Do you know what tachycardia is? Have you ever had a tachycardic episode?
Tachycardia is a disturbance of the heart, which starts beating faster than normal, in a resting situation. The causes are diverse.
In this article we will find out what tachycardia is, what are its warning symptoms, the causes that may explain its origin and the treatments to follow in case of suffering from it. We will also see how prevention is a key tool to avoid its appearance.
Tachycardia: what is this disorder?
Surely you have heard about tachycardia, but do you really know what it is? Tachycardia is an alteration of the heart, which implies that our heart rate (of the heart) increases excessively at rest.
In episodes of tachycardia, the heart rate increases to over 100 beats per minute. more than 100 beats per minute (generally between 100 and 400). In the normal resting state, our heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute.
The direct consequence of these symptoms is that our heart cannot pump blood properly, and not enough oxygen can reach the rest of the body. Tachycardia affects women more than men, and can be of two types: atrial tachycardia (when it occurs in the atria) and ventricular tachycardia (when it occurs in the ventricles).
Having tachycardia does not imply having a serious disease, but it is true that it can reduce the life span of our heart.However, it is true that having tachycardia can reduce the life span of our heart. Furthermore, depending on the cause, it can be more or less serious.
Tachycardia can occur occasionally, sporadically or occasionally, or it can also occur frequently. In the latter case, tachycardia becomes a very serious disease to be treated.
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Tachycardia occurs because our heart rate increases considerably; this leads to the heart beating too fast, and results in an inefficient pumping of blood.. In this way, the different organs and tissues of the body may be receiving insufficient oxygen supply, resulting in different symptoms and signs.
Thus, the most frequent symptoms caused by tachycardia are: feeling a sudden weakness, confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness, lightheadedness sudden weakness, confusion, a feeling of dizziness, syncope (loss of consciousness or fainting), tremor in the chestsyncope (temporary loss of consciousness or fainting), trembling in the chest, a feeling of suffocation (as well as breathing difficulties) and dizziness.
Other symptoms that may appear are: feeling lightheaded, having a rapid pulse, low blood pressure, chest pain, heart palpitations (e.g. a very fast, annoying or irregular heartbeat), etc.
So, if you start to feel any of these symptoms, you are facing a warning symptom of tachycardia, and it is likely that you are suffering from one.
The causes of tachycardia are diverse. Some of the most frequent are: smoking, an excess of stress, different types of infections.The cause of tachycardia may be: high blood pressure, heart or coronary heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, an overactive thyroid gland, alcohol or other drug abuse, caffeine abuse, and frequent strong emotions.
As we have seen, depending on the cause of the tachycardia, the severity of the tachycardia will be greater or lesser. That is why, as we shall now see, prevention and treatment are essential, prevention and treatment are essential.. If we also know that we already suffer from a previous disease (e.g. heart disease), we must be careful and carry out the relevant medical follow-ups that will allow us to control our disease.
Treatment and prevention of tachycardia episodes
The best treatment for tachycardia is good prevention. Let’s first talk about it and then we will explain the actual treatments to treat tachycardia.
Prevention will consist of trying to keep the heart healthythrough a healthy and peaceful lifestyle. That is why it will also be important to reduce the probability of suffering from heart disease or, in the event of having it, to control its symptoms and follow up on them.
On the other hand, we can also opt for a healthy lifestyle, through the practice of exercise, a balanced diet, etc. It is also important to keep our weight within healthy limits.
Other prevention strategies include stop smoking if you dodrinking little alcohol, limiting caffeine consumption, as well as controlling daily stress. You can also practice yoga or mindfulness in order to be more relaxed and prevent these stressful states.
In addition, the preventive treatment of tachycardia, in some cases also includes certain medications taken on a regular basis; it is about antiarrhythmic drugs. These may also be combined with other drugs (e.g. channel blockers or beta-blockers), always under medical prescription.
On the other hand, and no longer speaking of prevention but of treatment of tachycardia, we find different types. These have the mission to treat the cause of the disease, to reduce the accelerated heart rate, to prevent future episodes and to minimize the risk of suffering complications.
The different treatments we can find to reduce the frequency of the heartbeat are:
2. 1. Vagal maneuvers
These consist of performing the following steps: coughing, bending down (as if you were going to go on your stomach), and placing an ice pack on your face.. Vagal maneuvers involve the vagus nerve, and can help slow the heart rate. These should be taught by a physician or a nurse, and should be applied in the event of a tachycardia episode.
2. 2. Medications
Another option (and in case the previous one is not effective) is the use of drugs. An injection of a drug that has arrhythmia-reducing effects is usually administered. These drugs help to restore a normal heart rate. In addition to injections, tablets (pills) can also be taken, always under a doctor’s prescription.
The third treatment option for tachycardia is called cardioversion. This is a procedure where an electric shock is applied to the heartIt is a procedure where an electric shock is applied to the heart through different methods: a defibrillator, patches or paddles, which are placed on the person’s chest.
In this way, the electric current can restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Cardioversion is usually applied as emergency treatment or when the previous options are not effective.