Arrhythmias are common and normally undetectable by the
patient. Arrhythmia simply means abnormal heartbeat, which can include
fast or slow rates as well as ´missing´ a beat, or even the
heart muscles contracting out of sequence. Although an arrhythmia
is not uncommon, they can be dangerous however, and some need medical
treatment while others can be controlled through diet or lifestyle
changes. There are many different types of arrhythmias which can
have different causes and symptoms. The main difference in the
type of arrhythmia is what part of the heart is affected and
what tissue type (nerve or muscle) is causing the arrhythmia.
Most arrhythmias have no symptoms and are only detected during a
doctor´s visit. In other cases, the symptoms can be present
only while the arrhythmia is occurring, but in some cases, the
arrhythmia can cause longer-lasting symptoms.
The most obvious cause of an arrhythmia is coronary
disease or damage. In this case, the pathway of the electrical
that regulates the heartbeat is altered. Basically an electrical
moves through the heart muscle, causes contractions in a precise order,
having damaged heart muscle can change the pathway of the electrical
charge and cause abnormal or delayed contractions. An arrhythmia
rarely the first symptom of coronary disease, so more than likely a
person with this cause of arrhythmia would already know the cause.
Some of the more serious forms of arrhythmia can require pacemakers or
surgery to correct the problem.
Another common cause of
an arrhythmia is stress. While this cause will progress similar
to an arrhythmia caused by caffeine, obviously stress is not as easily
discontinued as caffeine and can produce more serious health concerns.
most common cause of an arrhythmia in healthy individuals would be
caffeine or nicotine. Even modest amounts of either substance can
cause frequent arrhythmias in certain people. While usually not
detectable, some symptoms can become noticeable. These include a
thumping in the chest, or a fluttery feeling in the chest.
Obviously the treatment is to discontinue with the offending
chemical. If other symptoms develop, this can lead to a medical
emergency. These symptoms include dizziness and feinting,
shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle weakness.|
The final causes of arrhythmia are exercise and electrolyte
imbalances. These two causes can go together as over-exercising
and sweating can also result in electrolyte imbalances (potassium and
sodium). But they can happen singularly as well, there are many
diseases or conditions that can lead to electrolyte imbalances, which in
turn can cause an arrhythmia. There are also many medications that can
affect electrolyte balances. Obviously if you are exercising and
start to feel a pounding or fluttering in your chest, or dizziness, it
is time to slow down as these are symptoms of an arrhythmia. If
you are given a new medication and experience these symptoms, always
inform your doctor.
The most common symptoms of an arrhythmia include a
fluttering feeling in the chest, or sometimes a pounding feeling.
These symptoms of arrhythmia become more serious when they include
dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness or even feinting. The
most common causes of an arrhythmia in otherwise healthy people include
nicotine, caffeine, stress or exercise. More serious causes
include coronary heart disease, or an electrolyte imbalance caused by
certain diseases. Any persistence, or severity of these symptoms
is a cause for a doctor or ER visit.