6 Causes to Hearts Beating Too Slow or Fast

6 Causes to Hearts Beating Too Slow or Fast

Is your heart beating too slowly, or fast? For many, this may be a very normal occurrence, but doctors think otherwise. The heartbeat, as it may sound, consists of electrical impulses. Any discrepancy in these impulses will make the heart beat faster or slower than what it should normally. Your heart beating too fast, or slowly, is a sign for you to sit up and take note of your health status, or better yet, consult a doctor. Read further to know the real causes of your heart beating slower or faster than normal. 6 Causes to Hearts Beating Too Slow or Fast

It may be noted that while a few causes are life-threatening, the others are not so serious that they pose a danger to life. However, medical intervention is necessary at all times. Here are a few causes of heart rate changes.

Causes of Changes in Heartbeat

Atrial Fibrillation

One of the most common causes of an irregular heartbeat is the change in the pumping rhythm of the upper two chambers of the heart (the heart has four chambers). This condition is not life-threatening, but over time, there is a chance of blood clots forming in the blood vessels. The risk for such a condition to develop is higher after the person reaches the age of 50. Blood thinners and other similar medicines are some of the major treatments for this disease.

Tachycardia

Have you ever watched a soccer match and later felt your heart? It beats fast, doesn’t it? This phenomenon is called tachycardia, and it tends to happen when a person gets excited. Heart palpitations at night often occur, especially when the heart gets excited and starts pumping in more blood at a faster pace than usual. However, there is a chance that you might have contracted paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). When this disturbance occurs, patients face a higher risk of cardiac arrest in the lower two chambers. This cause is more common among children and people in the younger age brackets.

Ventricular Fibrillation 

This is one of the most life-threatening causes because the lower chambers of the heart encounter changes in the pace or the rhythm of the blood pumping. If not treated within minutes, the patient’s condition can turn deadly. This usually happens when the patient has been suffering from a heart ailment that has gone undetected.

Premature Beats

When you exercise, are under stress, or even experience fear, does your heart start beating too slowly, or fast especially? This is quite normal. Also, when you drink caffeine or have sudden chest pains the beats may drop or pick up pace. Often, the only remedy here is to make changes to your lifestyle. However, you could also be suffering from an ectopic heartbeat. The do’s and don’ts are discussed later in the article.

Bradycardia

Bradycardia is another reason why your heart beat may be slow. This condition is very normal, particularly among people who are physically fit. There are certain food items that can help lower the heart rate as well. Even deep breathing can calm the heart down and make it beat more slowly. However, hypothyroidism or even aging can also make the heart rate slow down.

Long QT Syndrome

Long QT Syndrome is a hereditary problem often seen in kids and young adults. The ventricles of the heart take a longer time to contract, thereby delaying the heart rate. There is a good chance of a problem with the heart as well. This can be treated with device implantation or ablation, or even medication. The point here is that this condition requires medical attention.

Precautions to Remember

Here are a few precautions to take to ensure that you don’t end up suffering from heart palpitations at night or irregular heartbeats:

  • Limit your caffeine intake.
  • Get your daily dose of uninterrupted seven to nine hours of  .
  • Be in contact with a physician for regular health updates.
  • Do not smoke. If you are a smoker, try to limit the daily number of cigarettes.
  • Exercise regularly if you can.
  • Maintain your weight. Try to have a healthy BMI.
  • Consume a healthy amount of alcohol.

The pointers mentioned above are to give you guidelines. However, please take note that an irregular rhythm of the heart is unique to each individual; therefore, the reasons for the condition and the proper treatment thereof will be unique as well. What works for one person may or may not work for you, so do not be your own doctor. Instead, consult a proper physician to help you out.  6 Causes to Hearts Beating Too Slow or Fast

about the author

VictorMarchione

Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and continued on to do his Medical Degree at the  University of Messina. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for more than 20 years.

Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show. As well as being on the Advisory Board for Bel Marra Health, he is also the editor of the Health eTalk newsletter.

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