How to Keep Your Heart on the Right Track

Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help control your tachycardia. Here are some other ways to keep your heart on the right track.

  • Move it. Regular exercise is the best way to pre­vent tachycardia. The healthier and stronger your heart is, the better it can maintain its own rhythm. Check with your doctor to see what kind of exercise she recommends for you.
  • Reduce your stress. You probably already know that stress affects many aspects of your life. It can also add to the number of tachycardia episodes you have. Studies show that the greatest number of arrhythmias happen on Monday morn­ing, even among retired people. Adjust your atti­tude or your work situation so that Monday morning isn’t a big stressor for you.

Healthy Heart

  • Get your rest. Working too many hours and not getting enough rest can help bring on tachycar­dia. Getting enough sleep (seven to eight hours for most people) may improve your efficiency at work so you can cut back on the extra hours.
  • If you smoke, stop. Aside from its other health risks, smoking makes your heart beat faster and your blood vessels close up. This could make smoking a big contributor to tachycardia. Many products and programs are available to help you quit smoking. Choose one and stop.
  • Don’t take diet pills. The amphetamines and other stimulants in many diet pills, whether prescrip­tion or over-the-counter, will speed up your heart rate and can trigger tachycardia. A slow, steady weight loss program is a better approach to solv­ing a weight problem.
  • Cut out caffeine. You may think of your morning cup of coffee as a pleasant ritual, but it may not be the best thing for your heart. Caffeine stimulates your heart muscle to pump; too much caffeine stimulates your heart so much that it can cause palpitations and tachycardia. If rapid heartbeat is a problem for you, it’s better to stay away from the caffeine in coffee, tea, and cola drinks.
  • Make sure of your medicine. Tell your doctor about any drugs you are taking when she pre­scribes a new one. Drug interaction can cause tachycardia. For example, Seldane is a popular antihistamine that can cause serious arrhythmia and even death when it’s taken with the antibiotic erythromycin or the antifungal drug Nizoral. People with liver disease may also have irregular heartbeat if they take Seldane. Since 1985, eight people have died from taking this common drug. Some ingredients in over-the-counter deconges­tants and other medicines may cause irregular heartbeat. Ask your doctor which ingredients in common medicines could cause problems, and read labels carefully if you have tachycardia.
  • Get a handle on depression. A recent study shows that depressed people have as much as 30 per­cent more of a hormone called norepinephrine in their blood than people who aren’t depressed. Norepinephrine raises your heart rate, so you don’t want too much of it in your body. Get coun­seling for depression if you need to.

If you regularly have episodes of rapid heartbeat, you need your doctor’s help to regulate it. But use these sim­ple tips to gain more control over your life, your health, and the marvelous machine that is your heart.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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