What is Heart Arrhythmia, Symptoms, Causes And Therapy

What is a heart arrhythmia?

Heart arrhythmia is a disorder characterized by an accelerated or severely slowed heartbeat. The change in heart rate is due to an increase or decrease in electrical activity in the heart muscle.

Expansion of the heart is controlled by electrical signals or impulses from the brain. An interruption in the transmission of these electrical pulses may result in the suspension of a heartbeat. The values ​​of a normal adult heartbeat are 60 to 100 beats per minute. If you have a heartbeat outside this area, talk to your doctor about it.

Arrhythmia is often a contraindication to sports.

heart-arrhythmia

When do you have to worry?

Benign arrhythmias manifest at the level of the atria (for example, atrial fibrillation) or the atrioventricular sinus. They do not lead to the death of the person. Malignant arrhythmias that can lead to death include tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.

Causes of heart arrhythmia

Here are the main causes of irregular heartbeat and arrhythmias:

    • Coronary heart disease is a common cause of arrhythmia. It is a disorder in which the blood circulation in the coronary vessels is obstructed.
    • Stimulants such as smoking, alcohol abuse, drugs and caffeine.
    • Abnormal sodium or potassium levels in the blood.
    • Some stomach disorders, such as hiatus hernia or gastroesophageal reflux.
    • Stimulants in medicines for cough and cold.
    • They can occur during convalescence after heart surgery.
    • Hypertension or high blood pressure.
    • Thyroid dysfunction or hyperthyroidism are less common causes of arrhythmias.
    • Myocardial damage or fibrosis of the heart due to myocardial infarction.
    • Diabetes and insulin.

Symptoms of heart arrhythmia

The symptoms of an irregular heartbeat are very vague. Sometimes the patient does not feel it at all. Patients with serious arrhythmias may have few symptoms, while others with significant symptoms may present a less severe condition.

Symptoms include:

    1. Intermittent chest pain or angina, the most common symptom of an irregular heartbeat
    2. Fast and irregular frequency, strong tapping of the heart
    3. Fainting or syncope
    4. Difficult breathing, especially under stress
    5. Excessive sweating
    6. Fear and restlessness
    7. General malaise
    8. Dizziness or dizziness
    9. Fatigue

Asymptomatic arrhythmia

The asymptomatic arrhythmia is not always harmless and may cause blood clotting in the heart and / or a reduction in the amount of blood being pumped.

Heart Arrhythmia At Night

Nocturnal irregular heartbeat can have various causes. The most common are :

    • Diabetes
    • Hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism)
    • high blood pressure or hypertension
    • Other heart diseases
    • Some medicines
    • Smoke
    • Stressful situations
    • Some natural remedies

Arrhythmia after eating

When we eat, a large amount of blood is diverted to the digestive tract. The body immediately responds to this situation and tries to maintain normal blood pressure by increasing the heart rate and narrowing certain arteries. If this mechanism does not work, postprandial hypotension may occur (drop in blood pressure after eating). Older people may have arrhythmias after eating. People who may experience cardiac arrhythmias after meals include those with high arterial blood pressure or Parkinson’s disease.

Causes and symptoms of the disorder can vary from person to person, possibilities are:

    1. Some people suffer from tachycardia only in certain situations, for example, at night in bed, after eating sweet foods or foods with a high sodium content, etc.
    2. Inadequate water intake, which thickens the blood and thus forces the heart to work to pump the blood.
    3. Dysfunction of an endocrine gland.
    4. Problems of the digestive system.
    5. Excessive enjoyment of coffee and other stimulants.
    6. Disorders of the vagus nerve.
    7. Hiatus hernia (diaphragmatic hernia).
    8. Gastroesophageal reflux.
    9. Liver or kidney disease.
    10. People with a rapid resting heartbeat may have arrhythmias after eating.

symptoms-of-heart-arrhythmia

Atrial fibrillation (AF)

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia. In this disease, the heart beats irregularly and too fast. AF can be chronic, persistent or paroxysmal. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation occurs occasionally and temporarily, and is short-lived, from a few seconds to a few days.

