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What is an alarming pulse rate?

The pulse rate is the measurement of the number of times the heart beats in a minute. It is one of the most fundamental indicators of the heart’s health and function. The average heart rate of an adult person at rest typically ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. On physical activity, stress, or any medical condition, the pulse rate may go beyond the normal range or may fall below it. Hence, knowing the normal pulse rate and understanding the alarming pulse rate is vital for maintaining good heart health.

An alarming pulse rate occurs when the heartbeat goes beyond 120-140 beats per minute or falls below 60 beats per minute. These ranges can be alarming and indicating a serious underlying medical condition.

Causes of High Pulse Rate

There can be several causes of a high pulse rate, which include:

Physical activity or stress

The body’s response to physical activity or stress increases the heart rate as the body needs an increased blood flow to cope with the situation. As physical exertion or stress levels decreases, the heart rate goes back to normal.

Medication side effects

Certain medications such as bronchodilators, beta-blockers, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications can alter heartbeats and can cause a high pulse rate.

Medical conditions

Several underlying medical conditions such as arrhythmias, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, anemia, lung diseases- asthma, COPD, and heart diseases can lead to a high heart rate.

Causes of Low Pulse Rate

A low pulse rate can arise due to numerous causes, which includes:

Physical Fitness

People who are physically fit, especially athletes, are likely to have lower pulse rates. Regular exercise can lower the heart rate by creating changes in the heart’s structure.


Certain medications such as anti-arrhythmic drugs, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers used to treat heart diseases, and high blood pressure can slow down the heart rate.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, electrolyte imbalance, sleep apnea, and liver diseases, can lead to a low pulse rate.

Symptoms of Alarming Pulse Rate

An alarming pulse rate can lead to several symptoms and signs, which include:

Obvious heartbeat and pounding chest

When the pulse rate exceeds the normal range, the heart can be felt pounding in the chest or even the ears.

Fainting or dizziness

As the heart pumps blood through the body, a rapid or slow heartbeat may disrupt the normal blood flow, which can cause a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness.

Shortness of breath

An alarming pulse rate can cause breathing difficulties by disrupting the normal oxygen flow to the lungs.

Fatigue and weakness

A high pulse rate can make the body work harder and can cause physical exhaustion and weakness.

When to Seek Medical Help

It is essential to seek medical help when experiencing the following symptoms:

– Unusually high or low pulse rate
– Difficulty in breathing
– Fainting or lightheadedness
– Chest pain or discomfort
– Feeling fatigued or weak

If one is experiencing any of the above symptoms, neither delay nor ignore it and seek immediate medical attention.

Preventing Alarming Pulse Rate

Various preventive measures can help manage an alarming pulse rate, such as:

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent high heart rate-related conditions.

Quit smoking

Smoking can lead to numerous medical conditions, including heart diseases. Stopping smoking can reduce the chances of developing heart diseases.

Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption

Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol and caffeine can lead to a high pulse rate. Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake can prevent high heart rate-related conditions.


The pulse rate is a vital indicator of the heart’s health. An alarming pulse rate can lead to several symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, lightheadedness, chest pain, and fatigue. Knowing the causes and preventive measures can help maintain a healthy heart and prevent alarming pulse rate-related conditions. It is always advisable to seek immediate medical attention if one experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above.


When should you go to ER for pulse rate?

The normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, many factors can affect the heart rate, including exercise, stress, medications, and medical conditions. If your heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute while you’re at rest, it’s known as tachycardia.

Tachycardia can be caused by a variety of factors including anxiety, dehydration, fever, certain medications, and medical conditions such as thyroid problems, heart disease, and more. Tachycardia can also be caused by underlying conditions such as anemia, low blood pressure, and pulmonary embolism.

If you start noticing that your heart rate is consistently above 100 beats per minute, it might be time to go to the emergency room. A fast heart rate can be a sign of something serious that needs medical attention right away.

