Your heart races or it feels like it’s flip-flopping inside your chest and you’re, understandably, concerned. These symptoms are called heart palpitations. Here’s a look at when they signal a potentially serious problem.
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We’ve diagnosed you with an arrhythmia and you want to do everything you can to avoid the serious risks that come with an irregular heartbeat. There’s much that we can do on our end, but the steps you take are equally as important.
Dr. Van H. De Bruyn and our team have dedicated our practice, Heart Rhythm Associates, to this incredibly common and potentially life-threatening problem.
Here, we take a look at a few of the many ways that you can better manage your heart’s rhythm.
The first thing to know about arrhythmias is that there are several different types, and understanding which one affects you is paramount. While we’re not expecting you to dig through medical periodicals and research, we want you to have a basic grasp of the problem, and we’re happy to help educate you.
Under normal circumstances, your heart beats between 60 and 100 times a minute. The four chambers of your heart — the two upper atria and the two lower ventricles — work in concert to keep your blood flowing so that it can pick up oxygen and deliver it to the rest of your body.
With an arrhythmia, your heart beat doesn’t fall within these parameters, which can have serious consequences, depending on the severity of the arrhythmia.
The most common types of arrhythmia include:
The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the electrical impulses that start in your atria are erratic and disorganized and which compromise the coordinated contractions between your two atria.
Not only are there different types of arrhythmias, there are varying degrees of the problem, as well as causes, which dictate how we go about managing your arrhythmia.
It’s impossible to outline here what you should do specifically for your heart arrhythmia, but there are some general rules of thumb for all patients who have developed an arrythmia, including:
By making these lifestyle changes, you can eliminate the outside forces that may be contributing to or exacerbating your arrhythmia.
We also urge you to pay close attention to your heart rhythms so you can recognize when a certain substance, activity, or situation creates problems. In recognizing your own unique risk factors, you can take the necessary steps to avoid these circumstances.
Lastly, it’s important that you support whatever treatments we decide are best for your arrhythmia. For example, if we prescribe medications to control your heart’s rhythm, please take them according to our instructions.
Between your efforts at home and our monitoring and treatments here, we can manage your arrhythmia and prevent some of the more serious consequences that can come with an abnormal heart rhythm.
If you have more questions about the steps you can take to manage your arrhythmia, please contact our office in Little Rock, Arkansas, to set up an appointment.
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