If you’ve been told you have arrhythmia, or you’re having odd symptoms, you probably have some questions. At Heart & Vascular Institute, our experts have the answers. We can help you understand what arrhythmia is, what treatments are available, and what a diagnosis of arrhythmia means in your specific situation. Blogs are important because there is a way for you to communicate with your audience. All the information that you need is available to you. Every month we can include something different.
Normal heart rhythm vs. arrhythmia
Your heart has a built-in pacemaker, located in the upper left chamber, or atrium. That natural pacemaker sends electrical signals telling both upper chambers, or atria, when to contract and pump blood into the two lower chambers, or ventricles. There’s a brief pause, allowing the ventricles to fill with blood, then the electrical signals tell the ventricles to contract.
Most of the time, a person with normal heart function has a heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute, in a steady rhythm, thanks to your built-in pacemaker. Of course, when you’re exercising or sleeping, your heart rate may be faster or slower.
When you have arrhythmia, you have a problem either with the number of beats per minute or with your heart’s rhythm. A tachycardia is a fast heart rate, and a bradycardia is a slow heart rate. Arrhythmias are classified as tachycardias or bradycardias, as well as by where they happen in the heart.
When your heart rhythm is off in the atria, it could be because you have:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial flutter
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
When your heart rhythm is off in your ventricles, it could be because of:
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular fibrillation
- Long QT syndrome
At Heart & Vascular Institute, we offer a wide range of diagnostic testing to identify and assess your arrhythmia.
Symptoms of arrhythmia
The symptoms you feel depend on the type and location of your arrhythmia. Some common ones include:
- Your heart skipping beats, or palpitations
- A fluttering feeling in your chest
- Feeling like your heart is racing, even if you’re sitting still
- Feeling exceptionally fatigued
- Dizziness, light-headedness, fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or discomfort in your chest
If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or some other underlying condition, you’re more likely to develop arrhythmia. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle factors can also lead to arrhythmia.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should book an appointment at Heart & Vascular Institute. Sometimes arrhythmia isn’t a threat to your health, but sometimes you need testing and treatment.
When you come to Heart & Vascular Institute, you get personalized treatment. Your treatment depends on many factors, including your age and overall health. All of those factors, plus your lifestyle and circumstances, make you the unique individual you are. Your care at Heart & Vascular Institute reflects that individuality.
Don’t just worry about your symptoms, book your appointment today. We have three locations for your convenience, in Dearborn, Detroit, and Southfield, Michigan. You can schedule online at the location of your choice, or call the office directly.