Tachycardia - Increased heart rate

July 2017


Definition


Increased heart rate is a condition called tachycardia. At rest, the heart rate will average between 60-80 beats per minute. It's called tachycardia when the heart beats at a rate higher than 100 per minute. A rapid heart rate is normal in some cases, particularly when making a particular effort because when different tissues are exercised, they require more energy, which is supplied in larger quantities by increased blood flow via an increased pumping of the heart. It can also be a symptom of an infectious, nervous, hormonal disease as well as a heart-related disease. Medication, stress, hormonal disorders may also be at the root of the problem. Whatever the reason, a medical consultation is required in cases of persistent tachycardia in order to determine the cause.

Diagnosis


In the case of an increased heart rate, the doctor or cardiologist will conduct a physical examination and question the patient about his medical history, genetic risk and lifestyle. He may also prescribe:
  • An ECG or electrocardiogram for measuring the heart rate, which will be done systematically;
  • Blood test, sometimes;
  • Further cardiologic examinations, depending on the prognosis, with occasionally a 24-hour heart monitor or a Holter-ECG.

The exams are used to identify the type of tachycardia.

Symptoms


Tachycardia can sometimes be felt by the patient in the form palpitations, where the patient actually feels like his heart is beating faster. Other symptoms of tachycardia are contingent upon the related diseases in question.

Treatment


There are many causes of tachycardia. Once the cause is identified, the treatment allows a return to a normal heart rhythm. Tachycardia with a cardiac origin is most often due to diseases grouped under the term arrhythmia and after their detection on an ECG, treatments are established to treat the disease. A treatment option may be to use drugs that slow the heart rate such as beta-blockers or antiarrhythmic drugs, or to use a technique called radiofrequency via an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. This is a matter for specialists.

Prevention


It is possible to prevent certain types of heart rate increases by improving your lifestyle. Certain steps such as a balanced diet, limiting salt intake and fat, are essential. Alongside this, you must have daily physical activity and get regular health checks.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on December 11, 2013 at 04:02 AM by Jeff.
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