Disturbance of the heart’s rhythm occurs at least once in everyone’s life. It is important not to miss the moment and consult a doctor in time, because the wrong heart rate can be not only the result of overload or stress. Sometimes he points to serious illnesses.
Heart rhythm disorder is usually a symptom of some disease or disorder. Therefore, in no case do not ignore this problem, in order not to miss the more serious one.
The human heart consists of two ventricles and two atria. In the right atrium is a sinus node, in the cells of which an electrical impulse occurs. It spreads through the atria and reaches the atrioventricular junction, then covers both ventricles and leads to a contraction of the heart. When the heart contracts, this is the systole phase, and when it is resting, the diastole phase. If one of the three main points through which an electrical impulse passes, fails, the rhythm and conduction of the impulse are disturbed. The focus of electrical excitation may change (instead of a sinus node, come from other points), the flow of the pulse may be inhibited or the electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles be completely interrupted – all these are rhythm disturbances.
Heart rhythm disorder: causes of failure
Normally, a healthy person’s pulse is 60-90 beats per minute. In order to count the pulse correctly, it is not necessary to wait a full minute – it is enough to count the number of heartbeats for 6 seconds and multiply this number by 10.
There are a lot of heart rhythm disturbances, we will tell you about the most common ones. If the heart rate increases to 100 or more beats per minute, it is a sinus tachycardia. As a rule, an electrocardiogram does not show noticeable irregularities in the state of the heart. Such a rhythm disturbance may indicate a normal reaction to physical exertion or stress – if we are talking about a healthy person.
If the heart rate increases to 100 or more beats per minute, it is a sinus tachycardia. If heart palpitations occur frequently and for no apparent reason, this may indicate thyroid disease, intoxication, and heart disease.
But if heart palpitations occur frequently and for no apparent reason, this may indicate thyroid disease, intoxication, and heart disease. As a rule, tachycardia at rest is present in the majority of smokers, especially avid and with a long history.
- Too rare a pulse – less often than 60 beats per minute – is called sinus bradycardia. In physically healthy people, it occurs rarely, but sometimes it occurs in professional athletes.
- If the patient feels that the heart seems to stop while reducing the pulse, in addition to this, his head is spinning (up to loss of consciousness), then they say that bradycardia is accompanied by a heart block.
Bradycardia often occurs with intoxication (especially mushroom poisoning), as well as a decrease in thyroid function, hypothermia, etc. If the heart beats too often and feels not exactly rhythmically, it is possible that the patient has extrasystole.
- Extrasystole – a contraction of the heart or its departments, which occurs earlier than normal.
As a rule, an extrasystole is accompanied by a corresponding pause in the heartbeat, due to which the entire rhythm is disturbed. When atrial fibrillation occurs, a chaotic contraction of individual groups of fibers of the heart muscle occurs. Such contractions may be in the form of atrial fibrillation or flutter.
- Flicker is a chaotic contraction of individual groups of muscle fibers of the Atria. A flutter is a regular contraction of the atria or parts thereof, with a rhythm of about 250-300 times per minute. The ventricles contract in a more sparse rhythm, quite regularly (after every 2nd, 3rd, etc., atrial contractions). Flutter is less common than flicker. Both forms of arrhythmia in the same person can alternate.
In atrial fibrillation, the atria do not contract correctly, and the ventricles also, respectively, contract non-rhythmically. This is a rather serious disturbance of the rhythm, and its deceit is that it is often not felt by the patient. Atrial fibrillation can lead to heart failure. As a rule, the pulse of atrial fibrillation rises to 100 or even 150 beats per minute, and the main treatment is directed not so much at restoring the rhythm as at reducing the pulse rate – to allow the heart muscle to rest.
Atrial fibrillation is found in heart defects and other pathologies of the cardiovascular system, thyrotoxicosis, as well as in the abuse of alcoholic beverages.
- Paroxysmal tachycardia is characterized by a sharp and sudden increase in heart rate from 130 to 200 or more beats per minute.
The attack can last from several seconds to several days. When paroxysmal tachycardia occurs in any part of the heart, a focus of excitation arises, which is different from the sinus node and produces electrical impulses of higher frequency. Causes of atrial paroxysmal tachycardia (when the focus occurs in the atria) – oxygen starvation of the heart muscle, metabolic disorders or electrolyte balance in the blood.
