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Consistently High Heart Rate

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Treating Supraventricular Tachycardia In Hospital

High Heart Rate? How to Deal with Persistently High Heart Rate

SVT is rarely life threatening. But you may need treatment in hospital if you keep having long episodes.

This may include:

  • medicines to control the episodes of SVT given as tablets or through a vein
  • cardioversion a small electric shock to the heart to help it get back to a normal rhythm
  • catheter ablation a treatment where thin tubes are placed through a vein or artery into your heart to correct the problem with the electrical system this permanently cures the problem in most patients

Find out more about:

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What You Can Do For Your Heart Rate

You should always aim to take good care of your heart. This includes exercising regularly, eating heart-healthy foods, minimizing alcohol, and maintaining a moderate weight.

Additionally, you should visit your doctor regularly for physicals. Not only is it good practice, but it can also help with the early detection of high cholesterol or blood pressure abnormalities.

If you already have heart disease, you should carefully monitor your condition and stick to your treatment plan. Take all medications as instructed by your doctor. Be sure to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms.

Other heart health tips include:

  • Find ways to reduce stress. Examples include things like yoga or meditation.
  • Limit your caffeine intake when possible. Using too much caffeine can increase heart rate.
  • Limit intake of energy drinks.
  • Moderate your intake of alcohol. Women should only have one drink or less per day while men should have two or fewer drinks per day.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases your heart rate, and quitting can help bring it back down.
  • Avoid cannabis. Cannabis use

What Is A Dangerous Heart Rate

A number of conditions can impact your heart rate. An arrhythmia causes the heart to beat too quick, too slow or with an irregular rhythm.

Tachycardia is normally considered to be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute, according to the National Institutes of Health, and generally triggered when electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire unusually. If the heart rate is closer to 150 bpm or higher, it is a condition known as supraventricular tachycardia . In SVT, your hearts electrical system, which controls the heart rate, runs out whack. This usually requires medical attention.

Bradycardia is a condition where the heart rate is too low, generally less than 60 bpm. This can be the result of issues with the sinoatrial node, which functions as the pacemaker, or damage to the heart as an outcome of a heart attack or heart disease.

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Changes In Heart Rhythms Are Usually Harmless

Our heart rate adapts to our bodys need for energy throughout the day, whether its for walking up the stairs or a bout of strenuous exercise. These tempo changes based on physical activity are perfectly normal.

Other common situations can trigger changes in heart rhythms too. Mild dehydration can cause the heart to beat more quickly thats the bodys way of trying to maintain the flow of blood when theres less available for every beat.

A change in medication, or an interaction between medications, can trigger a temporarily abnormal heartbeatanother reason to always share medication and supplement routines with your health care team. And while the resolution can be simple , its sometimes beyond our ability to understand why we feel a change in our heart rhythms or if its the symptom of a more urgent medical situation.

Atrial Or Supraventricular Tachycardia

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Atrial or supraventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rate that starts in the upper chambers of the heart. Some forms of this particular tachycardia are paroxysmal atrial tachycardia or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia .

With atrial or supraventricular tachycardia, electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire abnormally. This interferes with electrical impulses coming from the sinoatrial node, the hearts natural pacemaker.

The disruption results in a faster than normal heart rate. This rapid heartbeat keeps the hearts chambers from filling completely between contractions, which compromises blood flow to the rest of the body.

A profile for atrial or SVT

In general, those most likely to have atrial or supraventricular tachycardia are:

Approach to treatment

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Effects Of High Heart Rate

The research team found out the factors that are likely to impact the results and found out that:

  • a resting heart rate of about 80 beats per minute is linked to about 40% elevated number of risks of death
  • a resting heart rate of about 90 beats per minute much doubled the risk, as compared with the ones with the lowest rate
  • resting heart rates that is over 90 beats per minute usually triples the risk

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If Youre Out For A Training Run

Sure, you may get competitive with your training buddies or internet friends on Strava, but ultimately, workouts arent made to be won or lost. Thats what race day is for.

So, if you find yourself running with an elevated heart rate for too long, you should absolutely slow down, ease up, walk for a bit, or take a few moments to regain your composure and your breath.

While it may seem counterintuitive, working harder isnt always better.

From a health perspective, in the short term, Im not too concerned that an athlete will work so hard that there are any dangers to an overly elevated heart rate, says exercise physiologist and City Coach Multisport owner Jonathan Cane. But long, high-intensity work may increase that risk.

Im a big believer in working hard on hard days, but also that the counterpoint of really easy days is important, says Cane. Ideally, each workout should have a purpose. If its a recovery day, by all means, take it easy. If its a day where your goal is to increase your threshold, then push your heart rate to that area. If its a VO2 max kind of day, by all means work really hard and dont be deterred by a high heart rate.

