What is Heart Arrhythmia?
Have you ever felt like your heart was skipping a beat or have a fluttering feel in your chest? If you have, then you may have arrhythmia.
Millions of Americans do, so you're certainly not alone. And in most cases, arrhythmia is harmless, even as you grow older.
Heart arrhythmia means your heart is beating irregularly. It can happen even if you have a heart that is otherwise healthy.
But there are times when this irregular heartbeat can be a symptom of other problems. If left unchecked, it can lead to heart disease, stroke or even death. The following are just a few of the reasons you can have arrhythmia:
- Coronary artery disease
- An imbalance of electrolytes in the blood
- Changes that have occurred in your heart muscle
- An injury from a heart attack
- Healing after heart surgery
Living with Heart Arrhythmia
If your doctor has told you that you have a serious arrhythmia, there are things you can do to lessen its impact on your life.
Your doctor may recommend that you take medication to regulate your heartbeat. In some cases, a pacemaker may be suggested. Surgical options are also available, if the arrhythmia is recurrent.
You can also alter your lifestyle to reduce specific factors that contribute to an irregular heartbeat. This includes caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, appetite suppressants, beta-blockers and even some cold and cough medicines.
Exercise, lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, losing excess weight and reducing stress can also help you manage your condition as well.
Whatever you do, be sure to discuss all your options and treatment programs with your doctor before you make major changes. They will be able to offer you the latest information and make recommendations that are specific to your own case of heart arrhythmia.