Do you want a healthy heart without the need for medications? You’re not alone. An estimated 2 million people with tachycardia, or arrhythmical heartbeats, look for alternative solutions to keep their hearts beating in time and achieve optimal health. Taking dietary supplements presents one possible solution that may help manage your symptoms while still allowing you to live an active lifestyle; so if you are looking for an all-natural way to take charge of your cardiac health, read on. In this blog post, we will explore the underlying causes of tachycardia and discuss how certain vitamins and minerals can be a part of your treatment regimen to support a healthier heartbeat!
What is Tachycardia?
Simply put, tachycardia is a medical condition where your heart beats faster than usual – typically more than 100 beats per minute. The condition is by disruptions to the electrical signals that control the heart’s rate and rhythm. While it may be a temporary reaction to exercise, stress, or caffeine, it can also be a long-term problem that requires medical attention.
This condition can also be classified as a part of the body’s usual response to stress, fever, anxiety or massive blood loss. It exists by medical ailments like an excessively high level of thyroid hormones within the body (also known as hyperthyroidism). Some patients experience tachycardia as the by-product of a cardiac arrhythmia; which is a heart rate or rhythm abnormality of the heart.
The condition can also be triggered by lung problems like pneumonia or a blood clot located in the lung’s arteries. Tachycardia can also be a side effect of consuming certain foods and drinks like alcohol and coffee.
Types of Tachycardia
There are several types of tachycardia, each one different from the other in terms of its origin and what causes the abnormally fast heartbeat.
Supraventricular or Atrial Tachycardia
This form of tachycardia refers to a fast heart rate that begins in the upper chambers of the heart. Variants of this type of tachycardia are paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT) or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).
With this type of tachycardia, electric signals from the heart’s upper chambers discharge abnormally. This causes an interference with the electric impulses coming from the sinoatrial node, which is the heart’s natural pacemaker.
This disruption causes the heart to beat faster than it should and it keeps the chambers of the heart from filling wholly between contractions, reducing the amount of blood flowing to the rest of the body.
Sinus tachycardia is characterized by a steady increase in the heart rate. This type of tachycardia has the sinoatrial node, which is as the natural pacemaker, send out electrical signals faster than usual. In summary, the heart rate is faster than it should be, but the heart beats normally.
This type of tachycardia is a fast heart rate that begins in the heart’s lower ventricles. Ventricular tachycardia could either be life-threatening or have well-toleration, but does require immediate assessment and treatment.
Patients who suffer from this condition experience an abnormal firing of the electrical signals in the heart’s lower ventricles. This causes a disruption in the electrical impulses coming from the sinoatrial node, causing the heart rate to move faster than before, preventing the heart’s chambers from completely filling and hindering the blood flow to the rest of the body.
The level of seriousness of this condition is heavily dependent on whether another cardiac dysfunction is present in the body of the patient and the degree of the condition.
Symptoms of Tachycardia
Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It pumps blood throughout your body, delivering nutrients and oxygen where they are needful. If your heart rate starts to increase without any apparent reason, it may be a sign of a condition called tachycardia. Tachycardia is a condition existing from a fast or irregular heartbeat that can lead to health problems if left without treatment.
Each type of tachycardia presents differently, which is why it is important to discuss your experience with your doctor so that the type may be determined and the correct treatment begun.
Symptoms of Supraventricular Tachycardia
Elevated heartbeat or palpitations are primary symptom of supraventricular tachycardia. Patients may also experience a bounding pulse.
Sensations in the Chest
Patients may experience a tightness in the chest, which can feel like pressure, or a the sensation of fluttering in the chest.
Fatigue is more than a general feeling of sleepiness, it refers more to an overwhelming tiredness which can interfere with everyday life.
Lightheaded or Shortness of Breath
This can either manifest on its own, or as a result of being breathless and dizzy.
In extreme situations, patients with this type of condition could also experience unconsciousness and even cardiac arrest which can be fatal.
Symptoms of Sinus Tachycardia
The symptoms of sinus tachycardia are very fluid and they could range from mild to intense.
These symptoms can also come and go, making some periods easier to manage. There can be periods of time where maintaining a normal daily lifestyle is almost impossible because these symptoms so heavily hinder productivity.
Heart Flutters and Breathlessness
The most common and mild symptoms include shortness of breath (breathlessness), heart flutters and tiredness after a short workout.
Some patients have reported feeling weak, faint or dizzy when their heartbeat has increased.
Symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia
Being dizzy is a common symptom for those with ventricular tachycardia.
Palpitations and Heart Rate
Heart rate elevation and palpitations can be caused by tachycardia.
Shortness of Breath
Feeling short of breath, or having difficulty drawing a deep breath.
Nausea can be a stand alone symptom, or it can be caused by the dizziness and shortness of breath.
Cardiac arrest is a very serious situation and anyone who may be in cardiac arrest needs medical attention immediately as it can be fatal.