Ventricular arrhythmia

This is a heart disorder in which the irregular rhythm of the heart and heart beats come from the heart chambers. It can be divided into: ventricular tachycardia, ventricular bradycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Tachycardia means that the heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute, while bradycardia is characterized by beats below 60 beats per minute. Ventricular fibrillation is a disease in which the heart beats quickly and irregularly. The result is a reduction of the pumped blood.

causes

    1. Drug side effects
    2. caffeine
    3. nicotine
    4. High sodium and potassium levels in the blood
    5. Necroses and fibroses of the heart muscle
    6. cardiomyopathy
    7. myocarditis
    8. Valvular heart disease
    9. Congenital heart disease

Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA)

Respiratory sinus arrhythmia refers to a change in heart rate that occurs during a natural breathing cycle. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that runs from the brain stem to the abdomen and plays an important role in the regulation of the heartbeat. It reduces the contraction force and the frequency of  the heart. During inhalation and exhalation, cells of the medulla oblongata send a signal from the parasympathetic nervous system via this cranial nerve to the heart. This causes a cyclic variation of the heart rate. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is a physiological variant and is not considered abnormal. In fact, it is the loss of this normal reflex that signals a heart problem.

RSA is common in children and adolescents and usually goes away with self-growth. However, a doctor should be consulted on:

    1. Very fast and irregular heartbeat,
    2. Very slow heartbeat,

Heart Arrhythmia in Children

What are the specific causes of heart arrhythmia in children?

    1. Congenital heart defect
    2. Side effect on medicines

Cardiac palpitations during pregnancy

What are the causes?

    1. Mental stress
    2. body changes
    3. Excessive caffeine consumption
    4. Physical stress
    5. anemia
    6. Lack of magnesium
    7. Side effects of drugs

Diagnostics and examination

Heart arrhythmia are diagnosed by listening to the stethoscope or by an electrocardiogram (ECG). For fetal arrhythmias, echocardiography is usually performed; in the 20th week of pregnancy usually a morphological ultrasound. If the gynecologist sees a congenital anomaly, he may request  chocardiography, as this examination is much more thorough.

Therapy of heart arrhythmia

In some arrhythmias, it does not require treatment, in other cases, rapid treatment must be used to prevent heart failure.

Possible treatments are:

Physical exercises

There are several physical exercises (physiokinesis therapy) that stimulate the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that affects rest, digestion, energy recovery and recovery).

The techniques that affect the vagus nerve (vagal maneuvers) affect the parasympathetic nervous system and promote the health of the heart.

With regard to nutrition, stimulating foods, such as coffee and chocolate, are not recommended as they can affect the heart rate.

Treatment of the accelerated heartbeat

Cardioversion. If the tachycardia comes from the atria (for example, atrial fibrillation), the doctor can perform a cardioversion. It is an electrical shock that serves to restore the heart to its normal rhythm.

This procedure is usually performed in a supervised environment and does not cause pain. Emergency cardioversion (defibrillation) is also used in ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

Ablation therapy. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted through the blood vessels to the heart. It is placed over the place where the arrhythmias arise. The electrodes on the catheter tip are heated by radiofrequency energy.

Another method involves cooling over the catheter to freeze the tissue that is not functioning properly. Both methods destroy (ablate) a small portion of the heart tissue and create an electrical block along the pathway that causes the arrhythmia.

Implantable devices

Pacemaker. A pacemaker or pacemaker is an implantable device that helps regulate a slow heartbeat (bradycardia). A small device is placed under the skin near the collarbone. An insulated wire leads from the device to the heart where it is anchored. If the pacemaker is recording too low a heart rate or heartbeat, electrical impulses are sent to stimulate the heart to a faster heartbeat or to continue the heartbeat. Most pacemakers have a detection device that turns off when the heart rate is above a certain threshold when the frequency becomes too slow again.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).

