When to see a doctor – A number of things can cause a rapid heart rate (tachycardia). If you feel like your heart is beating too fast, make an appointment to see a health care provider. Seek immediate medical help if you have shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near fainting, and chest pain or discomfort.
Call 911 or the emergency number in your area. If you or someone nearby is well trained in CPR, start CPR. CPR can help maintain blood flow to the organs until an electrical shock (defibrillation) can be given. If you’re not trained in CPR or worried about giving rescue breaths, then provide hands-only CPR. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute until paramedics arrive. You don’t need to do rescue breathing. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available nearby, have someone get the device for you, and then follow the instructions. An AED is a portable defibrillation device that can deliver a shock to reset the heart rhythm. No training is required to use the device. The AED will tell you what to do. It’s programmed to give a shock only when appropriate.
What to do if you have heart palpitations or fast heart rate?
Fast Heart Rate – What Tests Are Needed? – History – The initial most important thing is a good history. Are there associated symptoms of palpitations, light-headedness, fatigue, and dizziness or passing out? Is there associated chest pain or shortness of breath? Is the fast heart rate intermittent or constant and do the symptoms only appear when the heart rate is elevated? What happens to the blood pressure when the heart rate is elevated? Is there a history of heart disease or prior testing? These questions are critical in determining the seriousness of the situation and determining the work up required.
If there are alarm symptoms such as above then the heart rate needs work up and should not be ignored. Physical Exam – Is the heart rate regular or irregular when it is fast. Are there physical exam signs of heart failure such as fluid retention? Also a thorough physical exam can point toward other systemic problems such a thyroid issues or other.
EKG – A baseline EKG is key. Is the heart rhythm normal or abnormal? Is there any evidence of abnormality of the heart rate or conduction system of the heart? It is particularly useful to perform an EKG during the period of fast heart rate as it may help clinch the diagnosis if there is a cardiac cause.
- Blood work – Basic blood tests will be performed to rule out anemia or electrolyte abnormalities, thyroid function testing may be performed.
- Other testing may be performed as indicated.
- Monitor – Often palpitations or fast heart rate occur intermittently and never when at the doctors office! A monitor can be worn to help catch an intermittent fast heart rate and then characterize it providing useful information.
Monitors can be 1 day, several days, several weeks, or even much longer term if implanted. I personally find the utility of a monitor goes up significantly if a symptom diary is kept to record times when symptoms occur. The diary can then be crosschecked with the monitor to see any correlations.
How can I Stop my Heart from racing?
Minimize Your Risk From a Racing Heart – For everyone, the best way to minimize risk is to improve your heart rate variability. To start, work on managing your stress, and find ways to bring balance into your life, such as yoga, meditation, or prayer.
How can I get my heart rate back to normal?
What to Do – You can’t always prepare for heart palpitations. But to head them off, you can try simple lifestyle changes, like:
Avoiding caffeine Getting enough sleep Avoiding or cutting back on alcoholStopping smokingStaying away from stimulant drugs, including cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrineFinding ways to relax and manage stress
If you think you’re having an attack, try these to get your heartbeat back to normal:
Breathe deeply. It will help you relax until your palpitations pass.Splash your face with cold water, It stimulates a nerve that controls your heart rate,Don’t panic, Stress and anxiety will make your palpitations worse.
What are some home treatments for a slow heartbeat?
How to Fix the Signals – There are really no home treatments for a slow heartbeat. Your doctor will likely need to fix the underlying cause in order to ease your symptoms and raise your heart rate so your body gets the blood it needs. Treatments could include medications or a pacemaker,
Are there herbs that slow down your heartbeat?
Motherwort – Motherwort is an herb that may be helpful for lowering your heart rate. According to the University of Michigan Health System, motherwort, also known as Leonurus cardiaca, is native to central Eurasia, but now grows in all temperate areas of the world.
Motherwort is a member of the mint family. The aerial parts of the plant – the leaves and flowers – are used medicinally. In traditional Chinese medicine, the seeds are also used. Dr. Sharol Tilgner, a naturopathic physician and author of the book “Natural Medicine From the Heart of the Earth,” states that motherwort is a diuretic, antispasmodic, nervine and emmenagogue or menstruation stimulant.
Motherwort treats numerous health conditions, but may be particularly effective for nervous heart palpitations, elevated heart rate and high blood pressure due to stress. Before taking motherwort to help lower your heart rate, talk with your doctor about possible side effects and proper dosage.