Causes Of Elevated Heart Rate
The list of things that can cause your heart to speed up is long. Doctors typically consider these broad categories:
1. Non-Heart-Related Causes
- Illness: Your heart rate increases when you have an infection or fever, states the Mayo Clinic.
- Psychological causes: Anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia can all be culprits.
- Blood chemistry: If you’re anemic or dehydrated, your heart has to work harder.
- Hormones: A hyperactive thyroid gland is a common cause.
- Medications: Albuterol inhalers for asthma, ADHD medications and over-the-counter decongestants can all be causes, according to the Cleveland Clinic and the U.S. National Library of Medicine. If you suddenly stop taking a type of medication called a beta blocker, , this can cause your heart rate to bound upward.
- Recreational drugs: Cocaine and methamphetamines can raise your heart rate, states the American Heart Association.
2. Heart-Related Causes
Read more:The 14 Best Foods for Your Heart
Sudden Increased Heart Rate
Normally, an adult’s heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute. You may experience an occasional sudden increase in heart rate that resolves within a few minutes. This is known as a heart palpitation, and it is usually not harmful. If your palpitations are persistent, recurring or if they happen along with other symptoms, you should see your doctor promptly.
Things You Can Do To Help With Supraventricular Tachycardia
If your episodes of SVT only last a few minutes and do not bother you, you may not need treatment.
You can make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your chances of having episodes, such as:
- cutting down on the amount of caffeine or alcohol you drink
- stopping or cutting back on smoking
- making sure you get enough rest
Your doctor may also be able to recommend some simple techniques to help stop episodes when they happen.
You May Like: How Often Are Heart Attacks Fatal
Causes That Can Lead To Heart Rate Spikes
It feels scary when we find that our heartbeat suddenly speeds up and then our heart jumps out. Dr. Ilona Sztancsik, a cardiologist, anesthesiologist and intensive therapist at the Cardio Center, drew attention to the fact that occasional pulse surges should not be taken lightly.
What could be the reason for the pulse jump?
Special muscle cells called myocytes, among others, are responsible for operating the heartbeat as a process. When these muscle cells receive a signal from the brain that the heart needs to switch to a higher speed, they immediately move into motion. The result of their work is that the heart will contract several times per minute, meaning your heart rate will rise.
But what is it that causes the brain to decide that the heart has to work harder? Increase in oxygen demand. That is, if we experience a sudden rise in our heart rate, there is certainly a reason for it.
Here are 6 common reasons
What’s A Normal Heart Rate
Heart rate is measured by counting the number of beats per minute. Someone’s normal heart rate depends on things like the person’s age and whether he or she leads an active lifestyle.
The resting heart rate decreases as people get older. Typical normal resting heart rate ranges are:
- babies : 100150 beats per minute
- kids 13 years old: 70110 beats per minute
- kids by age 12: 5585 beats per minute
A doctor can determine whether a heart rate is too fast or slow, since the significance of an abnormal heart rate depends on the situation. For example, a teen or adult with a slow heart rate might begin to show symptoms when the heart rate drops below 50 beats per minute. But trained athletes have a lower resting heart rate, so a slow heart rate in them isn’t considered abnormal if it causes no symptoms.
Also Check: What Does Bpm Stand For In Heart Rate
How To Deal With Fast Heartbeat After Eating
In most cases, an elevated pulse rate is your bodys natural response following a meal. Still, it can make you feel concerned. Here are some suggestions.
1. Identify the Cause of Fast Heartbeat
You do not need to worry too much about the racing heart after eating, but it is still a good idea to talk to your doctor to pinpoint the real cause of fast heartbeat. You may require medical treatment in case your condition is the outcome of digestive or endocrine problems. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask you about any other symptoms you may be experiencing. They may also order several diagnostic tests, including urine tests, blood tests, a stress test, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and a Holter monitor test to help make a diagnosis properly.
2. Tips for Treating Fast Heartbeat After Eating
Here are some tips you can try to resolve the issue and normalize your heartbeat again:
Read Also: Ibs Heart Palpitations
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.
