Tachycardia – Types, Causes, Symptoms, Test & Treatment

Do you know? If you consume some drugs for the first time, then it could make your heart-to-race— that is, medically, a condition called tachycardia.

If you feel your heartbeat is high, then read the entire post. With this post, we eventually try to cover its types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention along with some frequently asked questions.

So, let’s start with a small sketch of the Tachycardic condition.

What is Tachycardia?

What is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is nothing but a condition in which the heartbeat surpasses 100 times per minute. In general, it increases the risk of cardiac arrest, stroke, and in rare cases, death too.

For instance, the heartbeat of a normal adult person is between 60 and 100 times a minute. If you suffer from tachycardic, both the upper and lower chambers of the heart work so fast. And this finally causes the heart to beat faster.

When the heartbeats are too fast, the circulation system fails to work normally. This eventually leads to less blood flow in the body. Moreover, when there is a case where heart muscles need more oxygen and oxygen is not available. In that case, the myocardial cells can die, and due to which it can lead to a heart attack.

Types of Tachycardia

There are different types of tachycardic conditions but we grouped them according to the part of the heart which abnormally is responsible for speeding up the heartbeat. But the common types of tachycardic conditions are:

  • Ventricular Tachycardia
  • Ventricular Fibrillation
  • Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
  • Atrial Flutter
  • Atrial Fibrillation

Now, let’s discuss all of their types one by one. We also cover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for each of them.

Ventricular Tachycardia

Ventricular Tachycardia

It is a condition in which the heart’s lower chambers called ventricles, starts to beat very quickly due to some irregular electrical signals. Because of this, ventricles fail to pump enough blood to the body.

Moreover, this condition may develop complications such as heart attack which many times become a life-threatening problem.

Causes of Ventricular Tachycardia

These are the following causes of ventricular tachycardic conditons are:

  • Due to cardiomyopathy which weakens the heart muscle
  • Due to structural heart disease— heart damage from a prior heart attack
  • Because of the lack of blood flow to the heart
  • Heart failure

Types of Ventricular Tachycardia

There are the following four types of Ventricular Tachycardic conditions:

  • Nonsustained  Ventricular Tachycardia
  • Sustained  Ventricular Tachycardia
  • Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia
  • Monomorphic Ventricular Tachycardia

Symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia

These are the following symptoms of  Ventricular Tachycardia are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and fainting spells
  • Fluttering in the chest or chest pain

Diagnosis for Ventricular Tachycardia

These are the several tests to diagnose the ventricular tachycardic condition.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Cardiac MRI 

Treatment for Ventricular Tachycardia

To overcome the ventricular tachycardia, these are the following treatment that is helpful:

1. In Emergency 

  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Antiarrhythmic medication
  • Electrical defibrillation
  • Electric shock

2. Long-term Treatment

  • Cardiac-resynchronization therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

Prevention from Ventricular Tachycardic

  • Maintaining good blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • You should have to walk at least 30 minutes per day, to stay active.

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Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular Fibrillation

It is one of the biggest and common causes of heart attacks. Ventricular Fibrillation usually occurs, when rapid chaotic electrical impulses thrill the lower chambers of the heart. This all eventually leads to the stoppage of the pumping chamber(ventricles).

However, it reduces the blood pressure and cuts the blood supply to all other important organs. That’s why ventricular fibrillation can likewise be deadly if it is not revived within a few minutes by an electric shock. 

Causes of Ventricular Fibrillation

Conversely, the exact cause of the Ventricular Fibrillation is still unknown. But majorly, the problem arises because of the delays in the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat.

Symptoms of Ventricular Fibrillation

The following are the symptoms of Ventricular Fibrillation:

  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat

Diagnosis for Ventricular Fibrillation

To confirm the case of ventricular fibrillation, these are the following test that is needed to perform by the doctor:

Treatment for Ventricular Fibrillation

These are the various treatment methods to overcome ventricular fibrillation.

1. In emergency

  • Defibrillation
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

2. Long-term Treatment 

  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator 
  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Coronary angioplasty and stent placement
  • Medications

Prevention from Ventricular Fibrillation

These are the following means to prevent ventricular fibrillation:

  • You should have to do regular exercise and also eat a healthy diet
  • If you smoke, try to avoid and quit them asap.

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

Supraventricular tachycardia is a condition when the heart rhythm becomes faster because of improper electrical activity. In general, it usually occurs in the upper chambers called atria. This will eventually disrupt the normal functioning of the heart. 

Causes of  Supraventricular Tachycardia

These are the following causes of Supraventricular Tachycardic conditions.

