Fast Heart Rate What Tests Are Needed
History The initial most important thing is a good history. Are there associated symptoms of palpitations, light-headedness, fatigue, and dizziness or passing out? Is there associated chest pain or shortness of breath? Is the fast heart rate intermittent or constant and do the symptoms only appear when the heart rate is elevated? What happens to the blood pressure when the heart rate is elevated? Is there a history of heart disease or prior testing? These questions are critical in determining the seriousness of the situation and determining the work up required. If there are alarm symptoms such as above then the heart rate needs work up and should not be ignored.
Physical Exam Is the heart rate regular or irregular when it is fast. Are there physical exam signs of heart failure such as fluid retention? Also a thorough physical exam can point toward other systemic problems such a thyroid issues or other.
EKG A baseline EKG is key. Is the heart rhythm normal or abnormal? Is there any evidence of abnormality of the heart rate or conduction system of the heart? It is particularly useful to perform an EKG during the period of fast heart rate as it may help clinch the diagnosis if there is a cardiac cause.
Blood work Basic blood tests will be performed to rule out anemia or electrolyte abnormalities, thyroid function testing may be performed. Other testing may be performed as indicated.
How To Get There
If you have any of the above symptoms, it might be dangerous to drive yourself to the hospital. A good rule of thumb is to remember your ABCDs: Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, all of which may apply if you are having a heart attack or similar life-threatening emergency.
You might think you can drive yourself. You may not want to overreact, or you may be worried about the cost. But when it comes to symptoms related to your heart and lungs, you should ask the nearest person to take you or call 911 to ask for an ambulance. EMTs can start your care on the drive, and that may make all the difference in helping you recover.
Fast Heart Rate While Sleeping Wakes Me Up: What Should Your Sleeping Heart Rate Be
As an adult, your heart rate should change between 60 and 100 bpm. Still, this number depends on many factors.
For instance, age causes a reduction in resting heart rate. A significant study discovered that the average resting heart rate for individuals aged 18 to 45 is 110 bpm. For people who are aged over 60, 95 bpm is the normal sleeping heart rate.
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How Do I Manage Heart Palpitations At Night
Most of the time, heart palpitations at night dont require treatment, especially if they only happen occasionally. You may be able to relieve heart palpitations at night yourself. If your heart is racing at night, you should:
- Breathe deeply: Try pursed lip breathing techniques, which involve long, deep breaths. You can also meditate and try other relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
- Drink a glass of water: If youre dehydrated, your heart has to work harder to pump blood.
- Roll over or get up and walk around: A change of position might be all you need to relieve heart palpitations. Try rolling over in bed, sitting up or going for a short walk around the room while taking deep breaths.
If a health condition is causing palpitations, your provider will treat the condition. Treatments vary depending on the cause. Sometimes, providers prescribe a type of medicine called beta blockers to treat palpitations. These medications slow the heart rate and reduce palpitations.
It’s Something You Ate
Believe it or not, what you put on your plate can sometimes produce heart palpitations at night.
“Foods high in carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar levels to go way up, and this can cause the release of insulin and stress hormones, which can speed up heart rate,” Dr. Higgins says.
In fact, “chronically elevated blood sugar levels are associated with increased rates of atrial fibrillation too,” he adds.
Similarly, “eating foods with a lot of monosodium glutamate , nitrates or sodium can bring on palpitations too by increasing blood pressure and stress on the heart,” Dr. Higgins says.
What’s more, drinking too much alcohol can also affect your ticker. Excessive booze can lower your magnesium levels, which are associated with ventricular tachycardia , Dr. Higgins says.
âFix it:â Dr. Higgins shares the following strategies to keep your food from spiking your heart rate:
- Ifyou have heart palpitations after eating certain foods, consult with your doctor, who can assess you for food sensitivities. Avoid these foodsin the meantime.
- Don’teat a big meal high in fats, carbs or salt just before bed, and limit late-nightsnacks like chocolate.
- Dine out less and prepare your own meals more, so you can monitor salt levels.
- Limitalcohol intake and drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol.
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Iv Sleep And A Healthy Heart
There are many things you can do to keep your heart healthy. You should be sure to do the following:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Watch out for and treat high blood pressure
- Get regular medical check-ups
Another thing you can do is to make sure that you get enough sleep to keep your body well rested. You can often sleep better by simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. See the Resources section of this site to find out how you can start down the path to better sleep.
Watch for signs that you may have a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can put great stress on your heart. Men who are overweight and have large necks are most likely to have OSA.
