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Alarming signs of an unhealthy heart!

“My heart skipped a beat” is the saying we often say when we are excited or nervous. Well, an irregular heartbeat is much more common than you think. Arrhythmia is the word for an irregular heartbeat. Often arrhythmia is considered harmless. However, if you feel a constant irregular heartbeat, then you should consult a doctor who would diagnose you if you need irregular heartbeat treatment.

Premature ventricular contraction (PVC) is the most common kind of irregular heartbeat. It occurs when the heart beats too early causing a more energetic second beat, resulting in fluttering or pounding sensation in the chest. Most of the people experience this at least once in a day, while many don’t even notice it.

Temporary arrhythmia can be caused due to stress, alcohol and caffeine though there are factors that can cause permanent arrhythmia too. Let us see the list of temporary and permanent arrhythmia:

What are the causes of a constant irregular heartbeat?

  • Temporary arrhythmia:

    • Extreme consumption of caffeine or alcohol

    • Drug abuse

    • Dehydration

    • Fever

    • Anaemia

    • Sleep Apnea

    • Emotional distress

    • Excessive eating or exercising

    • Pregnancy

It is advisable to make notes when you experience irregular heartbeats and share the information with a heart consultant.

  • Heart surgery

Heart surgery is a life-saving operation that removes clots to get your life back. But, the operating heart can change the way the heart works, which includes the rate at which heartbeats. Doctors often monitor your heart after heart surgery as it can increase the risk of arrhythmia.

  • Fluctuations in your heart muscle

When one experiences a heart attack, they also risk cardiomyopathy or an abnormality of the heart. In cardiomyopathy, the heart may swell and make it difficult to pump blood. This can also cause arrhythmia.

  • Coronary artery diseases

Arteries are the path for oxygen and nutrients. Fat, cholesterol and calcium can build plaques in the arteries, which may lead to coronary artery disease. These plaques make it difficult for blood to flow and can strain the heart from smooth functioning. As the heart weakens, irregular heartbeats can develop, which requires treatment for irregular heartbeats. A rapid heartbeat can lead to heart palpitations, heart attack, blood clots and stroke.

  • Electrolyte imbalance

You have heard of electrolyte in sports or workout drinks, but they relate to your heart as well. How are electrolytes used for monitoring the functioning of the heart? Electrolytes are small traces of metal that conduct electricity, which allows the heart to beat. Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are all examples of electrolytes. If you have too many or too few electrolytes in your body, it can change the way your heart beats.

When to see a doctor?

It is challenging for people to recognise if an irregular heartbeat is a sign of something serious. Consult your doctor who can help you figure out certain types of arrhythmia and monitor your heart. Types of arrhythmia like atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation that can lead to cardiac arrest and heart attack.

Run for emergency medical attention if you face dizziness, shortness of breath and pain in the chest also if you notice insensitivity on one side of your body, facial drooping, confusion, muscular weakness, etc. which can be signs of a stroke. Consulting a doctor who is specialised with cardiac issues, can profoundly suggest you irregular heartbeat treatment, like Pranayam Lung and Heart Institute.

The echocardiogram is the initial test that is conducted for tracking irregular heartbeat. This test analyses the structure and function of your heart. Patients might be asked to wear a portable monitoring device for 1 to 2 days that would record heartbeats and observe irregular rhythm.

What screening tests are done for your cardiac health?

  • Family history has a significant role to play as if any member of your family has a particular disease; then there are high chances for you to develop the disease at some stage of your life.

  • Blood pressure is always measured for any regular screening test. High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiac issues.

  • High cholesterol level is an essential factor for heart diseases. Lipid Panel screening test is used for measuring the level of cholesterol. This screening is used in measuring low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins and triglycerides.

  • The high blood sugar level is the most vital risk factor for stroke and cardiac diseases. Blood glucose level and fasting are done to monitor and make an accurate diagnosis.

What should be the frequency of heart checkup?

Generally, for people who are above the age group 20 years should go for heart screening. According to the American Heart Association, if a person has average blood pressure less than 120/80mmHg, then one should be screened for cardiovascular abnormalities every 2 years. Adding to which, for low-risk patients cholesterol levels should be analysed every 4 to 6 years and blood glucose level every 3 years.

How to work on your risk factors?

Once you have identified, you need to work on your risk factors to cope up with your health condition.

  • Lifestyle changes -

Changing lifestyle from a lazy one to incorporating physical exercises in your routine alleviates the risk of physical and mental ailments. Maintaining a good lifestyle is highly recommended for all people who have developed risk factors for cardiac diseases.

  • Balanced diet -

Omega-3 is a beneficial food substance to add in your diet when you have had a history of cardiac diseases. Being at the risk factor of heart disease does not imply that one should stop the intake of fats in the diet. You need to eat more cautiously, keeping in mind the impact of your food.

  • Exercise -

Exercise works on your physical and mental wellbeing. It prepares you for day to day tasks, builds stamina and improves the functioning of the heart.

It would be best if you got your cardiac screening done regularly, according to your risk factors, to identify any abnormality at time.

Things to Keep in Mind to Prevent Heart Diseases:

Obesity is connected to various diseases in the body. It mainly increases cardiovascular issues.

There are some of the ways to check whether you have a risk of heart disease. Firstly, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference can be checked. If your BMI is higher than 30 and waist circumference higher than 35 in women whereas for men if the waist circumference is 40 or higher for men, then it raises the level of heart disease.

A healthy diet will help to maintain weight, lowering cholesterol, heart diseases and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Have enough fruits and vegetables; meat lovers should opt for lean meat or fish, have beans and pulses as they are good sources of protein, and refined oil can be replaced with olive oil.

It is necessary to have 7-9 hours of sound sleep as sleep manages stress-reducing your heart diseases. Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure, obesity and risk of a heart attack. Snoring or sleep apnea causes destruction in the airway, which can be severe, which can be treated at Pranayam hospital, one of the best hospitals in Baroda.

There are a few food items whose intake should be limited, like sugar and salt intake should be limited, avoid processed carbohydrates, red meat and fried products, also saturated fat should be consumed.

Managing stress is another factor to have a healthy mind and body. Everyone has a different way to manage their stress but rather than engaging yourself in drinking, smoking and overreacting, it is good to have a healthy life. Thus, meditation and yoga improve your mood and relaxes your mind.

Notice your irregular heartbeats, consult a doctor who after analysing can suggest you irregular heartbeat treatment. A regular full body checkup, including heart check-up, will help in diagonalising early symptoms of diseases.

Pranayam Lung and Heart Institute is a leading and well-equipped hospital in Baroda. We treat our patients who have various respiratory and cardiac diseases with our team of experts and high-end technology. We believe in developing a healthy environment for the last 4 decades, and we continue to strive for it in future as well. Have a word with us. Contact us!

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