The term tachycardia describes too high a pulse and too fast rhythm of the heart. Normal are 50 to 100 heart beats per minute. More than 100 heart beats per minute in an average person is referred to as tachycardia or heart palpitations. In this article you can find out the typical signs and classic causes of palpitations. You will also learn how to treat tachycardia appropriately.
Tachycardia: recognize symptoms
Since tachycardia is usually associated with a general physical activity, it is noticeable and felt not only directly on the heart, but in the entire body. Tachycardia is therefore usually associated with many different body sensations. Although these signs are often harmless, they can be frightening, especially if they occur suddenly and unexpectedly.
The following symptoms are typically associated with palpitations:
How does tachycardia develop?
Tachycardia can on the one hand be a healthy adaptation of body and heart to stress. On the other hand, it can also be a sign of serious illness. In general, heart beats faster when the body is exposed to both physical and mental stress.
This is because the body needs more energy and more oxygen under stress: the body needs to be better supplied with blood. It achieves this through a faster heartbeat, which in turn feels like tachycardia and causes palpitations.
The causes of tachycardia can be the following:
Causes of tachycardia
Tachycardia can have many causes and is harmless in most cases. However, heart racing can also be a serious warning signal to visit a doctor.
Sudden tachycardia should therefore not be evaluated alone, but the environmental factors and the current physical activity must be also considered.
Harmless causes are, for example, a fast heartbeat during a mental excitement and physical movement. Hormone changes preceding the premenstrual syndrome ( PMS ) period or during pregnancy can also cause tachycardia. And they often occur in combination with headache and sweating.
Low blood pressure as a trigger of palpitations
Low blood pressure directly after eating or after getting up can often a cause of tachycardia. In order to increase low blood pressure, the heart has to beat faster.
Such low blood pressure is usually harmless, but may also point to a heart problem or, in extreme cases, even as to heart attack.
Heart palpitations and cardiac arrhythmia
Heart palpitations and arrhythmia often occur along with altered rate of heartbeat. This must be distinguished from simple palpitations and is easy to confuse, as both cardiac arrhythmia and palpitations can cause similar symptoms and are perceived mainly as palpitations.
The best way to find out if cardiac arrhythmia actually occurs is with the help of an ECG (electrocardiogram) and a physical examination by a doctor.
Thyroid gland and tachycardia
Thyroid gland has a big impact on our body activity and metabolism. When the thyroid gland is overactive, it also leads to increased heart beat and increased blood pressure. In extreme cases, this can also feel like palpitations.
An underactive thyroid or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a special type of hypothyroidism) generate quite the opposite: lethargy, apathy, fatigue, weakness and low pulse.
Tachycardia during night
Nocturnal tachycardia (in lying body position), however, is evaluated differently than tachycardia the day after physical activity. At night, tachycardia which occurs without external causes can be disturbing and can possibly point to an illness.
But there are also many harmless causes at night, such as psychosomatic issues or tachycardia after drinking alcohol the night before.
What to do against tachycardia?
As soon as the symptoms such as tremors, dyspnea, dizziness and nausea are perceived, the question is what to do against palpitations.
Waiting or targeted relaxation exercises can help to calm the body and thus also relieve the heart. If the heartbeat occurs unexpectedly or in combination with other physical symptoms that you are worried about, a physician should be consulted.
Tachycardia, which occurs in combination with sudden loss of consciousness, should be examined and clarified in more detail by a doctor in order to exclude serious diseases of the cardiovascular system.