COMPLETE ANDCOMPREHENSIVE Tachycardia

Tachycardia

What is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is a condition that arises when your heartbeat is faster than normal. Normally, our heart rate is around 60 to 100 beats per minute. In the case of tachycardia, the heart beats more than 100 times a minute. The condition often lasts for a few seconds to a few hours depending on the health of the heart.

Tachycardia begins in the upper or lower chambers of your heart causing symptoms that can range from mild to life-threatening. Consult a healthcare professional if you are experiencing repeated signs of tachycardia to reduce the risk of more serious heart conditions.

What Causes Tachycardia?

There are a number of possible reasons that contribute to a rapid heartbeat. Tachycardia can arise due to exercise or as a response to stress. In case of emotional stress or anxiety, the heart sends more frequent signals for a short time. Since these signals control our heart rhythm, the patient may experience rapid heartbeats. If the heart cannot supply blood and oxygen to all the cells, the condition can get serious and the patient may be taken into emergency. 

In addition, here are some factors that contribute to the tachycardia causes - 

  • History of arrhythmia
  • Family history
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Consumption of alcohol 
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine
  • High Blood pressure
  • Side effects of certain medicines
  • Excessive smoking or consumption of tobacco
  • Use of illegal drugs and stimulants 

What are the Types of Tachycardia?

There are different types of tachycardia grouped based on where the condition arises. Tachycardia types are majorly classified into the following -

  • Supraventricular
    • Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)
    • Atrial flutter
    • Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT)
    • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
  • Ventricular
    • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Sinus Tachycardia

What are the Symptoms of Tachycardia?

Tachycardia symptoms can be mild to severe depending on the severity of the condition and the medical health of the patient. However, common symptoms of tachycardia include the following - 

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest Pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Losing consciousness

How Is Tachycardia Diagnosed?

Most tachycardia symptoms mimic other heart conditions and do not require a comprehensive diagnosis. However, in case of frequent tachycardia, it is advised to seek medical assistance to avoid any major risk. The doctor may take your vitals and examine your medical history and family history report. In addition, you may have to undergo several tests to assess the risk of any chronic heart condition. Tachycardia diagnosis usually involves the following tests - 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Holter monitor
  • Echocardiogram
  • Coronary angiography
  • Event monitor
  • Electrophysiological study
  • Stress test
  • Tilt table test
  • Cardiac CT scan
  • Cardiac MRI imaging
  • X-rays
  • Blood tests

What Is the Treatment for Tachycardia?

The treatment aims to stabilize the heart rate depending on the type of tachycardia. The doctor pinpoints the exact cause and suggests a combination of different treatment methods that can lead to reduced episodes of rapid heart rate. 

Tachycardia treatment usually involves medications, lifestyle changes and surgical procedures depending on the severity of the condition and the probability of any existing heart condition. The doctor may prescribe medications to slow a fast heart rate or prevent a future episode of similar cases. Here are some common practices done for the treatment of tachycardia - 

  • Medications (beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, antiarrhythmic medicines, blood thinners)
  • Pacemaker
  • Maze procedure
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
  • Catheter ablation
  • Surgical intervention

In addition, there are other stress management techniques such as meditation and yoga that can help control the heartbeat and reduce the symptoms of tachycardia. Depending on the tachycardia type, the doctor may recommend the following treatment methods -

Atrial or supraventricular tachycardia treatment

  • Limiting alcohol intake

  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Restricting caffeine intake
  • Medications
  • Cardioversion
  • Ablation
  • Massages

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia treatment

  • Ablation

  • Medications
  • Cardioversion

Ventricular fibrillation tachycardia treatment

  • Medications

  • Cardioversion
  • Ablation
  • Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)

How Can I Prevent Tachycardia?

Tachycardia prevention aims at avoiding the risk factors that contribute to an abnormal heart rate. Here is how you can prevent tachycardia - 

  • Manage stress
  • Control high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain healthy weight 
  • Stop smoking or avoid alcohol
  • Get regular heart checkups
  • Encourage regular exercise

FAQs

What should I not drink with tachycardia?

Patients with chronic cases of tachycardia must avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine in large amounts. Talk to your physician in case you are experiencing tachycardia symptoms to avoid the risk of serious heart conditions.
 

Are there any complications associated with the tachycardia treatment?

Tachycardia treatment for mild to moderate symptoms usually does not involve any risks. However, certain risks associated with procedures like ablation or ICD depend on the severity of the disease and the medical condition of the patient. Possible complications include - 

  • Blood clots
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to the heart or blood vessels
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breathing
     

How long does tachycardia last?

Tachycardia can last from a few seconds to even an hour depending on the health condition of the individual. In rare cases, a rapid heartbeat can even last for days if the condition of the heart is severe.

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