Caring for your Heart

What is Arrhythmia?

This is an abnormal heart rhythm. The heart has an electrical conduction system which makes it pump blood around your body. The causes of Arrhythmia is the abnormality in the electrical conduction system and this could make your heart beat too slowly, too quickly or in an irregular way.

Arrythmia is common in older people hence, there could be many reasons why someone develop arrythmia. Example are people with coronary heart disease, heart attacks, heart valve disease or enlarge disease. The symptoms of it develop depending on what type of arrythmia you have and how it affects the way your heart works. However, the common symptoms of arrythmia is palpitations (fluttering sensation or heart pounding in your chest), dizziness, breathlessness, and in some cases collapsing and losing consciousness.

Work of a normal Heart

The heart is a muscular pump which pumps blood through the lungs, brain, and the rest of the body. It has four chambers two upper ones called the right and left atria, and two lower ones called right and left ventricles. The heart pumping is controlled by an action called sinus node a tiny electrical impulse produced by the right atrium.

The normal heart rhythm is called the sinus rhythm it is the rate between 60 and 100 per minute while resting.  If sinus breathing is slower than 60 it’s called sinus bradycardia and if faster than normal it’s called sinus tachycardia.

Understanding your heart rate per minute

Causes of sinus bradycardia (low heart rate) includes medicine such as beta blockers underactive thyroid glands, Hypothermia, and tachybrady syndrome.

Causes of Sinus tachycardia; It may be a sign of an overactive thyroid gland or severe anaemia, dehydration, and infection and severe blood loss. Other causes include; Stimulant, such as Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, Anxiety/stress, illegal drugs cannabis and prescribed medicines such as for asthma.

Common type of arrythmia are:

Fast heart rate – Called tachycardias

Slow heart rate – called Bradycardias

Test to diagnosed and treatments arrythmia

  1. ECG recording – (Electrocardiogram) ECG records the electrical activity of your heart
  2. 24 hours ECG recordings – wearing a small recording machine to the waist or neck.
  3. Cardiac events recorder
  4. Cardiac memory device
  5. Implantable loop recorder

 

Treatments for slow or block heart rate – Pacemaker implanted under collarbone.

Treatment for high heart rate are Cardioversion or catheter ablation.

In serious cases arrythmia (abnormal heart beat) could be a sign of an underlying heart disease or other condition that requires medical consultation.

When to see a doctor:

You have high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, congestion heart disease.

You have a re-occurrence symptom

You have chest pain or difficulty in breathing and or feeling lightheaded.