We’ve all had a slight scare when our heartbeat feels irregular at some point. I, for one, have had instances where it was beating way too fast for comfort. Other times, we might experience slow or inconsistent rhythms. It’s important to know how to deal with this type of situation and whether or not we should be concerned.
The problem is, most people don’t know when to see a doctor or take their heartbeat, our hearts rhythms seriously. Also, there are things we can do at home to relax and stabilize before seeking medical assistance. For this, I’ve compiled some information that should make this easier.
Diagnosing for Irregular Heartbeat Issues
To start, we have to differentiate a pulse and a heartbeat. A heartbeat is the number of times the heart contracts per minute. This is also known as the bpm, or beats per minute. A pulse is the mechanical pulse of blood that surges through capillaries because of the heart’s contractions.
What we’re looking for, to diagnose an irregular heartbeat, is to track a pulse over time or use an electrocardiogram (ECG). We can do this with two fingers on a wrist and counting the beats for 10 seconds. If we multiply this by six, we get our heart rate.
A machine, like the SonoHealth’s EKGraph, does all the work for us. We set it up, turn it on, and we’re good to go. It’s highly recommended to use a device like this because it’s more accurate and easier to use.
Know When to See a Doctor
The normal resting rate sits between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If we have a pulse that consistently sits above or below this average, we should seek immediate medical attention.
Keep a close eye on what your heart is doing with SonoHealth’s EKGraph tool. Take a proactive measure to manage your Atrial Fibrillation today!
Treating an Irregular Heartbeat
There are a few things we can do to diminish the effects of heart conditions like arrhythmia:
- Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Diet low in salt.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce alcohol and tobacco intake
Doctors, on the other hand, can treat heart conditions. Some forms of treatment include:
- Surgery (Maze procedure and Coronary bypass surgery)
- Implantable devices (Pacemaker or Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator)
- Vagal maneuvers, medication, cardioversion, and catheter ablation (for fast heartbeats)
Irregular Heartbeat FAQs
- How serious is an irregular heartbeat?
Most irregular heartbeats are harmless. However, some are a cause of a weak or damaged heart and can cause serious or fatal symptoms.
- Can stress and anxiety cause an irregular heartbeat?
PVC, or premature ventricular contraction, is one of the most common types of irregular heartbeats. Alcohol, caffeine, and stress can produce temporary PVC. This can, in some cases, be permanent.
- What is the most common cause of an irregular heartbeat?
Premature Ventricular Contraction is the most common.