Heart rhythm disorder, also known as arrhythmia, is a condition where the heart beats either too fast, too slow or skips a beat. It occurs due to irregularities in the electrical impulse system that controls the heartbeat. 

Stethoscope and a plastic heart

There are many factors that cause arrhythmia, and it does not necessarily mean there is a serious heart condition. Arrhythmia generally feels like a fast pacing heart which can be harmless, sometimes troublesome, and sometimes fatal.  

 Irregular heartbeats symptoms are not usually traceable, however, some significant signs include:

  • Pulsating feeling in chest
  • Increases heartbeat, known as tachycardia
  • Decreased heartbeat, known as bradycardia
  • Pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shakiness in head
  • Loss of consciousness 

Among multiple reasons that can cause arrhythmias include an occurring (currently) heart attack; damaged heart tissue (from previous attack); structural cardiomyopathy i.e. change in heart structure; artery blockage; increased blood pressure; thyroid (both hyper and hypo). Besides these conditions, there are some other factors which can induce arrhythmia. They are:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol or caffeine addicting
  • Drug abuse
  • Sleep apnea
  • Metabolic disorders like diabetes
  •  Allergic reaction to medication
  • Genetics

 The available treatment for irregular heartbeat, include medication and surgery, depending on the occurring condition. It is suggested to seek immediate medical attention if any of the signs are experienced suddenly or frequently. If ignored, the complication may lead to heart failure or stroke.  The best way to prevent having arrhythmia is to change lifestyle which includes eating heart friendly food, regular workout, maintained weight, reduced stress, limited caffeine and alcohol consumption.