ZocdocAnswersCould my weight be causing my elevated heart rate?

Question

Could my weight be causing my elevated heart rate?

My heart feels like it is beating way too fast. I'm a little overweight but I wouldn't say that I'm fat or anything. Could my high heart rate be from having some extra weight?

Answer

A high heart rate can have many different possible causes. Certainly being overweight is a possible cause. The larger you are, the more blood the heart needs to pump to the body. The more blood the heart needs to pump, the more times per minute it needs to beat. However, I would not just tack your high heart rate up to being overweight without a more extensive workup. The first doctor you want to see about this is your primary care doctor. The first step your doctor will take is to listen to your heart to see if it is fast, and to listen for any murmurs that may give a clue as to why it is fast. The next step is to get an electrocardiogram (EKG). The EKG can tell if your fast heart rate is caused by a heart arrhythmia or not. An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that can be too fast or too slow. This is important because fast heart rates due to arrhythmias are treated differently than fast heart rates due to being overweight or some other hormonal problem. Finally, your doctor will do a blood test to make sure that your thyroid gland is functioning properly. Too much thyroid hormone can be a cause of a high heart rate. Good luck, and please talk to your doctor soon.

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