Racing Heartbeat: Should You See A Doctor
My heart was beating really fast, but I dont have symptoms now. Should I see a doctor?
If youve asked yourself this question, then youve probably noticed your heart skipping a beat, fluttering, or just feeling like its working too hard inside your chest, neck, or throat.
Everyone has a racing heart from time to time. Stress, exercise, or even too much alcohol or caffeine can cause your heart to beat faster than normal.
But if your heart races a lotor if you notice your heartbeat is often irregularthen you should see a doctor.
Even though most racing heartbeats are caused by common situations , some irregular heartbeats are caused by serious heart conditions like atrial fibrillation. People who have these conditions need monitoring and treatment from a cardiologist .
What Happens When Your Pulse Is Above 100
Heart rates that are consistently above 100, even when the person is sitting quietly, can sometimes be caused by an abnormal heart rhythm. A high heart rate can also mean the heart muscle is weakened by a virus or some other problem that forces it to beat more often to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Splash Your Face With Cold Water
Take ice water and pour it on your face or alternatively, deep your face in ice water. This stimulates the vagus nerve to slow down the heart rate by causing a dive reflex. The dive reflex is what slows down your metabolism and is what makes it possible for some people to survive underwater for a long time. Keep your face in the ice water until you notice a drop in your heart rate.
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Signs Of High Heart Rate
There are countless benefits to aerobic exercise from reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, to stronger muscles and bones, to improved mood but working too hard can put stress on your heart, lungs and muscles, and potentially lead to serious health complications. That’s why it’s important to monitor your heart rate during your run and ensure it doesn’t reach your maximum heart rate.
In addition to monitoring your heart rate with your activity tracker or manually, look out for uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Shortness of breath
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising and take the necessary steps to reduce your heart rate. If you experience chest pain, heart palpitations or fainting, seek emergency medical care immediately.
It’s important to note: Exercising in hot, humid weather can also raise your heart rate to potentially dangerous levels, so always check the temperature and humidity before heading out on your run. Being prepared can help you ensure you’re properly dressed and hydrated for warm weather running.
How Do I Check My Heart Rate
Your healthcare provider will show you how to check your pulse, and how often to check it. Write down how fast your pulse is and if it feels regular or like it is skipping beats. Also write down the activity you were doing if your heart rate is above 100. Bring the information with you to your follow-up appointment.
How To Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
How can you dial down a resting heart rate? Lifestyle changes can boost heart health and lower your pulse.
1. Get moving
Exercise is the number one way to lower resting heart rate, says Dr. Singh. The most common cause of a high resting heart rate is a sedentary lifestyle, one where you spend a lot of time not moving.
And being in poor shape can increase the risk of other problems, including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. To give your heart a healthy workout, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity.
The more you exercise, the stronger your heart becomes. Since its pumping more blood with each beat, it wont need to pump as hard, which will lower your heart rate, she says.
2. Manage stress
Anxiety and stress can elevate the heart rate, too. To help bring it down, try to bring calm to your day, Dr. Singh says. Practice mindfulness, try to meditate or do breathing exercises.
3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine
Stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes can drive your heart rate up, Dr. Singh says. Cutting back may help lower your resting heart rate.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
The more weight you carry, the harder your body has to work to move blood through the body especially if you dont have a lot of muscle mass, Dr. Singh says. Losing weight can help bring down your heart rate.
5. Stay hydrated
6. Sleep well
When Your Heart Rate Spikes
Sometimes, your pulse might jump up for a little while. Most of the time, you heart will slow down naturally. If not, or if it happens regularly, these things can help get that number down.
Vagal maneuvers: These physical actions can reset your heart rate. For example, hold your nose and breathe out of your mouth. Itâs similar to when you want to pop your ears when youâre on an airplane. Or you can put your face in ice-cold water for several seconds or cough forcefully.
Medication: Your doctor may prescribe it to help treat an abnormal heart rate. Things like beta-blockers may help prevent future episodes.
