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What does a High Pulse Rate Mean?

What does a High Pulse Rate Mean?

Do you experience a high pulse rate without any significant cause? Are you wondering what does a high pulse rate mean? Should it get you worried? This article will give you all these answers, and more.
Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Our pulse rate can be defined as the number of heart beats per minute, which should ideally be within the range of 60-100 beats per minute in an healthy adult. However, it is generally a higher number when it comes to women as compared to men. We usually experience a rapid increase in the pulse rate when we are physically or emotionally exerted. In fact, you must have noticed that whenever you visit a doctor to get yourself checked, the first and foremost thing that your doctor checks is your pulse rate. If you are experiencing high pulse rate at rest, then the condition is referred to as tachycardia. This occurs when the rate at which the heart beats and pumps out blood is increased in the upper and/or lower chambers of the heart. An inactive person will usually have a high pulse rate at rest as compared to a more active person.

Causes of High Pulse Rate

It is not always that high pulse rate at rest is a thing to worry about. As a matter of fact, infants and younger kids have a higher pulse rate at rest as compared to adults. Therefore the normal pulse rate varies depending upon the age and the activeness of the person. This is because the heart doesn't need to exert itself in a healthy body, however, if the body is unhealthy, the heart would need to work hard to meet the body's regular supply of oxygen. This is an indication that there is a problem in the functioning of the heart and its rhythm. Mentioned below are the probable causes of high pulse rate at rest.
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Prolonged High Blood Pressure
  • Heart muscles inflammation, also known as myocarditis
  • Thyroid problems
  • Too much or very less sodium intake in the diet
  • Pulmonary Diseases
  • Thickening of the blood or blood clotting
  • Lower blood oxygen levels
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Congenital defects in the heart
  • Alcoholism
  • Many women also experience high pulse rate during pregnancy
  • Damage in the electrical pathway of the heart
  • Extreme stress and anxiety
  • Breathing Problems
  • Consumption of certain drugs and medications
  • Drug Abuse
  • Consuming too much of caffeine
  • Damage in the heart tissues
  • Smoking
  • Faulty heart valves
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Inflammation of the pericardium of the heart, also known as pericarditis
From the list of causes mentioned above, you can very well imagine how necessary it becomes for a person to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Various other conditions like high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, etc., are the main causes behind the development of heart diseases, which can cause a high pulse rate at rest. This would signify that the person's heart is no longer fit enough to work smoothly. A classic example for the same would be to monitor the pulse rate of two different people of the same age and gender. You will find that the person who is more active, follows a healthy lifestyle and whose weight falls within the normal range, will have a normal pulse rate as compared to a person who is less active, follows an unhealthy lifestyle and is overweight. So start taking care of yourself from NOW!

High Pulse Rate Treatment

Now that you are aware of what does a high pulse rate mean and what can be its causes, it would be easier for you to identify if what you are experiencing could be tachycardia. If you are dealing with problems like obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases, or if you have a family history for the same, then it is high time for you to start following a healthy lifestyle. But firstly, you must get yourself checked by a healthcare specialist as soon as possible to prevent the condition from becoming all the more worse. Your doctor would firstly check your pulse rate, which will be accompanied by the ECG test. In fact, in order to keep a track on your prolonged pulse rate throughout the day, your doctor may also ask you to carry a Hotler monitor along with a portable ECG device. The treatment for high pulse rate would depend on the exact cause of the condition. For example, if one is experiencing this condition due to consumption of certain medications, then probably stopping them would help. On the other hand, if it is due to a heart condition, then treatment would be done accordingly, which may include cardioversion shock, maneuvers which can affect the vagus nerve, and in extreme cases, a open heart surgery. Therefore, diagnosing the cause will only determine the exact treatment in your individual case.

The ultimate solution to control or prevent the occurrence of some of the most chronic health conditions, including this one, is to live a life that makes your body happy as well as you! We humans tend to eat for our tongue and not for our body, we also tend to think of our convenience which can ultimately lead to a lot of inconvenience to our health. So start taking care of your body so that it can take care of you in return. Have a healthy and safe tomorrow.