Arrhythmia: Knowing Causes and Types

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Heart arrhythmia is a described as the irregular heartbeat that people experience at least once in their lifetime and are not even aware of it. Arrhythmia disrupts the normal pattern can cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow or in an irregular pattern.

The electrical impulses that sends signals to your heart to beat causes arrhythmias. These electrical impulses lead to contractions in the four chambers of your heart which pumps blood through your body. At times, something can go wrong and the heart misses the right beat before it finds its usual rhythm. In many cases, the arrhythmia’s effect can go unnoticed or can have few symptoms. However, there are cases where the symptoms of arrhythmia can be serious and require medical attention.

What Causes Arrhythmia?

When an interruption to the electrical impulses this causes the heart to contract and result into arrhythmia. A person with a healthy heart should have a heart rate of between 60-100 beats per minute when resting. A fit person has a lower resting heart rate. On the other hand, an athletic person will have a resting heart rate under 60 beats per minute because their heart is healthier.

There are a number of factors that can cause the heart to work incorrectly, they include; drug & alcohol abuse, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental stress, smoking, heart disease, scarring of the heart, some medication, some dietary supplements, diabetes and some herbal supplements among others.

In normal cases, a healthy person will not suffer long term arrhythmia unless there is an external trigger such as electric shock. If there is an underlying problem the electrical impulses will not reach through the heart correctly thus increasing the chances of suffering arrhythmia.

The Four Main Types of Arrhythmia

Ventricular Arrhythmias

Ventricular arrhythmia starts in the ventricles that are located in the lower chambers of the heart which pumps blood around the body. Since ventricles play an important part in blood circulation, arrhythmias occurring there can be extremely dangerous.

Premature (Extra) Beats

Extra beats are usually harmless and doesn’t have any symptoms. Their scientific name is premature atrial contractions or PACs. These are the most common type and feels like skipped beats in the chest. These beats take place in the atria (the smallest chambers of the heart)

Supraventricular Arrhythmias

These are fast heart rates that start in the atrioventricular node (AV or atria), a barrier of cells separating the ventricles and atria in the heart.

Bradyarrythmias

This type of arrhythmia causes the heart rate to go below the normal 60 beats per minute an adult. When the heart goes below normal, it causes blood circulation to slow to the brain and possibly causes unconsciousness. Bradyarrythmias are connected to other heart problems like reaction to medication or heart attack.