  • Due to chronic lung disease and smoking
  • Heart failure and certain heart disease
  • Due to too much caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Wolff-Parkinson— White syndrome
  • Thyroid disease
  • Use drug— cocaine, and methamphetamines

Types of Supraventricular Tachycardia

There is a total of two types of supraventricular tachycardic conditions such as:

  • Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia 
  • Atrioventricular Reciprocating Tachycardia 

Symptoms of Supraventricular Tachycardia

Following are the symptoms of supraventricular tachycardic conditions:

  • Sweating
  • Pain in the chest
  • Breath shortness
  • Fainting
  • Pounding sensation in the neck

Diagnosis for Supraventricular Tachycardia

If you are suffering from a supraventricular tachycardiac condition, your doctor mostly prefers the following test to determine it:

  • An event monitor or Holter monitor
  • EKG Test
  • Electrophysiological testing
  • Implantable loop recorder
  • Or any further Tests

Treatment for Supraventricular Tachycardia

However, most people with this disease don’t require any medical treatment. But your doctor may recommend:

  • Catheter Ablation
  • Vagal Maneuvers
  • Cardioversion
  • Carotid sinus massage
  • Through Medications

Prevention from Supraventricular Tachycardia

These are the following prevention measures for this heart condition:

  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Do use drugs like cocaine, and methamphetamines
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Herbal Supplements 

Atrial Flutter

Atrial Flutter

In general, it occurs when the upper chambers of your heart, beat too fast than the bottom chambers (ventricles). Altogether, it increases the heart beating rate. However, it is also a type of arrhythmia.

Causes of Atrial Flutter

These are the following causes of atrial flutter:

  • Due to heart disease such as cardiomyopathy
  • Due to high blood pressure
  • Hypertrophy
  • Open-heart surgery
  • Coronary heart disease

Types of Atrial Flutter

There is basically two types of atrial flutter:

  • Common Atrial Flutter or Typical Atrial Flutter (Type I)
  • Atypical Atrial Flutter (Type II)

Symptoms of Atrial Flutter

These are the following symptoms of atrial flutter:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or Fainting
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Pain or discomfort in your chest
  • Feeling trouble with everyday exercises or activities

Diagnosis for Atrial Flutter

These are the following diagnosis to confirm atrial flutter:

  • Echocardiograms 
  • Tilt Table Test
  • Event Recorder
  • Electrophysiology
  • Holter Monitor
  • Electrocardiograms

Treatment for Atrial Flutter

To reduce or overcome this heart condition, these are the following treatment:

  • Electrical Cardioversion
  • Medicines
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Blood-thinning Medicines

Prevention from Atrial Flutter

These are the following prevention that you can do:

  • Control high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Maintain a good and healthy weight
  • Avoid alcohol 
  • Stop using tobacco 

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is also called AFib or AF and it is a type of Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). However, this irregular heartbeat cause blood clotting, heart failure, and many other heart-related diseases. As per stats, at least 2.7 million people of the United States are living with atrial fibrillation.

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

These are the following causes of atrial fibrillation.

  • Because of coronary artery disease
  • Due to high blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Due to abnormal heart valves
  • Other metabolic imbalance

Types of Atrial Fibrillation

There are mainly four types of atrial fibrillation such as:

  • Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation
  • Persistent Atrial Fibrillation
  • Long-term persistent Atrial Fibrillation
  • Permanent atrial fibrillation Atrial Fibrillation

 Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

These are the following symptoms of  atrial fibrillation:

  • Fatigue, dizziness, and weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Feeling like horse riding in the chest

Diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation

To diagnose atrial fibrillation, the doctor performs test such as:

  • Event recorder
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Holter monitor
  • Stress test
  • Echocardiogram
  • Blood tests

Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

These are the following treatment for atrial fibrillation are:

1. Medications: While talking about medication, there are a total of two types of medication i.e. blood thinners and maintaining heart rate.

Blood Thinners

  • Dabigatran 
  • Warfarin 
  • Heparin
  • Apixaban 
  • Clopidogrel 
  • Aspirin
  • Enoxaparin 
  • Rivaroxaban

Heart Rate Medicines

  • Bisoprolol 
  • Propranolol 
  • Timolol  
  • Metoprolol 
  • Atenolol 
  • Carvedilol

2. Electrical Cardioversion: Generally, an electric current is performed to reset the heart’s normal rhythm.

3. Cardiac Ablation: These are of two types:

  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Cryoablation

4. Surgery

Prevention from Atrial Fibrillation

These are the following precaution you should take to reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation.

  • Maintain a good body weight
  • Do at least 1-hour regular physical activity
  • Avoid the use of products such as caffeine, alcohol, and smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet, this would eventually control the bad cholesterol levels.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet which includes low salt, cholesterol, and fats which also manages high blood pressure.

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Tachycardia is a condition in which the heartbeat goes more than 100 times per minute and many times it will lead to stroke and many other heart problems.

Moreover, there are basically five types that are ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, and supraventricular tachycardia. But the most common type of tachycardia condition is ventricular fibrillation.

However, the common symptoms are shortness of breath, dizziness, pain in the chest, and weakness in the body. And to diagnosis this condition, the doctor may use various tests such as Electrophysiological, Holter monitoring, and Electrocardiogram (ECG). 

In general, to treat the tachycardiac conditions, the common treatment measures are catheter ablation, cardioversion, surgery, etc.

General FAQ

What are the common symptoms of ventricular tachycardia?

Ans. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting spells, and chest pain are common in ventricular tachycardia.

How many types of tachycardia?

Ans. Generally, tachycardia is of five types —ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, and supraventricular tachycardia. 

How many types of Atrial Flutter?

Ans. There are two types of atrial flutter such as common atrial flutter and atypical atrial flutter.

What does a mini heart attack feel like?

Ans. It feels like pressure in one or both arms, the back, the neck, the jaw, or the stomach.

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