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Irregular Heartbeat Tips

What Causes Fluctuations In The Heart's Electrical Activity?

Dr. Rajiv Kumar Srivastava 88% (136 ratings)
M.Ch - Cardio Thoracic Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Cardiologist, Durgapur
What Causes Fluctuations In The Heart's Electrical Activity?

The heart's electrical conduction system plays a very important role in cardiovascular functioning. Also known as the atrioventricular (AV) conduction system, it regulates and controls the timing of the heartbeat.

How does the heart's electrical conduction system work?

There is a collection of electrical cells in the upper right atrium of the heart known as the sinoatrial (SA) node which acts as a natural pacemaker and generates electrical signals. These signals travel through specialized electrical pathways and stimulate the muscular walls of the heart to contract in a rhythmic manner. This gives rise to the heartbeat that pulses at a specific frequency every minute.

What is the effect of fluctuations in electrical activity on the heart?

The standard heart rate in human being ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. It slows down when a person sleeps and speeds up when one experiences physical or emotional heightening. These fluctuations are triggered by the brain or other systems of the body and signal the SA node to generate charges more rapidly or slowly. This leads to spikes and drops in the heart rate, depending on the nature of the situation.

What happens when there is dysfunction in the heart's electrical activity?


When the heart's electrical conduction system does not function properly, it leads to the occurrence of a condition known as arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm. This happens when electrical impulses are generated in an irregular manner and causes tachycardia (rapid heartbeats) or bradycardia (slow heartbeats) which takes place in jarring infrequent tempos.

What causes fluctuations in the heart's electrical activity?

There are various kinds of triggers that cause the heart rate to fluctuate. The exact nature of fluctuation also depends on the type of trigger. A few everyday examples of these causes are as follows:

  • Exercise and strenuous physical activity increases electrical activity as the heart is required to beat faster so as to increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the muscles.
  • Sleep and rest reduce heart rate as the body is not needed to exert itself.
  • Release of adrenaline into the bloodstream causes the heart rate to spike up.

'Consult'.

Related Tip: How Does Ayurveda Help Heart Patients?

8 people found this helpful

Nuts Could Lower The Risk Of Irregular Heartbeat!

Dt. Thilaga B Manigandan 90% (15 ratings)
B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition, M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Nuts Could Lower The Risk Of  Irregular Heartbeat!

Eating nuts regularly could prevent irregular heart rhythm and heart failure, says a study. 

The researchers showed that eating nuts can lower the risks of:

Heart attack

Heart failure

Atrial fibrillation (a. K. A. Heart flutter which causes a rapid increase in heart rate)

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (enlarged aorta, the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the body at the level of the abdomen)

Researchers say that they are high in healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants which help boost your heart health. They also said that compared to those who do not eat nuts at all, those who actually eat them tend to have a better and healthier lifestyle: they are less likely to smoke or drink alcohol, they ate more fruits and vegetables and were leaner, as well as physically fit and active.

The key findings of the study on nuts for heart health were as follows:

Eating a handful of nuts per week: reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation by 3%

Eating nuts more than three times a week: reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation by 18%

Eating nuts moderately: reduced the risk of heart failure by 20%

Eating nuts moderately: may possibly reduce heart attack and abdominal aortic aneurysm

Eating nuts beyond moderate levels: no benefit was seen

Eating nuts moderately: doesn’t ensure reversal of health risks of an unhealthy lifestyle

Befriend nuts as they befriend your heart!

Abnormal Heart Rhythm - How Can It Be Diagnosed?

Dr. Vikas Chopra 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
Abnormal Heart Rhythm - How Can It Be Diagnosed?

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:

  1. Abnormal potassium levels in the body
  2. Heart attacks or due to a damaged heart muscle, owing to a previous heart attack
  3. Inborn heart diseases
  4. Cases of an enlarged heart and heart failure
  5. Overreaction of the thyroid gland
  6. Several other substances or medicines may lead to arrhythmias, such as alcohol, stimulant drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and antidepressant medicines or blood pressure medicines.

