Heart palpitations: causes, diagnosis and treatment

Heart palpitations, or tachycardia - a condition in which the heart rate (heart rate) reaches 90 beats per minute and above.

Such a deviation may have a physiological and pathological etiology, therefore it is necessary to be able to interpret this symptom correctly. So, if tachycardia has become a frequent occurrence, disturbing a person almost daily, then it is time to make an appointment with a cardiologist.

With an increase in the pulse during the sensation of strong emotions, or with intensive exercise, the help of a doctor is not required.

Causes of rapid heartbeat

Causes of tachycardia can be:

  1. Physiological. In this case, tachycardia is temporary. With the exclusion of the effect on the body of a particular factor, the heart rate returns to normal values ​​independently.
  2. Pathological. They are associated with the violation of the activities of individual organs, glands or entire systems. Under such circumstances, the patient requires qualified medical assistance.

Let us dwell on each group of factors in more detail.

Physiological causes

Heart palpitations can result from:

  • intense physical exertion;
  • sudden awakening;
  • sudden changes in body position;
  • strong emotional outburst (joy, pleasure, anger, fear);
  • overeating

Usually, a person does not even notice the increased heart rate. If it manifests itself, it is accompanied by a slight discomfort in the chest. You can also mark it in the event that a person measures his pulse. Such tachycardia is not dangerous to health, but only if there is no cardiac disease.

Another condition is called idiopathic tachycardia. The exact reasons for this deviation are not clarified, but they are closely associated with the individual characteristics of the human body. In this case, the heart rate will deviate by 10 - 15 units upward. This situation is not dangerous, and does not require treatment.

In addition, an attack of tachycardia may occur in the background:

  • smoking;
  • malnutrition with the dominance of junk food;
  • emotional or physical strain;
  • lack of sleep;
  • abuse of coffee or other energy drinks.

If, against the background of these factors, tachycardia occurs regularly, then the patient is advised to consult a doctor in order to be examined for cardiac diseases.

Pathological conditions

There are several pathological causes of tachycardia, which can be divided into groups:

1) Functional disorders of the cardiovascular system. This category includes:

  • neurocirculatory dystonia;
  • sinus node dysfunction, which is characterized by the occurrence of sinus tachycardia;
  • sharp jumps in blood pressure (tachycardia is often observed with low blood pressure, as the heart tries to “equalize” the situation in this way).

2) Organic lesions of the myocardium. The cause of tachycardia can serve:

  • heart attacks (acute or present in the patient’s history);
  • congenital or acquired heart defects;
  • hypertension grade 3–4 (especially malignant course);
  • cardiosclerosis is a pathological condition in which scar tissue replaces normal, healthy myocardial tissue;
  • Cardiomyopathy is a disease in which there is either an increase in the mass of the myocardium or its thinning with a concomitant expansion of the cardiac cavities.

Remarkable. With such diseases can manifest tachyarrhythmia. This is a condition in which tachycardia is accompanied by a heart rhythm disorder.

3) Lesions of other organs and systems:

  • thyroid disease associated with hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis);
  • pathological lesions of the gastrointestinal tract - an ulcer, gastritis, diaphragmatic hernia, etc .;
  • pulmonary diseases: bronchitis, asthma, COPD (tachycardia is often observed in patients who use bronchodilators or hormonal bronchodilator inhalers);
  • fever;
  • any inflammatory infectious diseases;
  • different types of anemia;
  • acute or intoxication of the body caused by alcohol, toxic, radiological, narcotic poisoning;
  • acute poisoning;
  • malnutrition caused by malnutrition;
  • tumor processes affecting brain tissue, mediastinum;
  • end-stage oncology;
  • different types of shock conditions.

Also, tachycardia often accompanies collapse - a condition that is accompanied by a sharp and significant drop in blood pressure.

What to do at home, and what symptoms to pay attention to?

In some cases, you can deal with the manifestations of tachycardia without medical care. However, there are some dangerous conditions that require urgent medical intervention. The clinical manifestations of this condition can be completely different. They depend on the reason for the increased pulse, and the general psycho-emotional background of a person.

