Arrhythmia Prevention

Arrhythmias require medical treatment to keep the heartbeat regular

ArrhythmiaIf heart disease is not causing the arrhythmia, your health professional will talk with you about your Arrhythmia prevention options.

These options will almost certainly be based on what is causing it and will possibly include a list of things that you can do to avoid and/or reduce Arrhythmias.

These options will almost certainly be based on what is causing it and will possibly include a list of things that you can do to avoid and/or reduce Arrhythmias.

For example, if caffeine or alcohol is the cause, the doctor may ask you not to drink coffee, tea, colas, or alcoholic beverages.

Describing how the heart beats normally helps to explain what happens during an arrhythmia.

The heart is a muscular pump divided into four chambers – two atria located on the top and two ventricles located on the bottom.

Normally each heartbeat starts in the right atrium. Here, a specialised group of cells called the sinus node, or natural pacemaker, sends an electrical signal. The signal spreads throughout the atria to the area between the atria called the atrioventricular (AV) node.

The AV node connects to a group of special pathways that conduct the signal to the ventricles below. As the signal travels through the heart, the heart contracts. First the atria contract, pumping blood into the ventricles. A fraction of a second later, the ventricles contract, sending blood throughout the body.

Usually the whole heart contracts between 60 and 100 times per minute. Each contraction equals one heartbeat.

An arrhythmia may occur for any one of the several reasons:

  • Instead of beginning in the sinus node, the heartbeat begins in another part of the heart.
  • The sinus node develops an abnormal rate or rhythm.
  • A patient has a heart block.

What is a heart block?

Heart block is a condition in which the electrical signal cannot travel normally down the special pathways to the ventricles. For example, the signal from the atria to the ventricle may be

  1. delayed, but each one conducted
  2. delayed with only some getting through, or
  3. completely interrupted

If there is no conduction, the beat generally originates from the ventricles and is very slow.

There are many types of arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are identified by where they occur in the heart (atria or ventricles) and by what happens to the heart’s rhythm when they occur.

In this section

What is an Arrhythmia
Diagnosing Arrhythmia
Arrhthmia Treatment
Arrhthmia Prevention – You are on this page

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