Tachycardia — it’s the term used by doctors to refer to a heart rate that’s more than 100 beats per minute. A person’s normal resting heart rate should be between 60 to 100 beats per minute, although something that’s on the lower part of the said range is ideal as it’s usually a testament that the heart is in a tip-top shape. For instance, athletes whose hearts are definitely in superb condition tend to have resting heart rates in the 40s or 50s.
It’s true that in some cases a fast heart rate can be due to an underlying problem that needs to be diagnosed and also treated. However, there are instances in which it is simply a normal reaction to some everyday activities or issues, and you can find some of them below.
Definitely, your heart will beat at a much faster rate during as well as immediately after exercise. Worry not because your heart rate should return to within the normal range after getting some rest. Actually, health authorities say that getting your regular dose of exercise allows you to have a low resting heart rate as it helps keep your ticker healthy.
You may have a racing heart each time you are feeling stressed. Such can be expected because your bloodstream is flooded with stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, both of which can stimulate your nervous system. It’s a good idea to look for ways to lower your stress levels because chronic stress can actually wreak havoc on your health in all kinds of ways, doctors say.
Are you drinking around 2 liters of water per day? If not, then don’t be surprised why your heart seems to be beating faster than normal — being dehydrated thickens your blood and lowers your blood volume, and your heart needs to beat faster and usually harder, too, just to make sure that your vital organs are getting enough oxygenated blood.
Too Much Coffee
Drinking strong coffee or several cups of it throughout the day can leave you with a fast heart rate, and it’s for a couple of reasons. First, caffeine found abundantly in coffee is a stimulant, and it can cause your ticker to beat faster. Second, coffee has diuretic properties which means that it can flush water out of your body — just like what’s mentioned above, dehydration can cause tachycardia.
Having Lots of Alcohol
Other than coffee, alcohol can also leave your heart beating more per minute. Just like coffee, alcohol can in fact drive water out of your body, thus leaving you dehydrated. Also, your heart beats faster after consuming lots of alcohol because it’s just trying to get rid of as much toxins as it can before they wreak havoc on your overall health.
Nicotine in cigarettes is a chemical with stimulating properties, and that’s why lighting up a stick can leave your heart beating faster than normal. If you are not comfortable with having a pounding heart, then quit smoking. Aside from tachycardia, there are so many other problems that quitting can fend off, including lung cancer and deadly heart disease.
Anxiety or Panic Attack
Do you suffer from anxiety or panic disorder? Then you can rest assured that your heart rate will go off the charts during an attack. Your body goes into the fight-or-flight mode whenever you are feeling anxious or panicky, and this can certainly lead to a rapid heart rate. Shortness of breath, chest tightness, dizziness, weakness, pins and needles and a sense of impending doom are some other symptoms.
It’s important to note that in some instances a fast heart rate can be due to an underlying medical condition that needs to be identified and also treated. Many of them have something to do with the cardiovascular system such as anemia, high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease. It’s also possible for an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) to be the culprit. In some cases, it can be due to problems that have something to do with the lungs. If you suspect that your rapid heart rate is due to a serious medical condition, pay a doctor a visit without delay.