An Irregular heartbeat can be quite scary but not anymore. Heart rate refers to the number of beats as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. You have a normal heart rate whenever your heart functions properly. This way, blood transports oxygen, nutrients, and minerals to all parts of the body.
The regular heartbeat range for adults is 60-100 beats per minute. On the other hand, you have an abnormal heart rate or an Irregular heartbeat whenever your heart beats either too fast or too slow. An Irregular heartbeat without a defined rhythm (Arrhythmias) is also an abnormal heart rate.
You check your heart rate by your pulse. You can feel your pulse by placing your index and third finger either on your wrist or neck. Count the number of beats for a minute. You can also count the number of beats for fifteen seconds and then multiply by four in order to establish if you have a regular or an irregular heartbeat. The best time to measure the heart rate is as soon as you wake up.
You have the following signs when you have an abnormal heart rate: Irregular heartbeat, dizziness, chest pains, sweating, shortness of breath, and pale skin. You are advised to see a doctor when you experience either of these irregular heartbeat symptoms. You should also seek medical help when your heart rate is above 100 beats per minute or when it is below 60 beats per minute.
Factors contributing to irregular heartbeat
Several factors irregular heartbeat. They include
- The weather: higher temperatures and humidity levels will raise the heart rate.
- The action of standing up suddenly: you experience an increased heart rate in the first twenty seconds after suddenly standing up.
- Extreme emotions: feelings of too much happiness, sadness, anxiety, worry, or stress tend to increase the heart rate.
- Certain medicines: beta-blockers tend to lower your heart rate. Taking a lot of thyroid medicine increases your heart rate. Drugs containing amphetamines cause irregular heart rates.
- Caffeine and nicotine-taking beverages that contain caffeine and nicotine such as coffee, tea, and chocolate cause an increase in the normal heart rate.
If your abnormal heart rate is not checked and treated, it exposes you to the risk of developing many serious complications. They include ventricular fibrillation which could result in cardiac arrest. You can also suffer heart failure as a result of prolonged tachycardia or bradycardia.
However, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help in maintaining a normal heart rate. They include:
- Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles of your heart and maintain a normal heart rate.
- Taking a healthy diet made up of natural, non-processed, and non-oily foods as well as taking a balanced diet. This helps to keep you healthy, at the appropriate weight, at the appropriate heart rate, and away from any metabolic diseases.
- Try out mind relaxation techniques to help relax your mind and avoid the stress that can affect your heart rate.
- Quit/avoid smoking- this helps to maintain a normal heart rate and avoid the complications that arise from both smoking such as lung cancer and abnormal heart rate such as tachycardia.