Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy
Sinus tachycardia is an elevated level of heart impulses of about 100 beats per minute (bpm). Normal heart rate is 60-90 bpm in women. A woman undergoes many mental, physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. A sudden increase in heart rate is more common in pregnant women and there is no need to worry about but it could be lethal if it persists severely.
Most arrhythmias in pregnancy are benign but symptomatic episodes may need assurance. In some cases, women with previous heart disease or arrhythmia may show up symptoms and need proper treatment.1
Symptoms of Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy
Some common symptoms of sinus tachycardia in pregnancy include:
- Palpitations and shortness of breath (SOB) while sitting or lying down on a floor
- Light-headed and dizziness too can lead to fainting
- Skipped heart-beats, fatigue, and chest pain
- Persistent cough and severe anxiety which can be stressful.
Causes of Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy
Pregnancy might not always be a smooth journey. In 36-40 weeks of time, your body works very hard for carrying the baby, producing new cells, growing uterus, hormone’s production. Some women may not be able to cope well with the situation, which can result in sinus tachycardia in pregnancy.
The causes of sinus tachycardia in pregnancy include the following:
Emotional Factors: Growing baby, hormonal changes, fear of carrying baby, and stress can cause sinus tachycardia in pregnancy.
Hormonal Changes: Hormonal imbalance and gaining weight mainly causes increased heart rates in pregnancy.
Growing Uterus as a Cause of Sinus Tachycardia: As uterus increases in size, it diverts 20% of the total body blood into it, which builds more pressure on the heart and hence can cause sinus tachycardia in pregnancy.
Breast Preparation: For feeding the little one, the breast starts preparing themselves prior to delivery by enlarging breast tissues, which need more blood supply. The additional work which the body needs to do creates extra pressure on the heart thus causing sinus tachycardia during pregnancy.
Nutrient Levels: In pregnancy, many women develop thyroid or have a drop in iron levels which mainly increases heart rates leading towards sinus tachycardia.
Anemia: Chances of being anemic are more common in pregnancy which causes increased heart rates and thus, an increased risk of sinus tachycardia in pregnancy.
Increased Stimulants: Stimulants like coffee, tea, alcohol, smoking in excess cause increased heart rates and thus can lead to sinus tachycardia in pregnancy.
Diagnosis for Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy
Best way to diagnose the sinus tachycardia is through ECG (electrocardiogram) which is mainly used to record the electrical activity of the heart and measures the blood flow and heartbeat rates. Exercise and a healthy diet are mainly recommended by doctors.
Treatment for Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy
Tachycardia in pregnancy is very common. In the case of acute tachycardia, it is necessary to consult a doctor. It is best not to go for any medications but in severe cases find a good doctor for treatment. It can be through-
Home Remedies for Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy: Sinus tachycardia in pregnancy can cause anxiety and uneasiness which causes mood swings in pregnant women. In such cases, a cup of chamomile tea or aromatherapy with lavender can help. However, use it within limits.
Drugs for Sinus Tachycardia: Although drugs can be unsafe for the unborn baby and can cause fetal abnormalities as seen in case of the drug amiodarone, medications like beta or calcium channel blockers or anti-arrhythmic drugs are usually prescribed during pregnancy and are considered to be safe.
Prevention of Sinus Tachycardia in Pregnancy
Sinus tachycardia in pregnancy can be prevented through some simple steps:
- Learn to deal with your emotions by performing yoga, meditation or doing exercise
- Stay away from beverages such as coffee, tea, and alcohol
- Keep yourself well hydrated to maintain a healthy pregnancy
- Take rest as much as you can
- Say no to physical exertion as it can cause harm to you and your baby
- Avoid the use of stimulants as it can increase heart rates
- Having a cold shower can make you more relaxed and comfortable.
Pregnancy can cause increased heart rate, which is very common but sometimes it may cause palpitations and anxiety. Sinus tachycardia in pregnancy needs to be managed well with lifestyle measures, home remedies and if needed medical treatment. Drug treatment in pregnant women should be avoided in first 3 trimesters as it can harm both the mother and the baby. Drugs are best administered in low doses.
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