Seven reasons why your heart is beating too fast

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The website of Reader's Digest magazine summarizes seven reasons why your heart is beating too fast.

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1. Stress and anxiety. These mental factors cause the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which increases heart rate and blood pressure. If you can soothe the mood, the tachycardia will disappear by itself. Try relaxing, deep breathing, yoga and tai chi.

2. Stimulant drinks. Stimulatory substances such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine raise blood pressure and increase the heart rate. Cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic in the US recommend that adults consume no more than 400mg of caffeine a day, roughly the equivalent of four cups of coffee.

3. The dehydration. When you're dehydrated, your available blood volume decreases, causing your blood pressure to drop, which forces your heart to work harder and beat faster. Drink water or drinks with electrolytes immediately after heavy sweating to replace lost fluids and minerals.

4. Lack of sleep. Lack of sleep also increases the production of the hormone cortisol, causing heart rate and blood pressure to rise. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.

5. The pain. According to a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the stress response triggered by acute pain increases blood pressure, heart rate, pupil dilation, and cortisol levels in the blood. After treatment, the heartbeat returns to normal.

6. Pregnancy. Pregnant women put more pressure on their hearts. According to a study at Duke University Medical Center in the U.S., by the end of pregnancy, the uterus receives one-fifth of the mother's blood supply, which increases the amount of blood pumped by the heart by 30 to 50 percent, leading to a faster heartbeat.

7. Thyroid problems. A variety of hormones produced by the thyroid gland regulate the function of the body's major organs. Insufficient thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) lowers the heart rate, while excessive thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) increases the heart rate. If a thyroid problem is suspected to cause a rapid heartbeat, you should perform five tests.