What is Cardiac Dysrhythmia? Edit
Cardiac dysrhythmia is the proper medical term for an irregular or an abnormal heart rate. It occurs when the average adult heart rate falls below or rises above the normal range of 60 to 100 heart beats per minute. An irregular heartbeat can be life threatening. When the heart rate drops below 60 beats per minute, this condition is known as bradycardia (abnormal slow heart action). This is generally not a life threatening form of dysrhythmia, but it can cause aggravating symptoms. If symptoms are persistent, it may be treated by implanting a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a minute device that delivers electrical impulses to the heart muscle to manage a reasonable rhythm and heart rate. Pacemakers are placed just below the skin of the chest during a small surgical procedure. The pacemaker has two components: a pulse generator and the leads. The pulse generator stores a mini computer and a battery, and located just beneath the skin of the chest. The leads are several wires that are placed through the veins of the heart muscle and embedded into the heart. They relay impulses from the pulse generator to the heart; in addition, it senses the heart muscle’s electrical activity. Each impulse allows the heart muscle to contract.[http://www.webmd.com/ 1] The Opposite spectrum is when the heart rate rises above 100 beats per minute. This condition is called tachycardia. Tachycardia occurs when the electrical impulses controlling the heartbeat become abnormally fast. Exercise, stress, adrenaline, and stimulant sources such as caffeine can cause this condition. Generally, tachycardia is not life threatening unless it becomes extremely fast pace it causes blood pressure to drop and interferes with the pumping action of the heart.
How does Cardiac Dysrhythmia affect the Circulatory System? Edit
Cardiac Dysrhythmia affects the Circulatory system because it affects your blood flow, that flows to your circulatory system and affects the way your heart beats. So it affects the way the blood gets to your body cells and affects the way you get nutrients.
Cardiac Dysrhythmia may not cause and signs or symptoms, but your doctor may find that you have cardiac dysrhythmia during a routine examination. Some signs may be noticeable, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious problem. Noticeable symptoms may be:
- A fluttering in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- A racing heartbeat
- A slow heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Fainting or near fainting
- In extreme cases, cardiac arrest
To diagnose an arrhythmia, your doctor may ask you to describe your symptoms. He or she may ask whether you feel fluttering in your chest and whether you feel dizzy or light-headed.
Your doctor also may ask whether you have other health problems, such as a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid problems. He or she may ask about your family's medical history, including whether anyone in your family:
- Has a history of arrhythmias
- Has ever had heart disease or high blood pressure
- Has died suddenly
- Has other illnesses or health problems
Based on the information collected by the doctor he or she may do the following tests depending on your symptoms or habits:
- EKG (Electrocardiogram)
- Holter and Event monitors
- Blood Tests
- Chest xray
- Stress Test
- Electrophysiology study (EPS)
- Tilt Table Testing
- Coronary angiography
- Implantable loop recorder
A variety of drugs are available to treat Cardiac Dysrhythmia, they include:
- Antiarrhythmic drugs. These drugs control heart rate and include beta-blockers.
- Anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy. These drugs reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke. These include warfarin (a "blood thinner") or aspirin. Another blood thinner called Pradaxa (dabigatran) was approved in 2010 to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation.
Everyone's body functions differently, therefore it may take trials of several medications and doses to find the one that works best for you.
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