A fast heart rate is termed by medical specialists as tachycardia. The condition can be brought about by many different things. Some of them include stress, anxiety, panic disorder, anemia, an overactive thyroid gland, low blood sugar levels, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Sometimes it is also brought about by the use of tobacco products, consumption of alcohol and intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea.
Most of the time, a fast heart rate occurs for no apparent reason. Experts say that majority of tachycardia cases are harmless and tend to resolve on their own. If it seems like you are experiencing the problem very often, it is a good idea to consult your general practitioner (GP) or a cardiologist — a doctor specializing in the heart and blood vessels.
There are also a handful of home remedies that are said to be effective at bringing an accelerated heart rate back to normal. Continue reading to know some of the simplest and most effective ones.
Take Slow, Deep Breaths
Especially if your tachycardia is caused by stress or anxiety, opting for this home remedy is a great idea. Taking slow, deep breaths helps relax the body and supply sufficient amounts of oxygen to the brain. Fill your lungs by inhaling through your nose and allowing your belly to expand. Hold for a couple of seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat.
Fake a Vigorous Cough
Many swear by attempting to cough vigorously for a few seconds in order to put a stop to their accelerated heart rate. Doing this technique causes pressure to build up in your chest, and this forces your heart to shift back to its normal rate.
Perform the Valsalva Maneuver
Doing this maneuver stimulates the vagus nerve, the longest of all your cranial nerves, thus causing the heart rate to slow down. All you have to do is inhale, close your mouth and pinch your nose. Attempt to exhale through your mouth without actually opening it. However, the valsalva maneuver is not recommended for someone with heart disease.
Drink a Glass of Ice-Cold Water
If you feel that your heart is beating faster than usual, reach for a glass of ice-cold water. This remedy works by helping to quench some of the common causes of a rapid heart rate such as anxiety, stress and even dizziness. Since dehydration is also one of the usual culprits behind tachycardia, drinking plenty of water can definitely work to your advantage.
Splash Cold Water on Your Face
Aside from drinking ice-cold water, you may splash some of it on your face. This will jolt your nervous system and regulate your heart rate. Splashing cold water on your face doesn’t seem to do the trick? Try taking a cold shower instead.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
During times when you are not experiencing tachycardia, it’s a wonderful idea to perform some cardiovascular exercises like walking, swimming, dancing, bicycling and playing badminton or basketball. This strengthens the heart muscles, causing it to pump blood more effectively throughout the body. When you’re at rest, your heart rate will be lower.
Consume Foods Rich in Certain Minerals
According to the experts, magnesium and potassium are minerals that help regulate your heart rate. That’s why including foods rich in them in your everyday diet is an excellent idea. Good sources of magnesium are whole grains, beans, nuts and fish. Bananas, potatoes, mushrooms, yogurt and dark green leafy veggies are great sources of potassium.