Ayurveda: Remedy for Abnormally Fast Pulse

Tea, coffee and soft drinks, all contain high levels of caffeine, which is a heart stimulant. So, drinking more than three or four caffeine containing drinks, or, for that matter, more than two or three measures of alcohol daily is enough to develop a faster pulse, particularly if the individual is a smoker, since nicotine enhances the effect.

Anaemia: The pulse rate significantly increases in anaemia, a condition in which the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is reduced. Anaemic persons look very pale, are often short of breath, particularly during and after physical work, and may suffer from angina, since the condition puts more exertion on the heart. Though the blood carries less oxygen, the body’s tissues are still in need of the same amount of oxygen. The heart, therefore, tries to make up in quantity what the blood lacks in quality, beating faster and faster to re-circulate the blood more quickly so that more of it goes to the required area.

Hyperthyroidism: Just as an under active thyroid slows down the metabolism, so an overactive gland, by producing excess amounts of thyroxine hormone, enhances metabolism. This results in rapid pulse. (Associated symptoms include diarrhoea, increased appetite, weight loss, flushed, sweaty skin, and generally high energy levels. Palpitation is also a common symptom.)

Fever: Most infections, producing a fever, raise the pulse rate, and the general rule is ten extra heartbeats per minute for each one degree Fahrenheit rise in the patient’s temperature. (There are a few exceptions, notably, typhoid fever typically produces a pulse rate slower than would be expected for the degree of the temperature.)

Low blood sugar: Low blood sugar is sometimes seen in diabetic patients due to excess of insulin, or missing a meal. The resulting rapid pulse is associated with sweating, behavioural changes, collapse and even coma.

Bronchodilators: Some of the bronchodilator drugs used to relax the airways of asthma sufferers can accelerate the heart rate, especially if excessive doses are taken. Drugs included are salbutamol, rurbutaline etc. Other medications commonly used to treat asthma such as adrenaline, theophylline derivatives may have the same effect. Antispasmodic drugs such as belladonna and byoscine medications, that relax the smooth muscle of the intestine, produce a rapid pulse rate.

• Menopause
: Most of the women while passing through menopause phase, may notice the hot flushing and palpitations along with rapid pulse. These are the result of circulatory changes caused by hormonal fluctuations.

• Heart ailments
: For rapid pulse, heart disease is actually a rare cause. However, after excluding other general causes, the disorders of the heart valves, conduction system of the heart and heart muscle efficiency are to be considered. Usually there are other, more prominent symptoms that would alert patient and doctor to the problem, including chest pain and shortness of breath, especially when lying down, as well as dizziness, loss of consciousness and weakness or numbness in the limbs. In angina sufferers, it is common for the heart muscle to be starved of blood, resulting in chest pain and a rise in pulse rate.

Lung diseases: In the lungs, pneumonia, with or without pleurisy, or a blood clot in one of the major veins, can produce a fast pulse, often with chest pain, fever and breathlessness as well. With a blood clot, there will also be bloodstained phlegm.

Shock: Rapid and weak pulse is a general symptom of shock. Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen followed by collapse can be the first sign of a perforated peptic ulcer in the stomach or duodenum, and would certainly be associated with rapid pulse.

Liver & kidney disorders: Malignancies at certain sites such as liver and kidneys and inflammations of the covering layers of the heart, can increase the basal metabolic rate of the body and cause a fast pulse often in association with fever, jaundice and loss of weight.

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