Common symptoms of this condition apart from irregular heartbeat patterns include chest pain, fainting, dizziness and light-headedness, trouble in breathing and paleness.

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:

  1. Electrical shock therapy such as defibrillation or cardioversion
  2. Implanting of a heart pacemaker for a short term
  3. Certain medications which are given through the veins or orally
  4. 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.
  5. Cardiac ablation may be carried out for destroying some areas in the heart from where the rhythm problems are caused.
  6. 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.

Slower Heartbeat - Know How To Treat It!

Dr. Indranil Dutta 84% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD
Internal Medicine Specialist, Kolkata
Slower Heartbeat - Know How To Treat It!

Having bradycardia implies that your heart beats very slowly. For the vast majority, a heart beats from sixty to hundred pulses a minute while very few are viewed as ordinary. In case your heart beats under sixty times each minute, it is slower than usual. A moderate heart rate can be ordinary and solid. On the other hand it could be an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework.

For a few people, moderate heart rate does not create any issues. It can be an indication of being exceptionally fit. Sound youthful grown-ups and sports persons frequently have heart rates of fewer than sixty beats a minute. In other individuals, bradycardia is an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework. It implies that the heart's regular pacemaker isn't working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disturbed.

A moderate heart rate may make you:

  1. Feel blurry eyed or woozy.
  2. Feel short of breath and feel that it’s harder to work out.
  3. Feel tired.
  4. Have neck pain or an inclination that your heart is beating or rippling (palpitations).
  5. Feel bewildered or experience difficulty concentrating.
  6. Black out, if a moderate heart rate causes a drop in pulse.

A few people do not have side effects, or their indications are mild to the point that they think they are quite recently part of getting more seasoned. You can discover how quick your heart is beating by checking your heart rate. In case your pulse is moderate or uneven, talk to a specialist.

How bradycardia is dealt with depends on what is causing it. Treatment likewise relies on symptoms. Given below are some of the symptoms:

  1. In case harm to the heart's electrical framework causes your heart to pulsate too quickly, you will presumably need a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a gadget put under your skin that revises the moderate heart rate. Some people might have a kind of bradycardia that requires a pacemaker.
  2. In case another medical issue, for example, hypothyroidism or an electrolyte irregularity, is bringing about a moderate heart rate, treating that issue may cure the bradycardia.
  3. In case a medicine is making your heart to pulsate too gradually, your specialist may change the dosage or recommend an alternate drug. In case you can't quit taking that medicine, you may require a pacemaker.

Bradycardia is frequently the aftereffect of another heart condition, so finding a way to carry on with a heart-solid way of life will enhance your general health. This may include:

  1. Showing at least a bit of restraint and dedication to a good diet routine that includes a considerable amount of organic products, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods.
  2. Being gradually on most, if not all, days of the week. Your specialist can let you know what type of exercise is okay for you.
  3. Getting more fit in case you have to, and maintaining a solid weight.
  4. Not smoking.
  5. Overseeing other medical issues, for example, hypertension or elevated cholesterol.
5206 people found this helpful

Abnormal Heart Rhythms!

Dr. Radhika A (Md) 84% (10 ratings)
MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Abnormal Heart Rhythms!

Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Homeopathic Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Psychotherapy Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Surgical Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Other Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
What is Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Symptoms of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Causes of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Risk factors of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Complications of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Lab Investigations and Diagnosis of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Precautions & Prevention of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
 

Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms 

Homeopathic Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythm

Homeopathy is safe and natural treatment to restore normal heart rhythm. It treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. It balances the energy system, improves immunity and body functions. It naturally cures the root cause of disorder. Some common homeopathic medicines used for abnormal heart rhythm are:

China
Digitalis
Gelsemium
Zincum 

Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

The pressure conducted with acupuncture helps relax the muscles and eliminate any built up stress that you may be experiencing. Acupressure allows you to treat yourself and relax different muscles and parts of your body.

Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Conventional medicine employs surgery and drugs to treat the symptoms of heart diseases.

