Your Resting Pulse Rate

What Causes High Resting Pulse Rate?

High resting pulse rate can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose high resting pulse rate, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "high resting pulse rate" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities:
  • Heart Disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Stroke Risk
  • Food Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Low Estrogens
  • Anemia
  • Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
pain in chest or left side
major unexplained weight loss
greatly reduced arm function
disseminated coccidioidomycosis
occasional 'chills'
dark areas under eyes
mood swings during menstrual cycle
low TSH
medium-term hypertension
severe vision disturbances
stroke in family members
frequent difficulty falling asleep
... and more than 180 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of high resting pulse rate:
Cause Probability Status
Hyperthyroidism 97% Confirm
Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) 25% Unlikely
Low Estrogens 22% Unlikely
Heart Disease 1% Ruled out
Anemia 0% Ruled out
Food Allergies 0% Ruled out
Hypothyroidism 0% Ruled out
Stroke Risk 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Commonly Known Lab Values section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about your resting pulse rate:
What is your resting pulse rate? While at rest, hold two fingers under your wrist below the base of your thumb until you can feel your pulse. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply this number by 4.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Under 60 beats per minute
→ 60 to 70
→ 71 to 80
→ Over 80 beats per minute
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate slowed pulse rate, normal pulse rate or rapid pulse rate, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

Heart rate is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular death in the elderly, particularly in men, than traditional risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension.  Elderly men with a resting pulse rate above 80 beats per minute have a significantly higher rate of cardiovascular mortality.  A low heart rate, below 64 beats per minute, is protective against cardiovascular mortality.

Stroke

Resting heart rate is a good indicator of cardiovascular health.

... and also rule out issues such as:
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