Does Your Heart Have A Maximum Number Of Beats
The maximum number of lifetime heartbeats for humans is about 3 billion. But you wont die when you reach a set number of heartbeats. Heartbeats, however, are a marker of your metabolic rate. The faster your metabolic rate , the shorter your lifespan.
The total number of heartbeats per lifetime is amazingly similar across all mammals. For example, a mouse has a heart rate of 500 to 600 beats per minute but lives less than two years. At the other extreme, a Galápagos tortoise has a heart rate of about six beats per minute and has a life expectancy of 177 years.
Do the math and the heart of a mouse beats 100 times faster than that of a tortoise. But a tortoise lives 100 times longer than a mouse. Humans, however, have about 60 bpm and have about 3 billion heartbeats per lifetime.
Signs You Need Emergency Fast Heart Rate Treatment
Brief episodes of fast heart rate, such as palpitations that last only a second or two, generally arent a reason to worry, unless you also have a history of heart problems or disorders such as afib. You should still discuss them with your doctor, but you likely do not need to rush to the ER.
However, if you have tachycardia symptoms that include the following, seek emergency help :
- Chest that lasts more than a few minutes
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
The treatment you receive will depend on your symptoms and the type of heart disorder you have. If you have ventricular tachycardia along with other symptoms that your body is in distress, such as trouble breathing and , your emergency treatment can involve:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
What Happens To Your Heart During Vigorous Exercise
When you exercise, you burn energy. In the process of burning energy, your muscles lose some oxygen. In order to sustain the energy needed for exercise, your muscles require more oxygen.
As you exercise, your heart pumps harder to respond to your bodys need for more oxygen. Your heart delivers the oxygen through your bloodstream and removes the carbon dioxide excreted from your muscles at the same time.
The harder you work out, the more blood your heart needs to pump in order to satisfy the needs of your muscles. This causes you to breathe harder as you draw in more oxygen. Working your heart this way is beneficial because it helps your heart grow stronger.
This type of workout can help you extend the lifetime of your heart by actually slowing it down. As your heart becomes more efficient at pumping more blood with each beat, it does not have to work as hard and it can last longer as a result.
When I Eat Carbs And Sugar My Heart Rate Increases Why Is That
Ive been on a very low carb diet for the past four months. When I eat carbs and sugar, my heart rate increases and I can feel it even when Im not doing anything. Why is that? Can I stop it?
A person is diagnosed with tachycardia when the heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute . The normal resting heart rate for adults is about 60 to 100 BPM and for infants, it is about 110 BPM.
Tachycardia after eating is an uncommon disorder and for the people who experience it, it can create anxiety and stress. Experiencing slightly higher heart rate after having snacks or meals is quite normal, because increased flow of blood is required to digest the food. But, if your heart starts beating rigorously after meals, then it could be a symptom of tachycardia. There is no need to panic as people who experience it can lead a normal life.
The episodes of rapid heartbeat usually begin within 30 to 60 minutes after a meal. The heart rate may go up to 120 beats per minute or even more. Sometimes, it lasts up to 6 hours. An adrenaline rush may be experienced by the person. There can be difficulty in resting, sleeping, or breathing. The person may suffer from bloating and indigestion. If your heart starts beating irregularly or very rapidly after eating, you could have cardiac arrhythmia.
Causes of High Heart Rate after Meals
> > Processed food or food high in oil or food rich in MSG, nitrates and sodium can make your heart beat faster.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Your Heart Rate To Be High
Reasons Your Heart Rate Is High
Youve probably noticed that your heart rate rises when you exercise and that it drops when youre lying in bed. But does your heart rate ever feel elevated for no apparent reason?
Having an increased heart rate isnt a health condition in and of itself rather, its a symptom caused by any number of circumstances. It may be a reaction to something thats happening in your life, or it may be caused by a health condition.
When you feel your heart pounding in your chest unexpectedly, dont jump to conclusions that theres something wrong with your heart, but if the problem continues without an explainable and simple cause, see a doctor to discuss your concerns, says interventional cardiologist, Ali Moosvi, M.D.
