What are the risks of having a fast heart rate? Learn why your heart is beating faster and how to slow it down.

A high pulse can cause unpleasant symptoms, but it should be treated if it lasts for a long time or is repeated. The resting heart rate of an adult should be less than 100 beats per minute.

Causes of fast high rate
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

What is the correct pulse?

A normal pulse depends on your age and health. The younger the person is, the higher the heart rate. The standards are:

  • newborns up to 4 weeks of age  – 100-205 beats per minute,
  • infant from 4 weeks to 1 year  – 100-180 beats per minute,
  • child 1-3 years – 98-140 beats per minute,
  • child 3-5 years old – 80-120 beats per minute,
  • child 5-12 years old – 75-118 beats per minute,
  • teenager 13-18 years old – 60-100 beats per minute, 
  • adult  – 60-100 beats per minute.

Occasionally, the heart rate is not within the correct range.

How to measure your pulse?

Find your pulse by counting the beats in 10 seconds and multiplying by 6, or using a pulse oximeter.

What are the risks of a high pulse?

Tachycardia is when the heart beats too fast, which can lead to problems like strokes, atrial fibrillation, and heart attacks. Research shows that having a fast heart rate increases the risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis, as well as serious heart diseases. Most of the time, a high heart rate doesn’t cause any symptoms or harm to health, but it can be dangerous if it lasts for a long time when the person is at rest, comes on suddenly without a clear reason, and happens again and again.

Causes of high pulse

Accelerated heart rate may result from various reasons, both originating from the heart (e.g. defects, heart diseases) and from outside this organ.

A high pulse can cause:

  • physical effort,
  • infection or fever
  • excess caffeine, alcohol, nicotine,
  • stress, anxiety,
  • blood loss
  • dehydration,
  • some medications and drugs,
  • abuse of stimulants,
  • severe pain,
  • hyperthyroidism,
  • heavy bleeding
  • very low blood pressure
  • lung diseases,
  • myocarditis,
  • heart failure.

When the body needs more oxygen and chemicals, the heart rate can speed up to give the body what it needs.

High heart rate symptoms

We should call a doctor if our heart rate suddenly goes up when we’re at rest, especially if it keeps happening or comes back.

  • dizziness,
  • fainting,
  • sweats
  • anxiety,
  • palpitation feeling,
  • pain in the chest,
  • dyspnoea,
  • fatigue.

How to lower too high a pulse?

Lowering pulse can be done by taking electrolytes, limiting drugs, stimulants, drinking herbs, and relaxation techniques. Reporting the problem to a doctor can help change prescribed pharmacological agents, and two methods are the Valsalva technique and immersing the face in cold water.

How is high pulse treated?

Beta-blockers and cardioversion may help restore normal heart function in extreme cases.

When to see a doctor with a high pulse?

Go to a specialist if your heart rate goes up a lot while you’re at rest, and tell your doctor if it keeps happening. 

See more at Munaeem’s Blog


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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