3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Rapid Heartbeat
      Category : Health Centers > Heart Diseases

Rapid Heartbeat

Alternate Names : Tachycardia, Fast Heartbeat

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A rapid heartbeat is defined as a heart rate that is faster than normal. The heart normally beats fewer than 100 times per minute in adults. In children, the heart can beat slightly faster than 100 times per minute and still be considered normal.

What is going on in the body?

At rest, a person's heart rate usually stays within a standard range. This range is usually 50 to 100 times per minute in adults and slightly faster in children. With increased physical activity, stress, or other conditions, however, the heart rate may increase above the normal level.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many possible causes of a rapid heartbeat, including:

  • exercise, heavy lifting or other activity that requires exertion
  • fear, pain, anxiety, stress, anger, or nervousness
  • fever
  • dehydration. This may be caused by too little intake of fluids, loss of blood, diarrhea, vomiting, or medications such as diuretics, sometimes called "water pills."
  • low blood pressure, also called hypotension
  • hyperthyroidism, which is a level of thyroid hormone in the body that is too high
  • congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood effectively
  • irregular heartbeats, known as arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. These may be caused by salt imbalances, heart attack, and other conditions.
  • low red blood cell count known as anemia
  • medications or drugs. Albuterol, which is commonly used to treat asthma, as well as some over the counter and prescription decongestants can cause rapid heartbeat. Cocaine abuse and alcohol withdrawal are other causes of rapid heartbeat.
  • excessive caffeine intake
  • some herbal therapies such as ephedra, also called ma huang
  • infections. These may include such as a serious blood infection called sepsis and pneumonia.
  • nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy, that affects the nerves attached to the heart. This is often due to diabetes, a condition that results in a high level of blood sugar.
  • low oxygen in the blood, also called hypoxia. There can be many causes for this. Examples include asthma and emphysema.
  • Other causes are possible. Sometimes, no cause can be found.


    Next section


    Rapid Heartbeat: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site