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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is sinus tachycardia?

    I have a high resting heart rate and was wondering what causes sinus tachycardia and is anything to be concerned about?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 7


    A/Prof John Amerena

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr John Amerena trained in Melbourne, followed by four years in the United States at the University of Michigan. Over that period of time he … View Profile

    Sinus tachycardia means that the heart is beating abnormally fast for a sustained period of time.

  • 11


    Dr Alistair Begg

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr Alistair Begg is a Cardiologist with 15 years experience in private practice.He is actively involved in Cardiac Rehabilitation and patient education including a number … View Profile

    Sinus tachycardia means a heart rate that is greater than 100 beats per minute in a normal regular  heart rhythm.It can be caused by stressful situations such as pain,fear,and anger.It can also be due to medical conditions such as anaemia,an overactive thyroid,heart failure,or a blood clot to the lung ie situations where there is extra stress on the heart.The presence of a sinus tachycardia is an alert that the heart rate is outside the normal range and a cause or explanation should be sought.

  • Leesa Carriage

    HealthShare Member

    Hi there Dr Alistair,

    Just wondering what it is called when you have a racing, resting heart rate with seriouly thumping and irregular beats, more especially when laying down at night?

    I had an acute myocardial infarction at the age of 38-which took 3 days to be diagnosed by the doctors as nothing registered on any of the exams that they gave me, from Angiograms, Ecg's to Bubble Ultrasound and many others. It was not until the results of the blood tests that came back 3 days later with such high levels of Triponin and Ck that alerted the cardiologists and informed them that I had had a major heart attack. 

    The results of the Angiogram had shown that I had a 30% blockage in 1 artery-which was what "most healthy people had" they informed me, otherwise physically I was fine, however I was a very angry person at that stage of my life and felt like I had popped a piston. Infact physically it felt like a rubber band had snapped in my right hand front shoulder, just underneath the collar bone. Then an hour later, I realised that my throat felt sore like it was swollen, then an hour after that I had sharp pains underneath my clavicals and jaw bone, which then I realised was probably the heart beats echoing up through my carotid arteries, which is when I realised that there was something very wrong- but atwhich I took to be a very weird stroke.

    Anyway, I have had 7 years of issues since and have done my research and believe that the Acute Myochardial Infarction was due to Microvascular Disease and the ensuing arterial wall spasms and have been left with Prinzmentals Disease, which is akin to Unstable Agina- but slightly different. In telling my cardiologist this on the last visit, he (believing that I am imagining things-him and numerous other cardiologists.....) dismissed my hypothesis and said to me " you have nothing to worry to worry about cause you're on miracle drugs so just take more drugs".

    I am on 1/4 Atenolol; coversyl, 100mg Asprin, 20M Crestor.

    Now last November I was diagnosed with severe Sleep Apnoea and 3.5months after consistantly using my new CPAP machine I actually feel worse, in terms of more tired, having more pain radiating from my heart, the beats harder and far more irregular, a huge build up of phlegm during the night, making me having to purge this atleast 2-3 times during the night and now I am waking up with a really sore back, which I actually think is my lungs.

    I also have serious trouble trying to get to sleep- by atleast 3hours, then wake up constantly and have trouble getting back to sleep again. I'm also starting to think that I am in the early stages of FFI.

    I would be so grateful if you can advise me if there is any definitive testing for Primzemetals and where? If there is any testing for FFI- Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) which "is an extremely rare autosomal dominant inherited prion disease of the brain. It is almost always caused by a mutation to the protein PrPC, but can also develop spontaneously in patients with a non-inherited mutation variant called sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI)."

    AND whether any of the sleep Apnoea is affecting my heart even more so than usual?

    Many thanks for your help!

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