Heart rhythm problems, or heart arrhythmia, is a condition which causes the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This abnormal hearbeat occurs when the electric impulses, which coordinate heartbeats, do not work properly. While this condition is primarly bothersome, it has the potential to produce life-threatening symptoms without treatment.
Heart arrhythmia may not cause any symptoms and your doctor is likely to discover it even before you do during a regular checkup. The noticeable symptoms, however, include:
- Fluttering in the chest
- Slow heartbeats
- A racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
A cardiologist may determine your heart condition through ECG testing and by looking at your general health condition and medical history. They will then determine whether the abnormal heart condition or heart arrhythmia needs a treatment or a "wait and watch" approach can be adopted.
Treatment may include medications or a cardiac surgery such as coronary bypass. It differs depending on whether you suffer from slow, fast, or irregular heartbeats.
The notable lifestyle changes that a heart specialist may suggest include quitting smoking & drinking, taking a heart friendly diet, moderate and heart specific exercise such as brisk walks, maintaining healthy weight and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under check.
If you are experiencing these symptoms and would like to see a specialist, schedule an appointment with one of IRMC Physician Group's board-certified cardiologists.