Tachycardia also called tachyarrhythmia, is a condition where your heartbeat exceeds more than 100 beats per minute.
The average rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute for adults.
This puts a pressure on the heart muscles that the upper and lower chambers of the heart. However tachycardia treatment at home also might help to manage this condition.
What happens when your heart beats faster?
Before learning about how to naturally lower rapid heart rate(tachycardia) one should know the physiology.
When the rate of heart beat increases, the ability to pump the blood becomes low and this creates an insufficiency in the blood reaching to the organs or heart itself.
This blood insufficiency causes lack of Oxygen supply to the organs and leads to cell death. This is a serious condition when it comes to the cells of the heart and the brain because brain cells cannot be regenerated after its death and Oxygen deprivation in the heart cells leads to heart attack (myocardial infarction).
However in most of the individuals there won’t be any significant symptoms or complications but it increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and stroke.
What causes tachycardia?
- Anxiety, fear, stress.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Fever and electrolyte imbalance.
- Hormonal variations like hyperthyroidism.
- Any abnormalities related to the heart.
- Excess intake of alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
- High or low blood pressure
- Abuse of recreational drugs, such as cocaine
- Certain medications.
- Abnormal electrical pathways in the heart present at birth (congenital heart conditions, including long QT syndrome)
- Imbalance of electrolytes, mineral-related substances necessary for conducting electrical impulses
What does Ayurveda say about tachycardia?
The reference of tachycardia can be co related to “Hrit-drava” mentioned by Acharya Charaka in Ayurveda. It is considered as a vata imbalance. Movement or pulsation (“chalatva”) is a function of vata.
And so is the increase in movement. Ayurveda manages tachycardia by vata reducing medicines and lifestyle (vatahara oushadhas and vihara).
When to approach a doctor?
The following signs and symptoms of tachycardia are possible:
- Accelerated heart rate (fast pulse)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Palpitations – an uncomfortable racing feeling in the chest, sensation of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart
- Panting (shortness of breath)
- Sudden weakness
- Syncope (fainting)
- Chest pain (angina) – chest pain or discomfort that occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough blood
It is not unusual for some patients with tachycardia to experience no symptoms at all. In such cases, the condition is typically discovered when the individual has a physical examination. Tachycardia treatment at home can help during the initial stage of the disease.
Types of Tachycardia:
- Sinus tachycardia: Often sinus tachycardia is a normal response to certain situations such as exercise, anxiety, distress, or fever. Certain disorders such as thyroid disease, anemia, and low blood pressure are also associated with sinus tachycardia.
- Atrial fibrillation (AF): AF is characterized by chaotic electrical signals, triggering the atria to quiver rapidly and irregularly. Atrial fibrillation is often associated with heart disease, an overactive thyroid, or alcoholism. Frequently, AF causes blood clot formation inside the heart, which increases a person’s risk for stroke.
- Atrial flutter: This arrhythmia is similar to atrial fibrillation, except the rhythm is less chaotic.
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT): This arrhythmia starts with electrical signals above the ventricles that travel down an abnormal electrical pathway or extra pathway. An extra pathway is the hallmark of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome – the leading cause of SVT in children and adolescents.
- Ventricular tachycardia (VT): VT is triggered by an electrical abnormality within the ventricles. During VT, the ventricles may fill poorly and inadequately pump blood. Sometimes a person becomes pulseless during VT – a fatal event unless immediately corrected.
- Ventricular fibrillation (VF): VF is a rapid, chaotic rhythm, in which the ventricles fail to pump blood at all. VF is a fatal arrhythmia, unless immediately converted to a normal rhythm. VF is usually related to underlying heart disease. Rarely, a blunt blow to the chest wall of a healthy person precipitates VF.
Complications of Tachycardia:
- Unstable low blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Blood clots
- Sudden death (cardiac arrest)
When a patient’s symptoms and physical examination suggest an arrhythmia, a physician performs tests to diagnose the disorder and assess for the presence of underlying diseases.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG).
- Holter monitor: A wearable device continuously records the ECG for a period of 24 to 48 hours.
- Cardiac event recorder: A recording device, used for a month or more, is manually activated when a person experiences symptoms.
- Stress test/ Treadmill ECG: The heart is monitored while a person walks or runs on a treadmill in an attempt to provoke an episode of the arrhythmia.
- Tilt table test.
Treatment In Modern medicine:
- Medications includes beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, other anti-arrhythmic medicines or digoxin. In people who have frequent episodes, treatment with medicines can decrease recurrences. But these medicines may have side effects.
- Vagal maneuvers -the Valsalva maneuver – bearing down as if having a bowel movement – can slow some types of tachycardia.
- Catheter ablation.
- Cardioversion. A properly timed electrical shock (in synchrony with the heart) is delivered to the chest to restore a normal heart rhythm.
- Emergency asynchronous defibrillation.
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).
- Maze procedure. This surgery disrupts abnormal electrical pathways in the heart. Such surgery is performed when other treatment options have failed.
Tachycardia treatment in ayurveda
Vata reducing diet and lifestyle activities are recommended in this condition. Tachycardia treatment at home requires strict (pathya) of diet of lifestyle habits.
- Foods that are naturally sweet, sour, and salty in taste.
- Food seasoned with spices like ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin can be taken.
- Warm milk seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg
- A generous amount of high-quality oils or ghee in your daily diet.
- Eating your meal in a peaceful environment.
- Foods that are bitter, astringent, and pungent.
- Foods that are cooling in nature or that has become cold and stale after cooking.
- Dry and light foods
- Too much raw food like salads, raw fruit, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, etc.)
- Highly processed foods.
- Cold or carbonated drinks and Caffeine.
- Overeating or eating very heavy meals.
- Foods or drinks that contain refined sugar or corn syrup.
- Deep fried foods.
- Hard alcohol.
Life style changes to reduce vata:
- Sleep and wake up at proper scheduled timings.
- Avoid being awake in the night.
- Take an oil massage before bath. Apply oil on the vertex of the scalp, on the soles and palms.
- Practice meditation, pranayama and yoga
- Avoid over thinking and stress.
- Do not suppress your natural urges.
Tachycardia treatment at home:
Here are some natural ways for tachycardia treatment at home:
- Potassium rich foods like banana, raisins have been found beneficial to cure tachycardia naturally.
- Magnesium rich foods like spinach, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds are also beneficial.
- Tuna, salmon, sardines are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, proved to be effective in lowering the heart rate.
- Garlic is also good for your heart. Consume 2-3 cloves of garlic daily.
- Drink ash gourd juice regularly.
Tachycardia treatment at home with Ayurvedic medicines:
Ayurvedic medicines, which are beneficial in lowering heart rate include:
- Arjuna herb works as a heart tonic that helps maintain heart health
- Arjun helps to maintain normal blood pressure
- Arjuna promotes proper blood flow and normal homocysteine levels
- Heart muscles are strengthened by arjun
- Arjuna supports the blood’s absorption of lipids indicating it has cholesterol-regulating properties
- Arjuna herb helps to reduces the effects of stress and nervousness on the heart.
- Arjuna supports the heart’s energy output, and enhances overall energy levels, stamina, immunity, and cellular health.
Dosage: 5- 10gm powder to be taken with warm water or milk as advised by the physician.