What are the causes of fast heartbeats?

Q. My heart is beating fast. Is it due to anxiety or any underlying problem?

Answered by
Dr. Prashant Valecha
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 30, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 01, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am 26 years old. I have noticed that sometimes I wake up with my heart beating too fast and can feel my heart. This first happened when I woke up and took a look at my little child and thought my child was not breathing. That time my heart rate increased strongly. After this, sometimes when I take a nap in the afternoon I woke up with heart rate increasing and little pain in chest that lasts for a few seconds. My heart goes back to normal within a few seconds. It does not happen at night. I am a stressful person and always worried. I am overweight too. Also, I have trivial MR that was diagnosed last year. But, I was not advised to have any treatment. My oxygen level is always above 96. What do you think about this? Is it just due to anxiety or a heart problem?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Please follow exercise and diet to reduce weight. Trivial MR - mitral regurgitation can progress and cause atrial fibrillation (irregular fast heart beat). So, for now check your thyroid functions (T3, T4 and TSH - thyroid-stimulating hormone), ECG (electrocardiogram), echo (to see MR status) and Holter monitor (a 24-hour ECG). Take a tablet Lonazepam-MD 0.5 mg (Clonazepam) under tongue while you have this episode, because it can be due to panic or anxiety. Check plasma glucose for diabetes and check lipids also.

Hi doctor,

I had an EKG and x-ray for my chest today and everything was normal. Blood pressure and pulse were also normal too. Do you think it is just due to anxiety? Or do I need the 24-hours monitor?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Mostly, it can be due to anxiety. If it is atrial fibrillation then your doctor will prescribe some blood thinner. If you get these episodes again then Holter monitoring is required and during that 24-hour please carry on with regular activities like walking and do not just relax during that day to get correct reading. Thyroid, hemoglobin and lipid (fasting) levels are also good to be done.

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