Heart arrhythmia or heart rhythm is the problem that arises due to no or less coordination between the electrical impulse of the heart and the heart beat. The issue results in too slow, too fast or irregular heartbeat.
Heart arrhythmia is found commonly and is usually harmless. Occasionally irregular heartbeat struck people with racing or fluttering heart. At times heart arrhythmia can be worth bothering as after giving vital signs and symptoms it can work as a life threatening factor.
The treatment of heart arrhythmia can control or even eliminate the irregular heartbeat. Troublesome heart arrhythmia can be made worst by a damaged or weak heart and the best way to eliminate the risk is to improve the life of your heart.
Symptoms of heart arrhythmia
It depends upon several factors that heart arrhythmia gives away any symptoms or not. At times the doctor discovers heart arrhythmia in routine check up before it could be pointed out by the patient himself.
However some of the noticeable symptoms of heart arrhythmia are as follows: fluttering in chest, slow heartbeat, racing heartbeat, pain in chest, light headedness, shortness of breath, fainting (syncope) or near fainting and dizziness.
Heart arrhythmia is an odd disease. It is found that a number of people who have vital symptoms of heart arrhythmia do not have any serious threats. On the contrary people with no signs at all are suffering from life threatening stage of heart arrhythmia. The best way is to be at your guard against all diseases in disguise.
Causes of heart arrhythmia
Ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are some of the causes of heart arrhythmia. Before going to learn further about the heart arrhythmia let us throw some light on the happening of normal heartbeats.
At the time of heartbeat the electrical impulse that is responsible for contracting the heart must follow a certain path through the heart. Arrhythmia can be caused by any kind of interruption in this path.
Every heart has four hollow compartments. The chambers on each half make two pumps – the upper chamber is atrium and the lower chamber is ventricle. When heart beats the less muscular and smaller atria contracts to fill with blood the relaxed ventricles. The process of contraction triggers when sinus node sends the signal of an electrical impulse; and right and left atria contracts. The impulse then reaches to the centre of heart that is atrioventricular node and lies between atria and ventricles. From atrioventricular node the impulse travels to the ventricles and contracts them so blood can be pumped into the body.
In a normal heart the heartbeat is 60 to 100 times a minute as the process goes smoothly. The heart beat of athletes is less than 60 per minute as there hearts are more efficient.
A number of reasons can lead to heart arrhythmia. For exepmle scarring of heart tissues such as heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, smoking, over-active thyroid gland, drug abuse, excessive intake of alcohol or caffeine, drug abuse, medications, stress, dietary supplements and herbal treatment.
A healthy heart cannot develop heart arrhythmia at any cost unless or until it has suffered some electrical shock or inhaled drugs, as the heart of a normal person is free from conditions of scarred tissues. However, if a heart is deformed or diseased it is more likely that the hindrance will be offered in the path of electrical impulse thus initiating heart arrhythmia.
Heart arrhythmia develops as the result of any structural change in the heart. Change of structure of heart can be caused by:
The insufficient supply of blood to the heart. Reducing the amount of blood reaching to the heart can affect the ability of the tissues of heart, including those tissues that are responsible for conducting the electrical impulse. Damage to or death of the tissues of heart. Such state can affect the spread of electric impulse in the heart. Heart structure can be changed due to coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiomyopathy and valvular heart diseases.
Types of arrhythmias
Heart arrhythmia is not only classified on the bases of its origin, whether atria or ventricles, but also on the rate of heartbeat.
Tachycardia refers to the fast heartbeat. A resting heart if beats 100 times per minute than the condition is called Tachycardia.
Bradycardia refers to slow heartbeat. The person whose heart beats less than 60 times a minute is a patient of Bradycardia.
Neither tachycardias nor bradycardias means that you have heart disease. During exercise, for example, the heart develops tachycardia as the speed of pumping multiplies to fulfill the need of heart tissues to utilize more oxygen-rich blood.
Risk factors of Heart Arrhythmia and complications
The risk factors of developing heart arrhythmia are multiple. We have put into black and white some of the reasons that can increase the threat of developing the heart arrhythmia. Without going into details these potential factors are age, genetics, CAD, thyroid problem, drugs and supplements, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, obtrusive sleep apnea, electrolyte imbalance, consumption of alcohol and caffeine or nicotine.
The probable complications of heart arrhythmia are stroke and the heart failure as the rate of heartbeat is incontrollable.