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Arrhythmia is the condition in which the individual’s heart is either beating too rapidly, too slowly or irregularly. The arrhythmia condition may not always require treatment. However, potentially fatal heart conditions can develop if arrhythmia is deemed serious. Arrhythmia occurs as a result of the electrical signals sent to the heart, failing to tell if the heartbeats are not functioning properly. Many factors can interrupt a person’s heart rate and may increase the heartbeat.

Causes of Arrhythmia

There are a number of factors that can attribute to the heart working improperly, which include:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Diabetes

  • Drug abuse

  • High blood pressure

  • Smoking

  • Certain medications

  • Coffee consumption

How Is Arrhythmia Treated?

Depending on the type of arrhythmia you’re experiencing, the method of treatment will differentiate. Some examples of arrhythmia types include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), ventricular fibrillation and long qt syndrome. The most common types of arrhythmia include tachycardia and bradycardia. Tachycardia refers to a rapid heartbeat that is greater than 100 beats per minute. Bradycardia refers to a slow heart rate at about 60 beats per minute. Most forms of arrhythmia are diagnosed with the following tests:

  • Blood and urine tests

  • EKG (electrocardiogram)

  • Chest x-ray

  • Holter monitor

  • Echocardiogram

  • Heart catheterization

Preventing Arrhythmia

Preventing heart arrhythmia from developing or symptoms from worsening is possible with slight modifications to one’s lifestyle. Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle includes the following:

  • Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight and diet

  • Avoiding smoking

  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake

  • Reduce stress, eliminate self from stress-inducing situations

Notice: The above information is an educational aid only. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.