Heart rates are different for each individual person. This is measured in beats per minute(bpm). Your heart rate increases when doing cardio exercises such as running or biking.
When your pace or amount of effort increases your heart rate also increases.
Fast heart rate
Tachycardia is defined as when your heart rate is too fast. One hundred beats per minute are considered as a fast heart rate for adults.
Your overall health and age also determines what might be considered as too-fast-a-heart-rate for any individual.
Different types of Tachycardia
The different types of tachycardia depend on what is causing it and the section of the heart it is affecting. Tachycardia can, in many cases, be temporary.
A few possible sources for Tachycardia can be:
- Intense exercise,
- Physical activity,
- Smoking of cigarettes, as well as
- Certain drug use like cocaine.
Tachycardia can also be caused by consuming caffeine or alcohol or an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Other possible causes are an underlying health condition or it could be side effects from medication.
Slow heart rate
Bradycardia is defined as when your heart rate is too slow. This would be a heart rate that is less than 60 beats per minute.
For individuals who are active and exercise regularly, a heart rate that is under 60 beats per minute is normal and usually not a health concern.
Possible causes of Bradycardia
A few possible causes for Bradycardia can be side effects from medicine or an underlying health condition. Electrolyte imbalance can also cause Bradycardia or obstructive sleep apnea.
When it is serious?
Tachycardia and bradycardia can both be warnings of possible hidden health conditions.
Underlying health conditions that could cause tachycardia are anaemia, hyperthyroidism or congenital heart disease. Other possibilities are that you could have heart disease and it is affecting the blood flow or there might be injury to the heart that could have been caused by a heart attack.
Underlying health conditions that could cause bradycardia are congenital heart disease, hypothyroidism or inflammatory disease like rheumatic fever or lupus. Among these hidden conditions are damage to the heart that could be caused by:
- Heart disease,
- A heart attack, or
Tachycardia and bradycardia risks
A heart rate that is either too low or too high could lead to many different health problems. These health challenges could possibly be very serious. It could cause unexpected cardiac arrest, repeated fainting bouts, blood clots or even heart failure.
When to visit your GP
Visit your medical practitioner if your heart rate is frequently above a 100 beats per minute or below 60 beats per minute. Watch out for symptoms such as being lightheaded or dizzy, fainting and being short of breath. A fluttering feeling or palpitations and pain or discomfort in your chest is also a reason to see your doctor.
Resting heart rates vary for all individuals but now you know what to look out for. If you are consistently experiencing a heart rate that is not considered normal you should make an appointment to visit your doctor. Tachycardia and bradycardia could both be possible indicators of hidden health conditions.
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