problem or if you have any other risk factors of cardiovascular disease, talk to a doctor before you start exercising and trying to establish a training heart rate range. They can tell you which exercises are safe and appropriate for your condition and fitness level. Theyll also determine what your target heart rate should be and if you need to be monitored during physical activity.
Its helpful to know some basics so youre more informed when speaking with your doctor. Below are some important things to know about your heart rate.
Seek Out A Professional Diagnosis
While not generally the case, palpitations can be a cause for concern if they are related to abnormal heart rhythm . It is always important to seek out a professional medical opinion from your doctor.
A doctor will use a screening questionnaire to diagnose anxiety palpitations. It will help them in identifying patients who are prone to anxiety-related palpitations. They will then refer anyone who achieves a particular score to a specialist for further evaluation.
Anxiety-related palpitations appear often in people who have multiple daily stressors and are generally sensitive to bodily sensations.
If a person has palpitations regularly, a doctor may recommend using a Holter monitor. A Holter monitor is a simple ECG gadget that records a person’s heartbeat over 2448 hours. During the monitoring time, the user must wear the Holter device and keep track of any symptoms.
A transtelephonic event monitor is a smaller version of a Holter monitor that does not run continuously. Even though the wearer wears it all the time, the monitor is operated manually. Some transtelephonic monitors require the user to hold the device to their chest only when they believe they are having palpitations.
If the results of these tests rule out all other causes for palpitations, then a doctor may connect the palpitations to an anxiety-related issue.
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Your Emotions And Your Heart Health
For worse or better, your emotional well-being affects your physical health. The emotions you experience, like joy and stress, affect on whats going on in your body, too. Emotional variations are healthy for the heart, Dr. Bhatheja says, but when a negative one becomes consistent, it can take a toll on many major organs, including your heart.
Unstable emotional situations, like a state of stress, can affect hemodynamics and hormones in the body, which affect blood pressure and heart rate, Dr. Bhatheja says, and that can directly affect your cardiovascular health, and your brain and kidneys, as well.
Resting Heart Rate And Health
A relatively low resting heart rate is considered healthy, while a high resting heart rate may increase the risk of various conditions.
A lower heart rate allows the heart to maintain a healthful rhythm and respond to routine stressors efficiently. These may include exercise, illness, and day-to-day activities.
Having a relatively low heart rate is a significant contribution to overall health. An abnormally high heart rate can lead to a variety of health risks and conditions.
Complications associated with a high heart rate include:
- low energy levels
Stress may cause a high heart rate.
Each heartbeat arises from specialized muscle cells called myocytes.
When these cells need more oxygen, as during exercise, the brain sends messages to the heart, causing myocytes to make stronger, more frequent pulses.
Everyone experiences sudden, temporary changes in their heart rate. They may be caused by:
Having a chronically high or abnormal heart rate is often a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle or an underlying medical condition.
Common long-term causes of a high heart rate include:
- lack of exercise
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Mental And Emotional Signs
Stress can also affect how you think and feel, making it tough to get through your normal responsibilities and make rational decisions. In some cases, this kind of stress can impact behavior in other ways, and some people turn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful substances to cope with their feelings.
Excessive stress may also affect your appetite, causing you to eat more or less than usual, and it may affect or eliminate your motivation to exercise and stay fit. Additionally, the feelings you get when youâre stressed may make you feel like withdrawing from friends and family and isolating yourself.
Some of the psychological and emotional signs that youâre stressed out include:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Racing thoughts or constant worry
- Problems with your memory or concentration
- Making bad decisions