What Is A Rapid Heartbeat
A rapid heartbeat, or tachycardia, is a condition in which the heart is beating fast, generally more than 100 beats per minute for an adult. A rapid heartbeat can be normal, or it can result from a disease, disorder or other harmful condition.
The heart pumps blood to the lungs and the rest of the body by contracting its four chambers. The two upper chambers are the atria and the two lower chambers are the ventricles. The sinus node, a small group of cells in your right atrium, transmits an electrical impulse through the heart, causing the atria to contract. The impulse travels through the ventricles, enabling them to contract and pump blood throughout the body. The number of times the heart beats per minute is called the heart rate. The rate of these contractions is determined by nerve impulses and hormones in the blood.
The rate at which your heart beats varies continuously, rising and falling in response to many conditions and situations. For example, your heart rate will rise during strenuous activity in order to ensure that all the cells of the body receive sufficient amounts of oxygen-rich blood. The heartbeat may also become faster in response to stressful situations or when you are in . Your heartbeat is normally lower during periods of relaxation or sleep. The average adult resting heart rate falls within the range of 60 to 80 beats per minute.
What Else Can Cause An Elevated Heart Rhythm Along With Low Blood Pressure
When the hearts electrical circuits arent properly functioning,the result can be a high heart rate coupled with low blood pressure, Dr. Taigenexplains.
When the heart has a fast, abnormal rhythm anything over 100, but closer to 160 beats per minute it cant adequately fill with blood. The chaotic electrical signaling causes the heart muscles to be out of sync between the top and bottom chambers, he says. Less efficiency in the heart means less blood is pumping through the body which means low blood pressure.
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
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Case Study In Heart Failure
A 49-year-old labourer had been diagnosed with diabetes eight years earlier and was prescribed oral hypoglycemic agents. Three years ago, he developed mild shortness of breath during exertion, which his family physician attributed to obesity, hypertension and deconditioning. The patient was prescribed a thiazide and had occasionally taken acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs the patient said that he never had chest pain. A review of his past office visits showed that his resting heart rate was generally 80 beats/min to 90 beats/min.
He now presented with coughing, fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance, and was admitted to hospital. A physical examination revealed the following: resting heart rate of 126 beats/min, blood pressure of 92/66 mmHg and body mass of 112 kg with abdominal girth of 114 cm. The patient had low pulse volume and displaced LV apex with soft S1 and S2, and with S3 gallop. His jugular venous pressure was 15 cm above the sternal angle . His chest sounded clear and he had a firm liver edge.
His electrocardiogram showed sinus tachycardia with poor anterior R waves and nonspecific repolarization abnormalities. A chest x-ray showed cardiomegaly with vascular redistribution. Results of blood tests were normal with no evidence of acute myocardial infarction.
How The Heart Works
The heart has two upper chambers and two lower chambers .
The atria and ventricles have walls of muscle. A heartbeat happens when this muscle suddenly contracts so that the chambers become smaller and the blood inside is squeezed out.
The control of the heartbeat starts with a small clump of cells in the right atrium, called the sinoatrial node . This sends out electrical impulses through the atrial muscle to another clump of cells called the atrioventricular node, found between the atria and ventricles. The impulse then continues through the AV node down fibres that conduct the impulse into the muscle of the ventricles.
The AV node determines the rate of contraction of the ventricles. The pulse felt at the wrist is due to the contraction of the ventricles.
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Normal Resting Heart Rate For Kids
Childrens heart rates are normally faster than those of adults. According to Cleveland Clinic, the normal resting heart rate for a child aged six to 15 is between 70 to 100 beats per minute.
Many factors can affect your resting heart rate, including your level of physical activity. In fact, highly trained athletes can have a resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute!
Other factors that can affect resting heart rate include:
- Age. You may find that your resting heart rate decreases as you get older.
- Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
- Medication side effects. For example, medications such as beta-blockers can lower your resting heart rate.
- Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight. People who are obese may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- 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.
How To Check Your Heart Rate Recovery
Heres a method the YMCA uses to measure heart recovery is the step test:
Place a 12- inch box on the floor.
Step up and down off the box at a pace of 24 steps per minute for 3 minutes.
At the end of 3 minutes, measure your heart rate for 15 seconds, and multiply the value by 4. Relax and let your heart rate comes down.
