Arrhythmias occur when the electrical signals that coordinate heartbeats are not working correctly. An irregular heartbeat may feel like a racing heart or fluttering.
Many heart arrhythmias are harmless. However, if they are highly irregular or result from a weak or damaged heart, arrhythmias can cause severe and potentially fatal symptoms and complications. In this article, we define arrhythmia, as well as its causes and symptoms. We also explain the possible treatments and different types.
Cardiac arrhythmia refers to a group of conditions that cause the heart to beat irregular, too slowly, or too quickly.
There are several categories of arrhythmia, including:
Most arrhythmias are not severe and do not cause complications. Some, however, can increase the risk of stroke or cardiac arrest.
Some people may hear doctors use the word “dysrhythmia” when referring to their irregular heartbeat. The words arrhythmia and dysrhythmia mean the same, but the word arrhythmia is more prevalent.
a healthy heartbeat by counting the number of times the heart beats every minute (bpm) during rest. This is known as the resting heart rate.
The range for a healthy resting heart rate varies between individuals,
The fitter a person is, the lower their resting heart rate becomes. Olympic athletes, for example, will usually have a resting heart rate of less than 60 bpm, because their hearts are highly efficient.
The heart should beat a regular rhythm, consisting of double “ba-bum” beats with even spaces in between each.
One of these beats is the heart contracting to provide oxygen to blood that has already circulated, and the other involves the heart pushing oxygenated blood around the body.
A person can measure their heart rate using their pulse. This is a point at which they can feel the heartbeat through the skin. The best locations on the body for this are:
There are several types of arrhythmia, as described here:
Atrial fibrillation : irregular beating of the atrial chambers, and nearly always involves tachycardia. Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is common and mainly develops in adults over 65 years of age.
Instead of producing a single, strong contraction, the chamber fibrillates, or quivers, often producing a rapid heartbeat.
Atrial flutter : While fibrillation causes many random and different quivers in the atrium, atrial flutter is usually from one area in the atrium that is not conducting properly. This produces a consistent pattern in the abnormal heart conduction.
Some people may experience both flutter and fibrillation.
Atrial flutter can be a serious condition and usually leads to fibrillation without treatment.
Supraventricular tachycardia : supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) refers to a rapid but rhythmically regular heartbeat. An individual can experience a burst of accelerated heartbeats that can last from a few seconds to a few hours.
Ventricular tachycardia : abnormal electrical impulses that start in the ventricles and cause an abnormally fast heartbeat. This often happens if the heart has a scar from a previous heart attack.
Ventricular fibrillation : irregular heart rhythm consisting of rapid, uncoordinated, and fluttering contractions of the ventricles. The ventricles do not pump blood but quiver instead.
Ventricular fibrillation can be life threatening and usually has links to heart disease. A heart attack often triggers it.
Long QT syndrome : heart rhythm disorder that sometimes causes rapid, uncoordinated heartbeats. This can result in fainting, which may be life threatening.
It can also occur due to genetic susceptibility or taking certain medications.
Arrhythmia might not cause noticeable symptoms.
Symptoms depend on the type of arrhythmia, as follows:
Symptoms of a rapid heartbeat include:
Bradycardia can cause the following symptoms:
When A-fib symptoms occur, they often have a rapid onset and may involve:
Some people may not experience active symptoms due to arrhythmia. However, treatment is still essential for preventing further complications, which may include stroke and heart failure.
Stroke : Atrial fibrillation means that the heart is not pumping effectively. This condition can cause blood to collect in pools and form clots.
If a clot dislodges, it may travel to a brain artery, causing a potentially fatal blockage, or stroke. Stroke can cause brain damage and require emergency treatment.
Heart failure : Prolonged tachycardia or bradycardia can result in heart failure. When the heart is failing, it cannot pump enough blood to the body and its organs. Treatment can usually help improve this.
DIGITALIS PURPUREA -Digitalis is the most effective Homeopathic remedy when the slightest movement causes palpitations. The patient usually feels that the heart will stop its action if he or she moves and it is better at rest. Digitalis is the ideal Homeopathic remedy when cardiac rate is lowered and palpitations are mostly excited from the slightest motion. Digitalis is the best natural Homeopathic medicine to deal with Palpitations with skipped beats. The pulse is irregular and it intermits mainly at every 3rd, 5th and 7th beat. Mitral Disease may be the underlying pathology with irregular heart action in the patient needing Digitalis.
GLONOINE - Glonoine is a very effective remedy for palpitations during menopause. It is prescribed when palpitations lead to difficulty in breathing and get worse from exertion. Palpitations can be felt throughout the body.
FERRUM MET Ferrum Met is the best medicine for palpitations due to anemia which get worse with movement. The face looks quite pale. Usually the pulse feels very soft and weak.
IBERIS- Iberis is the best remedy when the slightest exertion gives rise to palpitations. Along with palpitations, a person may also experience vertigo.
IODUM Iodum is the best remedy for palpitations in hyperthyroid patients where the palpitations get worse with the slightest of exertion. The chest feels constricted and compressed.
IGNATIA --Ignatia is an effective Homeopathic remedy for palpitations resulting from grief. Ignatia brings about excellent results in such cases.Hysterical palpitations.
THEA CINENSIS - Thea Cinensis is an excellent Homoeopathic medicine that can help to relieve palpitations because of excessive consumption of tea. Along with palpitations, the person also feels chest oppression.
VISCUM ALBUM -Viscum album is prescribed when palpitations occurs during coition.
Terminalia Arjuna-Terminalia is most commonly used for heart ailments including heart failure and chest pain. It is also used for diabetes, high cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.