Tachycardia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, MD.

Overview

Tachycardia is a medical condition where your heartbeat is more than 100 per minute is considered tachycardia. Sometimes it may beat more than 100 times per minute when you are running, walking or during stress it is considered normal, but your heartbeat is regularly beating more than 100 times per minute is called arrhythmia, a condition when your heart has a rhythm problem.

Some people have no symptoms of arrhythmia while some people may develop the symptoms at a very later stage. An adult’s heartbeats from 60 beats per second to 100 beats per second. When tachycardia is present either the upper or lower chambers of the heartbeat faster than normal.

If the tachycardia is not treated or diagnose duly it may cause certain serious health problems for the patients like heart attack, stroke, highblood pressure and even sudden death.

Types of Tachycardia

There are several types of tachycardia that may present in the human body. Our heart has four chambers and due to some disease or abnormalities, there may be a problem in the beats of the heart and cause tachycardia. These tachycardia are as follows:

Atrial Flutter-The upper chamber of the heart is called the atria while the lower chamber of the heart is called the ventricles. When atrial flutter occurs, the heart beat is very fast and the contraction of the atria is not occurring properly or weak contractions. Atrial flutter is caused by the irregular circuitry within the atria and causes fast heartbeat.

Atrial Fibrillation- Atrial fibrillation is an irregular, rapid heart rate that causes the poor blood flow in the heart. The upper chamber of the heartbeat out of the coordination from the lower chamber. It creates irregular electric impulses in the upper chamber of the heart i.e. atria.

Supraventricular Tachycardia– Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormally fast and erratic heartbeat and affects the upper chamber of the heart i.e. atria.

Ventricular Tachycardia- Ventricular tachycardia occurs when a fast heartbeat started with abnormal electrical signals in the lower chamber of the heart and this causes a problem to the heart resulted in the rapid heart rate does not allow the ventricles to fill and contract efficiently and pump the blood in the body.

Symptoms

The symptoms of tachycardia are many. If tachycardia occurs it means that your heart is not sending enough blood to the body and resulted in the paucity of oxygen in the various parts of the body and saturation level maybe go down. The symptoms of tachycardia are as follows:

Lihtheadedness

vertigo

Shortness of breath

Chest pain

Fainting

Some people may have no symptoms of tachycardia. The diagnosis of these kinds of people are made when the problem is serious and they came to an emergency for their checkup.

Causes

Tachycardia occurs when there is a disruption in normal electrical impulses that controls the heart rate of the body. There are the following causes of the possible tachycardia:

Fever

Dizziness

High Blood Pressure

Anemia

Alcoholism

Exercise

Electrolyte Imbalance

Smoking

Caffeine Use

Thyroid problems

Stress, Trauma

Treatment

The treatment of tachycardia is easily available. your doctor may prescribe beta blockers medicines to control tachycardia. Your doctor may also check your heart by performing an ECG test of your heart and 2D-echo to know any abnormalities. if you have supra ventricular tachycardia, your doctor may give you advise to avoid caffeine and alcohol use.

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