Then, recheck your heart rate at 1 minute and subtract the value from the first heart rate. The difference is your heart rate recovery at one minute.
An average heart rate recovery is between 15 and 20. If your heart slows less than 12 beats per minute after exercise, its a slow recovery and a red flag that you may be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. If your heart rate drops over 20 beats per minute after exercise, its a marker of good cardiovascular health and a low risk of cardiac death.
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Can An Increase In Heart Rate Affect Your Pregnancy
Heart palpitations or an increase in heart rate during pregnancy is usually a sign of a healthy pregnancy. This means that your body is working hard to ensure that your baby gets the oxygen and essential nutrients to develop healthily.
If your heart beats faster but it not accompanied by other serious symptoms, there is nothing to worry about. You must remember that this is a normal physiological response of your body.
Meditation And A Relaxation Technique To Lower Blood Pressure
Several practices that help calm the mind can also lower blood pressure. All are types of meditation, which use different methods to reach a state sometimes described as “thoughtful awareness” or “restful alertness.”
But while researchers are now beginning to better understand how these mental changes affect the cardiovascular system, studying meditation has proved somewhat challenging. For one thing, some studies don’t include a good control treatment to compare with meditation. Second, the people most likely to volunteer for a meditation study are often already sold on meditation’s benefits and so are more likely to report positive effects.
Still, a number of well-designed studies show that meditation can modestly lower blood pressure, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published in the journal Hypertension.
A related technique, designed to evoke the so-called relaxation response, was developed by Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress-induced fight-or-flight response. This self-induced quieting of brain activity has aspects of both transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation.
Dr. Benson recommends practicing the relaxation response twice a day, for 10 to 20 minutes, similar to what other meditation experts recommend. Here’s how to do it.
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What Does A Prolonged Elevated Heart Rate After Exercise Mean
What Does a Prolonged Elevated Heart Rate after Exercise Mean?
When you work out, especially at a high intensity, your heart rate speeds up to deliver more oxygen to your hard-working muscles. The extent to which your heart rate rises varies with your fitness level, age, and the environment youre working out in.
Some medications, like beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, can affect your exercise heart rate. Beta-blockers cause resting heart rate to slow and make it harder to reach your target heart rate during exercise.
How fit you are matters too. As you become fitter from a cardiovascular standpoint, your heart rate wont speed up as much at a given exercise intensity because your heart has become a more efficient pump and can pump more blood with each heartbeat.
A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, but during a workout, your heart rate may more than double. This increase in heart rate is normal as your heart speeds up because of the added demands of exercise. After you stop your workout, your heart rate gradually comes down. Once your muscles are no longer working as hard, your heart doesnt need to either, so it slows. In fact, how quickly your heart rate drops after exercise is an indirect marker of heart health. It also says something about how aerobically fit you are.
What Is The Fetal Heart Rate
In 5-10% of normally progressing pregnancies when the embryos measure between 2 and 4 mm, the fetal heart rate cannot be seen, so the absence of a fetal heart rate at that time does not mean its automatically a miscarriage. However, by the time the embryo measures 5 mm, all embryos should have a heart rate.
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How To Measure Your Heart Rate
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.
What Are Heart Palpitations
A heart palpitation is when you suddenly become aware of your heart beating, usually in an irregular way. Sometimes you can feel it in your ears or your chest when youre lying down. Your heart beat may feel:
- too fast or slow
- like its fluttering
- like its thudding, or pounding.
It is not unusual to feel heart palpitations occasionally and mostly they are harmless. However if youre experiencing them on a regular basis, see your doctor.
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Symptoms Of Heart Palpitations During Pregnancy
You may experience the following symptoms if you have an increased heart rate during pregnancy.
- Shortness of breath even when you are sitting or lying down
- Palpitations and skipped heartbeats
- Light-headedness with dizzy spells and even fainting spells
- A persistent cough
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best that you bring it to your doctors notice so that she can check whether these symptoms are normal or not.
What Does It Mean To Have High Resting Pulse Rate
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Things Your Heart Rate Says About You
That steady beat you feel when you touch your fingers to your wrist, neck, or the inside of your elbow is good newsit means you’re alive and kicking. And if you take a minute to figure out just how fast or slow it’s thumping, you might learn something about how to keep your health in check.