Symptoms of OSA include the following:
- Gasping for breath or choking while asleep
- Trouble staying awake during the daytime
You may not be aware of these signs because they only occur while you are sleeping. Your breathing is normal when you are awake. Ask a bed partner or someone else who has observed your sleep to find out if you snore or stop breathing during your sleep.
If your doctor thinks that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may suggest that you take a sleep study. This is called a polysomnogram. A sleep study is usually done overnight in a sleep center. It charts your brain waves, heart beat, and breathing as you sleep. It also records your eye and leg movements as well as muscle tension.
Your Blood Sugar Is Low
Your heartbeat might be impacted by hypoglycemia, often known as low blood sugar. Why? According to ADA, your body releases epinephrine. Its also known as adrenaline and is released when your blood glucose levels go too low. And the increase in adrenaline causes heart palpitations.
According to the ADA, further signs of low blood sugar may include:
- Trembling, being anxious
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How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Heart Palpitations At Night
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and listen to your heart. They may recommend a blood test to look for anemia or infection. A blood test can also show signs of a vitamin deficiency or a problem with your thyroid.
To monitor your heart rate, they may do an electrocardiogram . This test measures your heart rate using sensors that attach to your skin. They may ask you to lie down during the test, which usually takes about 15 minutes.
Many times, an EKG doesnt detect heart palpitations. You might not have an irregular heartbeat during the test. If this happens, your provider may recommend an ambulatory electrocardiogram such as a Holter monitor. You wear this device for up to a week as you go about your daily activities. It records your heart rate and stores the information for your provider to review.
When Are Heart Palpitations A Cause For Concern
Occasional heart pounding, racing, or fluttering is pretty normal. But if you are experiencing chronic palpitations every time you go to bed, and you’re hydrating, reducing stress levels, and monitoring caffeine intakeâit’s a good idea to talk to a doctor.
Sometimes heart palpitations can be signs of heart conditions like arrhythmia, heart valve disorders, thyroid conditions, or myocarditis. These conditions are chronic problems that require treatment, so be sure to reach out to a doctor if you feel strange heartbeats consistently. Heart attack signs include accompanying chest pain, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, or fainting. If you experience these symptoms in tandem with heart palpitations, it’s best to seek treatment urgently.
It can be alarming to feel an abnormal sensation in your chest. It makes sense that your mind might wander to the worst-case scenarios, but rest assured that slight changes in your heartbeat when you lay down are fairly commonâas long as they’re not chronic and no other symptoms arise. So next time your heart is doing gymnastics when you’ve settled in for some sleep, rolling over or getting some water could do the trick.
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What Are Heart Palpitations
A heart palpitation is the feeling of the heart racing or pounding. Heart palpitations may feel like the heart is:
- Beating irregularly
- Beating too strongly
We see one or two patients per day who are complaining of these or similar symptoms. Patients sometimes tell me they can see their shirts move because their hearts are beating so hard.
Most heart palpitations arent dangerous. But they can be signs of several serious heart conditions. Get help if you feel heart palpitations that dont go away quickly on their own. Well work to find whats causing palpitations and refer you to additional care from a cardiologist if necessary.
Get help if you feel heart #palpitations that dont go away quickly on their own. via @MedStarWHC
Periods Pregnancy And Menopause
Heart palpitations during pregnancy are caused by the increased amount of blood in the body, which can cause your heart to beat 25 percent faster than usual.
Here are some other symptoms that can accompany waking up with a racing heart and what they could mean.
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What Do I Do About It
For many of the issues above, the answer is merely cutting out the trigger. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are stimulants, so carefully controlling the amount that you ingest, especially as the hours tick closer to bedtime, can be the solution.
For mental conditions, helping your mind to relax and slow down can help reduce the occurrences of a racing heart. Mindfulness training, or simply taking a day off work could help, as well as cutting out electronics and not working right before bedtime. Using calming scents to help relax and drinking tea may help soothe your mind and subsequently your body into a more relaxed state of sleep.
Physical factors can be more difficult because youll need a diagnosis before knowing what to do. Treating the underlying physical cause may help alleviate the pounding heart, but you wont know until your condition is under control. If your heart is still racing, you may have to explore other factors.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
If you have concerns about your heart rate, or it seems above or below what is considered normal, talk to your doctor. They can diagnose whether an underlying condition is contributing to your heart rate, and suggest treatment options, lifestyle changes, and changes to medications to bring it closer to normal levels.
