Arrhythmias of the heart - violations of the frequency, rhythm and sequence of contractions of the heart. They can occur with structural changes in the conduction system in diseases of the heart and (or) under the influence of vegetative, endocrine, electrolyte and other metabolic disorders, with intoxication and some medicinal effects.
Often, even with pronounced structural changes in the myocardium, arrhythmia is caused partly or mainly by metabolic disorders.
Heart arrhythmia what is it and how to treat? In normal heart is reduced at regular intervals with a frequency of 60-90 beats per minute. In accordance with the needs of the body, it can either slow down its work, or speed up the number of cuts in a minute. By definition, WHO, arrhythmia is any cardiac rhythm that differs from normal sinus rhythm.
Why does heart arrhythmia occur, and what is it? The causes of arrhythmia may be functional disorders of the nervous regulation, or anatomical changes. Often, cardiac arrhythmias are a symptom of a disease.
Among the pathologies of the cardiovascular system, the following conditions are accompanied by arrhythmias:
- ischemic heart disease due to changes in myocardial structure and expansion of cavities;
- myocarditis due to impaired electrical stability of the heart;
- heart defects due to increased load on muscle cells;
- injuries and surgical interventions on the heart lead to direct damage to the pathways.
Among the main factors provoking the development of arrhythmia are the following:
- addiction to energy drinks and caffeine containing;
- excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking;
- stress and depression;
- excessive exercise;
- metabolic disorders;
- cardiac pathologies such as malformations, ischemic disease, myocarditis, hypertension, and other conditions;
- disruption of work and thyroid disease;
- infectious processes and fungal infections;
- conditions in the period of menopause;
- brain diseases.
Idiopathic arrhythmia refers to a condition when, after a comprehensive examination of the patient, the causes remain unspecified.
Depending on the heart rate, the following types of arrhythmias are distinguished:
- Sinus tachycardia. Leading in the formation of electrical impulses in the myocardium is the sinus node. With sinus tachycardia, the heart rate exceeds 90 beats per minute. It is felt by a person as a heartbeat.
- Sinus arrhythmia. This is an abnormal heartbeat alternation. This type of arrhythmia usually occurs in children and adolescents. It can be functional and breathing related. When inhaling, contractions of the heart become more frequent, and when exhaling, they become less frequent.
- Sinus bradycardia. It is characterized by a decrease in heart rate to 55 beats per minute or less. It can be observed in healthy, physically trained individuals at rest, in a dream.
- Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. In this case, talking about a heart palpitations with the right rhythm. The frequency of contractions during an attack reaches 240 beats per minute, causes a faint state, increased sweating, pallor and weakness. The reason for this condition lies in the appearance of additional impulses in the atria, as a result of which the rest periods of the heart muscle are greatly reduced.
- Paroxysmal tachycardia. This is the correct, but frequent rhythm of the heart. The heart rate at the same time ranges from 140 to 240 beats per minute. It begins and disappears suddenly.
- Extrasystole. This is a premature (extraordinary) contraction of the heart muscle. Feelings with this type of arrhythmias can be either a boosted pulse in the region of the heart or fading.
Depending on the severity and severity of cardiac arrhythmias, the treatment regimen is determined.
Symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia
In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, the symptoms can be very diverse and are determined by the frequency and rhythm of heart contractions, their effect on intracardiac, cerebral, renal hemodynamics, as well as myocardial function of the left ventricle.
The main signs of arrhythmia are the heartbeat or the feeling of interruptions, fading during the work of the heart. The course of arrhythmias may be accompanied by asphyxiation, angina pectoris, dizziness, weakness, fainting, and the development of cardiogenic shock.
Symptomatology depending on the form of arrhythmia:
- Feelings of frequent, irregular heartbeat are noted with atrial fibrillation.
- Cardiac fading and discomfort in the heart area - with sinus arrhythmia.
- In extrasystoles, patients complain of feelings of fading, tremors and interruptions in the work of the heart.
- Palpitations are usually associated with sinus tachycardia.
- Paroxysmal tachycardia is characterized by sudden developing and terminating bouts of heartbeat up to 140-220 beats. in minutes
- Attacks of dizziness and fainting - with sinus bradycardia or sick sinus syndrome.
There are so-called "dumb" arrhythmias that do not manifest themselves clinically. They are usually detected by physical examination or electrocardiography.
Arrhythmia during pregnancy
The prognosis of pregnancy and the upcoming delivery depends on how the woman’s heart responds to the expected events. However, it must not be forgotten that pregnancy itself, being not an ordinary condition, can cause a rhythm disturbance and give arrhythmia. For example, the appearance of extrasystole or paroxysmal tachycardia during pregnancy, as a rule, does not indicate organic lesion of the myocardium, and occurs in approximately 19–20% of pregnant women. And if late toxicosis joins all this, then it is not necessary to wait for another from the heart, arrhythmias will intensify.
This type of arrhythmia, as complete or incomplete atrioventricular block, does not pose a particular danger to the health of a woman. In addition, pregnancy contributes to an increase in the ventricular rate, so measures are taken only in cases of falling pulse to 35 and lower beats per minute (obstetric aid - the imposition of obstetric forceps). But with organic heart disease, women are treated with increased attention, since the appearance of atrial fibrillation in such a situation is a contraindication to the preservation of pregnancy. In addition, the choice of mode of delivery before the term also requires special care. It seems so benign, in other cases, a cesarean section in such patients may be threatened with thromboembolism in the pulmonary artery system (PE).
