What is an Arrhythmia?
- An arrhythmia is the disruption of the normal sequence of electrical impulses. The abnormalities in the electrical impulses may cause the heart to beat too fast, too slowly, or erratically.
- It is the leading cause of stroke
- Increases risk of heart failure
Types of Arrhythmias
There are many different types of arrhythmias:
- Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT): A normal heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate over 100 is called tachycardia. SVT is an abnormally fast heartbeat that originates above the ventricles (supraventricular) in the atria or AV node.
- Ventricular Tachycardia/Fibrillation (VT/VF): An abnormally fast heart rate caused by problematic electrical signals in the ventricles that become out of sync with the upper chambers.
- Bradyarrhythmia: An abnormally slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute, due to problems with the SA node or AV node.
- Atrial Flutter: when the atrial beat too quickly, but still evenly. This can lead to clotting and a stroke.
- Atrial Fibrillation: when the atria beat very quickly and irregularly, which can lead to clotting and a stroke.
What are the Symptoms?
- You may experience palpitations, chest pain/tightness, weakness, fatigue, dizziness/fainting, shortness of breath, leg swelling, loss of appetite/nausea/vomiting
What are the Causes?
- High blood pressure
- Coronary heart disease (blocked arteries- heart attack)
- Sleep Apnea
- Problems with your heart valves
- Lung disease
- Inborn abnormal heart impulses
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Stimulants