What causes your heart to race?

Written by michael o. smathers
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What causes your heart to race?
The causes of a racing heart. (Getty Thinkstock)

Tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat, has several causes. One of the most common causes is low blood pressure. The body requires a set amount of blood to be travelling through it at all times to supply oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Low blood pressure results from either dehydration, blood loss or dilated blood vessels. The heart cannot exert enough contraction to send blood all the way through the circulatory system with one beat, so it beats faster to compensate.

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Ventricular Tachycardia

Tachycardia originates from different chambers of the heart, depending on the type of disorder. Ventricular tachycardia can be life-threatening--it originates in the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart. According to the National Library of Medicine, ventricular tachycardia can be caused by changes in blood chemistry due to improper nutrition or changes in the pH level of the blood. Also, lack of adequate oxygen in the bloodstream can cause the heart to race. Ventricular tachycardia can be life-threatening and is defined as a sustained resting heart rate of at least 100 beats per minute.

Treatment

Ventricular tachycardia, or any form of tachycardia, requires treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor will run a blood test first to determine the cause of your condition. Low potassium amounts in the blood are a prime cause of the disease. A simple change in diet could help to alleviate the danger of tachycardia. Caffeine, for example, acts as a stimulant, which increases heart rate, according to Peacehealth.org. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks.

Warnings

It is strongly advised that if you believe you have any symptoms mentioned then you contact your local GP.

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