If you struggle with extreme fatigue, dizzy spells, fainting, and notice that your heart seems to beat irregularly, you may have heart rhythm disorders. At Central Valley Cardiovascular Center, Ranjit Rajpal, MD, FACP, FACC, specializes in diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms and helping patients receive proper treatment. With expert care, many people with arrhythmias lead happy and healthy lives. Call the office in Madera, California, or schedule an appointment online today.request an appointment
What are heart rhythm disorders?
Heart rhythm disorders commonly occur when there are electrical disturbances to your heart’s sinus node, which is your heart’s natural pacemaker. You may also experience rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias, if there are structural issues with your heart or changes in oxygen supply, such as during a heart attack.
An arrhythmia varies from the regular beat of a healthy heart. A typical adult has about 80 heartbeats a minute, though a range of about 60-100 beats a minute can be your baseline. If your heart beats much slower, faster, or is irregular, you may have an abnormal heartbeat.
Abnormal heart rhythms can signal heart problems, which could be dangerous in some instances. However, having an abnormal heart rhythm doesn’t always mean you have a heart condition that needs treatment.
If you think you have a heart rhythm disorder, the expert cardiologists at Central Valley Cardiovascular Center can help aid in your diagnosis while offering the highest-quality care.
What are the types of heart rhythm disorders?
Common arrhythmias that affect the heart can include:
Tachycardia occurs when your heart is beating too fast (over 100 BPM at rest). This fast heart rhythm can affect your heart’s upper chambers (supraventricular tachycardia) or the lower chambers (ventricular tachycardia). The increased beating of your heart that occurs if you exert yourself or are excited is called sinus tachycardia, which is normal.
The opposite of tachycardia is bradycardia, which means your heart rate is below 60 BPM. This heart rhythm disorder typically occurs when there’s a disruption in the electrical signals between your heart’s atria and ventricles. Runners and people who are physically fit may have a naturally lower BPM rate.
Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a disorganized heart rhythm affecting the upper chambers of your heart. A-fib occurs if unstable electrical impulses start misfiring, causing your heart rate to go up to 175 beats per minute (BPM) and beat irregularly.
An atrial flutter will usually affect the right atrium — one of two upper chambers in your heart. Atrial flutters happen when a single electrical impulse crosses the affected atrium, resulting in a faster heart rate.
Ventricular fibrillation (V-fib) is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that causes the heart to stop beating. It occurs when irregular heartbeats prevent the ventricles from pumping blood out of your heart and towards the rest of your body.
What causes abnormal heart rhythms?
Causes of abnormal heart rhythms include:
- Heart disease
- Excessive caffeine
- Injury to the heart muscle
- Having heart surgery
- Low electrolyte levels
- Heart abnormalities
The Central Valley Cardiovascular Center team conducts a physical exam and records the electrical activity of your heart with a 12-lead EKG.
If your EKG doesn’t offer sufficient information, you might need to have an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of your heart). You might also need to undergo a stress test or wear a Holter monitor, which records your heart’s rhythm for 24-48 hours.
In some instances, Dr. Rajpal can implant a continuous loop recorder onsite under local anesthesia. This device will provide constant monitoring of your heart for up to three years.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is essential to ensure that you get the proper treatment. If you experience palpitations, extreme fatigue, or fainting, call Central Valley Cardiovascular Center today if your heart has an abnormal rhythm, or book an appointment online.