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Can Tachycardia Go Away

If you have sinus tachycardia, your symptoms will go away once the fear, anxiety or emotion that caused it ends. For most other types of tachycardia, youll need medication or even a procedure to keep your symptoms from coming back.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Tachycardia symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on which type of tachycardia you have. For peace of mind, talk to your healthcare provider if youre having symptoms. They can tell you if you have a reason to be concerned. Keep taking the medicines your provider prescribed for you, especially heart medicines. Dont stop taking them without your providers approval. And be sure to keep going to all of your follow-up appointments.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/23/2021.


How To Lower Heart Rate

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If your heart rate is too high there are ways to lower it safely. Your heart rate could be high after exercising or because youre feeling stressed or anxious.

Here are some fast-acting methods that can help lower a fast heart rate:

  • Breathing exercises: You can use your breathing to raise the aortic pressure in your heart, which will lower your heart rate. To do this, close your mouth and nose and raise the pressure in your chest. Breathe in for five to eight seconds, hold it for three to five seconds, and then exhale slowly. This can be repeated several times.
  • Taking a bath: This can help relax you and bring your heart rate down.
  • Light yoga: Calming yoga or meditation can help relax you and bring a high heart rate down.
  • Moving to a cooler location: If your heart rate is raised because youre too hot, moving to a cooler location will help bring it down.

Here are some long-term solutions that can help you achieve a healthy heart rate:

  • Exercising regularly: Starting and keeping an exercise program will help decrease resting heart rates over time.
  • Eating healthy:Healthy diets that contain whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids are great for supporting long term heart health and will help keep heart disease at bay.
  • Quitting smoking:Non-smokers have a lowered risk of recurrent heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
  • Staying hydrated:Drinking enough water allows the heart to pump blood more easily throughout the body.

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What Is A Target Heart Rate

According to the AHA , your target heart rate during moderate-intensity activities is about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Vigorous physical activity should result in about 70 to 85 percent of your maximum.

So for 35-year-olds, a goal target heart rate is between 93 and 157 bpm .

The table below shows the target heart rate range and average maximum heart rate for different ages, based on information from the AHA.

  • being an older adult
  • problems with the conduction system of the heart

Borderline or occasional bradycardia may not need treatment. But prolonged bradycardia, or bradycardia thats not treated, can become more serious.

Certain underlying conditions are typically the true decider of what a dangerous heart rate is. If youre already living with heart disease, heart failure, or a history of heart disease and notice a fluctuation in your heart rate, you should go to the doctor as soon as you can, as it could be a sign of a serious complication.

High Resting Heart Rate

Your heart rate might feel constant, but its really not. It changes depending upon what you are doing. Your heart rate will change when you stand up, sit down, lie down, or when you feel relaxed, or stressed. The heart rate can literally change within a second.

Your resting heart rate is a measure of health it is one of the vital signs your doctor will check at every appointment. The resting heart rate is how fast your heart beats when you are simply sitting down, doing nothing to increase it. Sometimes the resting heart rate can be very high or rather low due to heart rhythm problems or other issues.

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Can Resting Heart Rate Be Too Low

While less common, some people may have a resting heart rate that falls lower than 60 beats per minute.

“When a person’s heart muscle is in excellent condition, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep a steady beat. Therefore, people who exercise frequently and are very physically fit can have a resting heart rate that falls below 60 beats per minute. In fact, a trained athlete’s resting heart rate can be as low as 40 beats per minute,” explains Dr. Chebrolu.

Additionally, medications, specifically beta blockers, can also slow your heart rate.

“The time to worry about a low heart rate is if you’re not very active and you’re not taking medications but your resting heart rate frequently falls below 60 beats per minute, especially if you’re also experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting,” warns Dr. Chebrolu. “This can be a sign of bradycardia a slower than normal heart rate that can lead to poor oxygen flow to your vital organs.”

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Drugs Are Messing With Your Numbers

Fitbit heart data reveals its secrets [Video]

Certain medications can reset your heart rate readings and give you a new normal.

Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are the main ones that can lower a heart rate, says Taub.

Both relax your heart, which can slow it down. Thats not necessarily dangerous, but check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Caffeine, on the other hand, can ramp up a heartbeat in a hurry. Its often found in headache medications, and it lurks in certain food and drinks, like tea and chocolate.

Some people are extremely sensitive to caffeine, so they drink a coffee or an energy drink, and they immediately get elevations of their heart rate, says Taub.

Cutting back should help.

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Irregular Heart Rate Causes

The most common cause of arrhythmia or irregular heart rate is atrial fibrillation, which can cause a fast heart rate.