Surgical Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Electrical Cardioversion – an electrical shock is delivered to your chest wall that synchronizes the heart and allows the normal rhythm to restart.
Pacemaker – it is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate. It prevents the heart from beating too slowly.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) – it delivers energy to the heart muscle to cause the heart to beat in a normal rhythm again
Catheter Ablation – Ablation may be combined with other procedures to achieve optimal treatment.
Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Diet low in fat
Diet rich in vegetables and fruits
Vitamin C lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Drinking green tea seems to have lowered levels of bad cholesterol and blood pressure

What is Abnormal Heart Rhythms?

An abnormal heart rhythm is an irregular heartbeat. It can occur with the normal heart rate, slow heart rate or with the rapid heart rate.

Symptoms of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Dizziness
Fainting
Fluttering in the chest
Shortness of breath
Sensation of the heart racing
Weakness or feeling very tired

Causes of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Heart failure
High blood pressure
Infection or fever
Emotional stress
Thyroid
anemia

Risk factors of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Heart problems such as atherosclerosis
High blood pressure
Smoking
Stress
High cholesterol 

Complications of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Risk of death
Diagnosis of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

The following tests are done to diagnose Abnormal Heart Rhythms:

Electrocardiogram
Holter monitor
Event monitor
Stress test
Echocardiogram
Cardiac catheterization
Electrophysiology study (EPS)
Head-up tilt table test

Precautions &Prevention of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Do not smoke
Limit your intake of alcohol
Stop using caffeine
Take diet low in fat and rich in vegetables, fruits
Reduce stress

3 people found this helpful

What Are The Reasons For Slower Heartbeat?

Dr. Vijaysinh Patil 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DNB - General Medicine, DNB Cardiology, FNB Intervention Cardiology
Cardiologist, Nashik
What Are The Reasons For Slower Heartbeat?

Having bradycardia implies that your heart beats very slowly. For the vast majority, a heart beats from sixty to hundred pulses a minute while very few are viewed as ordinary. In case your heart beats under sixty times each minute, it is slower than usual. A moderate heart rate can be ordinary and solid. On the other hand it could be an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework.

For a few people, moderate heart rate does not create any issues. It can be an indication of being exceptionally fit. Sound youthful grown-ups and sports persons frequently have heart rates of fewer than sixty beats a minute. In other individuals, bradycardia is an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework. It implies that the heart's regular pacemaker isn't working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disturbed.

A moderate heart rate may make you:

  1. Feel blurry eyed or woozy.
  2. Feel short of breath and feel that it’s harder to work out.
  3. Feel tired.
  4. Have neck pain or an inclination that your heart is beating or rippling (palpitations).
  5. Feel bewildered or experience difficulty concentrating.
  6. Black out, if a moderate heart rate causes a drop in pulse.

A few people do not have side effects, or their indications are mild to the point that they think they are quite recently part of getting more seasoned. You can discover how quick your heart is beating by checking your heart rate. In case your pulse is moderate or uneven, talk to a specialist.

How bradycardia is dealt with depends on what is causing it. Treatment likewise relies on symptoms. Given below are some of the symptoms:

  1. In case harm to the heart's electrical framework causes your heart to pulsate too quickly, you will presumably need a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a gadget put under your skin that revises the moderate heart rate. Some people might have a kind of bradycardia that requires a pacemaker.
  2. In case another medical issue, for example, hypothyroidism or an electrolyte irregularity, is bringing about a moderate heart rate, treating that issue may cure the bradycardia.
  3. In case a medicine is making your heart to pulsate too gradually, your specialist may change the dosage or recommend an alternate drug. In case you can't quit taking that medicine, you may require a pacemaker.

Bradycardia is frequently the aftereffect of another heart condition, so finding a way to carry on with a heart-solid way of life will enhance your general health. This may include:

  1. Showing at least a bit of restraint and dedication to a good diet routine that includes a considerable amount of organic products, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods.
  2. Being gradually on most, if not all, days of the week. Your specialist can let you know what type of exercise is okay for you.
  3. Getting more fit in case you have to, and maintaining a solid weight.
  4. Not smoking.
  5. Overseeing other medical issues, for example, hypertension or elevated cholesterol.
1867 people found this helpful

Know About Breathlessness!

