Arrhythmias are disorders of the heart rate that cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of the heart chambers and as a result, the body’s vital organs may not receive enough blood to meet their needs.
Some symptoms of arrhythmias include palpitations (a sensation of fluttering or irregularity of the heartbeat), weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure and difficulty in feeding (in babies). There are several different types of procedures that may be used to diagnose arrhythmias, including an electrocardiogram or ECG. An ECG can indicate the presence of arrhythmias, damage to the heart caused by ischemia (lack of oxygen to the heart muscle) or myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack), a problem with one or more of the heart valves or other types of heart conditions.
Your doctor will choose an arrhythmia treatment based on the type of arrhythmia, the severity of symptoms being experienced and the presence of other conditions (such as diabetes, kidney failure or heart failure) that can affect the course of the treatment. Treatment may include lifestyle modification, use of medications, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, pacemaker or surgery.Previous Page Last Review Date: August 14, 2019