A normal heart rate sits in-between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Tachycardia is a change in your heart's rhythm. This happens when the heart suddenly beats faster than normal, specifically higher than 100 beats per minute at rest. Individuals may have frequent or infrequent episodes of tachycardia, lasting different amounts of time. Characterised by a racing, uncomfortable heartbeat, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy or unconsciousness and chest pain. If untreated tachycardia can cause heart attack, damage to the heart muscle, stroke and possibly sudden death.
Types of tachycardia include:
- Sinus tachycardia
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial flutter
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular fibrillation
Causes of tachycardia include a damaged heart (resulting from) heart disease, abnormal electrical signals, strenuous exercise, sudden stress, anxiety, anaemia, thyroid problems and diabetes. Other lifestyle factors to take into consideration are problems with blood pressure, electrolyte imbalances, fever, medication, smoking and a high intake of caffeine or alcohol. Treatment involves vagal manoeuvres, medication and in emergency cases cardioversion, catheter ablation and surgery.
- Magnesium, used with anti-arrythmia drugs, has been found to improve heart rhythm in multiple studies. A study conducted by Patsilinakos et al, concluded that a group who received an intravenous infusion of magnesium, given with conventional medical treatment, compared to a group receiving only conventional medical treatment had less ventricular arrythmias and ventricular tachycardia episodes.
- When supplementation of Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) was added to medical treatment, no patients in the supplemented group had any episodes of ventricular tachycardia, whereas those who were receiving only conventional medical treatment, four cases of VT were reported (Adarsh et al).
- A study carried out by Metcalf at al introduced fish oil (Omega 3) supplementation to patients at an increased risk of sudden cardiovascular death, in comparison to a group with no dietary manipulation. It was found that 42% of the fish oil group had no episodes of ventricular tachycardia compared to 7% in the group with no dietary manipulation.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may improve blood circulation and minimise reoccurring episodes
- A deficiency in Potassium has been linked to abnormal arrhythmia
- Hawthorn berry is a traditional herb that has previously been used to improve heart rhythm
Supplements such as Guarana and Creatine have been known to worsen symptoms of tachycardia as they can increase heart rate.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet (low in fat and high in fibre) consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes and limit dairy products
- Avoid energy drinks and alcohol
- Avoid smoking and drugs
- Reduce sources of stress and anxiety
- Exercise frequently
It is well established that engaging in regular physical activity strengthens heart muscle and improves its function. However, in the case of already existing heart problems, caution should be taken and consulting a healthcare practitioner is recommended before starting a regular exercise program.
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.
- Tachycardia: 7 Ways to Help Manage Irregular Heartbeat - Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
- Tachycardia | GreenMedInfo | Disease | Natural Medicine | Alternative
- Tachycardia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Supraventricular Tachycardia - ScienceDirect
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