Our heart does an incredible job, keeping us alive by pumping blood to provide our body with enough oxygen and various nutrients it requires. However, it is a hard job for the heart to perform. Our heart, beats from 60 beats to 100 beats per minute. If anyone’s heart beats more than 100 times per minute, it is known as Tachycardia. This might sound serious, however, it must be mentioned that it is unlikely to be a sign of a heart attack. You might experience a racing heart at times. Though a racing heart might seem like a troublesome problem, most of the time it is a normal response to something else that might be going in our body. It simply means that there are some surprising reasons that might be resulting in a racing heart. Here, we will take a look at 13 surprising reasons for a racing heart.
13 Surprising Reasons For A Racing Heart:
You Are Stressed:
One of the 13 surprising reasons for a racing heart could be that you are stressed. When you encounter anything that is stressful, your sympathetic nervous system along with adrenal glands releases a surge of nor-epinephrine or adrenaline.(1) Receptors in your heart start responding to these triggers and make your heart rate pick up.
If you are unable to solve whatever is making you feel stressed, try deep breathing that would help you feel better at least at the moment.
Focus on your breaths while deep breathing and try to focus on the rise and fall of your abdomen while breathing in and breathing out.
You Have Cold Or Fever:
If your racing heart is accompanied by signs of cold or fever, such as elevated temperature, sneezing, and coughing, then the cold infection could be the reason causing a racing heart. Battling with an infection in our body requires the body to work harder than usual, and this includes making our heart beat faster to fight for homeostasis and kick out the infection.
You Took Excess Of Caffeine:
Do you know that excess of coffee can also result in a racing heart? Though taking a certain level of caffeine could be just fine, taking excess of it can make your heart race up. It can not only happen in response to excess caffeine but if you are sensitive to this stimulant, even a small amount of it can cause a racing heart.
For adults, it is safe to have up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, or around 4 cups of coffee, 10 cans of soda, or 2 energy drinks.(2) If you are experiencing a racing heart, try to cut back on caffeine gradually to see if you see your racing heart reducing. You should consult with your doctor if you are not getting any improvement in symptoms.
You Had A Lack Of Sleep:
One must require proper quality and quantity sleep every night. When we sleep, our body is not doing as much, so our heart can slow down. We must mention that sleep is the right time to reset. If you do not get enough sleep, your adrenaline levels can be higher during the day.
It is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that adults must get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.(3)
You Have Anxiety Disorder:
There is something more than the typical stress of every day. Persistent stress can result in anxiety disorder, and there are several types of anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, or panic disorder.(4)
Though each of the types of anxiety disorders, manifests in different ways, they have a few important symptoms in common, such as a racing heart.
A racing heart can also be a sign of a panic attack, which is extremely common in all sorts of anxiety disorders, especially in the case of panic disorder. You might experience sudden, unexpected, usually paralyzing bouts of fear, in case of panic attacks. A panic disorder occurs when someone experiences sudden attacks that leave them scared to have one more attack. One of the most common symptoms of a panic attack is a rapid heartbeat, and this can terrify the patient even more.
If you suspect that you have panic attacks, then do not suffer in silence and talk to your doctor or a therapist and figure out the best treatment option for avoiding these awful episodes.
GRD Or Acid Reflux:
Non-cardiac chest pain is usually caused due to GRD or acid reflux. GRD is a chronic disorder, which is caused by the back-flow or reflux, of the stomach contents into the patient’s esophagus. This in turn causes a sensation of irritation, especially after food, and results in chest pain that is accompanied with heartburn. Thus, it is common for a patient to be referred to a gastroenterologist.
You Are Dehydrated:
One of the 13 surprising reasons for a racing heart could be dehydration. When you suffer from dehydration, your effective blood volume reduces, and this can lower your blood pressure and in some cases, raise it. In either case, it can increase the strain on your heart since the muscle tries to compensate.
To recover from symptoms of dehydration, you should rest in a cool place, like in an air-conditioned room. Make sure to place your feet up, remove any extra clothing, and drink enough water, juice, or any sports drink to replace lost fluid and minerals.
To remain hydrated next time, try drinking coconut water, milk, or hydrating fruit pops, along with water
You Are Pregnant:
You might have a racing heart if you are pregnant. In fact, a racing heart is an early sign that you are pregnant. If you get pregnant, your body adjusts over time and you might begin noticing that an increased heart rate is a part of the ride. To support your growing pregnancy, your blood volume goes up, and simultaneously your heart has to work harder for pumping out that extra blood, which leads to a higher heart rate.
One must know that in the case of pregnancy, this is normal.
You Have Asthma:
Asthma is a condition that is characterized by tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. So, one of the 13 surprising reasons for a racing heart could be an asthma attack. We must mention that the chest pain that is caused by asthma is usually mistaken as a heart attack and this can be triggered by many things, like pet hair, dust, some food, or physical activity. You should always take your medications properly.
You Have Heart Arrhythmia:
When there is some sort of electrical malfunction in the heart, there is a heart arrhythmia, which can result in the beating of your heart irregularly. There are various forms, and they have different causes, but they can usually make it feel as if your heart is beating strangely or quickly all of a sudden. Heart arrhythmia is not serious always. Many times they are not life-threatening. This condition is usually treatable.
You Are Taking Some Medications That Affects Your Heart:
Certain medications affect your heart. If you have ever read the side effects of your medications, you probably might know that an elevated heart rate could also be one of the side effects of medications. Medicines used for treating allergies, osteoporosis, or ADHD, in particular, will increase circulating adrenaline hormone and cause you to feel like your heart is racing. You should talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms that might be a side effect of your medication.
You Have Anemia:
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it is explained that anemia is a condition when your blood does not offer you enough oxygen throughout your body. (6) This happens if you do not have enough RBCs, or if there is not enough hemoglobin or the iron-rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to different parts of your body. In both instances, your heart has to work harder for getting blood to every part of your body, and thus you can experience a racing heart or faster heart rate.
Your Thyroid Is In Overdrive:
Our thyroid gland produces many hormones, such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine, which affect a lot of your systems in the body.(7) If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, your thyroid is overactive and it produces excess of thyroxine, which ultimately speeds up the body’s metabolism too much. This can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Some other symptoms in this condition could include increased appetite and sudden loss of weight. There are lots of medicines to treat hyperthyroidism, such as beta-blockers, to address your racing or quick heart rate specifically.
Ultimately, there are a lot of reasons why your heart might be racing. Sometimes, the reason might not be anything serious. However, other times, especially when a racing heart is accompanied by symptoms, such as feeling dizzy or lightheadedness, feeling fatigued, or chest pain, and this could be a sign that you must consult with your doctor. No matter how healthy you are, if your heart does not feel right, you should get a checkup as soon as possible.