There are electrical impulses in our heart causing it to beat. Normal pace must be between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). You can actually measure your own heart rate, either by using an ECG device or taking your pulse. When the pace goes slower or faster than these numbers, then that is when you experience an abnormal heart rhythm or arrythmia .
There are activities that can normally cause your heart to beat irregularly. In cases when you are not in motion or just doing an effortless activity such as when you are at sleep, at rest, or inactive, the heart’s pace is usually slower. However, once you exert effort, become physically active, and start to move, like in brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, or cycling, then your heart’s rate will likely speed up. Similarly, there are emotions that can literally make your heart jump. When you are anxious or excited or scared, the rate doubles up in speed.
So how do you determine a normal irregular heartbeat and an arrythmia? Based on the above statement, you can already see when it is okay to have a slower or a faster heart beat. Yet, for the other case, the abnormal beating usually causes a feeling of discomfort like a sudden feeling of battering or hammering in your chest. It can also be characterized by an instance of trembling or quivering in your heart’s area. Such distresses are referred to as palpitations. Again, as palpitations can also be quite meaningless or harmless, at the same time, these could mean something. That is why it is important to seek advice on what these sensations mean to you or tell about your health.
The Types of Irregular Heart Rhythm
When the abrupt heart beat begins above the ventricles, it is referred to as a supraventricular arrhythmia. The common causes of this include hardening of the arteries, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic lung disease, and unhealthy lifestyle activities such as smoking and drug and alcohol abuse. Under this type fall conditions like premature atrial contractions (PACs), paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), atrial fibrillation, and atrial flutter. On the other hand, the opposite of this condition is ventricular arrhythmia wherein the abnormal heart beat came from the lower chambers of the heart. Belonging in this group are conditions like premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. Lastly, there are bradyarrhythmias characterized by slow heart beats which are often the result of a problem within the heart’s electrical system.
Diagnosing Abnormal Heartbeats
Once you confirmed the signs of an unusual beating in your heart, it is time to see a doctor and have him interpret what that could possibly mean. He will likely advise that you undergo some health tests such as ECG tests, echocardiogram, and cardiac catheterization. Such diagnostic exams will help identify and verify the presence of abnormal heart rhythm. After this, you might want to ask your doctor of the possible treatments available for your condition. Options may include medication, lifestyle changes, or therapies.