Causes of Tachycardia
Cause of Supraventricular or Atrial Tachycardia
This condition happens when the upper ventricles of heart operate abnormally, interfering with electrical signals, which causes the upper heart to beat early. When the heart beats too quickly, it does not give enough time for the heart to fill completely before it shrinks, hindering the blood flow to the rest of the body.
Risk Factors for Supraventricular Tachycardia
This is the most common type of heart arrhythmia in children. Additionally it affects women more than it does men.
Smoking increases the heart rate and tightens major arteries, which makes your system work harder and can cause tachycardia.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Regular consumption of alcohol can have major impact on the cardiovascular system, one of which is causing tachycardia.
People who are regularly anxious, whether this is situational anxiety or medically diagnosed anxiety, can experience this type of heart arrhythmia.
Fatigue is a state of excessive tiredness which can have a large impact on normal activity and dealing with every day life. This can be by an excessively busy lifestyle, ongoing sleep deprivation or it can be a symptom of another ailment. Whatever causes the fatigue itself, an increased heartbeat can result from it.
Excessive Caffeine Consumption
Those who consume more than the recommended daily intake of caffeine are at a higher risk for developing tachycardia. This caffeine over consumption can often be as a result from the above mentioned fatigue.
Causes of Sinus Tachycardia
This condition is usually a part of the body’s response to common situations and conditions.
Reaction To Medications
Sinus tachycardia can be as a side effect of some medications. Additionally, it may be by a drug interaction. Drug interactions can be extremely serious and it is very important that you discus any changes with your doctor as soon as you notice them.
Underlying Medical Concern
Tachycardia can indicate that there are underlying medical issues. This is why if you notice a change in your heart rhythm, you should speak with your doctor at the earliest time.
These health issues could any of the following:
Causes of Ventricular Tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia is usually shares a connection to disorders that obstruct the heart’s electrical conduction system.
Coronary Artery Blood Flow Issues
A lack of coronary artery blood flow can deprive the heart of the necessary oxygen it needs.
Cardiomyopathy distorts the heart structure, which can cause problems in the way it functions.
Effects of Drugs
This can refer either to side effects of prescribed drugs, or the result of recreational and illicit drugs such as cocaine.
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin or body tissues.
Tachycardia When Pregnant
The good news is that tachycardia is usually a treatable condition during pregnancy. First and foremost, it is important to establish a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper nutrition, rest, and exercise. Avoiding stressful situations and getting plenty of rest can help regulate heart rate. Exercise, such as walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga, can help improve heart health as well. Additionally, it may be recommended to reduce caffeine consumption, avoid tobacco and drugs, and follow a low-sodium diet.
In some cases, medication may be necessary to treat tachycardia during pregnancy. However, the medication options are limited since many drugs have the potential to harm the developing fetus. Therefore, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to find the safest medication for you and your baby. Beta-blockers, which slow down heart rate by blocking adrenaline, are often to treat tachycardia during pregnancy.
To diagnose tachycardia, doctors will typically perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the heart’s electrical signals. This test can help identify the type of tachycardia a patient is experiencing. Along with an ECG, doctors may also perform a Holter monitor test to track the heart’s activity over time.
In some instances, doctors may recommend additional tests to determine the underlying cause of tachycardia. These may include blood tests, echocardiography, and stress tests. By identifying the underlying cause of tachycardia, doctors can work to treat the condition and prevent potential complications.
Treatment for Tachycardia
Patients who suffer from atrial or supraventricular tachycardia may find that treatment might not be needed to deal with the condition. But if you find out that the episodes are recurrent and symptoms are excessive, the following approaches can make an effort towards.
- Cutting down or completely removing caffeinated substances like coffee from your diet
- Reducing tobacco and alcohol intake
- Valsalva maneuver — a procedure that involves patients holding their nose while blowing air through the nose
- Carotid sinus massage — a procedure that involves gentle pressure application on the neck at the exact location where the carotid artery splits into two
- Pressing gently on shut eyes
Treatment for Sinus Tachycardia
As for sinus tachycardia, the recommended treatment method by most doctors is to treat the cause of the condition as opposed to treating the symptoms of the condition. Slowing down the heart rate could lead to more problems if the rapid heart rate is simply a symptom of another underlying condition.
Treatment for Ventricular Tachycardia
Treating ventricular tachycardia can involve many approaches. Medication can be helpful, but radiofrequency ablation or surgery may be required. In extreme cases, immediate electrical defibrillation might be a requirement.
Can Tachycardia Kill You?
Tachycardia, on its own, is unlikely to be lethal. However, it can increase the risk of other complications, such as heart failure, stroke, or sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart’s rhythm becomes erratic, causing it to stop beating altogether. This can happen in people with underlying heart disease, especially if they develop ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. While rare, sudden cardiac arrest can be fatal within minutes if not treated promptly.
