Effects and danger of an irregular heartbeat. The effects and danger of an irregular heartbeat can ripple across the entire body, a new meta-analysis finds. An irregular heartbeat is referred to as an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. We will discuss it in detail in the below article.
What are Abnormal heart rhythms?
Abnormal heart rhythms also known as Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat; your heart may beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular pattern in arrhythmia.
Our heart has an electrical system that tells the body when to pump blood all around the body. If there is some problem with this system, one may experience an abnormal heart rhythm.
Kinds of abnormal heart rhythms:-
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There are different types of arrhythmia. Which type you are suffering depends on where in your heart electrical impulse (rhythm) starts, and whether it causes your heart to beat too slow or too fast. The most common arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation.
-Fast heart rhythms such as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), inappropriate sinus tachycardia, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation (AF), ventricular tachycardia (VT), and ventricular fibrillation (VF) are known as tachycardias.
-Slow heart rhythms such as AV heart block, bundle branch block, and tachybrady syndrome are called bradycardias.
Effects and danger of an irregular heartbeat:-
The following conditions can increase the chance of developing arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms:
- Coronary artery disease (blockage in the arteries/pipes of the heart)
- High Blood Pressure
- High cholesterol
- A high-fat diet
- Excessive use of alcohol (more than 2 drinks per day)
- Drug abuse
- Family history of heart disease
- Advancing age (getting older)
- Sleep apnea
- Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies
Most common type of Arrhythmia:-
The particular type of irregular heartbeat that researchers looked at, called atrial fibrillation, is a well-known cause of strokes, but the condition also increases a person’s risk for complications such as heart failure, kidney disease, and dying of heart disease, according to the meta-analysis.
What causes arrhythmia?
There are numerous reasons that can cause abnormal heart rhythm. Common reasons are:
– The electrical impulses are not from the sinus node. They are reaching from another part of the heart.
– The electrical impulses that are coming from the sinus node but, choosing an unusual path for going to the lower chambers of the heart.
How does the heart’s electrical system work?
– Sinus node also known as the heart’s natural pacemaker; is a group of cells in your heart.
– Sinus node is responsible for sending electrical signals to the chambers of the heart. It tells them when to contract and pumps blood to all parts of the body.
-If your heart is working properly, the electrical signal will travel from the sinus node to the top chambers of your heart (atria) and then on to the lower chambers (ventricles).
-The normal electrical pattern of your heart is known as sinus rhythm. A normal sinus rhythm will generally cause your heart to beat between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm) when you’re resting.
My heart rate sometimes feels different. Is this a problem?
It’s normal for your heart to beat at different rates during the day. It will be slower when you’re at rest, but maybe faster when you are physically active such as when you are gardening, walking briskly, or running. Your heart rate might also be faster if you are anxious or excited.
You may experience a sensation of feeling your heart beating whether it is beating normally, quickly, slowly, or irregularly. Some people describe them as the feeling that your heart is pounding or fluttering. These sensations are called palpitations. For most people, although palpitations can feel unpleasant, they’re usually harmless and do not mean anything is wrong with your heart.
You might also feel that your heart has missed or ‘skipped’ a beat or there has been an extra beat. An extra beat is called an ectopic beat. Ectopic beats are very common and are usually harmless and do not need any treatment.
If you are concerned about palpitations or ectopic beats, you should speak to your doctor, who will be able to do an ECG to assess your heart rate and rhythm.
What are the tests and treatments for abnormal heart rhythms?
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might recommend that you undergo an ECG, echocardiogram or electrophysiological (EP) study to help diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm.
Depending on the type of abnormal heart rhythm, your doctor may recommend using medication to stop, prevent or control it. Alternatively, they might suggest a procedure such as cardioversion or catheter ablation, or surgery to insert an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker.
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