One of the most important vital organs in the human body is the heart. It is a muscle that pumps to all parts throughout the body. The blood being pumped throughout your body provides the oxygen and nutrients it needs to survive. Your heart beat is the sound of the heart pumping the blood throughout your body. This pumping is controlled by the heart’s electrical system.
Sometimes, the heart’s electrical system may be not functioning correctly due to coronary heart disease, medicines you are taking, chemicals in your bloodstream and sometimes unknown reasons. Changes in your heart’s electrical system can cause abnormal heart rhythms called ‘arrhythmias’, not to be confused with the more common palpitations of the heart. As leaders in cardiac monitoring, ReactDx wants you to know the differences between, and causes of, heart palpitations and arrhythmias.
Heart Palpitations: These feel as though your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too rapidly. They can occur during activity and while lying down, and are usually felt in the chest or neck. Various things can cause heart palpitations, such as:
- Strong emotions
- Strenuous physical activity
- Certain diet pills and decongestant medicines.
- Ingesting caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and illegal drugs
- Various medical conditions, such as thyroid disease or anemia
These factors may make your heart flutter and beat faster than usual, but the heart is still functioning normally and the palpitations are usually harmless.
Heart Arrhythmias: This is when a heart beats too fast, or too slow, or irregularly. Arrhythmias are caused by problems with your heart’s electrical system. The electrical signals may be firing too fast or too slow, causing the arrhythmia. Like palpitations, your heart seems to skip a beat or flutter. However, unlike palpitations, arrhythmias can be due to some serious health problems such as:
- Coronary artery disease
- Electrolyte imbalances in your blood
- Injury from a heart attack
- Healing process after surgery
Treatment for both of these heart abnormalities depends on the cause and how much they are affecting your body and health. Sometimes the heart is perfectly healthy, but its rhythm is interrupted by emotional stress or physical exertion. Arrhythmias may cause you to feel premature abnormal heartbeats, or feel like your heart is beating at an abnormal pace. They can be due to some serious medical conditions and sometimes doctors may not even be able to diagnose your arrhythmia right away. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your heart health, keep up with doctor visits, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
ReactDx, leaders in cardiac monitoring, wanted to give readers examples heart palpitations and arrhythmias to help address the causes and prevent future heart damage. Continue to read our blogs for more information on cardiac monitoring and other health related news.