Tachycardia is the term used for an increase in heart rate above normal. This can occur naturally when excited or during exercise, however at other times it may be related to an underlying cardio-vascular problem, or a symptom of other non cardiac related disease such as Hypo tension, Thyrotoxicosis, Anemia, Hypothermia, profuse bleeding or infections.
Certain substances such as Caffeine, found in tea, coffee and cola drinks, if consumed in excess can lead to an increased heart rate. Alcohol also consumed in large quantities can lead to the same symptoms.
Whilst it may be beneficial during exercise to be able to increase your heart rate and output, and in turn improve your heart function, it is a controlled exercise which allows the heart to return to normal when you stop. If tachycardia occurs without the exercise element the heart is not therefore trained to cope and it may continue for some time before the effects are noticed and this will put a strain on the heart.
The heart rate naturally increases with age indicating the fact that it is having to work harder to be as effective as it was in your younger days. Therefore it is favorable to maintain an average heart rate of around 70 beats per minute taken at rest. Beta blockers and anti-arrhythmia drugs are often used to control faster or erratic heart rates.
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