What are the Most Common High Pulse Rate Causes?

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  • Written By: Eric Stolze
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2019
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Normal pulse rates vary among people of different ages and with different health conditions. High pulse rates typically include a strong and rapid pulse and they may include tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heart rhythm. The most common high pulse rate causes can include heavy exercise and anxiety, as well as medical conditions such as pregnancy, an overactive thyroid, and a fever.

The pulse is a measurement of the number of heartbeats that a person experiences per minute. Pulse rates are commonly taken on the wrist, although they may be taken in other parts of the body such as the neck, temple, or ankle. Normal pulse rates vary among individuals and typically need to be evaluated by a physician.

Causes of a high pulse associated with an arrhythmia may include the abuse of drugs and other substances such as caffeine, amphetamines, and cocaine. Beta blocker drugs and psychotropic medications can also be cause a high pulse rate in some cases. A fluid overload in the body may lead to a rapid pulse due to kidney failure or heart failure. Disorders of the heart valves such as aortic valve regurgitation may be cause high pulse rate for some individuals.


Adults and children over the age of ten years with a normal pulse rate usually have between 60 and 100 heartbeats per minute. Some well-trained athletes may develop a normal pulse rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute. Children from one to ten years of age tend to have pulse rates of 70 to 120 beats per minute, while newborn infants often have a normal pulse rate of 100 to 160 beats per minute.

In some cases, a bounding or rapid pulse may be visible in the arteries that are near the skin's surface. Most doctors conduct a thorough medical examination to find high pulse rate causes for an individual patient. Tests such as a chest x-ray, an echocardiogram, or an electrocardiogram (EKG), as well as blood tests may be performed in order to help a physician identify any underlying medical conditions. In many cases, the successful treatment of an underlying cause of a high pulse rate can bring a patient's pulse rate back to normal.

Some patients with a rapid pulse may have an arrhythmia know as a tachycardia. The signs of an arrhythmia may be mild or severe, and may include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting can occur with a heart arrhythmia. In some cases, a patient's heart may skip beats and may alter the pattern measured in his pulse. Paleness and sweating may also occur with some arrhythmias.


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Post 4

You wouldn't think that controlling your high blood pressure with exercise would be a good idea, but it is. Many overweight people with high blood pressure are afraid to exercise, because they think it will place too much of a strain on their hearts.

Of course, you should always ask a doctor what types of exercise are suitable for you if you have hypertension. However, once you get a regular routine going, you will find that even though your pulse increases during exercise, both your blood pressure and your heart rate will drop afterward.

I was amazed at how much a simple daily walking routine lowered my sitting pulse and blood pressure. Even though I get my heart pumping for awhile, it slows down to a safe rate after I have cooled off, and this means I am finally healthy.

Post 3

Does anyone else notice a link between caffeine and high blood pressure in your body? I can handle small amounts of caffeine, but if I have more than one caffeinated beverage a day, my pulse rate skyrockets!

I think I am just overly sensitive to it. I know people who drink three or four cans of soda or three cups of coffee in just a few hours and don't have any increase in heart rate or blood pressure.

I once drank an energy drink to stay awake during a long drive, and I thought I was about to have a heart attack! My heart raced so much that it seemed to be skipping beats. I made it a point to never consume another energy drink.

Post 2

@healthy4life – Wow, anxiety usually causes a rapid heart rate, and not the other way around! I have had issues with social anxiety, and when I am place in certain situations that would be considered normal for most folks, my heart starts pounding from fear and intimidation.

I just can't talk to new people without being extremely nervous. When I started my new job, my heart would race every time any of my coworkers talked to me. This kept my heart pretty busy, because my job required a lot of interaction.

After I got to know everyone, I stopped freaking out every time they came up to me. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with the public. I don't think my heart could have handled it!

Post 1

I took part in a clinical study for a drug to treat polycystic kidney disease, and the drug caused me to have high blood pressure readings, along with a high pulse rate. It was an extreme diuretic, and I had to drink eleven 20 ounce bottles of water during the first day I was on the drug.

I had to urinate a ton every thirty minutes. I think that my extreme fluid intake and constant urination led to the high pulse and high blood pressure.

My rapid heart rate made me feel very anxious. I knew that something wasn't right with my body, so I stopped taking the drug.

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