Causes of tachycardia
Tachycardia is generally caused by a disruption in the normal electrical impulses that control our heart's pumping action - the rate at which our heart pumps. The following situations, conditions, and illnesses are possible causes:
- A reaction to certain medications
- Congenital (present at birth) electrical pathway abnormalities in the heart
- Congenital abnormalities of the heart
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Consumption of recreational drugs
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
- Certain lung diseases
Sometimes, the medical team may not identify the exact cause of the tachycardia.
Symptoms of tachycardia
The following signs and symptoms of tachycardia are possible:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Chest pain
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Palpitations - an uncomfortable racing feeling in the chest, sensation of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart
- Panting (shortness of breath)
- Sudden weakness
- Syncope (fainting)
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Possible complications of tachycardia
The risk of complications depends on several factors, including:
- The severity
- The type
- The rate of tachycardia
- The duration of tachycardia
- Whether other heart conditions are present
The most common complications include:
- Blood clots - these significantly increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Heart failure - if the condition is not controlled, the heart is likely to get weaker. This may lead to heart failure. Heart failure is when the heart does not pump blood around the body efficiently or properly. The patient's left side, right side, or even both sides of the body can be affected.
- Fainting spells.
- Sudden death.
If you notice a rapid heartbeat or any of the above symptoms, please contact Dr. Shahzad or call 911 immediately!
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