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What Is An Abnormal Heart Rate

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A normal heart rate in a healthy adult range from 60 to 80 beats per minute at rest, Infants and children has higher heart rates than adults in the normal state. The heart rate can rise during exercise, running, high fever, flu, excitement, consumption of nicotine or caffeine, surgical operations, and treatment procedures. When heart rate in adults exceeds 100 beats per minute at rest, then the condition is called tachycardia which has a pathological reason behind. It becomes extremely dangerous for the patient as it may cause heart failure, cardiac arrest, and even death.

What Is A Normal Heart Rate

A normal heart rate, when you’re not being active, is between 60 100 beats per minute. This is called your resting heart rate. If you’ve been active, you’ll need to wait at least five minutes before taking your pulse.

When you’re active, your heart beats faster to get more oxygen to your working muscles. The harder your body is working, the faster your heart will beat. For example, your heart rate when you’re sprinting will be much faster than your heart rate when you’re walking. If you’re exercising hard it’s normal for your heart rate to get up to 160 beats per minute or more.

There are other things that can make your heart beat faster, like caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs and some kinds of medications. Your heart will also beat faster when you feel strong emotions, like anxiety or fear.

Athletes or people who are very fit may have resting heart beats of less than 60 bpm.

Conventional Treatment For Irregular Heartbeat

If you experience dizziness, chest pain or fainting due to an arrhythmia, you may need to be treated. In order to diagnose an irregular heartbeat, a doctor listens to the rate and rhythm of your heart and for a heart murmur, an extra or unusual sound during the heartbeat. Your doctor may also check for swelling in your legs and feet because this can be a sign of heart failure. The most common test used to diagnose arrhythmias is an electrocardiogram . An EKG detects and records the hearts electrical activity. It can measure the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of the heart.

Once youre diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia, your doctor will guide you to choose an appropriate treatment plan. Conventional treatments for an irregular heartbeat may include medications, medical procedures and surgery.



Irregular heartbeat can be treated with a pacemaker, a device thats placed under the skin of the chest or abdomen to help control an abnormal heart rhythm. When the pacemaker detects an abnormal heart rhythm, it sends an electrical pulse to make the heart beat at a normal rate again. Doctors recommend a pacemaker when the heartbeat is slower than normal. This can happen as a result of aging, damage to the heart from a heart attack or other heart conditions that affect its electrical activity.


Irregular Heartbeat Precautions

Final Thoughts on Irregular Heartbeat

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Irregular Heartbeat Causes And Risk Factors


A 2012 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology indicates that constituents of cigarette smoking, such as carbon monoxide and oxidative stress, are likely to contribute to the generation of arrhythmias. Cigarette smoking may also induce coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which may cause irregular heartbeat.

Alcohol Use

Research shows that theres a complex relationship between alcohol consumption and arrhythmias. Several lines of evidence suggest that heavy drinking increases the risk of sudden cardiac death with fatal arrhythmia as the most likely mechanism.

Drug Use

According to a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, almost all illicit drugs may cause, through a direct or indirect arrhythmogenic effect, a wide range of cardiac arrhythmias that can even be lethal. This includes cocaine, amphetamines, heroin and the misuse of prescription medications.


Emotional stress or anger can make the heart work harder, raise blood pressure and increase cortisol levels. Research shows that psychological stress can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and cause irregular heartbeat. In fact, data suggests that about 20 percent to 40 percent of sudden cardiac deaths are precipitated by acute emotional stressors, and cardiac dysfunction thats triggered by emotional stress can increase the risk of arrhythmias.

Irregular Heartbeat Stats

Irregular Heartbeat: What You Need To Know + How To Naturally Treat

Irregular Heartbeat

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

Each year, millions of people experience irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias. In fact, a recent study found that one in four adult Americans over the age of 40 could develop an irregular heartbeat. This is especially true for people with coronary heart diseaseor for those under constant stress.

Most cases of a fluttering feeling in the chest are harmless, but some cardiac arrhythmias are extremely dangerous and require immediate treatment. Its important to be aware of the risk factors for an irregular heartbeat and the natural, non-invasive ways in which you can treat arrhythmias.

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The Hearts Electrical System

The atria and ventricles work together, alternately contracting and relaxing to pump blood through the heart. The electrical system of the heart is the power source that makes this possible. Heres what happens during a normal heartbeat:

Irregular heart rhythms can also occur in normal, healthy hearts. Arrhythmias can also be caused by certain substances or medications, such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, inhaled aerosols, diet pills, and cough and cold remedies. Emotional states such as shock, fright or stress can also cause irregular heart rhythms.