Determining your heart rate is easy just take your pulse and count the beats for a full minute. But that info is most useful if you track it over time and tell your doctor about any substantial shifts, says Pam R. Taub, MD, a board-certified cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. “What’s even more important than a single heart rate is the trend,” she says.
Taub says that the ideal resting heart rate for most people is between 60 and 85 beats per minute , though some doctors say up to 100 bpm is OK. If yours is too low or too high , it could be your body’s way of sending out an S.O.S. to tell you something’s not right.
So what could be troubling your ticker? Here are a few reasons that might explain why your heart rate is out of whack.
1. You’re stressed.Stress can make your heart pound and blood pressure rise, which throws your body into the “fight or flight” mode. Chronic stress keeps youand your heartin a state of high alert, which increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, says Taub.
3. There’s a short in your heart’s electrical system.
Causes Of Supraventricular Tachycardia
An episode of supraventricular tachycardia occurs when abnormal electrical impulses suddenly start in the upper chambers of the heart, and override the heart’s natural rhythm.
SVT is sometimes called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia . Paroxysm means a sudden temporary disturbance of heart rhythm.
PSVT is usually caused by a short circuit in the electrical system of the heart, which causes an electrical signal to travel rapidly and continuously around in a circle, forcing the heart to beat each time it completes the circuit.
Another type of SVT is called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, where an abnormal electrical connection occurs between the atria and ventricles . People with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are born with a strand of extra muscle tissue between these chambers. This produces a short circuit, which causes the fast heartbeat.
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Why A Low Resting Heart Rate Is A Sign Of Fitness
To put it simply, When your heart rate goes down, it means that each heart beat is more effective . A low resting heart rate is an indication of a strong heart muscle that can pump out a greater amount of blood with every beat so it does not have to beat as frequently.
Your physical fitness is directly correlated to the strength of your heart. When your heart is in better condition and doesnt need to work as hard to push blood throughout the body and deliver oxygen to your muscles, your fitness improves.
How To Lower Your Heart Rate
Staying physically active by doing moderate to vigorous exercise regularly is one of the best ways to achieve a lower heart rate that leads to a healthy and long life.
Changes in your lifestyle that may lower your heart rate include:
- Reducing the intake of coffee and caffeine-containing products
- Avoiding binge drinking
- Intake of a healthy diet to keep weight under check
- Doing deep breathing to manage stress and anxiety
If your heart rate becomes too high suddenly, and you feel shortness of breath or chest pain, you need to consult your doctor immediately to get medications prescribed for you. This could be a sign of an impending heart attack or other life-threatening heart problems.
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What Causes High Pulse Rate At Rest
The resting heart rate, is the number of times that the heart beats in a minute. When youre seated or even lying down and much relaxed, then a normal heart rate is normally between 70 and 100 beats a minute, according to the cardiologists.
Several studies have indicated that higher resting heart rate is related to increased risk of the cardiovascular events and also the death in men and women.
But, whether higher heart rate is an indicator of the poor physical fitness or even the heart disease isnt very much clear. An important question is whether the higher heart rate is a modifiable risk factor for a premature death.
A very fast resting heart rate is able to affect the body in several ways that can be bad for the heart
High Pulse Rate Treatment
Now that you are aware of what does a high pulse rate mean and what can be its causes, it would be easier for you to identify if what you are experiencing could be tachycardia. If you are dealing with problems like obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases, or if you have a family history for the same, then it is high time for you to start following a healthy lifestyle. But firstly, you must get yourself checked by a healthcare specialist as soon as possible to prevent the condition from becoming all the more worse.
Your doctor would firstly check your pulse rate, which will be accompanied by the ECG test. In fact, in order to keep a track on your prolonged pulse rate throughout the day, your doctor may also ask you to carry a Hotler monitor along with a portable ECG device. The treatment for high pulse rate would depend on the exact cause of the condition. For example, if one is experiencing this condition due to consumption of certain medications, then probably stopping them would help.
On the other hand, if it is due to a heart condition, then treatment would be done accordingly, which may include cardioversion shock, maneuvers which can affect the vagus nerve, and in extreme cases, a open heart surgery. Therefore, diagnosing the cause will only determine the exact treatment in your individual case.
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