Catheter ablation: Sometimes the cause of your racing pulse may be an extra electrical pathway in the heart. Your doctor would perform this procedure, which makes it so the extra circuit no longer sends signals. It doesnât require surgery. Usually, this is suggested only when medicines don’t work.
American Heart Association: âKnow your target heart rates of exercise, losing weight and health,â “Tachycardia: Fast Heart Rate,â “Ablation for Arrhythmias.”
CDC: âHealth Effects of Cigarette Smoking.â
Circulation: âFish Consumption is Associated with Lower Heart Rates.â
The Heart Foundation: âYour Heart Rate.â
âWhatâs a normal resting heart rate?â
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What Causes A Racing Heart
Normal hearts beat 60100 times every minute. When your heart beats more than 100 times each minute, thats considered high . Fast heartbeats can last for seconds to hours.
Not all cases of a racing heartbeat are dangerous. Many everyday situations that arent related to heart problems can cause your heart to race. These can include the following:
- heavy exercise
If your doctor thinks you may have one of these conditions, your doctor may give you an EKG, a chest X-ray, or an echocardiogram to diagnose whats wrong.
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol Intake
Excessive caffeine and alcohol in your bloodstream raise blood pressure and heart rate. While the elevated heart rate is temporary it can cause panic attacks and anxiety. Alcohol is a toxin and your body works extra hard to eliminate it, thereby, straining your heart. Both caffeine and alcohol cause dehydration which increase the workload of your heart. Cutting caffeine and alcohol consumption will gradually slow your heart rate.
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How To Lower Your Heart Rate While Running
Running is one of the best ways to lose weight and to be fit overall. Theres a lot of benefits that you can gain from it compared to other exercises. However, running isnt an easy task to do.
Sometimes, you might be faced with a problem of keeping up a good pace. Thats why its important to know your preference before incorporating running as an exercise. Furthermore, it is vital for you to understand your body and its needs first to avoid any unwanted injury or accident. As simple as it sounds, theres a lot of imminent threats such as stroke or heart attack.
Among these health concerns, having a high heart rate can be a problem. However, you should be aware that an increased heart rate is inevitable when youre running. Heart rate can increase substantially when youre body is getting uncomfortable or tired.
Key Points About Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia
- In IST, the heart rate sometimes increases abnormally. You may have episodes in which the heart rate increases above 100 beats per minute.
- Sometimes, the heart rate increases on its own. Other times, the heart rate increases because of a trigger. But it increases more than it should.
- Some people dont have any symptoms from IST. But others do.
- Possible treatments vary depending on the severity of your symptoms.
- It may help to avoid potential triggers, like caffeine and nicotine and any other triggers you know cause IST.
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Lowering Your Heart Rate
There are several ways you can do this to help your heart stay healthy:
Exercise. Physical activity strengths your heart just like other muscles in your body. It trains your heart to be more efficient so it doesnât work as hard when youâre at rest. A walk, bicycle ride, or yoga class can all help.
Relax.Stress can send hormones like adrenaline and cortisol racing through your blood, which can raise your heart rate. Things like meditation and yoga can help lower stress levels. Over the long term, they can lower your resting heart rate, too.
Eat more fish. A healthy diet is the cornerstone of heart health. In addition to fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, add fish to your menu. Eating it regularly can help lower your heart rate.
The Experts Say: Do More Cardio
The good news is that there are some easy steps anyone can take to calm the heart down. One of the most effective ways is to practice relaxation, deep breathing techniques and meditation. Many find it helpful to go for a walk in the nature or do mindful workouts. A warm shower or bath can also provide prompt assistance.
Sorry, wine-drinkers, but alcohol has the same dehydrating effect on the body as coffee.
Coffee-lovers should take note that stimulants like caffeine can cause dehydration, which in turn makes the heart work harder to stabilize the blood flow. Also alcohol delivers toxins into the body, making the heart work harder to process and remove them.
If youre looking for a way to lower your RHR in an effective and more permanent way, the experts advice is unanimous: do more cardio.
While strength training, too, makes the heart stronger, it is cardiovascular exercise which, over time, increases the hearts efficiency to regulate blood flow and distribute the oxygen which our bodies need for their systems.