Sometimes patients do not notice any symptoms, but there may be complaints of chest discomfort. And he does not have a high intensity of manifestation.

Other patients may have more serious and disturbing complaints. Often they indicate the presence of dangerous diseases. This can be recognized by a rapid or slow but steady deterioration in general well-being. Patients complain of increased heart rate, shortness of breath, heart fluttering and other ailments.

In addition, patients may complain of:

  • severe weakness;
  • lethargy;
  • panic attacks or groundless fear;
  • unreasonable flashes of aggression;
  • tearfulness;
  • hyperhidrosis;
  • nausea;
  • trembling in limbs;
  • blanching of the skin;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • changes in appetite;
  • bulging of the eyeballs.

It is necessary to promptly call the ambulance team in case of:

  • severe pain in the left side of the chest or between the shoulder blades;
  • severe weakness;
  • cold, sticky sweat, which stands out against the background of intense pain in the sternum;
  • shortness of breath, feelings of acute lack of oxygen;
  • suffocative cough accompanied by a pinkish foamy sputum;
  • feelings of uneven heartbeat (the patient may complain that the heart stops, and then begins to work actively, and, with increased intensity);
  • darkening, flies or threads before your eyes;
  • fainting;
  • fainting.

These symptoms are not harmless, and may indicate a pathology that is dangerous to health, or even human life. To understand their cause, you need to contact a cardiologist and undergo a thorough, comprehensive examination.


Not always the patient can independently understand the causes of rapid heartbeat. There are many reasons for this deviation, and not all of them are harmless. In this case, it is necessary to consult a doctor for diagnosis and a treatment plan.

So, to establish the causes of tachycardia spend:

  • complete blood count, which helps to determine the level of hemoglobin and leukocyte indicators, as well as ESR;
  • general clinical urine sample to detect kidney pathologies - both primary and secondary (in case of arterial hypertension, diabetes, etc.);
  • biochemical blood test to determine inflammatory lesions of the kidneys or liver;
  • tests of venous blood for AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis;
  • analysis of venous blood for the content of thyroid and adrenal hormones;
  • analysis of the glycemic profile and blood sugar;
  • a test for hormones during pregnancy, especially if the woman had problems with the endocrine system before the onset of gestation;
  • ECG in combination with holter HELL / ECG and cardiogram after exercise;
  • Ultrasound of the heart, conducted to identify heart defects;
  • coronary angiography - a study of the coronary arteries in order to identify the causes of arrhythmias;
  • ultrasound examination of internal organs and, above all, of the thyroid gland;
  • fibrogastroscopy - endoscopic diagnostic manipulation, during which a gastroscope is inserted into the stomach cavity, which helps to examine the mucous membrane of the organ (necessary for making an accurate diagnosis - gastritis, ulcer or similar pathologies);
  • MRI of the brain, which is necessary if the doctor has a reason to suspect a microstroke, stroke, neoplasm, etc.

On a note. If the patient has complaints of shortness of breath, lack of oxygen or asphyxiation, as in asthma, a diagnostic procedure may be additionally performed to assess the function of external respiration.

Of course, not all of the above diagnostic procedures are carried out with tachycardia. Specific research methods are selected depending on the patient's complaints about certain symptoms. But the diagnosis must necessarily be comprehensive - only then it will help to make an accurate diagnosis, and understand whether there are physiological or pathological causes of indisposition.


Any disease, if not treated, can have serious consequences, and is fraught with certain complications. Tachycardia is no exception, especially if it has a pathological etiology. If you ignore the problem and postpone treatment, you can:

  • increased risk of stroke or heart attack due to thickening of the blood and blood clots;
  • development of heart failure due to the inability of the heart to transport the necessary amount of blood for the body;
  • pulmonary edema formation;
  • development of cardiac asthma;
  • increased likelihood of spontaneous death, which most often occurs on the background of ventricular tachycardia during cardiac ventricular fibrillation;
  • loss of consciousness due to impaired cerebral circulation with the subsequent development of hypoxia;
  • the occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest due to the long postponement of activities for the relief of an attack;
  • the appearance of cramps in the body;
  • the formation of blood clots in the pulmonary artery.

