Heart Rhythm Abnormalities

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A heart rhythm disorder is an abnormal variation from the normal heartbeat. Heart rhythm disorders involve abnormalities of one or more of the following: heart rate, regularity of beats, sites where electrical impulses originate, or sequence of activation of heartbeats. Heart rhythm disorder is also referred to as an arrhythmia.

The primary function of the heart is to supply blood and nutrients to the body. The regular beating, or contraction, of the heart moves the blood throughout the body. Each heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses traveling through the heart. In the normal heart these electrical impulses occur in regular intervals. When something goes wrong with the heart's electrical system, the heart does not beat regularly.
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Often though, it is due to the side effects of medications used to control high blood pressure. Side effects of beta blocker and certain calcium channel blocker drugs include a slowing of the heart rate.

Body environment is also important with slow heart rhythm abnormalities.Hypothermia, or low body temperature, is a potential cause.

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The symptoms of heart rythm disorders are Premature atrial contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are variations of normal and most often, people are unaware that an extra beat has occurred. However, some patients are keenly aware of any extra heartbeat, even if it is a normal variant and requires no treatment.

That said, the initial symptom of dysrhythmia is often palpitations, a sensation that the heart is beating too quickly, too slowly, beating irregularly, or skipping a beat. The palpitations may be intermittent or may require medical intervention to resolve.

Because of the heart rhythm abnormality, other symptoms may occur because of decreased cardiac output (the amount of blood that the heart pushes out to meet the body's demand for oxygen and energy). The patient may complain oflightheadedness, weakness, nausea andvomiting, chest pain, and shortness of
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The following are some of the types of arrhythmias:

Premature atrial contractions, sometimes called PAC or APC, or premature supraventricular contractions: This happens when another part of the atria sends an electrical impulse soon after the previous beat, causing the heart to contract earlier than expected. This arrhythmia is a very common occurrence in all ages and usually is not serious.

Supraventricular tachycardia, or paroxysmal SVT or PSVT: SVToccurs when any structure above the ventricle (usually the atria or the AV node) produces a regular, rapid electrical impulse resulting in a rapid heartbeat.
Sick sinus syndrome: Irregular electrical impulses generated by the SA node cause a slower-than-normal heart rate (sometimes alternating with rapid heart rates if the electrical impulses switch to a high rate).
Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome: This is an arrhythmia people are born with because they have extra electrical pathways leading from the atrium to the ventricle that can cause tachycardia and particular types of rapid arrhythmias.
Atrial fibrillation: This is a common condition caused by electrical impulses discharged at a rapid rate from many different areas of the atria. It usually causes a fast and irregular

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