Understanding Rapid Heart Rate

A rapid heart rate is a heartbeat that is faster than usual. The average heartbeat for an adult is around 60 to 80 bpm (beats per minute) while resting. Children will generally have a slightly faster beat than adults.

A newborn can have a rate of approximately 100 to 160 bpm. The heartbeat is faster when a person is younger and it will start slowing down until the person dies. There are certain circumstances that might accelerate the heart beyond the normal rate. Some of them are not dangerous while others might represent a risk for a person’s life.

People with a fast heart rate can sometimes experience several symptoms like:
  • chest discomfort
  • dizziness
  • changes in vision
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath

Causes of rapid heart rate can be things such as: exercise, stress, high blood pressure, anger, asthma, anemia, eating a lot and some heart diseases. If you are exercising your heartbeat will increase dramatically and that is perfectly normal. Exercising too much of course can be dangerous; consult your physician for an appropriate exercise routine. A person that is resting and have an accelerated heart might health problem.

Stress and anxiety are very common causes of a faster than normal heart beat.

Emotional stress usually triggers the “fight or flight” response which will also accelerate the heart. The stress response is not dangerous as long as the duration of it is short. Prolonged stress can cause severe damage to your body and must never be ignored. There are other conditions of physical nature that can alter the normal rate of the heart. An arrhythmia means irregular heart beat and it can be caused by several conditions. Coronary artery disease, a heart attack, sodium or potassium imbalances and certain injuries can be the origin of an arrhythmia.

Arrhythmias are usually the main indicator of a possible danger to your health. Babies that have an irregular beat are in danger of suffering congenital heart disease. Older people with a rapid heart rate might experience a heart attack, stroke or any other type of heart disease.

If your heart is beating too fast it might be a sign of a serious medical condition or it could simply be stress.

Either way is always good to check with your doctor just in case. Sometimes people underestimate the rapid beat. This can be a very serious mistake especially in older people. Most heart diseases can be prevented by eating the correct food and exercising regularly.


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