Irregular Heartbeat: What Does It Mean

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Change in the rate of heartbeat is common. The condition of skipping a beat, or irregular heartbeat, is called arrhythmia.

There are different types of arrhythmia, such as Premature Ventricular Contraction, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and other rhythm disorders.

The heart is a strong muscle that pumps blood continuously to the whole body. The average number of heart beats a day is about 100,000, producing 2,000 gallons of blood.

The circulation of the blood in the heart starts from the atria, or the upper two chambers of the heart. From there, the blood is delivered to the right ventricle. It then goes to the lungs.

After the lungs, it will go back to the left ventricle before it is delivered to the rest of the body. As the blood flows, an electric impulse is created from the natural pacemaker of the heart called sinoatrial (SA) node. It is part of the electrical system of the heart that produces the pulse we call the heartbeat.

Types of Arrhythmia

The type of arrhythmia depends on which part of the heart is causing the irregular heartbeat. There are many types. Here are the most common ones:

  • Premature Atrial contraction

The early heartbeats occur in the upper chambers of the heart. Most of the time they are harmless and do not require any kind of treatment.

It is a common type of arrhythmia that originates from the ventricles of the heart and occurs before the regular heartbeat.

This kind of arrhythmia is associated with stress, anxiety, drinking too much caffeine or taking too much nicotine.

In other cases, PVCs can be an indication of an underlying heart disease, electrolyte imbalance, or thyroid problems.

It is best to see your doctor or a cardiologist if you are experiencing frequent PVCs.

  • Atrial fibrillation

It is an irregular heartbeat, resulting in abnormal contractions of the upper chambers of the heart.

  • Atrial flutter

That’s usually the prerequisite of atrial fibrillation.

Characterized as more organized and regular contractions in the upper chambers of the heart, it is common among people who just had a heart surgery.

  • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PST)

Also known as the rapid heart rate, PST originates from above the heart’s ventricles or lower chambers. Usually, it starts suddenly, then stops abruptly.

Symptoms of Arrhythmia

Identifying that you have an irregular heartbeat can be very difficult, especially if you are too busy with other things. Most of the time, we neglect the speed or strength of our every heartbeat.

Common symptoms that may accompany arrhythmia include:

  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain.

What about you? Have you suffered from irregular heartbeat?

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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