Suddenly occurring attacks of palpitations are extremely dangerous. A person may not have at hand means to eliminate the attack, and then the risk of the above complications increases significantly. If, moreover, there is no one around who could help and call the doctors, the consequences of a sudden seizure can be unpredictable. They can be fatal if a patient with tachycardia is unconscious.

To avoid such complications, one cannot ignore such a symptom as a rapid heartbeat. Let the best anxiety be false, than the help of a doctor - untimely. ads3

What to do and how to treat heart palpitations?

So that tachycardia does not return, first of all, it is necessary to make adjustments in the way of life, and:

  • stop smoking;
  • reduce the frequency of alcohol consumption;
  • do not abuse coffee and other energy drinks;
  • perform good physical exercise, or engage in a specific sport;
  • conduct deep breathing sessions or yoga classes;
  • closely monitor blood pressure;
  • control blood cholesterol levels.

But even this does not eliminate the need for having knowledge of what needs to be done to stop an attack of tachycardia.

First of all, you need to calm down and provide free access to air. This means not only opening the window, but also getting rid of the constraining elements of the wardrobe (remove the tie, undo the button on the collar, etc.). To reduce the pulse and normalize cardiac activity, you can take sedatives such as motherwort, valerian, validol, Corvaltab, Tricardine, and similar drugs.

Next you need to lie down and concentrate. On the exhale, you must hold your breath and strain the muscles of the body as much as possible. If possible, do not inhale for 40 to 50 seconds. This breathing exercise must be repeated several times.

Another good approach is to lie down, close your eyes and press on the eyeballs with your fingers. Do this maneuver several times until it improves.

You can also drink a glass of sparkling water, wash with cold water, rhythmically and strongly press your hands on the stomach in the area of ​​the press. Sometimes doctors recommend resorting to radical methods, one of which is provoking vomiting.

Throughout this time, it is important to be in a state of absolute psychological and physical peace, not to make sudden movements, and not to think about problems.

If no events help to eliminate heart palpitations, you should not hesitate to visit the cardiologist’s office.

Folk remedies

In order to prevent tachycardia, it is necessary to take medicines prescribed by a doctor. In parallel, you can use medicines made at home according to traditional medicine recipes. The following tools are useful and effective.

  1. Honey, dried apricots and nuts. All ingredients are taken in equal proportions. Nuts and dried apricots must be minced, add honey and mix well. Store the medicine in a glass container. Drink 1 tbsp. l three times a day before meals. The mixture has a good effect not only on the heart, but also on the immune system. The duration of treatment is 2 months.
  2. Take 100 g of crushed fruit of anise and yarrow grass, mix with 200 g of motherwort grass and valerian root. Mix well, add 1 tbsp. l collection in a thermos and pour 300 g of boiling water. Insist hour, filter and drink a third cup 3 times a day. The duration of treatment is one month.
  3. Pour 100 grams of lemon balm herb 200 ml of medical alcohol. Infuse in a glass jar for about 2 weeks, occasionally shaking the medicine. After this strain the tincture, drink 5 ml 3 - 4 times a day, after diluting in half a glass of water.
  4. Pour a glass of water 1 tbsp. l dry grass lemon balm. Wait an hour, then strain the infusion and take half a glass. This will be the daily dosage of medication.

These remedies have soothing properties that have a beneficial effect on the work of the heart.


To prevent the development of tachycardia is possible due to:

  • maintaining a healthy lifestyle;
  • proper nutrition;
  • exclusion of bad habits;
  • moderate consumption of energy drinks;
  • regular sports activities.

If you suspect any pathology, you should consult a doctor and not self-medicate. Heart palpitations are only a symptom, not a separate disease, therefore, eliminating it, the patient does not relieve the underlying problem. And if it is launched, the consequences will not be long in coming.

Watch the video: Heart Palpitations? Heart Doctor Shining Sun Explains 2018 (December 2019).


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