Dr. Hemant Kalra 87% (369 ratings)
MBBS, MD -Pulmonary Medicine-Tuberculosis ,Respiratory Disease Medicine , Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), European Diploma in Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Know About Breathlessness!

It's normal to get out of breath when you've overexerted yourself, but when breathlessness comes on suddenly and unexpectedly, it's usually a warning sign of a medical condition.

6 people found this helpful

Fast Heart Rate - Know Why It Happens!

Dr. Vivek Baliga B 92% (40 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Fast Heart Rate - Know Why It Happens!

Tachycardia is the medical term of a fast heart rate. When a person’s heart beats for more than 100 times per minute, he/she is said to be suffering from tachycardia. Atria and Ventricles (both left and right) are the four major parts of the heart. They contract and expand so that blood can be pumped out of the heart and oxygen reaches all the organs of the body. Now, this pumping occurs at a stable pace, owing to electrical impulses that activate the pumping in the first place. When an underlying medical condition or a defect in the heart disrupts these electrical impulses a person is confronted with tachycardia.

Symptoms
In many people, no symptoms are observed until and unless it is detected by a blood pressure device or a tool that checks the pulse rate. But if the heart rate is significantly high a person might feel dizzy, fatigued. He/she can also suffer from shortness of breath, palpitation as well as chest pain.

When the heart beats faster than usual the oxygen in the body gets depleted, which can result in the death of myocardial cells, leading to heart attack.

Causes
Heart diseases like coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, tumors or infection can lead to increased rate of heart beat. Apart from that, other conditions that might lead to tachycardia are: stress, hormonal disorders, especially in case one is suffering from hyperthyroidism, blood loss etc.

Treatment

Medications
If there is an underlying medical defect that is causing the increased heart rate in the first place, it needs to be treated. For example, if a person is suffering from hyperthyroidism then medicines are prescribed to regulate the function of the thyroid glands.

If tachycardia develops as a result of weakened heart muscle then medicines are given to strengthen the heart. Beta blockers are given to check the defective electrical impulse in the heart, if that is the cause of tachycardia. Depending on the condition of the patient anti-arrhythmic medicines might also be given. People who stand at a risk of receiving a stroke as a result of this condition are prescribed warfarin.

Surgery and Implantation

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
This procedure involves the insertion of an artificial device in the heart that controls the heart rate. It is equipped to send an electrical shock whenever it detects defective electrical impulse in the heart. In other words, it is designed to mechanically deflect the erroneous impulse.

Surgery
If medications fail to rectify the disorder, a surgery has to be performed. In this case a section of the heart tissue is removed through operation. The scar that is left by the operation controls defective electrical impulse as a scar tissue is affirmed to be a bad conductor of electricity.  In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3084 people found this helpful

What Should You Know About Graves' Disease?

Dr. Anantharaman Ramakrishnan 82% (55 ratings)
DM - Endocrinology, MBBS, MD - Medicine
Endocrinologist, Bangalore
What Should You Know About Graves' Disease?

The body has multiple chemicals called hormones, which regulate many of its functions. Increased or decreased levels of these hormones affect various functions including metabolism, growth and sexual functions. Thyroxin produced by the thyroid (situated in the front of the neck) is one such hormone, which has a significant role to play in metabolism.

Graves’ disease is one of the main causes of hyperthyroidism, where there is excessive production of thyroid hormones. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the body reacts against its own tissues. It is very common in women than men, especially after 20 years of age. Family history also has a strong correlation in developing Graves’ disease. The high levels of thyroid hormone increase the rate of metabolism, thereby altering weight, mental energy levels, physical stamina, and also mood.

Thyroid hormone is related to metabolism and more amount of it lead to higher metabolism. This causes the following symptoms.