Arrhythmias that are recurrent or related to an underlying heart condition are more concerning and should always be evaluated by a doctor.

In most cases, treating the underlying condition will take care of the arrhythmia. If not, many medications and procedures are available to eliminate or control the abnormal heart rhythm.

How To Measure Your Child’s Heart Rate

Generally speaking, there’s no reason to check your child’s pulse unless you suspect that they’re not feeling well, says Amalia Guardiola, MD, a pediatrician and an associate professor with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston . Some underlying causes of a fast heart rate include dehydration and an underlying infection, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

If you do want to measure your child’s resting heart rate, the best place to find a pulse is on the wrists, the inside of the elbow, the side of the neck or the top of the foot, according to the American Heart Association . Once you choose a location, place your finger over the pulse and count the number of heart beats that you feel during the next 60 seconds.

Keep in mind, too, that a number of factors can affect the reading for example, being stressed or anxious can result in a higher pulse, according to the AHA. Your pediatrician should also measure your child’s heartbeat at every checkup, says Dr. Guardiola.

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What Is A Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate. Pacemakers primarily prevent the heart from beating too slowly. The pacemaker has a pulse generator and leads that send impulses from the pulse generator to the heart muscle. Newer pacemakers have many sophisticated features that are designed to help manage arrhythmias and optimize heart rate-related function as much as possible.

Look At Your Actions And Environment

Abnormal Heart Rates & Arrhythmia

Dr. Hummel says external factors could be causing disruptions in your heart rhythm:

  • Too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating or exercising

Dr. Hummel advises you make notes of when you experience irregular heartbeats and share this information with your doctor. Remember, not all unusual heart rhythms will require treatment. Abnormal heartbeats can come and go, especially in young people, states Dr. Hummel.

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Types Of Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Supraventricular arrhythmias begin in the atria

Types of supraventricular arrhythmias include:

Premature atrial contractions

Early, extra heartbeats that originate in the atria.

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia

A rapid but regular heart rhythm that comes from the atria. This type of arrhythmia begins and ends suddenly.

Accessory pathway tachycardias

A fast heart rhythm caused by an extra, abnormal electrical pathway or connection between the atria and ventricles. The impulses travel through the extra pathways as well as the usual route. This allows the impulses to travel around the heart very quickly, causing the heart to beat unusually fast .

AV nodal re-entrant tachycardia

A fast heart rhythm caused by the presence of more than one pathway through the atrioventricular node.

Atrial tachycardia

A rapid heart rhythm that originates in the atria.

Atrial fibrillation

A very common irregular heart rhythm. Many impulses begin and spread through the atria, competing for a chance to travel through the AV node. The resulting rhythm is disorganized, rapid and irregular. Because the impulses are traveling through the atria in a disorderly fashion, there is a loss of coordinated atrial contraction.

Atrial flutter

An atrial arrhythmia caused by one or more rapid circuits in the atrium. Atrial flutter is usually more organized and regular than atrial fibrillation.

Know Your Numbers: Maximum And Target Heart Rate By Age

This table shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.3

In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity its about 70-85% of maximum.

The figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.

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Natural Treatments For Irregular Heartbeat

1. Vagal Maneuvers

Vagal maneuvers are used to slow down a rapid heartbeat by stimulating the receptors in the internal carotid arteries. This stimulation causes a reflex stimulation of the vagus nerve, which results in the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that can slow down the electrical impulses that lead to a rapid heartbeat. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen. The vagus forms part of the involuntary nervous system, and it commands unconscious body procedures, such as keeping the heart rate constant. Studies show that vagal maneuvers are simple, non-invasive methods of stopping irregular heartbeat by stimulating the vagus nerve.

Vagal maneuvers are natural treatments that can be done before turning to medications or other more invasive procedures. There are different types of maneuvers that you can try, and remember that not one maneuver works for everyone.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Because many people with irregular heartbeats have underlying health issues like heart disease, its important that they stick to healthy diets. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is important because they contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that lower the immune systems overactive response. Healthy fats and animal proteins help to balance cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol. To improve the health of your heart, eat the following foods:

  • healthy fats
  • raw, unpasteurized dairy

3. Engage in Physical Activity

4. Quit Smoking

Target Heart Rates Chart

What does an abnormal heart rate indicate?  #Thinkhealth blog

What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.

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How Do I Take My Pulse

You can tell how fast your heart is beating by feeling your pulse. You can feel your pulse on your wrist or neck. Place the tips of your index and middle fingers on the inner wrist of your other arm, just below the base of your thumb. Or, place the tips of your index and middle fingers on your lower neck, on either side of your windpipe. Press lightly with your fingers until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You may need to move your fingers around slightly up or down until you feel the pulsing.

