The normal heart rate of a healthy adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minutes. If the heartbeat rate is higher than the normal range, a person is said to suffer from tachycardia. The fast heart rate is produced by abnormal electrical signals. This is a serious heart disorder, which could be fatal if left untreated. Tachycardia disrupts normal activities of the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Disruption in the electrical signals that control the heart rhythm can develop from an underlying heart disease that damages the tissues of the heart. Congenital defects that are present in the heart since birth could produce abnormal electrical impulses that increase the heart rate beyond the normal maximum level. Your maximum heartbeat might shoot up from smoking, alcoholism and excess caffeine intake.
Electrolyte imbalance creates deficiency of minerals needed for sustaining normal heart rhythm, leading to tachycardia. Tachycardia could be a side effect of certain medications and drug abuse. People with hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid gland that increases the heartbeat. Excess stress could abnormally increase your heartbeat. People with a family history of tachycardia and senior citizens have a higher risk of developing this cardiac disorder.
Besides pounding heart and fast pulse rate, tachycardia causes shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and fainting.
Sometimes tachycardia heals naturally. You can reduce the pace of a rapidly beating heart by pressing an ice pack against your face. Simple gestures such as coughing are sometimes effective in decreasing the heartbeat. Anti-arrhythmic medications are used for treating tachycardia. The normal heart rhythm could be restored by administering a shock to your heart. This process, known as cardioversion, is used only in emergencies. For long run treatment, cardioverter defibrillator is implanted in the chest to restore the normal heartbeat.
To minimize the risk of tachycardia, you should adopt a heart friendly lifestyle. Monitor your calorie intake. Your diet should comprise of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Restore normal body mass index through regular exercises. Prevent hypertension and high blood cholesterol. Drink only in moderation. Quit smoking. Limit consumption of caffeinated drinks. Manage your stress to prevent tachycardia.