The heart is considered as one of the major organs in the body. It is because of the heart that blood can circulate all throughout the body and deliver nutrients to the different tissues. The heart is also has its own electrical system. This causes electrical signals to travel across the organ in order for it to pump normally. This tells how and when the heart should contract and pump blood around the body. These impulses usually starts from a group of cells called the sinus node that it located near the right atrium. This particular node is called the heart’s pacemaker and ensures that the heart beats at a normal and consistent rate. This node is also capable of adjusting the rate of the heart depending on the activity or the condition of the body. It increases the heart rate in response to exercise as well as to emotions and the change in hormones. The rate also decreases when the body is at rest or during sleep. Unfortunately, the heart can also experience abnormalities with its conduction process. An example of these deviations is none other than the condition known as arrhythmia. So what is arrhythmia and what causes arrhythmia?
Definition of Arrhythmia
Arrhythmia is defined as the change in the normal beating of the heart. This causes the heart to skip a beat or beat irregularly fast or slow. Most of us think that arrhythmia automatically indicate a certain disease in the heart. However, this is not necessarily true in all cases. Many cases of arrhythmia do not posses any underlying disease or any heart ailment. So what causes these arrhythmia to occur?
Even up to now, there is still no exact cause or reason as to why arrhythmia can occur. However, many heart diseases can produce this kind of abnormality as one of the symptoms. Nevertheless, there are still some factors that can increase the chances of having arrhythmia. Some of these include caffeine, stress, tobacco or cigarette use, diet pills, constant use of cough and cold medicines and constant consumption of alcohol. Aside from this, arrhythmia can either be temporary or permanent. However, arrhythmia can occur without any apparent reasons. In fact, this condition can be congenital, which means that a person can be born having this type of problem.
Other causes of arrhythmia include chemical imbalances in the blood as well as infections and other diseases that can cause irritation and inflammation to the heart. Injuries such as chest trauma and/or heart surgery can also lead to this kind of heart problem. In addition, some herbal medications can also cause arrhythmia.
Signs and Symptoms of Arrhythmia
This heart condition can cause the heart to lessen its beat thus affecting the blood flow to the brain and the other parts of the body. However, once the heart beats too fast, the chambers of the heart cannot be sufficiently filled with blood which also affects the cardiac output. Because of this irregularity in the output of blood from the heart, certain symptoms can occur such as fatigue, light headedness, shortness of breath, fainting, weakness, dizziness, chest pain and palpitations or the feeling of fluttering and/or pounding in the chest.
Nevertheless, some cases of arrhythmia do not exhibit any of these symptoms. This is the reason why arrhythmia can only be identified during diagnostic tests and physical examinations like the heart function test such as the electrocardiogram or ECG and EKG. However, a huge population of people with arrhythmia does not need anything to fear since some cases of arrhythmia do not required extensive examinations and or special treatments for the condition. Nonetheless, there are also cases that are linked to heart diseases that need immediate medical attention. This is why a doctor’s consultation is required in order to provide the appropriate treatment for arrhythmia.
Treatment for Arrhythmia
Although a lot of cases of arrhythmia do not require any treatment, serious arrhythmia can be treated in various ways such as controlling the underlying heart disease in order to target arrhythmia. This can be treated using the following treatments such as anti-arrhythmic drugs and cardioversion in order to restore normal rhythm. The latter however is usually used in emergency cases or situations. The use of artificial pacemakers can also be a good intervention for arrhythmia as well as surgery.
These are just some of the facts with regards to the condition called arrhythmia. This includes the causes, the possible symptoms and the common treatments for this heart abnormality.