You can count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to determine your heart rate in beats per minute. A normal heart rate, at rest, is 50 to 100 beats per minute.

Your Heart Rate: Pulse in 10 seconds x 6 =_

Arrhythmia Tachycardia And Other Conditions

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

Tachycardia is generally considered to be a resting heart rate of over 100 bpm, according to the National Institutes of Health, and generally caused 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, your hearts electrical system, which controls the heart rate, is out of whack. This generally requires medical attention.

Bradycardia, on the other hand, is a condition where the heart rate is too low, typically less than 60 bpm. This can be the result of problems with the sinoatrial node, which acts as the pacemaker, or damage to the heart as a result of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease.

Additional reporting by Kim Ann Zimmermann, Live Science contributor.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Jan. 12, 2018, to clarify what the target zone for the maximum heart rate is for a 60-year-old person.

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How To Take Your Pulse

Although you may be able to feel your blood pumping in a number of placesyour neck, the inside of your elbow, and even the top of your footyour wrist is probably the most convenient and reliable place to get a good pulse.

Press your index and middle fingers together on your wrist, below the fat pad of your thumb. Feel around lightly until you detect throbbing. If you press too hard you may suppress the pulse. You can probably get a pretty accurate reading by counting the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiplying that number by four.

The best time to get your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed. To gauge your maximum heart rate, take your pulse immediately after exercising as vigorously as possible.

Pay Attention To Your Heartbeat

What Is Tachycardia (Irregular Heart Rate)

People say, My heart skipped a beat, when theyre scared or excited. But an irregular heartbeat is actually much more common than youd think. An irregular heartbeat is called an arrhythmia, says Dr. Pugazhendhi Vijayaraman, cardiac electrophysiologist and director of cardiac electrophysiology at Geisinger Northeast. There are many different types, which can be temporary or permanent. Often, arrhythmias are harmless however, if you feel a persistent irregular heartbeat, see a doctor.One type of arrhythmia, a premature ventricular contraction, or PVC, is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. A PVC happens when the heart beats too early, which causes a stronger second beat. This causes a fluttering or pounding sensation in the chest. Most people have at least one PVC every day, and many dont even notice it. Things like caffeine, alcohol and stress can cause small, temporary arrhythmias like PVCs. But there are factors that can cause permanent arrhythmias, too.Here are four potential causes of a persistent, irregular heartbeat:

  • Heart surgeryHeart surgery is a life-saving operationit can remove clots and help you get your life back. But, operating on the heart can change the way the heart works, including the way your heart beats. Heart surgery can increase your risk of arrhythmias, so your doctors will often monitor your heart after surgery.
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    Target Heart Rates During Exercise

    The heart rate increases during exercise.

    When training for fitness, it is important not to put too much strain on the heart. However, an individual needs the heart rate to increase while exercising to provide more oxygen and energy for the rest of the body.

    While the heart rate increases as a result of physical activity, an overall decrease in target heart rate is possible over time. This means that the heart is working less to get the necessary nutrients and oxygen to different parts of the body, making it more efficient.

    Cardiovascular training aims to reduce the target heart rate. The ideal target heart rate reduces with age. It is also worth noting the maximum heart rate. This demonstrates the full capability of the heart, and it is normally reached through high-intensity exercise.

    The American Heart Association states that the maximum heart rate during exercise should be roughly equal to 220 bpm minus the age of the person.

    As the body of each individual will react to exercise differently, the target heart rate is presented as a range known as the target heart rate zone.

    The following table shows the appropriate target heart rate zone for a range of ages. A persons heart rate should fall within this range when exercising at 50 to 80 percent intensity, also known as exertion.


    What Is An Irregular Pulse

    An irregular pulse is when the heart doesn’t beat in a regular, steady rhythm. This is also called an irregular heart rate or an arrhythmia.

    If your heart rate is irregular, you may notice that your pulse:

    • seems irregular or is ‘jumping around’
    • is racing, even when you’re at rest
    • seems unusually slow some or most of the time.

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    Causes Of High Heart Rate Variability

    A high HRV is known to be a sign of a healthy heart. Most of the studies have found that a higher HRV is associated with lowered morbidity and mortality and enhanced psychological well-being and good quality of life.

    Often, the most common cause of high heart rate variability is due to the continuous low-grade stressors. These stressors in the short term lead to a higher HRV as the body is continuously making an effort to recover from the situation.

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