TACHYCARDIA

Description

Tachycardia is a common type of heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) in which the heart beats faster than normal while at rest

Symptoms

  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Hypotension
  • Lightheadedness
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Panting (shortness of breath)
  • Sudden weakness
  • Syncope (fainting)

Causes

  • Damage to heart tissues from heart disease
  • Abnormal electrical pathways in the heart present at birth (congenital heart conditions, including long QT syndrome)
  • Disease or congenital abnormality of the heart
  • Anemia
  • Exercise
  • Sudden stress, such as fright
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Fever
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Drinking too many caffeinated beverages
  • Medication side effects
  • Abuse of recreational drugs, such as cocaine
  • Imbalance of electrolytes, mineral-related substances necessary for conducting electrical impulses
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

Risk Factors

  • Older age
  • Family history
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Heavy caffeine use
  • Use of recreational drugs
  • Psychological stress or anxiety
  • Anemia

Diagnostic Tests

  • Electrophysiological test
  • Stress Test
  • Tilt table test
  • Chest X-ray
  • Coronary angiogram
  • CT scan
  • MRI Scan
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Holter monitor
  • Event monitor

Treatment

  • Blood-thinning medication
  • Ways to slow your heartbeat include:
  • Vagal maneuvers
  • Cardioversion
  • An anti-arrhythmic injection
  • Oral anti-arrhythmic drug: flecainide (Tambocor) and propafenone (Rythmol)
  • Preventing episodes of a fast heart rate include:
  • Catheter ablation
  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable cardioverter
  • Surgery
  • Medications:calcium channel blockers and beta blockers

Lifestyle Management

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink in moderation
  • Limit caffeine
  • Don’t use recreational drugs
  • Use over-the-counter medications with caution
  • Control stress
  • Go to scheduled checkups
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control