Studies have found that if an aerobic exercise is performed for a long time, it will affect the parasympathetic nerve, thus increasing stroke volume and lowering the resting heart rate.
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Improving Heart Rate While Running
If your heart rate reading is too rapid or you begin to feel dizzy, nauseated or breathless during your run, there are steps you can take to bring it down to a safe, comfortable range.
Reduce your intensity. Slowing your pace or taking walking breaks between intervals can help you catch your breath, so your body can more efficiently deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart, organs and muscles. As you decrease intensity, aim for the lower range of your target heart rate, or about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can also try the “talk test” if you’re able to speak without difficulty, you’ve lowered your intensity to a safe level.
Practice deep breathing techniques. Deep breathing, often referred to as “belly breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing,” has been shown to slow the heartbeat and reduce blood pressure. If your heart rate is too high, stop running, find a comfortable place to sit down and try breathing deeply through your nose until your belly expands, then exhaling through your nose or mouth. Repeat until your heart rate has slowed.
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Avoid Stimulants Before a Run. Stimulants, like caffeine or nicotine, and alcohol can contribute to dehydration, which can put additional stress on the heart. If you must have your morning cup of coffee before your run, be sure to rehydrate by drinking 8 ounces of water before you leave, and 6 to 8 ounces every 20 minutes during your run.
When Your Heart Rate Slows
Sometimes our hearts beat slower than 60 beats per minute. This is called bradycardia. For some people, like athletes and healthy, young adults, this heart rate could be normal. But for others, it could be caused by your brain and other organs not getting enough oxygen to function like they should.
If thatâs the case, you may feel faint, dizzy, weak, or short of breath. You might also have chest pains, memory problems, or tire easily.
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Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- Do you have a history of problems with your heart rate or rhythm? If so:
- Did you see a doctor?
- What was the diagnosis?
- What tests were done?
- How was it treated?
If you have kept a record of your heart rate or rhythm changes, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
Calm Your Anxious Heart
Managing anxiety can improve your quality of life and take stress off your heart.
A wave of dread overcomes youyour chest hurts, your heart flutters, and you can’t catch your breath. These classic anxiety symptoms are often mistaken for a heart attackand for good reason. Emotional turmoil triggers the release of stress hormones, which act on the same brain areas that regulate cardiovascular functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.
How Do You Check Your Pulse
You can measure your heart rate manually by checking your pulse. Follow these three steps.
- Find your pulse in your wrist .
- Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
- Double the number of beats you counted. This is your heart rate or pulse, measured in beats per minute.
Also make a note of whether your heart beats at an even or uneven rhythm. A normal heart beats at a steady rhythm like a clock, tick tock tick tock.
Some people like to use a heart rate monitor to measure their heart rate. These monitors are often included in fitness trackers, which are now widely available in sports stores and other retail outlets. However, their accuracy depends on the quality of the device.
Deep Breathing And Stress Reduction
Research shows that acute emotional stress can have significant impact on heart rate therefore, managing stress is a beneficial part of treatment. Deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, yoga, prayer, and relaxation therapy can all help reduce your heart rate. Inhale for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, and exhale for five seconds to lower heart rate with deep breathing.
Concentrate On Your Form
Beginners or non-professional athletes tend to disregard their form when running. This is because running is almost as simple as walking. People tend to think its just a mechanical movement that doesnt need technique.
Well, such a misconception can lead to added exhaustion and increased beats in your heart. When running, always maintain a proper form. A good form includes your feet being set shoulder-width apart. Also, your hands and arms must be not higher than your abdomen.
If you tend to see people run with their hands near their chest, consider it as a bad form. Having your arms and hands that high only adds exertion since youre battling gravity.
How To Slow It Down
Your doctor may suggest medical treatment if your heart races too often or it lasts too long. In the meantime, they might recommend the following things to slow it down:
- Cut back on coffee or alcohol.
- Get more rest.
- Close your eyes and gently press on your eyeballs.
- Pinch your nostrils closed while blowing air through your nose — a technique called the Valsalva maneuver.
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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