Also let your doctor know if you regularly experience an irregular heart rate, or if your heart rate does not go back to normal after resting or deep breathing. If you experience other symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or feeling faint, seek medical attention immediately. Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol should monitor their heart rate carefully.
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Can You Change Your Resting Heart Rate
If you run or do other moderate to vigorous physical activity regularly, you can lower your resting heart rate. Thats because exercise strengthens the heart muscle, allowing it to pump a higher volume of blood with each heartbeat. As a result, more oxygen gets delivered to the muscles, so the heart doesnt need to beat as many times as it would in someone who is less fit.
As people age, the resting heart rate stays about the same unless they are taking medicines that slow heart rate, such as beta blockers or calcium channel blockers.
To determine your resting heart rate, try taking your pulse when you wake up a few days a week over the course of several weeks. With your index and middle fingers, press lightly on the opposite wrist, just below the fat pad of your thumb. Or press gently on the side of your neck, just below your jawbone. Count the number of beats over a period of 30 seconds. Double that number to get your heart rate in beats per minute.
A resting heart rate that is too low , or one that is 100 or higher, could be a sign of trouble and should prompt a call to your doctor.
About the Author
The Hammock: Relaxed In Bed And Ready To Rise
The hammock curve shows an ideal heart rate journey. During your initial sleep stages, your body relaxes and your blood pressure and heart rate begin to drop.
In this scenario, your lowest RHR occurs near the midpoint of your sleep, when the amount of melatonin present reaches a peak. If you are perfectly in sync with the suns patterns, your body temperature drops to its lowest level around 4 a.m.
Your RHR may momentarily rise during REM sleep. This is normal and you can ignore these temporary spikes when looking for the hammock curve during your sleep.
As you wake in the morning, your heart rate begins to rise. The hammock curve is a sign that your body was relaxed during the night and is ready to rise after a quality nights sleep.
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A Pounding Heart Isnt The End
Most cases of pounding hearts are simple lifestyle factors that can change. Getting your heart checked out and following the plan will help get you feeling like your usual self and sleeping without your chest feeling like its going to break. Put those palpitations behind you and get back to your life.
Tim Seidler, Owner & Founder
Remember how your parents told you that you were going to sleep your life away? Well that would be perfectly fine with Tim. He’s been in search of the most comfortable nights sleep for years and shares the surprisingly elusive sleep secrets he’s learned with Sleep Guide readers.
Tips For Managing Your Heart Rate
To change your sleeping heart rate and improve overall heart health, try these tips:
- Get better sleep: Follow a regular sleep schedule, and aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each day.
- Reduce stress and anxiety: Yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation may help induce a state of relaxation with slower breathing and a lower heart rate.
- Exercise regularly: Physical fitness is associated with a lower resting heart rate.
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine: Nicotine and caffeine can cause heart palpitations.
- Eat a healthy diet: To help control heart rate and overall heart health, you may want to consider including more nuts, seeds, and fish in your diet and cutting down on cholesterol and saturated fats.
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Treatment Of Fast Heart Rate
Treat the Underlying Cause: Most important is to ensure there is no underlying systemic problem that is causing the fast heart rate. If there is anemia, for example, that will need to be treated. Infection and dehydration would need to be treated. Hormonal imbalances would require treating. Medications will be reviewed and any potential offending agents will need to be stopped if possible.
Medications: It is important not just to treat a number the reason underlying must be sought out. If the fast heart rate is thought to be from a cardiac cause then the appropriate treatment should be given. If there is significant muscle dysfunction then treatment aimed at strengthening the heart is given. If there are problems with the electrical system of the heart then medicines to slow the rate may be given such a beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. In some cases stronger medicines that prevent the occurrence of the arrhythmia in the first place may be prescribed, known as anti-arrhythmic medications. Specialists known as electrophysiologists typically prescribe anti-arrhythmic medications.
Heart Rate Wont Go Down: When Should You Go To The Hospital For A Rapid Heart Rate
You should occasionally pay much attention if you experience heart palpitations. For instance, the NHLBI says that arrhythmias cause these impulses to go off-beat. Theyre essentially electrical shorts in your heart.
Along with other symptoms, including weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, and discomfort in your chest can make your heart beat strangely and make you feel weak.
Arrhythmias can occasionally be fatal, although they are frequently not harmful and can be managed in various ways. Any symptoms other than unusual heart sensations often indicate that it is time to see the doctor. Seek emergency medical assistance if you believe you are exhibiting any odd symptoms besides your heart palpitations.
Waking up with a tight chest and a heart thats beating fast every morning is no fun! We hope this article helps you.
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