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Arrhythmia (Heart Rhythm Problem)

Overview

Arrhythmia is a common heart condition that refers to experiencing an irregular heartbeat, which can either be too fast, slow, or have inconsistent rhythms. These irregularities in heartbeat affects the normal functioning of the heart, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently and supply it to other organs, indicating how serious a heart arrhythmia is.

The most common Arrhythmia types include:

Tachycardia
Bradycardia
Premature heartbeat
Supraventricular
Ventricular arrhythmias

Causes

Now that you know what arrhythmia is, let’s proceed with finding out what can cause an irregular heartbeat in this condition?

Arrhythmia causes include:
– Disruption in the heart’s electrical activity
The heart’s electrical system involves controlling the heartbeat. The irregular heartbeat creates problems with the electrical signals or pathways from which these signals travel in the body.
– Health Conditions
High or low blood pressure, thyroid issues, OSA syndrome, diabetes, electrolyte disbalancing, consuming alcohol and caffeine too much, congenital heart defects, and artery problems are the main reasons behind arrhythmia.
– Drugs and Medications
Anxiety, stress, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, prescribed medicines for diabetes, blood pressure, sleep apnea, and illegal drugs can contribute to arrhythmia.

These are some of the main arrhythmia causes that required timely and appropriate treatment.

Symptoms

Patients suffering from this condition experience symptoms based on the severity of the disease. While some of us experience asymptomatic condition, others may experience certain Arrhythmia symptoms, which include:

Irregular heartbeat
fluttering or racing in the chest.
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Fatigue
Dizziness
Tightness in the chest
Fainting

Diagnosis

Once symptoms are known and identified, the next question that arises is: How is arrhythmia diagnosed?

List below are a few ways that can help in arrhythmia diagnosis, such as:
– Medical history
The doctor will examine you on a regular basis and make a report on your overall health, symptoms, and improvement.
– Tests
Some tests, like the stress test, blood test, tilt table test, heart MRI, and computed tomography (CT), are performed to diagnose the irregular heartbeat of patients experiencing arrhythmia.
Electrocardiogram or ECG
An Electrocardiogram is a process of recording heartbeat activity through continuous cardiac cycles. It will help to measure the electrical activity of the heart.
– Event Monitor
It is a wearable device worn for months to capture irregular and extra heart beats after experiencing arrhythmia symptoms.
– Holter Monitor
It is a form of portable electrocardiogram. Holter monitor helps in monitoring the heart’s electrical activity for a continuous 24 hours, while you go about your daily activities.
Echocardiogram
Also known as cardiac ultrasound, it is used in cardiac arrhythmia diagnosis. It uses waves to create medical images of the heart to understand the basic structure and function of the heart.

Treatment

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms shared above, the doctor monitors the severity and type of the arrhythmia and then plan an appropriate treatment plan. If you want to know what is the best treatment for an irregular heartbeat? – Here are the various arrhythmia treatment options mentioned below:

– Common Treatment
Control anxiety, manage the stress level, limit alcohol consumption, say no to smoking, no usage of caffeine, no drug usage, either legal or illegal, and eating a healthy diet; along with maintaining a balanced weight are the common treatments that can help to reduce arrhythmia.
– Medications
There are multiple medicines to cure heart arrhythmia, but some common medicines to treat arrhythmia include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and anti-arrhythmic drugs.
– Catheter Ablation
It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves passing a thin tube called a catheter through the blood vessels. This catheter uses heat or cold to damage the tissues in the blood supply pathways, which are the main arrhythmia causes. In approximately 90 percent of cases of arrhythmia, catheter ablation is successful.
– Pacemaker
Pacemaker is a small electric device that is implanted through an incision in the chest or abdominal part of the body. Pacemakers are an effective treatment for heart arrhythmia. It is also capable of producing an electric shock – when arrhythmia’s attack gets too severe, it gives a minor electric shock to bring the heartbeat back in rhythm.

When To See A Doctor

With certain arrhythmia symptoms being minor, or overlapping with other conditions, we often wonder: when should I be worried about an irregular heartbeat?

If you are facing arrhythmia symptoms like severe chest pain, breathing problems, palpitations, chest pain, fainting, dizziness, and a fast or slow pace of your heart beat. The most important thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, visit a cardiologist on a regular basis to monitor your heart rate and condition.

Additionally, people with serious heart arrhythmia problems should pay proper attention to treatment, manage their blood levels, and sugar levels, avoid smoking and alcohol, and stay fit to prevent any disruption in their health.

Disclaimer

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about Arrhythmia or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.