Symptoms A-Z

Fast Heart Rate in Adults Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your fast heart rate in adults symptoms, including 9 causes and common questions.

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Contents

  1. 9 Possible Fast Heart Rate In Adults Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

9 Possible Fast Heart Rate In Adults Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced fast heart rate in adults. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Atrial flutter

Atrial flutter is an arrhythmia, meaning the system that regulates the heartbeat is not working correctly. The upper two chambers of the heart – the atria – beat faster than the lower two chambers and end up quivering, or fluttering, rather than beating.

It can be caused by high blood pressure; coronary artery disease; alcoholism; hyperthyroidism; and a previous case of rheumatic fever, which damages the heart valves.

Symptoms include fast, regular pulse; weakness or faintness; shortness of breath; and sometimes chest pain.

Since the quivering, fluttering atria cannot properly pump out the blood, the blood can stagnate and clot. A clot that travels through the body can cause a stroke. Also, the stagnated blood can cause blood pressure to drop and heart failure can result.

Diagnostic tests may include physical examination; EKG (also known as ECG); x-ray; MRI; and/or long-term monitoring with the patient wearing a Holter monitor.

Treatment first consists of medication to slow the heart rate and prevent blood clots. Defibrillation, catheter ablation, and surgery may also be done, as well as treatment of any underlying disorders.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, racing heart beat, lightheadedness, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, shortness of breath on exertion

Urgency: In-person visit

Overactive thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterized by a rapid rate and irregular rhythm that feels like the heart is quivering. It can lead to chest discomfort, shortness of breath,.

Heart damage from high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, viral infections, and sleep apnea can cause atrial fibrillation. Other risk factors include increasing age, obesity, family history, and drinking alcohol.

Symptoms include a jerky, fluttering heartbeat (palpitations);(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/chest-pain-worse-breathing-or-coughing/) is a medical emergency requiring a call to 911.

Treatment involves cardioversion with mild electrical shock or medication to return the heart to normal rhythm. Blood thinners and medication to maintain heart rhythm will be prescribed. Procedures may be needed in some cases.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart beat, lightheadedness

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Severe asthma attack

A severe asthma attack makes it incredibly hard to breathe and is a medical emergency. If possible, use a rescue inhaler ASAP.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: being severely ill, shortness of breath at rest, wheezing, irritability, cough with dry or watery sputum

Symptoms that always occur with severe asthma attack: shortness of breath at rest, being severely ill

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough iron to form hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

The condition can be caused by acute blood loss through injury, surgery, or childbirth;chronic blood loss through an ulcer, overuse of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or heavy menstrual periods; or impaired absorption of dietary iron due to low dietary iron intake, prior surgeries, disease, or interference from certain medications.

Symptoms of anemia may include fatigue, shortness of breath, and a rapid heartbeat. If not treated, iron deficiency anemia can lead to heart disease because the heart has to increase its pumping activity in order to compensate for the reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the red blood cells. In children, iron deficiency is also associated with developmental problems. The diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia is made through physical examination and blood tests.

Treatment includes a diet rich in iron-containing foods, such as red meat and leafy green vegetables, along with iron supplements. In some circumstances, hospitalization, blood transfusions, and/or intravenous iron therapy may be needed.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, heavy menstrual flow

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Long qt syndrome

Long QT syndrome is an inherited or acquired condition of the heart that results in abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). The heart beats dangerously fast and erratically due to dysfunction in the electrical activity of the heart.

Symptoms include(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/fainting-after-exertion/) and therefore a higher risk of drowning while swimming, seizures, and sudden death due to cardiac arrest if the heart rhythm is not normalized in time.

Medications and surgery are available to those with inherited long QT syndrome, and the underlying cause is often treated first in those with acquired long QT syndrome. Lifestyle adjustments may also be beneficial in both cases.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: racing heart beat, brief fainting episode, not having protected the body during the fall, feeling completely normal before fainting

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Low blood cell counts due to a chronic disease

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, which are cells that provide oxygen to body tissues. Anemia of chronic disease is anemia that is found in people who already have certain long-term (chronic) medical conditions.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, decreased exercise tolerance, dizziness when standing up, pale skin all over

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Cardiac tamponade

Cardiac tamponade is pressure on the heart that occurs when blood or fluid builds up in the space between the heart muscle (myocardium) and the outer covering sac of the heart (pericardium).

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: being severely ill, fast heart rate in adults, fear of dying, restlessness

Symptoms that always occur with cardiac tamponade: being severely ill

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome

WPW is a condition in which the.

It is possible to have two conduction pathways and not develop WPW. However, in those who develop the condition, symptoms include a fluttering in the chest,.

Treatments include methods to normalize the heart rate, removing the second pathway through procedures, as well as medication to limit possible adverse effects.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: racing heart beat, shortness of breath, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, lightheadedness, irregular heart beat

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Fast Heart Rate In Adults

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Are you sweating more than usual?
  • Have you felt excessively thirsty?
  • Are you feeling irritable (easily made upset)?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

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Fast Heart Rate In Adults Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced fast heart rate in adults have also experienced:

  • 14% Racing Heart Beat
  • 5% Shortness Of Breath
  • 5% Fatigue

People who have experienced fast heart rate in adults were most often matched with:

  • 46% Atrial Fibrillation
  • 33% Atrial Flutter
  • 20% Overactive Thyroid

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Fast Heart Rate In Adults Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having fast heart rate in adults