Cardiac arrhythmias (arrhythmias)
normally suggests the Heart of an adult at rest about 60 to 80 times per minute. Every day. Continuously and regularly. but sometimes it happens in virtually every human being that the heartbeat is irregular, too fast or too slow. This is not necessarily dangerous - and often the person does not perceive such a heart rhythm disorder.
In well-trained endurance athletes as the resting heart rate is often lower. The reason: Your heart has rarely, propose to supply the body with enough blood. On the other hand, various factors can cause the heart temporarily beats a little faster than normal, for example, too much alcohol, coffee or stress.
Whether an arrhythmia is harmless, less harmless or dangerous and whether treatment is necessary at all, only an internist or cardiologist can decide.
What are arrhythmias?
Cardiac arrhythmias can be divided into:
If it comes between heartbeats to pauses which last longer than three seconds, this is called asystole. Individual extra heart beats in addition to the basic rhythm hot extrasystoles. Most of these manifest themselves as palpitations.
Ventricular tachycardia: Dangerous rapid heartbeat
Cardiac arrhythmias can have many different causes - some of them are harmless, some morbid.
Trivia: How is an arrhythmia?
Normally arise in the heart itself - the so-called sinus node - regularly and rhythmically about 60 to 80 impulses per minute. Of the electrical impulses through the atria and the AV node through the entire heart of wide there.
Damage or faults on the sinus node, the natural pacemaker of the heart, bring the heartbeat therefore a beat. Also, damage to the so-called Conduction system, which conducts the electrical impulses from the sinoatrial node to the heart muscle cells and thus ensures the rhythmic contraction of the heart muscle, cardiac arrhythmias may cause.
Also stress - in any form - can trigger cardiac arrhythmias or exacerbate. This is especially true for the most common arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation.
The Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome - in short WPW syndrome - also is eligible for cardiac arrhythmias as a cause. The WPW syndrome is due to a congenital anomaly at heart: between atrium and ventricle interfere (so-called Kent bundle.) A supernumerary muscle bridge the stimulus transmission at heart. Thus, the WPW syndrome leads to tachycardia arrhythmia.
The heart defect is innate. It is often not discovered until early adulthood.
Arrhythmia feel very different. Slight and occasional cardiac arrhythmias do not notice some sufferers, while others they perceive as very threatening - for example in the form of an irregular heartbeat "up in the neck",
typical symptoms of Cardiac arrhythmias are:
Both slow (bradycardia), cardiac arrhythmias can further discomfort by the temporary drop in the pumping power, as
Fast (tachycardia) Heart rhythm disturbances make are usually characterized by symptoms such as
An accurate diagnosis by the doctor is important so that it can assess whether the arrhythmia are taking harmless or serious.
For this, the doctor first asked those affected by its symptoms and possible pre-existing conditions. This is followed by physical Study of (incl. Measurement of pulse, listening to the heart).
The physical examination is pursuing three objectives:
The most important investigation in suspected cardiac arrhythmia is the Electrocardiogram (ECG). Using an ECG receives the doctor accurate information about the heart activity. Sometimes it is a little difficult to detect an abnormal heart rhythm over a relatively short time. Therefore, physicians often draws a so-called Holter on. In this case the person concerned carries over most 24 to 48 hours a small electric device on the skin, which continuously records the electrocardiogram.
Further tests, coming for cardiac arrhythmias used are for example:
The treatment of arrhythmia is intended, among other things according to their nature, severity and cause. Harmless arrhythmia, sometimes occur in healthy people who have, for example, not necessarily treated become.
Usually treating cardiac arrhythmias just, if this is absolutely necessary - for instance
Only then therapy is initiated: In many cases, drugs, but sometimes can also magnesium or potassium-rich diet, a electrostimulation (E.g., cardioversion, or the insertion of a cardiac pacemaker) or a vagal stimulation help by carotid sinus pressure test, Valsalva maneuver or drinking ice water.
There are different drugs, Insert the doctors for heart rhythm problems. These are firstly the so-called antiarrhythmics. Antiarrhythmics change in different ways, the excitation line at heart. They are divided into four classes:
: Following Subtanzen be used - on the other hand can in the treatment of a threatening bradycardia - so to slow heart rate
Is a drug treatment alone is not, it may be necessary that doctors one in an operation Pacemaker use. Modern pacemakers are just as big as a 2-euro coin. They emit electrical impulses that make the heart beat. Implantation of a pacemaker is now a routine procedure, and many, especially older people, are living with this device.
If the arrhythmia is no organic cause but caused about by stress or nervousness, and relaxation exercises can help, for example,
As an arrhythmia runs depends primarily on behind it which causes and whether discomfort. at heart healthy People have cardiac arrhythmias usually no clinical significance and are rarely require treatment.
If the cause of an arrhythmia but a disease - such as a heart muscle inflammation - the doctor will treat this. Depending There are several therapies that can help on the type of arrhythmia and the cause, such as