Arrhythmias

Definition: an irregular heartbeat (also called dysrhythmia)

Causes


Coronary artery disease

Electrolyte imbalances in blood (sodium or potassium)

Changes in your heart muscle

Injury from heart attack

Healing process after heart surgery

Irregular heart rhythms can occur in in normal healthy hearts

Symptoms

Palpitations

Pounding in your heart

Dizziness

Shortness of breath

Chest discomfort

Weakness or fatigue

Diagnostic tests

Electrocardiogram

Stress test

Holter monitor

Echocardiogram

Cardiac Catheterization

Electrophysiology study (EPS)

Head-up tilt table test

Incidence

More than 850,000 people are hospitalized each year

How can it be prevented?

Healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean eats, and low fat dairy products

Maintain a healthy weight

Daily exercise (aerobic)

No smoking and limited drinks (1 a day)

Limit stress

Some factors can't be controlled such as genes

Treatment

Treatment depends on the seriousness of your arrhythmia. Some people don't need treatment while others need medication or work on lifestyle changes or even surgery.

Risk Factors

Genetics

Nicotine, caffeine, or other mild drugs

Side effects of certain medications (cold medicines)

Stress

Alcohol

Obesity

Poor diet

Lack of exercise

Supplements such as Ephedra

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