Tachycardia: the causes that make the heart beat too fast

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Tachycardia, what are the reasons why it occurs? Here are the causes that trigger tachycardia that do not depend on heart disease.

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Tachycardia, what are the causes that make the heart beat too fast? Tachycardia is a form of cardiac arrhythmia, ie of alteration of the rhythm of the heartbeat on which the well known depend palpitations. So we can talk about tachycardia when increases the rate of heart activity (as the etymology of the word says).

Generally, in these cases, the number of beats per minute can exceed 100, but it can even reach 400. It is obvious that with such high frequencies, the heart is unable to effectively pump oxygenated blood inside. of the cardiovascular system.

But what are the reasons why tachycardia occurs? First of all it must be said that of tachycardia there are several types:

- tachycardia temporary, when the disorder occurs for a very limited and determined period of time
- tachycardia read more, which could be accompanied by a chronic type of disorder, that is, very prolonged over time
- tachycardia pregnant, which can appear especially in the last months of waiting
- tachycardia paroxysmal, a form of tachycardia also called Bouveret-Hoffmann syndrome and onset and stop abruptly at 140-220 beats per minute. It can last a few minutes or a few hours. Chest pain and tightness may be felt, and symptoms may include dizziness, lightheadedness, and blurred vision
- tachycardia sinus, which occurs when the heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute and can occur for different reasons in both infants and children and adults
- tachycardia ventricular, which occurs when the ventricular rate exceeds 100 beats per minute. The problem arises from the myocardium. It can be very short, lasting less than 30 seconds, or extend beyond this limit
- tachycardia recurring, which begins and ends abruptly and which can repeat itself several times over time. In this type of tachycardia, the heart rate increases and decreases rapidly.


For everyone, the most common causes can be linked to heart ailments already existing or not connected.

Among the former, there is arrhythmia. In some cases, in fact, palpitations derive from an arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat that can beat too slowly (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia) or with an irregular rhythm. Arrhythmia is caused by the malfunction of parts of the electrical conduction system of the heart and can occur especially if you have had a heart attack. if you suffer from heart disease o you are at risk if you have heart failure, heart valve problems or heart muscle problems, or electrolyte abnormalities. Electrolytes are the mineral salts, such as potassium and sodium, found in the blood and body fluids. In the right quantities, they are essential for maintaining good health and for the proper functioning of the body.

Causes not related to heart disease

Anxiety - Anxiety is often responsible for tachycardia. In times of intense stress, the adrenal glands secrete substances that increase the heart rate. The acceleration can be brutal, but the heart spontaneously and gradually returns to normal. Palpitations are also observed in case of inactivity.

Prevention: regular physical activity it helps regulate the autonomic nervous system, which tends to keep the heart beating constant and avoid rapid and dangerous accelerations.


Intense physical activity - On the contrary, if too much intense physical activity can have the reverse effect and give the feeling that the heart is beating too hard or too fast even if it is actually functioning normally, or it can cause extrasystole (premature beat).

Hormonal changes - In pregnancy, but also during the menstrual cycle or in the period before menopause, there may be tachycardia at intervals (but palpitations most often disappear or regress when hormone levels return to normal).

Drugs and stimulants - Some medications, such as asthma inhalers or decongestants or some supplements, can cause palpitations.

Caffeine - But nicotine (contained in tobacco), alcohol and drugs (for example cocaine and amphetamines) can also cause tachycardia.

Health problems - Palpitations can also be caused by real diseases which in turn make the heart beat faster. These include: hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, anemia, some forms of hypotension, fever and dehydration.

Germana Carillo

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