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What are Tachycardia Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Molly Smith
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Tachycardia is a condition in which a person has a resting heart rate that is faster than the normal 60-90 beats per minute. Depending on how hard the heart has to work, this condition can be dangerous. Someone with tachycardia has an elevated heart rate, which increases his or her risk of sudden heart attack, stroke or even death. The most common tachycardia symptoms, in addition to a rapid heart rate, include dizziness, fainting, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Tachycardia symptoms can also include confusion, low blood pressure, lightheadedness and sudden weakness.

Some people with the condition experience no tachycardia symptoms, but the condition is found during a routine physical exam or heart stress test. When the heart beats too rapidly, it might fail to pump blood to other parts of the body effectively. As a result, these organs and/or tissues become deprived of oxygen, causing a person to experience various signs and symptoms.

There are certain risk factors for developing the condition that leads to tachycardia symptoms. These include anxiety, mental stress, age, consuming large quantities of caffeine or alcoholic beverages and genetics. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, electrolyte imbalances and heredity.

Heart disease also increases a person’s risk of tachycardia. Diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, tumors or infections can result in tachycardia symptoms. This is because they reduce the blood supply to the heart, which damages heart tissues.

If one has tachycardia symptoms or one or more of the risk factors, he or she should consult a physician. Tests can be done to determine whether tachycardia is the cause. The doctor will need to ask a few questions, conduct a routine physical exam and order some tests. Blood tests will determine whether there is a thyroid problem or another cause, such as an electrolyte imbalance or low potassium levels.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) will detect any abnormal heartbeats and show any prior heart conditions that might contribute to the tachycardia. A tilt-table test is most often used when the patient is experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting. The test monitors a person’s heart rate and blood pressures while they are moved from a lying position to a standing position. A chest X-ray is used to check the state of a patient’s heart and lungs.

Tachycardia can be treated with medications, surgery and other medical procedures. The risks associated with tachycardia depend on the severity, the cause, the rate and the duration. Whether other heart conditions exist also can affect the risk involved.

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