Arrhythmia is a condition where the heartbeat is irregular or out of its normal rhythm. There is a feeling that the heart skipped a beat, added a beat or beating too fast too slow. Arrhythmias can be harmless or can be an emergency.
Causes of arrhythmias
- Injury from a heart attack
- Heart disease
- The wrong balance of electrolytes such as sodium or potassium in the blood
- Healing process after surgery of the heart
- Changes in the muscles of the heart
- Pounding in the chest
- Palpitations, skipping heartbeats, fluttering or flip-flops
- Pain in the chest or tightness
- Fainting, dizziness or lightheadedness
- Weakness or fatigue or feeling very tired
- Shortness of breath
- Racing heartbeat
- Eat a healthy diet such as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, beans, fish and avoid fatty foods such as saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol. Eat foods rich in potassium such as bananas, oranges, beets, squash and avocados. These foods lessen the risk of heart disease. Minimize consumption of salt to prevent an increase in the blood pressure.
- Perform gentle exercises regularly. Avoid extreme endurance sports to prevent making the arrhythmias worse.
- Stop smoking. The toxins present in cigerettes will result to oxidative stress in the blood vessels which make the condition worse. Other elements present in cigarette smoke such carbon monoxide increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmias.
- Avoid other tobacco products.
- Avoid becoming overweight to prevent making the heart from working harder.
- Control the blood pressure by avoiding being stressed. Chronic stress can result to high blood pressure. Perform some relaxation techniques such as meditation, or yoga.
- Minimize consumption of alcohol to prevent disruption of the nervous system that guides the heart in regular beating. Chronic drinking changes the function of the nervous system which makes the heart pump faster which results to cardiac arrhythmias.
- Minimize consumption of sitmulants such as caffeine which affect the heart rate. Moderate consumption of caffeine is 1-2 cups of coffee. Stimulants can also be found in cough and cold medications, herbal or nutritional supplements.
- Take the prescribed blood-thinning medications to lessen blood clotting and lower the risk for stroke.
When the heart beats very fast, erratic electrical impulses can cause death since the ventricles will not pump blood to the body. Once this happens, seek medical help immediately.