When your heart beats too fast, too slow, or skips irregularly, it is called arrhythmia. Your heart can’t pump blood through your body well, and that can cause damage to your lungs, brain, and other organs.
When heartbeat speed randomly changes from “very fast” to slow – it is a point to pay attention and talk to your MD. Abnormal heart rhythms are common in individuals who have genetic heart disease. Some people born with a heart problem have abnormal heart rhythms throughout childhood. Others establish concerns as they age.
What Does It Mean If My Heart Speeds Up and Slows Down Randomly?
There are many different medications, devices (pacemaker or ICD) and other treatments that can be utilized to assist control heart rhythm problems.
It is essential that you follow up with your adult congenital heart group regularly to keep your heart healthy.
The electrical impulses that trigger a heart to beat start in the sinoatrial (SA) node at the top of the heart and decrease to the atrioventricular (AV) node in the middle of the heart. From there, the impulses spread out through the ventricles at the bottom of the heart. This triggers the heart to beat in between 60 to 100 times per minute.
When something obstructs, your heart can beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. This is called an arrhythmia. Treatments might consist of medicine, pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or a combination of these.
When Your Heart Beats Too Fast
In some cases, your heart can beat too quickly, such as throughout exercise, activity, feeling nervous or throughout a fever. This is a standard action. An unusual quick heartbeat or rhythm can occur if you have a heart defect, heart failure, valve issues or from heart surgery.
Quick rhythms coming from the leading chambers of your heart are called atrial arrhythmias and those coming from the bottom of your heart are called ventricular arrhythmias. Examples are:
- atrial fibrillation: electrical impulses travel through the atria in a random way
- atrial flutter: impulses go from the atria to the ventricles sending out a lot of messy signals
- supraventricular tachycardia: unusual beating that starts in your atria
- ventricular tachycardia: back-to-back episodes of early ventricular contractions
- ventricular fibrillation: electrical impulses travel through the ventricles in a random method
When Your Heart Beats Too Slow
A slow heartbeat or rhythm can take place if you have issues with your SA or AV node, from heart surgery (such as Fontan, Mustard, Senning or valve surgeries) or side effects from medicine. Examples are:
- sinus bradycardia: a heartbeat that is slower than normal
- heart block: electrical impulses are postponed or blocked from the bottom chambers of your heart. There are three types:
- first degree: electrical messages from the top chambers of your heart get postponed before getting to the bottom chambers.
- second degree: some electrical messages don’t get to the bottom chambers.
- third degree: no electrical message get to the bottom chambers; top and bottom chambers beat at different rates.
Symptoms to Pay Attention
Everybody feels palpitations (racing heart or skipped beats) once in a while. Call your physician if you:
- have palpitations that don’t stop
- feel woozy
- lose consciousness
- feel worn out (tired).
- have shortness of breath.
- have confusion.
How Is Arrhythmia Detected?
You will likely have an EKG and echocardiogram at each arranged office check out. If you are having symptoms, you might need more screening, such as 24-hour Holter tracking, longer event tracking, exercise tension test or unique imaging (heart MRI or CT).
Your treatment options depend upon your irregular heart rhythm if you have symptoms, and how severe your symptoms are.
Heart rhythm problems can happen at any time, exercise or rest. Your physician should check any heart rhythm problems.