Living with Tachycardia
For most people, the occurrence of tachycardia can be unpredictable and unsettling. Some patients suffer from intense attacks due to exposure to a trigger like caffeine or over exercising, but in most cases these are unpredictable. Generally, tachycardia is not a life threatening condition, so it is important to prevent the condition in order to live your normal life with ease.
However, if episodes of tachycardia occur frequently, talk to your doctor about procedures like ablation that could be able to cure the abnormal heart rhythm once and for all.
Can Tachycardia Cause Anxiety?
Several studies have shown that individuals with anxiety disorders are more likely to have tachycardia compared to those without anxiety disorders. This link may be related to the sympathetic nervous system’s activation, which controls the fight-or-flight response. Continuous activation of the sympathetic nervous system can cause an increase in heart rate, leading to tachycardia.
Moreover, tachycardia can also cause anxiety. The sensation of a rapid or irregular heartbeat can trigger feelings of anxiety or panic, leading to a vicious cycle of anxiety and tachycardia. This cycle can be particularly problematic for individuals with anxiety disorders, as they are more susceptible to the physiological effects of anxiety and may find it difficult to control their symptoms.
How To Prevent Tachycardia
Understanding the Symptoms and Triggers
The first step in managing tachycardia is to recognize the symptoms and triggers. Symptoms may include a racing or fluttering heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. Triggers can vary from person to person but may include caffeine, alcohol, stress, or certain medications. Take note of when your symptoms occur and what may have triggered them to help identify patterns.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage your tachycardia symptoms. These drugs may include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or anti-arrhythmic medications. It’s important to take your medication as prescribed and avoid any sudden changes or discontinuation without consulting your doctor.
Practicing Relaxation Techniques
Stress can be a major trigger for tachycardia symptoms. To help manage stress levels and lower your heart rate, try practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. These practices can help calm the mind and body, reducing the likelihood of tachycardia episodes.
Adjusting Your Lifestyle
Making certain lifestyle changes can also help manage tachycardia symptoms. These may include reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet. It’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.
Monitoring Your Symptoms
Finally, it’s important to monitor your symptoms regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider. Your doctor may recommend tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or heart monitor to track your heart rate and identify any abnormalities. Keeping a log of your symptoms can also help you and your doctor identify any triggers or patterns.
And finally, if your symptoms get worse, do not hesitate to discuss with your doctor.
Supplements for Tachycardia
Possibly the most popular supplement in the world, vitamin C is known for its support of the immune system and general health, especially when combined with other enzymes and solutions. The generally suggested dose for ascorbic acid powder vitamin c is 1,000 mg to be taken daily.
Potassium has benefits that affect the digestive and muscular function of the body. It also promotes heart health and balances the pH levels of food. It has to help regulate the acid and base balance in the body and it could help ease up symptoms of potassium deficiency.
The recommended dose of potassium is 180 mg to be taken daily or as directed by your doctor.
Hawthorn berry extract powder is extracted from the hawthorn, which is an herb that can improve mood and heart health. It has known to support cardiovascular function, improve blood pressure and stabilize cholesterol levels. The berries contain flavonoids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that reduce free-radical damage. The recommended dose of hawthorn berry is 1,200 mg to be taken 1-2 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body. It helps to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they receive conversion into energy. L-Carnitine supplements has been found to be effective for tachycardia by improving heart function and reducing symptoms.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is another supplement that has been found to be effective for tachycardia. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is naturally found in the body and helps to convert food into energy. It also helps to improve circulation and reduce inflammation, which can be helpful for those with tachycardia.
Valerian root extract powder promotes calmness and could also act as a sleep aid. When combined with St. John’s wort, the time needed to sleep off is reduced. The recommended dose for valerian root is 300-600 mg to be taken daily depending on the desired effect or as directed by your doctor.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3-6-9 softgels contain fish oils, flax seed oil and evening primrose oil to benefit heart health, reduce inflammation and improve mood. The recommended dose is 3 omega 3-6-9 softgels to be taken once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor.
The Bottom Line
Tachycardia refers to the arrhythmical beating of the heart, which can be caused by a wide variety of conditions and situations. Generally, it can cause dizziness, chest sensations and sometimes fainting. It is important to know what is causing your tachycardia because in severe situations it can cause cardiac arrest.
When diagnosed early, the long-term prognosis for tachycardia is often good. Also, tachycardia caused by fever, medication, hyperthyroidism or diet. Tachycardia linked to heart or lung complications should be handled with surgery, medication and other treatment methods prescribed by your doctor.
Lifestyle changes are critical in preventing tachycardia. While these supplements can be effective for tachycardia, it’s important to remember that they are not a substitute for medical treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of tachycardia, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Additionally, it’s important to remember that supplements can interact with medications and other supplements, so it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. With the right care and support, tachycardia can be effectively managed, and you can get back to living a healthy and active life.