The doctor may prescribe this device to a patient at high risk for malignant and potentially fatal arrhythmias: ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. An ICD is a system with a battery implanted near the left clavicle. One or two electrodes go from the ICD via veins to the heart.The ICD continuously controls the heart rhythm. If too slow a rhythm, it stimulates the rhythm like a pacemaker. In fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, it sends low-energy pulses to restore normal heart rhythm.

Surgical treatment

In some cases, surgical intervention may be recommended for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias:

Maze procedure. The surgeon puts a series of incisions in the atria. These lesions heal in the form of fibrous scar tissue, which has an insulating effect. In this way, the electrical impulses are steered into correct paths, thereby enabling an efficient heartbeat. The surgeon can use an instrument that ices the tissue, a high-frequency probe, or a scalpel to create scars.

Coronary bypass surgery. In severe coronary artery disease and frequent ventricular tachycardia, the physician may recommend coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This can improve the perfusion of the heart and reduce the frequency of ventricular tachycardias. 

Medical therapy

Many medications are available to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Some of the prescribed medications are listed here.

antiarrhythmics

These medications are used to reduce the symptoms of tachycardia.

Medicines prescribed for this purpose are:

    1. Amiodarone (Cordarex)
    2. Dronedarone (Multaq)
    3. Flecainid (Tambocor)

calcium channel blockers

These medications prevent calcium from entering the heart cells and blood vessels. The result is that the blood vessels relax and the arterial blood pressure drops.

Calcium antagonists prescribed for cardiac arrhythmia include:

    1. Amlodipine (Norvasc)
    2. Diltiazem (dilemma)
    3. Nifedipine (Adalat)

Beta Blocker

These drugs block the effects of adrenaline, lowering blood pressure and cardiac output. The most commonly prescribed beta-blockers are:

  1. Metoprolol (Beloc)
  2. Nebivolol (Nebivolol Heumann)

Anticoagulants They are known as blood thinners and prevent the formation of blood clots. The use of these medications is important in preventing complications and risks of heart arrhythmia.

    1. warfarin
    2. aspirin

Natural Remedy For Arrhythmia

Herbal remedies for heart arrhythmia include hawthorn and linden, which reduce tachycardia and cardiac palsies.

Heart Valve Disease Symptoms And Treatment

Heart valve disease can affect any of the valves in the heart. The heart valves have flaps for opening and closing with each heartbeat, allowing blood to flow through the heart of the upper and lower chambers and the rest of the body.

The heart has four valves :

    1. Tricuspid valve located between the right atrium and the right ventricle
    2. Pulmonary valve located between the right atrium and the pulmonary artery
    3. Mitral valve, which is located between the left atrium, and left ventricle
    4. Aortic valve between the left ventricle and the aorta

Blood flows from the right and left atria across the tricuspid and mitral valve, allowing the blood to flow into the right and left ventricles. These valves then close the blood flowing back into the atria. Once the heart chambers are filled with blood, they begin to contract, forcing the lung and aortic valves to open. Blood then flows into the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The pulmonary artery carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs and the aorta, the body’s largest artery, is responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

Basically, the heart valves work by making sure that blood flows in the forward direction and does not secure or leaks. If an individual has a valvular disease, the valve will not be able to do this job properly. This can be caused by regurgitation, stenosis or a combination of both.

Some individuals may experience no symptoms while other disorders such as strokes, heart attacks and thrombosis occur when the heart valve disease is left untreated.

valvular-heart-disease

Valvular heart disease

Mitral valve prolapse

This can also be called floppy valve syndrome, click marbles syndrome, balloon mitral valve or Barlow syndrome. It occurs when the mitral valve does not close properly, sometimes causing blood to flow back into the left atrium.

Most people with mitral valve prolapse do not require symptoms and no treatment as a result. However, symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and coughing may indicate that treatment is necessary.

The treatment includes surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.

Bicuspid aortic veins

This happens when a person is born with an aortic valve that has two valves instead of the usual three. In very severe cases, symptoms of this type of disorder are present at birth. However, some people may know that they have decades to go without this type of disorder. The valve is usually able to work for years without causing any symptoms, so most people with premolar aortic valve disease are usually diagnosed only in adulthood. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 80 percent of people with this form of heart valve disease will be operated to repair or replace the valve, which usually happens when they are in their 30s or 40s.

