Early Warning Signs

If you are experiencing a racing, pounding, rumbling or flopping feeling in your chest or if you have been fainting, having repeated dizzy spells, feeling lightheaded or you are extremely fatigued, it's time to see a doctor to discuss your heart health.

Even people who look healthy and free of heart disease can have arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), but those with heart disease are at the highest risk. So, reducing heart disease is important to lowering the risk of arrhythmias. Since the cause of an arrhythmia is not always clear, the best course of action is to prevent and treat heart problems, such as atherosclerosis (“clogged” arteries) and high blood pressure. 

Risk Factors For Arrhythmias and Heart Disease

The following conditions can increase the chance of developing arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms:

  • Coronary artery disease (blockage in the arteries/pipes of the heart)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity/overweight
  • A high-fat diet
  • Excessive use of alcohol (more than 2 drinks per day)
  • Drug abuse
  • Stress
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Advancing age (getting older)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies

Keep Exploring

Heart Rhythm Disorders
Millions of people experience irregular or abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly. Having other types of heart disease can also increase the risk of arrhythmias.
Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
This section is for pediatric patients and families living with heart rhythm disorders and heart rhythm disorders related to congenital heart disease (CHD).
Common Treatments
Learning about the underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. Information and knowledge about care options, and their risks and benefits help you work with your health care provider to make the best choices.
Lifestyle
Since other heart disorders increase the risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms, lifestyle changes often are recommended. Living a “heart healthy” lifestyle can ease the symptoms experienced with heart rhythm disorders and other heart disorders, and can be beneficial to overall patient health.
The Normal Heart
The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood through the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest. The normal heart is made up of four parts: two atria on the top of the heart (right atrium and left atrium), and two ventricles (right ventricle and left ventricle) which are the muscular chambers on the bottom of the heart that provide the major power to pump blood.