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Is Your Heart Missing a Beat Regularly - Could it be Arrhythmia?

Dr. Saurabh Juneja 88% (242 ratings)
MBBS, Master of Surgery - General Surgery, Magistrar Chirurgiae (Cardio-Thoracic Surgery)
Cardiologist, Faridabad  •  28 years experience
Is Your Heart Missing a Beat Regularly - Could it be Arrhythmia?

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.
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