Of course, no one can forbid pregnancy to anyone, so women with heart disease consciously take the risk driven by their cherished desire to become a mother. But since a pregnancy has already happened, the prescriptions and recommendations of the doctor must be strictly followed: observe the work and rest schedule, take the necessary medicines and be hospitalized if necessary under the supervision of physicians. Childbirth in such women, as a rule, takes place in a specialized clinic, where a woman at any time can receive emergency medical care (taking into account heart disease) in case of unforeseen circumstances.
If there are signs of arrhythmia, the doctor will prescribe a complete examination of the heart and blood vessels to identify its cause. The primary diagnostic methods are listening to the heart and ECG.
If the pathology is not of a permanent nature, Holter monitoring is used — round-the-clock recording of heart beat rhythms using special sensors (performed in the in-patient department). In some cases, passive research is not enough. Then doctors induce arrhythmia in artificial ways. For this, several standard tests have been developed. Here they are:
- exercise stress;
- electrophysiological examination;
- test with an inclined table.
Treatment of cardiac arrhythmias
In the case of a diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia, the choice of treatment tactics is carried out taking into account the cause, the type of heart rhythm disorder and the patient's general condition. Sometimes, to restore normal heart function, it is enough to conduct a medical correction of the underlying disease. In other cases, the patient may require medical or surgical treatment, which must necessarily be carried out under the systematic control of an ECG.
Drugs used in drug therapy for arrhythmias:
- calcium channel blockers - verapamil / diltiazem;
- beta blockers - metoprolol / bisoprolol / atenolol;
- potassium channel blockers - cordaron / sogexal;
- sodium channel blockers - Novocainid / lidocaine.
Surgery is resorted to at the stages of severe degradation of muscular cardiac tissue. The following procedures can be assigned:
- cardiac pacing;
- implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator;
- radiofrequency catheter ablation.
The treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, especially of its complex forms, is done only by a cardiologist. Apply the above preparations only according to strict indications, depending on the type of arrhythmia. At the beginning of the treatment, the selection of the drug should be carried out under the supervision of a physician, and in severe cases only in the hospital. Given the diagnosis, the doctor selects drug therapy.
Immediately, we note that in the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia, folk remedies should be used only as an adjunct to traditional medicines, but in no case should they be replaced. In fact, herbs only accelerate the healing process, but are not able to cure a person completely. That is what should proceed when choosing your favorite recipes.
- Pour 30 hawthorn berries with a glass of boiling water and put the mixture on a small fire for 10-15 minutes. The decoction is used fresh in equal portions throughout the day.
- Mix one bottle of spirit tincture of valerian, hawthorn and motherwort. Shake the mixture well and place it in the fridge for 1-2 days. The medicine is taken 30 minutes before meals, 1 teaspoon.
- Boil a glass of water in an enamel saucepan, and then add 4 grams of adonis herb to it. Boil the mixture for 4-5 minutes over low heat, then cool it and place the pan in a warm, dry place for 20-30 minutes. Strained broth is stored in the refrigerator, taken 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.
- Cut 0.5 kg of lemons and fill them with fresh honey, adding to the mixture of 20 kernels, removed from the seeds of apricots. Mix thoroughly and take 1 tablespoon in the morning and evening.
The course of any arrhythmia can be complicated by ventricular fibrillation and flutter, which is equivalent to the arrest of blood circulation, and lead to the death of the patient. Already in the first seconds dizziness, weakness develop, then - loss of consciousness, involuntary urination and convulsions. Blood pressure and pulse are not detected, breathing stops, pupils dilate - a state of clinical death occurs.
In patients with chronic circulatory failure (angina pectoris, mitral stenosis), dyspnea occurs during paroxysms of tachyarrhythmias and pulmonary edema may develop.
With complete atrioventricular block or asystole, syncopal states (Morgagni-Adems-Stokes attacks characterized by episodes of loss of consciousness) may develop, caused by a sharp decrease in cardiac output and blood pressure and a decrease in the blood supply to the brain.
Thromboembolic disorders in atrial fibrillation in every sixth case lead to cerebral stroke.
Even when you know what this disease is, any advice on how to treat arrhythmia will be useless if you do not follow the simple rules of prevention at home:
- Morning exercise, or athletics.
- Monitor blood sugar and blood pressure
- Give up all bad habits.
- Maintain your weight within normal limits.
- Lead the most relaxed, even lifestyle, minimally exposed to excessive emotions, stress, and stress.
- Proper diet, consisting of exclusively natural products.
If the first signs of arrhythmia appear, then you should not wait for the addition of more serious symptoms, contact your doctor immediately, then the risk of complications and weighting of general well-being will be much lower.
In terms of prognosis, arrhythmias are extremely ambiguous. Some of them (supraventricular extrasystoles, rare extrasystoles of the ventricles), not associated with organic heart disease, do not pose a threat to health and life. Atrial fibrillation, in contrast, can cause life-threatening complications: ischemic stroke, severe heart failure.
The most severe arrhythmias are flutter and ventricular fibrillation: they represent an immediate threat to life and require resuscitation.