A long QT Syndrome is a condition related to the heart rhythm that has a potential of causing fast and chaotic heartbeats. Fainting spell or seizures are the common occurrence in patients who have rapid heartbeat due to Long QT Syndrome. There have been cases where long erratic heartbeats have caused sudden deaths as well. A genetic mutation can cause this problem during birth. Patients suffering from this condition need to avoid specific medications which trigger the syndrome further. Living and thriving with the condition is also possible after a proper treatment. Consulting a doctor becomes important when patients suddenly start fainting after physical activities or even with emotional excitement. If taking a new medication, especially the ones which prolong the QT interval is also a sign for you to get yourself checked.
In order to diagnose this syndrome, your symptoms will be reviewed by the doctor, following which a number of tests will be performed to determine the problem. Tests like electrocardiogram, holter monitor and event monitor are used to check the heart rhythm and the activities. For patients who are suspected with long QT syndrome, a non exercise stress test, a and genetic testing are also required along with second opinions to identify the problem.
Simple preventive measures are the basic treatment method for this syndrome. Medications and left cardiac sympathetic denervation surgeries can also be needed in some cases. Implanting medical devices can also be required. The treatment aims at preventing sudden death or for long QT heart to start beating out of control. The treatment procedure is decided after considering your symptoms and the type of long QT syndrome the person has. The medications which are required in cases with long QT syndrome are Mexiletine, Beta Blockers, Fish oil and Spironolactone and potassium. Mexiletine helps in shortening the QT interval and decreases the chance of having long QT syndrome. Beta blockers on the other hand, slow down the heart rate and reduce the chances of having long QT syndrome.
There are surgical procedures which may becomes important depending on the condition you have. Left cardiac sympathetic denervation surgery removes a specific nerve which moves along the left side of the spine in the chest. This surgery helps in regulating the heart rhythm and also reduces the chances of sudden death significantly. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) helps in stopping a potential fatal arrhythmia. Implanting an ICD can result in appropriate shocks along with other complications.
Individuals normally don’t show any specific symptoms of this syndrome. Condition becomes obvious with the help of ECG for other problems, with a family history of QT Syndromes and with a genetic testing result. Having seizures and fainting after doing physical activities or with emotional excitement can be symptoms which should be checked by the doctors.
Individuals who show no sign of fainting or having seizures after doing physical activities are not eligible for the treatment. People who do not have a family history of long QT syndrome are usually safe as well.
The medication used for treating long QT syndrome can have side effects. Beta Blockers have side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, headache etc. Mexiletine also has side effects which include poor coordination along with a tingling sensation, numbness, tremors and more.
Patients need to make certain lifestyle changes along with going through the surgery and taking the medications. Patients need to avoid medications which prolong QT intervals and stay away from situations which can get them excited or angry as well. Patients also need to avoid doing strenuous activities.
The treatment for long QT Syndrome is not a cure as the objective of treating the syndrome is to life threatening and abnormal heart rhythms. However, the treatment vastly improves the chances of survival of the patient.
Mexiletine is used to treat Long QT Syndrome. This price range of this medication is between Rs 100-400. Beta blocker tablets come within Rs 50. Spironolactone medication is within the price range of Rs 30-100. The cost of implanting an ICD can be around Rs 2 lakhs or more.
The treatment can help in regulating and managing the abnormal heart rhythm and can reduce the chance of sudden deaths significantly. The treatment is vastly helpful if the syndrome is caused by certain medication. In such a case, the Long QT Syndrome can go away on its own.
Certain simple preventive measures can help in regulating the problem. Avoiding medications which prolong the QT syndrome is to be avoided strictly. Homeopathy treatment can also show improvement in the condition of the patient. A healthy diet of five or even more servings of fruits and vegetables everyday is also very important for patients.