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When to Worry About a Fast Heart Rate

Congestive Heart Failure Treatment

Experiencing an accelerated heartbeat or Tachycardia can be a problematic occurrence, especially if you are not aware of why it’s taking place. Exercise, air temperature, body position, emotions, body size, and medications are all factors that can affect heart rate. But did you know that as you age, changes in the speed and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify a heart condition or other condition that you need to address?

What is a “fast heart rate”?

The definition of a fast heart rate differs depending on the age of the person experiencing it. Typically, defined as having a resting pulse faster than 100 beats per minute for adults.

Unexpectedly experiencing a fast pulse is for a certain level of physical activity should be cause for concern. Usually, most adult’s resting heart rate lies in the range of 60-80 beats per minute, some approaching 100 beats per minute.

Is a accelerated pulse always a cause for concern?

There are several different possible causes of an elevated heart rate. While some causes are more worrisome to cardiologists, there are other causes addressed by making lifestyle changes. Some of these include excitement (which stirs up adrenaline), dehydration, and even the consumption of nicotine or energy drinks.

When your heart is in Tachycardia, it may not pump blood effectively to the rest of your body. Poor circulation can deprive your organs and tissues of oxygen and can cause the following tachycardia-related signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid pulse rate
  • Heart palpitations — a racing, uncomfortable or irregular heartbeat or a sensation of “flopping” in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting (syncope)

Some people experiencing Tachycardia show no symptoms, and the condition is only discovered during a physical examination or with a heart-monitoring test called an electrocardiogram.

What can I do?

If an elevated pulse is concerning you, make sure you are not currently dehydrated and that you are seeking appropriate treatment for any related medical condition.

If you’ve accounted for common causes of an elevated heart rate, including reducing or eliminating caffeine, and are still experiencing symptoms, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.

When should I see a doctor?

A person experiencing a rapid pulse should take special note of whether or not he is experiencing additional symptoms. Are other things are going on that could be making someone feel lousy?

For example, a person experiencing shortness of breath, activity intolerance, palpitations, or extreme fatigue should see a doctor immediately.

It is important to note that many people experiencing an elevated heart rate do not feel it or associate it with other issues. In other words, it can often take a bit of an investigation to discover the cause.

What are standard tests for a fast heart rate?

Standard tests and treatments for a fast heart rate include blood pressure measurements, EKGs, and ultrasounds of the heart. A doctor may check to see if your elevated heartbeat occurs only with a change in position (i.e., standing up). If so, there could be an imbalance of heart rate and blood pressure control in the body.

Treatment for a fast heart rate will vary significantly based on its cause.

If you are concerned about an elevated heart rate or have additional questions, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today. If you have general questions, contact us.

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