All this can be accompanied by pressure in the chest, increased heart rate, pain in the heart, and sometimes shortness of breath. In the event that an attack is caused by disturbances in the work of the autonomic nervous system, the patient most often complains of lack of air, chills, and an increase in blood pressure. Causes of ventricular paroxysmal tachycardia – coronary heart disease, inflammatory diseases of the heart muscle, defects. This type of paroxysmal tachycardia is a life-threatening rhythm disorder!
Some people are born with additional ways of conducting electrical impulses, the so-called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. A person lives a normal life, but in response to an acute cold, a serious injury or poisoning, a rhythm disorder suddenly begins.
If it occurs rarely and passes without a trace, it does not require treatment. Such patients are prohibited heavy physical exertion, limited to admission to certain types of work. However, if the seizures occur frequently and the person loses working capacity, a special operation is performed (catheter destruction of the additional pathway).
Heart rhythm disorders: what’s the backbone?
Rhythm disturbances are sometimes caused by rather unusual causes. For example, inclined to overweight women older than 40 years often have a change in heart rhythm. Surveys do not show serious irregularities in the heart and blood vessels. However, a more detailed examination revealed gallstones, which provoke arrhythmia (this is due to the peculiarities of the body’s reflex conductivity).
Until the stone is removed, the rhythm will not be restored. The extrasystole with osteochondrosis of the cervical and thoracic spine is common. Most often it occurs in men, especially avid motorists and office workers (and those and others spend a lot of time in a sitting position). They have changes in the intervertebral discs of the cervical and thoracic spine, which, in turn, can cause changes in the heart rhythm. Whatever therapy for rhythm correction is not used in this case, until the spine is cured, the beats will not disappear.
Often, changes in rhythm causes vegetative dystonia (VVD). Most often it is extrasystole, a simple increase or decrease in rhythm.
If, as a result of the examination, there are no lesions of the heart muscle and the conduction system, and the disorders themselves are not accompanied by changes in blood circulation, such an arrhythmia does not require medical intervention. Attacks are removed with sedatives, herbs (valerian, motherwort), relaxing baths (for example, with needles), a contrast shower, swimming in the pool, river, sea. Remember: a healthy lifestyle is the best medicine.
Heart rhythm disorders: do not miss the disease!
In addition to purely heart diseases, rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias) are most often caused by:
- osteochondrosis of the cervico-thoracic spine (this is especially important for office workers who sit at the table all day);
- diseases of the thyroid gland (in case of insufficient thyroid function, a decrease in the pulse is observed, with hyperfunction – an increase, up to serious problems, for example, atrial fibrillation);
- intoxication, poisoning of the body (especially in the summer period), loss of the most important electrolytes (potassium, sodium, chlorine and others) along with vomiting, diarrhea, too intense sweating;
- improper nutrition, too hungry or unbalanced diet, improperly selected dietary supplements – they also provoke changes in electrolyte balance and, as a result, are fraught with cardiac rhythm disorders;
- diseases of the liver and kidneys, as a result of which these organs incompletely clean the blood. Check in on time!
The main method for diagnosing cardiac arrhythmias is an electrocardiogram (ECG). This examination allows you to determine the type of arrhythmia. If an ECG is performed at rest, the violation may not be monitored, because it is extremely difficult to “catch” the moment of failure.
Therefore, in difficult cases, monitoring by Halter is used: special sensors attached to the device are attached to the patient’s body. He walks with them for one or several days. Instruments record any changes in rhythm, so you can determine with great accuracy what exactly caused the pathology and clarify the form of arrhythmia.
In addition, carry out cardiac monitoring with a load. The patient at a fast pace walks along the treadmill or pedals the exercise bike, and special sensors attached to his body record how the heart reacts to the load. To diagnose any type of arrhythmia, it is important whether rhythm disturbances occur during exercise. In this case, most likely, the reason is in intracardiac pathology. When the rhythm is lost at the end of the stress test, most likely, it is a question of external influence (diseases of internal organs and systems, endocrine problems, and other diseases). Rhythm disturbances can be prevented! To do this, it is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, periodically give the vessels a moderate load (at least a contrast shower in the morning) and regularly visit the therapist.