Other factors may contribute to an abnormally high heart rate, including:

  • Age Your heart rate will increase as you age.
  • Medications Some medications block adrenaline, slowing your heart rate.
  • Fitness level The more physically active you are the better your hearts fitness and the lower your heart rate.
  • Stress level Being stressed can lead to a higher heart rate.
  • Body mass Being overweight or obese can lead to a higher heart rate.
  • Body position Standing up may result in a higher heart rate than lying down.

Likely Causes Of High Heart Rate Also Known As Tachycardia

  • Hypertension, a heart-related medical condition also known ashigh blood pressure.
  • Panic attack or strong emotional stress such as anxiety or fear.
  • Strong or vigorous physical activity.
  • Heart-related dieses than can lead to poor blood supply to the heart muscle such as, heart failure, heart muscle disease ,artery disease , heart valve disease, ), tumors, or infections.
  • Drinking large amount of alcohol, caffeinated beverages, illegal drug abuse like cocaine or Medical conditions, including thyroid disease, a low blood sugar,low blood pressure, anemia, fever, and dehydration.

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Heart Palpitations And Ectopic Beats

Heart palpitations are heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.

Your heart may feel like its pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for just a few seconds or minutes. You may also feel these sensations in your throat or neck.

Palpitations may seem alarming, but in most cases theyre harmless and are not a sign of a serious problem.

Sometimes you may feel an extra or missed beat. These are known as ectopic beats and are also usually nothing to worry about.

Youre Dehydrated Or Too Hydrated

Blood Pressure and Heart Rate: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care

Minerals in your body with an electric charge are called electrolytes. If you drink too much water or not enough, it can throw off the ratio of electrolytes to water in your system, which messes with your body chemistry.

If your potassium, calcium, or magnesium levels are very low, that can induce arrhythmias , which can manifest as a higher heart rate, says Taub.

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Arrhythmia Tachycardia And Other Conditions

A number of conditions can affect your heart rate. In general, an “arrhythmia” describes a heart rate that’s too fast, too slow or irregular.

While bradycardia describes when the heart rate is too low, tachycardia describes when one’s heart rate is too high, which generally means the resting heart rate exceeds 100 bpm, according to the National Institutes of Health . This generally occurs when electrical signals in the heart’s upper chambers fire abnormally.

If the heart rate is closer to 150 bpm or higher, it is a condition known as supraventricular tachycardia . In SVT, the electrical system that controls heart rate becomes dysfunctional. This generally requires medical attention.

How To Measure Your Heart Rate

The best time to measure your pulse is in the morning, before you get out of bed and before you’ve had your morning coffee or tea.

You can check your heart rate at your wrist. Lightly place your second and third fingers of one hand on the inside of your other wrist, below the base of your thumb. You should feel your pulse under your fingertips. Count the number of beats in one minute. Repeat to make sure you get a consistent reading.

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Is Running At A High Heart Rate A Concern

Welcome to the next edition of the Ask Coach Parry podcast, Im Brad Brown and with me is Comrades Marathon coach, Lindsey Parry. Lindsey, welcome back onto the podcast, thank you so much for your time today.

A very interesting question today that was submitted by Juanita and she said shes not overly concerned about this. But she wants to get some feedback. She says its an issue and shes got various opinions online about it and shes not quite sure if you have a take on it.

Basically what shes saying is that if youre running with a heart rate monitor and you notice that your heart rate is on average about 20 beats faster than the runners around you, should you be concerned?

She says shes 40 years old, she weights 50kg and her heart rate is regularly high when compared to other runners.

Her resting heart rate is between 50-60 beats per minute. But when she runs shes averaging between 160 and 190 with her maximum heart rate peaking at about 200 beats per minute, during last weekends 10km that she did up in Gauteng.

She doesnt feel faint or tired or disorientated or in any pain. She just wants to know, should she be concerned?

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What Happens If Your Pulse Rate Is Too High

Heart Rate Science

These complications may include formation of blood clots leading to stroke or heart attack, heart failure, frequent fainting spells or worst of all, sudden death. Some stimuli or underlying conditions increase ones risk of having rapid pulse rates, and these are factors that usually put a strain on the heart.

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When To See A Doctor

A person experiencing a fast heart rate should take special note of whether or not he is experiencing additional symptoms. Are there are other things going on that could be making someone feel lousy?

For example, a person who is experiencing shortness of breath, activity intolerance, palpitations, or extreme fatigue should see a doctor immediately.

Its important to note that many people who are experiencing an elevated heart rate dont feel it or associate it with other issues. In other words, it can often take a bit of an investigation to discover the cause.

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