Symptoms include shortness of breath during exercise, chest pain and dizziness or fainting. Most people are able to successfully repair their aortic valve with surgery.

Valvular

This occurs when a valve is unable to fully open, which means that insufficient blood is able to flow through the valve. This can affect one of the heart valves, and can be caused by the heart valve thickening or stiffening.

Symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness and fainting. Some people do not need treatment. Other people may use valvuloplasty, which uses a balloon to inflate the valve or flap replacement surgery.

Valve insufficiency

This can also be called a “leaky valve” and occurs when one of the heart valves does not close properly, causing the blood to flow backwards. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, tiredness, palpitations, drowsiness and swelling of the feet and ankles.

The effects of valve failure vary from person to person. Some people need to monitor their condition. Others may need prescribed medications to prevent fluid retention while others have valve repair or replacement.

heart-valve-disease-symptoms

Causes Of Valvular Heart Disease

There are a number of causes of various heart valve diseases. Causes can be :

    • birth defect
    • Endocarditis inflammation of the heart tissue
    • Rheumatic fever inflammatory disease brought on after group A streptococcal infection
    • Age-related changes, such as calcification
    • Heart attack
    • coronary artery disease
    • Cardiomyopathy degenerative changes in the heart muscle
    • Syphilis is a relatively rare sexually transmitted infection
    • hypertension
    • Aortic aneurysms abnormal swelling or protrusion of the aorta
    • Atherosclerosis Arteriosclerosis
    • myxomatous degeneration weakening of the connective tissue in the mitral valve
    • Lupus a chronic autoimmune disease,

Heart Valve Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of heart valve disorders according to the severity of the disease. Usually, the onset of symptoms indicates that the disorder is affecting blood flow. Many people with mild or moderate valvular heart disease experience no symptoms. However, symptoms can be :

    • shortness of breath
    • palpitation
    • fatigue
    • Chest pain
    • Dizziness and fainting
    • a headache
    • to cough
    • Water retention or swelling in the lower extremities and abdomen
    • Pulmonary edema or excess fluid in the lungs
How are heart valve diseases diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of heart valve disease, your doctor will start by listening to the heart using a stethoscope. He or she will listen for any heart rate abnormalities that might indicate a problem with the heart valves. Your doctor may also listen to the lungs to determine if there is fluid retention as well as check your body for signs of water retention, both symptoms of heart valve problems.

Other tests that can diagnose for valvular heart disease include :

    • Electrocardiogram is a test that shows the electrical activity of the heart. This test is used to check arrhythmia.
    • Echocardiography uses sound waves to create an image of the heart valves and chambers.
    • Cardiac catheterization is another test to diagnose valve disorders. This test uses a thin tube or catheter with a camera to take pictures of the heart and blood vessels. This can help to determine with your doctor the nature and severity of the disease valve.
    • A chest x-ray can be ordered to take a picture of your heart. This may be your doctor if your heart is enlarged.

Magnetic resonance imaging can create a more detailed picture of the heart. This can help to confirm a diagnosis and help your doctor determine how best to treat your valve disorder.

A stress test can also be used to determine how the symptoms are affected by physical exertion. The information from the stress test can help your doctor determine the severity of your condition.

Treatment Options

Treatments for heart valve disorders depend on the severity of the disease and symptoms. Most doctors recommend starting with conservative treatment. This includes :

    • consistent medical supervision
    • smoking
    • a healthy diet

Medications that are usually prescribed are :

    • Beta blocker and calcium channel blocker to help control heart rate and blood flow
    • Reduce diuretics for fluid retention
    • vasodilating drugs that open or dilate the blood vessels

Surgery may be needed if the symptoms increase in severity. This can be used to repair heart valves with patient’s own tissues or heart valve replacement with animal valves, donated valves, mechanical or valves.

Valvuloplasty can also treat the stenosis. A small balloon inserted into the heart, where it is slightly puffed up. The inflation will be the size of the opening in the valve and then the balloon is removed.