Heart Rhythm

Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical impulses that co-ordinate your heartbeats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. Heart arrhythmias (uh-RITH-me-uhs) may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless. However, some heart arrhythmias may cause bothersome sometimes even life-threatening signs and symptoms. Heart arrhythmia treatment can often control or eliminate fast, slow or irregular heartbeats. In addition, because troublesome heart arrhythmias are often made worse or are even caused by a weak or damaged heart, you may be able to reduce your arrhythmia risk by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Many things can lead to, or cause, an arrhythmia, including:

  • A heart attack that's occurring right now
  • Scarring of heart tissue from a prior heart attack
  • Changes to your heart's structure, such as from cardiomyopathy
  • Blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease)
  • High blood pressure
  • Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Drug abuse
  • Stress
  • Certain medications and supplements, including over-the-counter cold and allergy drugs and nutritional supplements
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Genetics

 

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