Q:

What causes your heartbeat to increase in speed?

A:

Quick Answer

Any type of activity or exercise causes the heart to beat faster, according to the Scott Hamilton Care Initiative. Emotions such as fear, stress and anxiety increase the heart rate as well. Aging, medications and medical conditions can also elevate the heart rate, notes Harvard Health Publications.

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Full Answer

Drinking large quantities of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages can cause an increase in heart rate, reports Medtronic. High blood pressure, thyroid disease, electrolyte imbalances and certain lung diseases also cause the heart rate to increase. Another culprit involves a poor flow of blood to the heart due to coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease, tumors or infections.

People with low blood pressure, anemia or dehydration may also experience an increase in the speed of their heart rate, states the Scott Hamilton Care Initiative. Over-the-counter decongestants and appetite suppressants are additional causes of increased heart rate.

A normal resting heart rate is 60 to 90 beats per minute, according to Harvard Health Publications. A heart rate of 90 or more is considered elevated and is called tachycardia. No symptoms of tachycardia may be evident, but some people experience light-headedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, fainting and a fluttering feeling in the chest, says Medtronic. Natural ways to lower the heart rate include engaging in regular exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking and reducing stress, notes Harvard Health Publications.

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