Does Heart Rate Increase When Sick?


This post will answer the question: Does heart rate increase when sick? Knowing the answer to this question could assist you, in some way, in keeping your body fit and healthy.

The heart is the major pumping organ of your body, and as such, you have to take extra care of it. But first, we have to know what the normal heart rate is.

What is The Normal Heart Rate?

The range of the normal adult heart rate is from 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). Younger people have slower heart rate. Thus, if your heart rate falls below or above these normal values, it may indicate that something may be wrong with your heart.

Don’t be alarmed though, when your heart rate is low or high because there are many non-pathological conditions that can cause an increase and decrease of your heart rate.

Does Heart Rate Increase When Sick?

Here are the facts related to the answer:

1. Tachycardia

Increased or fast heart rate is medically termed as tachycardia. There are three types of tachycardia; atrial or supraventricular tachycardia, sinus tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia.

On the other hand, slow heart rate is termed bradycardia.

2. Various Illnesses can Cause a Decreased or an Increased Heart Rate

Various conditions can decrease or increase the heart rate. Examples of some conditions that can slow down your heart rate are: exercise intolerance, aging, electrolyte problems, jaundice, hypothermia, myocarditis, endocarditis, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and other drugs, such as digoxin and ace inhibitors.

3. Increased in Heart Rate may Also Be Physiological (not pathological)

Sinus tachycardia is the term applied to tachycardia caused mostly by physiological reasons, such as:

  • Exercise
  • Fever
  • Excitement
  • Caffeine intake
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Fright

Thus, to the question: Does heart rate increase when sick?

The answer is: Yes, the heart rate usually increases when a person is sick. This is because the heart has its own electrical system that works in congruence with the brain.

Nevertheless, the heart can also slow down when you are sick. See the conditions mentioned above (#2).

The image below shows the normal resting heart of men and women.


What to Do When Your Heart Rate Becomes Fast?

The first thing that you should do is to determine if the heart rate is not physiological. If it’s not, you have to consult your doctor immediately. This can be a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. It’s better to be certain than regret your decision later.

Tips in Coping with Increased Heart Rate

Don’t Panic. It could only Be Physiological

You have no sickness, but the heart rate increases because of an emotion or an exposure. You’re experiencing tachycardia because you may have seen your ‘crush’ or your enemy. You’re not sick; you’re simply excited.

Your heart rate may also be increased because you have exercised, and this is normal. See more from #3 above.

Try Some Calming Exercises

You can perform breathing exercises to calm your nerves. When you are calm, the heart usually slows down. Breathe in and breathe out, while you tell yourself to relax. Do this several times until your breath becomes stable.

You may simply sit down in a quiet corner and relax until your breathing goes back to normal. When this happens, your heart rate will also normalize.

If The Heart Rate doesn’t Go Back to Normal, Consult Your Doctor

You have to consult the doctor if you continue to experience tachycardia. It can be serious and life threatening. Follow your doctor’s orders to normalize your heart rate.

You can get a complete medical check-up to rule out all causes of your tachycardia. This can be expensive but your health should take priority in everything you do.


You have learned about the conditions causing an increased heart rate. Therefore, be vigilant of your heart rate. You can take your own heart rate by pressing your index and middle finger on the artery in your wrist or neck, and counting the beats per minute.

Hopefully, you could use this information in determining whether you’re sick or not. Your heart rate could serve as one of your health indicators.

What about you? Is your heart rate normal? Do you have any questions or contributions to the topic? You can leave them in the comment section below.


Hello everyone! I’m glad to have you here. I’m a medical technologist by profession. My second love is writing. So, I’m focusing on providing content to help other people with their health problems. I hope I can be of help to you.

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