Heart arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmia is a condition in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow.

Overview

Heart arrhythmia is a condition in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow. This reduces the amount of blood in your body, which can cause dizziness or even unconsciousness. Symptoms may include a pause between heartbeats or a racing heart, in which case a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeats or a pause between heartbeats
  • Heart rate stops

Other symptoms

Causes and treatment

Causes

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Blood test (blood salt levels, signs of a heart attack)
  • ECG (electrocardiogram)
  • Physical performance test (on bicycle)
  • Ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  • Chest x-ray
Possible therapies
  • Blood thinning (anticoagulation)
  • Medication (against arrhythmia)
  • Defibrillation (“electric shock”)
  • Heart catheter (thin tube inserted in an artery and threaded through the blood vessels to the heart)
  • Pacemaker
  • Operation (e.g. for heart valve disease)

What can I do myself?

  • Sufficient exercise
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Balanced, low-fat diet (Mediterranean diet)
  • Stop smoking

Get a personal Preventive Care Recommendation now.

When to see a doctor?

Further information

Swiss Heart Foundation (Schweizerische Herzstiftung)
www.swissheart.ch

Synonyms

Heart arrhythmia, Arrhythmie, Bradykardie, Tachykardie, Extrasystole

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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