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To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.

Change in Heartbeat

It could be the result of taking a drug such as a beta blocker. A lower heart rate is also common for people who get a lot of physical activity or are very athletic. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can help your doctor determine whether to change the dosage or switch to a different medication.

Your pulse is one tool to help get a picture of your health. Facing heart disease or stroke or caring for someone who is? Get encouragement and offer guidance during challenging times. Visit our Support Network. What should you know about your heart rate? Where is it and what is a normal heart rate? The best places to find your pulse are the: wrists inside of your elbow side of your neck top of the foot To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds. Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need.

These include:. You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home. Heartbeat changes can include:. Many things can make the heart beat faster or slower than usual. Some common examples are:. Shock is a life-threatening condition that may quickly occur after a sudden illness or injury. Symptoms of shock most of which will be present include:.

Shock is a life-threatening condition that may occur quickly after a sudden illness or injury. Symptoms of shock in a child may include:. Symptoms of a heart attack may include:. The more of these symptoms you have, the more likely it is that you're having a heart attack.

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Chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom, but some people, especially women, may not notice it as much as other symptoms. You may not have chest pain at all but instead have shortness of breath, nausea, or a strange feeling in your chest or other areas. Symptoms of difficulty breathing can range from mild to severe. For example:. Severe trouble breathing means:. Moderate trouble breathing means:. Mild trouble breathing means:.

Many medicines and drugs can affect the rate and rhythm of the heart. A few examples are:.

Based on your answers, you need emergency care. Call or other emergency services now. Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care. Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care. After you call , the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength mg or 2 to 4 low-dose 81 mg aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself. Home treatment can help relieve some problems that cause changes in your heart rate. When you think you have a change in your heart rate or rhythm:.

You may find it helpful to keep a record of the date and time that you noticed the change. Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:. You often can reduce or prevent changes in your heart rate or rhythm. Knowing CPR could be useful for anyone. Many parents learn CPR so they know what to do if their children need it. People who have family members with a heart problem also should learn CPR.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:. If you have kept a record of your heart rate or rhythm changes, be sure to discuss this with your doctor. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn How this information was developed. To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. Topic Overview Your heart normally beats in a regular rhythm and rate that is just right for the work your body is doing at any moment. When heart rate or rhythm changes are minor Many changes in heart rate or rhythm are minor and do not require medical treatment if you do not have other symptoms or a history of heart disease.

When heart rate or rhythm changes are more serious Irregular heartbeats change the amount of blood that flows to the lungs and other parts of the body. Check Your Symptoms Do you have a concern about your heartbeat or heart rhythm? How old are you? Less than 12 years.

Are you male or female? Did you pass out completely lose consciousness? If you are answering for someone else: Is the person unconscious now? Are you back to your normal level of alertness? After passing out, it's normal to feel a little confused, weak, or light-headed when you first wake up or come to.

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But unless something else is wrong, these symptoms should pass pretty quickly and you should soon feel about as awake and alert as you normally do. Did the loss of consciousness occur during the past 24 hours? Do you have symptoms of shock? The symptoms in an adult or older child are different than the symptoms in a young child. Could you be having symptoms of a heart attack? If you're having a heart attack, there are several areas where you may feel pain or other symptoms. Are you having trouble breathing more than a stuffy nose? Would you describe the breathing problem as severe, moderate, or mild?


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The symptoms in an adult or older child are different than the symptoms in a young child or baby. Have you noticed any irregular heartbeats or changes in your heart rate? Was the change sudden? Does your heartbeat return to normal when you lie down? Do you have other symptoms such as feeling nauseated, light-headed or faint, or extremely tired for no reason? Other symptoms such as nausea, light-headedness, fainting, or severe fatigue. Do you have a fast heart rate more than beats per minute for no clear reason? Many heart rate changes are minor and have an obvious cause.

Do you have a slow heart rate less than 60 beats per minute that is not normal for you? A slow heart rate is normal for some people, especially endurance athletes. What you are looking for is a change in your usual heart rate. Do you have an irregular heart rhythm that is new to you? Do you have a history of heart problems, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, or heart rhythm problems like atrial fibrillation? Do you feel light-headed or dizzy, like you are going to faint? It's normal for some people to feel a little light-headed when they first stand up.

But anything more than that may be serious. Do you get short of breath during physical activity and have trouble getting your heartbeat and breathing under control?

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It's normal to feel out of breath and have your heart rate speed up when you are exercising hard. But your breathing and heart rate should return to normal soon after you slow down or stop. Do you think that a medicine or drug may be causing the change in your heart rate or rhythm? Think about whether the heartbeat changes started after you began using a new medicine or a higher dose of a medicine. Have you been noticing changes in your heartbeat for more than a week?

These include: Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker. Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner. Medicines you take. Certain medicines and natural health products can cause symptoms or make them worse.

Recent health events , such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious. Your health habits and lifestyle , such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel. Try Home Treatment You have answered all the questions. Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms. Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect. You may need care sooner. Heartbeat changes can include: A faster or slower heartbeat than is normal for you.

A heart rate that does not have a steady pattern. Skipped beats. Extra beats. Some common examples are: Stress. Illness or fever.

Heart Beat

Panic attacks. Stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine. Medicine side effects. Symptoms of shock most of which will be present include: Passing out losing consciousness. Feeling very dizzy or light-headed, like you may pass out. Feeling very weak or having trouble standing. Not feeling alert or able to think clearly.

You may be confused, restless, fearful, or unable to respond to questions. Symptoms of shock in a child may include: Passing out losing consciousness. Being very sleepy or hard to wake up. Not responding when being touched or talked to. Breathing much faster than usual. Acting confused. The child may not know where he or she is. Symptoms of a heart attack may include: Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.

Shortness of breath.

About Your Heart > How Does the Heart Beat? - Cardiology Services - Lee Health

Nausea or vomiting. Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms. Light-headedness or sudden weakness. A fast or irregular heartbeat. For example: You may feel a little out of breath but still be able to talk mild difficulty breathing , or you may be so out of breath that you cannot talk at all severe difficulty breathing. It may be getting hard to breathe with activity mild difficulty breathing , or you may have to work very hard to breathe even when you're at rest severe difficulty breathing.