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7 Causes of a High Heart Rate

The heart’s rhythm is a vital indicator of one’s health and well-being. While occasional increases in heart rate are natural and even expected in response to various stimuli, a consistently high rate demands attention. This condition, known clinically as tachycardia, can be a sign that the body is trying to communicate an underlying issue.

Our heartbeat adjusts to meet the body’s demands, but persistent elevations hint at factors that might need medical or lifestyle intervention. From the common stresses of daily life to more complex conditions, several elements can cause our hearts to race. This exploration will uncover the top seven reasons behind an elevated heart rate and what they reveal about our overall health.

1. Nutritional Deficiencies 

In past times, our ancestors ate diets full of organic whole foods, ensuring they received the proper nutrients for their health. Today, dietary shifts have seen a tilt towards convenience-driven, processed foods laden with synthetic additives. As a result, while our plates may be full, our nutritional intake often falls short of what our bodies truly need.

A clear sign of this nutritional gap can be seen in our heart rate. Let’s take vitamin B-12 as an example. This vitamin helps make red blood cells. If we don’t have enough of it, our body might not produce enough red blood cells. To compensate, the heart beats faster to spread oxygen around our body.

Emerging research highlights the role of vitamin D, pointing to a correlation between its deficiency and a high heart rate. The intricacies remain under investigation, yet the linkage between nutrition and cardiac health is undeniable. 

Simply put, deviations from a traditional, nutrient-rich diet have cascading health implications, including on our heart rate. Emphasizing whole foods and proper nutrient intake is pivotal to recalibrating our health trajectory.

2. Poor dietary choices

When we think of food, we often consider flavor, aroma, or perhaps calorie count. But few stop to ponder: Could that meal send your heart racing? Modern diets are littered with elements that might just do that.

Take gluten, for instance, lurking in your bread and pastries. For some, it’s a hidden agitator, summoning inflammation that can give the heart an unwelcome jolt.

Sugar’s sweet, but it’s also sneaky. Beyond the risk of cavities or weight gain, a sugar rush can send adrenaline levels soaring. Result? A quickened pulse.

Then there’s the GMO and pesticide duo. The debate rages on about their broader impacts, but evidence suggests they stoke inflammation in some. Pesticides, especially, are seen as invaders by our body, triggering defenses that inadvertently rev up our heart rate.

And let’s not forget those vibrant candies or the supermarket items that never seem to expire. The culprits? Food dyes and preservatives. While they make foods look and last better, our bodies might see them as foreign, sparking reactions that can influence our pulse.

In essence, though commonplace, many elements of the modern diet can be perceived as threats to our bodies. As the body gears up to defend itself, one of its immediate reactions can be an elevated heart rate. 

3. Inadequate Sleep 

Sleep is as vital as air and food. Yet, in today’s 24/7 world, it’s often the first sacrifice. Gone are the days when our ancestors slept with the sun’s rhythms. Now, late nights and early alarms interrupt nature’s design.

Shortchanged sleep doesn’t just lead to a foggy brain or a short temper. It sends our heart rates racing. Here’s the lowdown: lack of sleep triggers a surge in the stress hormone cortisol. Higher cortisol? Faster heartbeat. Moreover, sleep deprivation amps up our sympathetic nervous system – the one behind the ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline rush. This means an already tired heart works overtime.

And let’s not forget repair work. Our bodies use sleep as repair time. Skip on rest, and the heart stays in overdrive. According to the Sleep Foundation, poor sleep, including frequent awakenings, can lead to a higher heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms. 

Proper sleep isn’t just for a sharp mind but a steady heart. To truly care for our ticker, clocking in those nightly hours is non-negotiable.

4. Toxins

In an era of technological advancements and urban sprawl, a sinister byproduct has emerged: environmental toxins. From the haze hanging over our cities to the unseen chemicals lurking in our homes, these invisible adversaries can stealthily meddle with our heart’s rhythm. And among the most insidious? Mold—a silent infiltrator with long-reaching health impacts.

Air pollution, to start, isn’t just a threat to the environment. Every breath we take of polluted air introduces harmful particles into our system. These particles can cause inflammation and oxidative stress, making the heart beat faster and work harder.

Then there are chemicals—ubiquitous in products we use daily. These chemicals can disturb our body’s internal systems, from household cleaners to certain personal care products. Persistent exposure might even contribute to hormonal imbalances, another factor that escalates heart rates.

Mold, though, demands particular attention. Often thriving unseen in damp and poorly ventilated spaces, mold releases mycotoxins, which can wreak havoc on our health. 

For some individuals, mold exposure can lead to a condition known as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). POTS causes an abnormal increase in heart rate when individuals shift from lying down to standing up. Recent research suggests that mycotoxins could trigger POTS in susceptible individuals.

So, what’s the bottom line? While we might be blissfully unaware of these toxins, our hearts certainly aren’t. It’s a modern-day challenge, but understanding and mitigating these environmental threats is vital in maintaining heart health in the 21st century.