What Are The Possible Causes
Tachycardia is usually caused by anything that creates a problem with the electrical impulses, which control rate of the pumping action of the heart. There are multiple things that can disrupt the electrical system of the heart. Some of these are:
- Damage to tissues of the heart due to heart disease
- Congenital disease or abnormality of heart
- Electrical pathways that are not normal and present in the heart at birth
- Low or high blood pressure
- Sudden stress, for instance fright
- Drinking excessive caffeine containing beverages
- Side effects of medicines
- Recreational drug abuse, such as cocaine
- Electrolyte imbalance
In certain cases, the cause of sudden increase in heart rate cant exactly be found.
The risk of getting tachycardia is increased by any condition, which strains the heart or causes damage to the tissues of the heart. Medical treatment or lifestyle changes may lower the risk that is increased by the below mentioned factors:
- High blood pressure
- Underactive or overactive thyroid gland
- Use of drugs of recreation
Certain other factors, which may raise your risk of getting tachycardia, are:
- Older age: Elderly are at an increased risk of getting tachycardia due to wear and tear of the heart related to age.
- Family: Positive family history of heart rhythm disorders and tachycardia in particular increases your risk.
You May Like: What Factors Affect Heart Rate
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.
Read Also: Heart Bleeding Symptoms
Slow Heart Rate Questionnaire
Heart attacks occur because of a decrease in blood flow to the heart. This is caused by a blockage in one of the hearts major blood vessels. In about 15% to 25% of heart attacks, the blood vessel thats blocked also supplies oxygen to your hearts electrical system. When the heart doesnt get enough oxygen, you may experience a slow heart rate.
Call 911 or go to the ER right away if you suspect youre having a heart attack. Treatment depends on the severity of the heart attack. It may include a combination of medications, stents , and surgery.
Treating a heart attack usually restores normal heart rate. However, a small percentage of people may need to get a pacemaker to control their heart rate.
Read Also: What Is A Good Resting Heart Rate For My Age
A Rapid Heartbeat Warning Sign Of Arrhythmia
A rapid heartbeat is a condition in which the heart beats faster than regular rates. Sometimes, it is normal for heart rates to temporarily rise during exercise, physical exertion or as a response to normal physiological stress or trauma. However, it can substantially result from a wide range of diseases and disorders. If a rapid heart rate presents, medical assistance provided by a cardiologist must be sought immediately in order to get it diagnosed and treated in a timely manner before the condition progresses. If it is left untreated, tachycardia can disrupt heart function, resulting in serious complications, including heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest.
Diagnosis Of Cardiac Arrhythmia
To diagnose a cardiac arrhythmia and rule out other conditions with similar manifestations, medical history taking and a comprehensive physical examination will be conducted by the cardiologist. In addition to blood tests, heart-monitoring tests specific to cardiac arrhythmia need to be performed. These may include:
How Are Arrhythmias Diagnosed
Arrhythmias can be diagnosed in several ways. The doctor will use a person’s medical history information, along with a physical examination, to begin the evaluation. If an arrhythmia is suspected, the doctor will probably recommend an ECG/EKG to measure the heart’s electrical activity.
There’s nothing painful about an ECG/EKG it’s just a procedure where a series of electrodes are attached to the skin with sticky papers. The electrodes have wires attached to them, which connect to the EKG machine.
The electrical signals from the heart are then briefly recorded, usually for just 10 seconds. This information is sent to a computer, where it’s interpreted and drawn as a graph.
A doctor might recommend these types of ECG/EKG tests:
Normal Heart Rate Fluctuations
The amount your heart rate fluctuates after meals varies based on the size of the meal. It might increase 10 to 30 beats per minute . In most people, a boost in heart rate after meals isnt problematic, says Berkley Wellness. The American Heart Association says average heart rates for adults are 60 to 100 beats per minute . But, Dr. Howard LeWine, M.D. with Harvard Health Publications, says resting heart rates above 90 beats per minute are considered high, so avoid exceeding this level even after meals. Check your pulse to determine heart rate before and after eating. If youre feeling dizzy or are experiencing heart palpitations after meals, your heart rate might be too high.
Don’t Miss: How Long To Recover From Heart Attack