It’s important to note that in many people, a fast heart rate is not a cause for concern. For example, if you’re exercising or feeling nervous, your heart rate will naturally increase. However, if you’re resting and still experiencing a fast heart rate that is persisting for an extended period of time, you should probably seek medical attention.

When you come to the emergency room with a fast heart rate, the medical team will perform a variety of tests to determine the cause. These tests might include an electrocardiogram (ECG) to monitor your heart rate, blood tests to check for underlying conditions, and imaging tests to check for issues with your heart.

In some cases, medications or procedures may be necessary to get your heart rate under control. For example, an ablation procedure may be needed to treat arrhythmias, or medications may be prescribed to manage heart disease.

A fast heart rate can be physically uncomfortable and concerning, especially if it persists for an extended period of time. If you’re consistently experiencing a fast heart rate, it’s important to head to the emergency room to get checked out. only a qualified medical professional can determine the underlying cause of your fast heart rate and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

What pulse level is too high?

A high resting heart rate, or tachycardia, can be a concern for many people. Typically, the heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute in adults, although some consider 50 to 70 bpm to be the ideal range. If the heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute, doctors generally consider this to be too fast. However, certain factors such as age, fitness levels, medication use, and underlying medical conditions can affect the heart rate.

In some cases, a high heart rate can be a natural adaptive response to stress, physical activity, or excitement. However, if the heart rate remains elevated over a prolonged period of time, it can put strain on the heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke. People who experience tachycardia may also have symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, and fatigue.

Age is an important factor that affects heart rate. In general, the resting heart rate tends to decrease as people get older. For example, newborns may have a heart rate of over 120 bpm, while healthy adults in their 20s typically have a resting heart rate of 60 to 80 bpm. In people over 65, the heart rate may slow to 50 to 60 bpm or lower. However, older people may also develop tachycardia due to underlying medical conditions such as heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or hyperthyroidism.

Physical fitness is another important determinant of heart rate. People who engage in regular exercise tend to have a lower resting heart rate because their hearts become more efficient at pumping blood. Athletes, in particular, may have heart rates of 40 to 60 bpm, which is considered normal for them. However, sudden changes in activity levels can also trigger tachycardia in people who are not used to exercise.

The use of certain medications such as stimulants, decongestants, and beta-blockers can also affect heart rate. For example, caffeine can increase heart rate by stimulating the nervous system, while beta-blockers can slow down the heart rate by blocking the effects of adrenaline. People who take medications should consult their doctor about the potential effects on their heart rate.

A resting heart rate of over 100 bpm is generally considered too high. However, the ideal heart rate range can vary depending on a person’s age, fitness levels, medication use, and underlying medical conditions. It is important for people to monitor their heart rate and consult their doctor if they experience persistently elevated heart rates or other symptoms.

Is 120 heartbeat normal?

A resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute when you are at rest, with no physical activity or exertion. On average, a normal resting heart rate should fall between 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, this number can vary from person to person, and there are several factors that can lead to a pulse rate that is higher or lower than the average range.

One of the most common factors that can affect a resting heart rate is age. For example, newborns and infants have a normal resting heart rate ranging between 100 to 160 bpm, whereas adults over the age of 65 can have a normal range between 60 to 90 bpm. In addition, your general health can also have an impact on your heart rate. For example, if you are overweight or have high blood pressure, you may have a higher resting heart rate.

Another factor that can affect your pulse rate is physical activity and exertion. When you exercise or engage in physical activity, your heart rate will naturally increase to pump blood to your muscles and organs. However, once you stop exercising or exerting yourself, your heart should return to its normal resting rate within a few minutes. If your heart rate remains elevated for an extended period of time, this could be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

A normal resting heart rate should fall between the range of 60 to 100 bpm, but this can vary based on individual differences and factors like age and general health. If you are concerned about your heart rate, it’s always best to speak with a medical professional to determine if any testing or treatment is necessary.