5. Stress

The modern world is a whirlwind of deadlines, alerts, and never-ending to-do lists. Amid this cacophony, one consequence stands out starkly: the increasing tempo of our heartbeats.

As health circles have long established, stress isn’t just a psychological experience. It sets off a chain of physiological reactions. Back when our greatest concern was outrunning predators, this ‘fight or flight’ response made sense. Adrenaline and cortisol would flood the system, prepping the body for quick action. 

Today, however, our predators are metaphorical, but our physiological response? Still very much real. The result is a heart racing to meet challenges that don’t require a sprint but rather sustained endurance.

Yet, it’s not just about the tangible stressors. The deeper story often lies in an imbalanced nervous system. Think of this system as the body’s communication highway. When traffic flows smoothly, all’s well. But clogs? Problems arise. The sympathetic branch of our nervous system, responsible for that ‘fight or flight’ response, can be persistently activated in today’s high-stress world, leading to a perpetually high heart rate.

But here’s where the plot thickens, and solutions emerge. Beyond relaxation techniques and stress-relief strategies lies an unexpected hero: chiropractic care. While spinal adjustments and alleviating backaches are commonly associated with chiropractors, a more profound impact is at play. The spine is intrinsically tied to the nervous system. Misalignments can disrupt that critical traffic flow. By realigning the spine, chiropractors aim to restore harmony to the nervous system, offering the heart a more consistent beat.

6. Alcohol and Caffeine 

A morning jolt from a cup of coffee or winding down with an evening glass of wine — both are rituals ingrained in contemporary culture. But when the buzz of caffeine meets the relaxant effects of alcohol, what happens to our hearts?

Caffeine, found in everyday drinks like coffee, tea, and energy drinks, is a popular stimulant many rely on to kick-start their day. It boosts alertness and focus.

However, when it comes to the heart, caffeine can be a double-edged sword. It can raise the heart rate and blood pressure by stimulating the nervous system and releasing adrenaline. This means some people might feel their heart race, especially if they drink too much or are naturally sensitive to caffeine.

Not all cups of coffee are brewed equal. While caffeine often gets the spotlight, racing heartbeats can also be attributed to mold and toxins lurking in your brew. This underscores the importance of selecting organic coffee, meticulously tested for mold and pesticides. For instance, Cardiology Coffee prioritizes rigorous checks, ensuring that your morning jolt uplifts your spirit without unsettling your heart’s rhythm.

On the flip side, there’s alcohol. Seen as a depressant, alcohol might seem the antithesis of caffeine. Yet, its relationship with the heart is just as nuanced. Moderate alcohol consumption might offer some heart benefits, but excess can have the opposite effect. Binge drinking or chronic excessive consumption can lead to atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats irregularly and, often, rapidly. This phenomenon, colloquially known as ‘holiday heart syndrome,’ can manifest after episodes of heavy drinking.

The compounding effects of both consumed in close succession are also worth noting. The stimulant effects of caffeine can mask the sedative properties of alcohol, potentially leading one to drink more than intended. This combination can further disrupt the heart’s natural rhythm.

In a nutshell, while both alcohol and caffeine hold places in modern society, it’s their influence on our hearts that requires discretion. Like many things in health, each person has a unique response to these substances. 

7. Dehydration

Hydration is more than a mere thirst-quencher—it’s a heartbeat regulator. When our bodies lack adequate water, the heart compensates by working harder, beating faster to push a reduced volume of blood, and hence, oxygen, to vital organs. This intensified labor manifests as a heightened heart rate, signaling the body’s desperate call for rehydration.

However, the simple act of drinking water isn’t always enough. Quality matters. Not all water sources offer the purity our bodies require. Contaminants, from trace chemicals to pollutants, can undermine the very benefits we seek from hydration.

This is where water filtration systems, like Pristine Hydro, come into play. By effectively removing contaminants and restoring the natural minerals and pH balance, they ensure that each sip contributes genuinely to health rather than detracting from it. Investing in high-quality water not only satiates thirst but also supports the heart in maintaining its balanced rhythm.

Next Steps

When our heart rate shifts, pinpointing the cause can be complex. Multiple factors can influence these changes, from diet to environment to stress. Rather than speculating or getting overwhelmed, it’s crucial to turn to those with expertise in heart health.

If you’re noticing an uptick in your heart rate, remember that its origins can be multifaceted, stemming from dietary choices, environmental exposures, or even emotional states. The key is to avoid jumping to conclusions but to seek expert insight.

To assist in this journey of understanding, Natural Heart Doctor offers a complimentary 20-minute health consultation with one of our seasoned health coaches. These professionals, well-versed in the nuances of heart health, can provide personalized guidance, steering you toward solutions tailored to your unique heartbeat. Your heart’s well-being is our priority, and taking this step can pave the way to a healthier rhythm. 

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.