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Treatment of Hip Disorders
Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery
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Vascular Surgery Treatment
Cardiac Ablation Procedure
Coronary Bypass Surgery
Carotid Angioplasty And Stenting Procedure
Cardiac Catheterization Procedure
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Are you experiencing irregular and fluctuating heartbeats? Is your heartbeat too fast or too slow? If yes, then it signifies that you are suffering from arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms. This is a disorder which affects the heart rate or heart rhythm and the heartbeat becomes irregular.
Causes of abnormal heart rhythms
Arrhythmias occurs due to problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart. In this case, abnormal signals might occur; the electrical signals might get blocked or slowed down, or the electric signals may travel in different paths throughout the heart. Abnormal heartbeats are commonly caused by the following:
- Abnormal potassium levels in the body
- Heart attacks or due to a damaged heart muscle, owing to a previous heart attack
- Inborn heart diseases
- Cases of an enlarged heart and heart failure
- Overreaction of the thyroid gland
- Several other substances or medicines may lead to arrhythmias, such as alcohol, stimulant drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and antidepressant medicines or blood pressure medicines.
Diagnosis of abnormal heart rhythms
For the diagnosis of arrhythmias, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat. Several health monitoring devices are used to detect abnormal heart rhythms. These include the Holter monitor and the event monitor, or a loop recorder.
Other diagnosis tests which are required to be carried out include coronary angiography, ECG or electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram. A test known as an electrophysiology can be undertaken for getting a closer look at the electrical system of the heart.
Treatment for abnormal heart rhythms
When a case of arrhythmias is severe, urgent treatment is required for restoring the heart’s rhythm to normal. The different forms of treatment are as follows:
- Electrical shock therapy such as defibrillation or cardioversion
- Implanting of a heart pacemaker for a short term
- Certain medications which are given through the veins or orally
- A group of medicines known as anti-arrhythmic drugs is used for the prevention of recurrence of the condition and to keep the heart rate from fluctuating continually.
- Cardiac ablation may be carried out for destroying some areas in the heart from where the rhythm problems are caused.
- An implantable cardiac defibrillator is used in people who are at a risk of facing cardiac death.
In case you experience abnormal heart rhythm, you must consult a doctor immediately. You should only start taking medicines and follow a treatment after it has been recommended by a doctor.
Most families refer to their newborn baby as their 'bundle of joy'. The news of a child being born brings immense joy to the entire family. However, due to various reasons, a child could be born with some medical abnormalities, which would be known as congenital abnormalities. There are several different types of heart defects that can be congenital. These usually manifest themselves either immediately after birth or in the early years of life. In some cases, the abnormality could be detected on prenatal ultrasounds. In others, it may not be and the family could be caught off guard about the condition. This causes a lot of stress, both for the child, who does not receive regular postnatal care and for the parents immediately after the delivery process.
If the baby has the following symptoms within the first few hours of life, there could be a serious underlying condition, which requires medical attention. The presence and severity of the symptoms would depend on the actual abnormality.
- The skin is pale gray or blue in color due to excessive venous flow in the system
- Excessive sweating
- The child is exerting to breathe regularly
- Rapid breathing causes added load on the heart accompanied by a grunting noise
- Flared nostrils i.e. the baby attempts to take in more oxygen with each breath causes flared nostrils
- Swollen legs, eyes, and abdomen: Fluid retention in the legs and abdomen is quite common, and this could be characteristic of newborns with congenital heart disease
- Shortness of breath, even during feeding
- Clubbed fingernails
- Lethargy and low energy, even with feeding, therefore very poor feeding pattern
- Chest pain, which may cause the newborn to cry incessantly
- Low weight gain, as they feed less
In some children, symptoms manifest only during the teenage years or early adulthood. These conditions are not very severe and the symptoms include:
- Swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles due to fluid accumulation
- Lowered energy levels, leading to easy fatigue
- Shortness of breath with even minimal physical activity
- Inability to exercise
- Developmental delays and changes in growth milestones
- Recurrent respiratory tract infections including sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Heart failure, where the heart is not able to effectively function and pump blood to all parts of the body.
Some or more of these symptoms should trigger a warning to get the child tested for congenital heart disease. While some would just require a monitoring until severe symptoms develop, severe conditions like holes, abnormal valves, narrowed arteries, and blood vessel abnormalities might require immediate intervention.
The coronary arteries supply the heart with oxygen-enriched blood and nutrients. If these arteries become damaged or diseased; they could cause Coronary artery disease or CAD. Plaque deposits on the walls of the arteries are the most common cause of this disease. This plaque is usually the result of high cholesterol levels. As the plaque builds up, the passage of blood flow is reduced. This reduces the amount of blood that reaches the heart. In cases of a complete blockage, CAD can even cause a heart attack. Because of its slow progression, this disease is often not diagnosed until it reaches a dangerous stage. However, it can be prevented and treated if diagnosed in time.
In the early stages of CAD, symptoms are not very noticeable. Symptoms become visible only when blood flow tCoronary Artery Diseaseo the heart reduces and the heart has to pump harder than normal. The most common symptoms experienced include:
- Chest Pain: This is also referred to as angina. It may feel like a tightening of the chest or pressure on the chest as though someone is pressing against it. This type of chest pain may be triggered by emotional or physical stress. It is usually relieved within a few minutes of stopping the activity. Women may experience this pain as a sharp, fleeting pain in the back, arm or neck.
- Breathlessness: When the heart does not receive enough blood, it has to work harder to pump blood through the body. This may be translated to breathlessness of shortness of breath when performing any type of physical activity. It can also cause extreme fatigue.
- Heart Attack: A heart attack is the most severe symptom of coronary artery disease. This is caused by the complete blockage of a coronary artery. A heart attack can occur without any symptoms or be preceded by slight symptoms. The signs of an impending heart attack include pain in the chest and shoulder, shortness of breath and extreme sweating. The chest pain may also travel to the lower jaw. These symptoms are more pronounced in men as compared to women. Women have a higher tendency of experiencing atypical signs such as extreme fatigue.
Other symptoms that might indicate coronary artery disease are dizziness, nausea and an irregular heartbeat. The good news is that this disease can be prevented. Staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and eating a low fat and low salt diet can help reduce the risk of CAD. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!