Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can eating too much raise one's heart rate?"
My normal pulse rate is usually around 100 beats per minute, even when I'm just resting. It seems like it's gotten worse in the last few years, and my weight has been getting a little out of control. Are these things connected? Is my heart in trouble?
A high heart rate (AKA tachycardia) can be a distressing feeling. A resting pulse of 100 is definitely on the high end. You should be seen soon so it can be evaluated, especially if you say its higher now that you've gained some weight. Tachycardia for many years can result in heart failure if not treated. If your doctor measures your pulse in the office and its still high, he or she may do an electrocardiogram (EKG) in the office to evaluate your rhythm to make sure its not abnormal. Our heart rates are determined in part by the metabolic demands of our body. In other words, if you body is larger, and has more tissue to pump blood to, it may need to beat at a higher rate to keep up with the increased demand. So yes, gaining weight can increase your resting heart rate. If you get your EKG checked and it doesn't show an arrhythmia, then there are a couple things you can do to bring it down. You need to lose a healthy amount of weight (per your primary care physician's recommendations) and get more exercise. Working out allows the heart to pump more efficiently requiring it beat less times per minute. I recommend you schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. He or she will be able to guide you on what the next best step is. Good luck.
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