  1. Intolerance to heat
  2. Excessive sweating
  3. Nervousness and anxiety
  4. Inability sleep, as the mind is always excited
  5. Increased appetite (sometimes despite weight loss) due to higher metabolism
  6. Irregular menstrual cycles
  7. Palpitations (rapid, loud heartbeat)
  8. Irregular heartbeats (tachyarrhythmia)
  9. Fine tremors of the extended arms
  10. Breast enlargement in men, known as gynecomastia
  11. Extreme moodiness, causing irritability and anger
  12. Inability to focus and concentrate
  13. General fatigue and shortness of breath with any exertion
  14. Increased frequency of bowel movements

In addition, the eye symptoms are quite diagnostic including:

  1. Protrusion of the eyes (exophthalmos), giving an impression that they are going to fall out
  2. Double vision
  3. Excessive tearing
  4. Increased irritation in the eyes

Diagnosis: The first symptom would be the presence of an enlarged thyroid gland (front of the neck above the collarbone), and the some of the above symptoms would be present.
In addition, tests to check for thyroid gland functioning including T3 and T4 levels would reveal increased amounts of hormone in the blood stream.
As a confirmatory test, the radioactive iodine uptake test also is done, which will indicate increased uptake by the thyroid gland. This indicates that the gland is functioning at an increased pace and requires additional iodine for the production of thyroid hormones.

Treatment: There are two approaches to it, one to control the symptoms and the other to control the thyroid gland per se.

  1. Beta blockers are very useful in controlling rapid heart rate and anxiety.
  2. Prednisone may be used to control eye irritation and swelling
  3. Antithyroid drugs are used to control the production of thyroid
  4. Radioactive iodine is given orally to control excessive thyroid production
  5. In severe cases, thyroid gland may be surgically removed partially or completely

Graves’ disease is not life-threatening and once symptoms are controlled, the patient’s quality of life improves drastically. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2795 people found this helpful

Missed Heartbeat - Know Why It Happens!

Dr. Birinder Singh Thind 89% (52 ratings)
Ph.D Cardiology, M.D, Higher secondary
Cardiologist, Noida
Missed Heartbeat - Know Why It Happens!

Arrhythmia is a disorder which is characterized by improper and irregular heartbeats; be it too slow or too fast. This problem occurs when the electrical impulses that are used to regulate your heartbeat don’t work in the correct manner. Your heart may beat irregularly, too slow or too fast.

Symptoms
Although this disorder does not yield many symptoms, a few noticeable symptoms of arrhythmia are slow heartbeat, or a racing heartbeat, chest pain, breathing difficulties and dizziness. Arrhythmia can lead to inefficient pumping by the heart, leading to bouts of fainting. A severe symptom of this disorder is ventricular fibrillation, wherein the ventricles tend to quiver instead of transporting blood. This symptom can cut off blood supply to the vital organs, which may lead to death.

Causes

  1. Coronary artery disease: In this disease, arteries of the heart can get blocked, leading to irregular heart beat and impaired heart functioning.
  2. A heart attackAn ongoing heart attack usually leads to irregular heartbeats.
  3. High blood pressureHigh blood pressure problems make you more vulnerable to this condition.
  4. Impaired functioning of the thyroid glands: An overactive or underactive thyroid gland can lead to heart arrhythmia.
  5. Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption: These habits can cause problems with the blood vessels in the body, thus increasing risks of this particular condition as well as other cardio-vascular diseases.
  6. StressToo much stress can lead to high blood pressure; that is again linked to heart arrhythmia.

Treatment
Mild symptoms of arrhythmia do not require treatment. However, complications resulting from it warrant treatment. The various treatment options for this condition are:

  1. PacemakerA pacemaker is a device that is used to regulate your heart rhythms. It is placed in the body by a surgical procedure and an insulated wire is put, connecting the heart to the pacemaker. In case of an irregular heartbeat, the pacemaker sends out impulses to correct the improper heartbeat.
  2. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: This device is used to prevent a dangerous symptom of heart arrhythmia, a symptom wherein the ventricle quivers. It is similar to a pacemaker as it is also placed near the collarbone. In case it detects an abnormal rhythm, it sends out shocks to reset the heart rhythm.
  3. Maze procedure: This is a surgical procedure wherein incisions are made on the upper heart tissue to create a scar tissue. Scar tissues act as insulators to prevent stray impulses.
  4. Alternative therapies: Alternative procedures such as yoga and meditation can help remedy the disorder.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3401 people found this helpful
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