It is world heart rhythm week and we are raising awareness about arrythmia
First of all, what is arrythmia?
The word arrythmia is derived from Greek, a=loss and rhythmos=rhythm, literally meaning a loss of rhythm. The term refers to any abnormality of the heart’s rhythm, it could beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly.
There are several types of arrhythmia which vary in severity, from mild discomfort to potentially fatal outcomes, they are:
- ATRIAL FIBRILLATION (AF) – This is the most common type, the heart beats irregularly and faster than normal. Having AF increases the risk of having a stroke by 5 times AF is more common in older adults and the likelihood of developing it is increased if one drinks alcohol in excess or is overweight.
- SUPRAVNTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA – This is where the heart beats abnormally fast suddenly at rest
- BRADYCARDIA – Where the heart beats abnormally slow
- HEART BLOCK – Where the heart beats abnormally slowly due to the electrical signal that controls the heartbeat being partially or completely blocked. This can cause collapsing, dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness, as well as other symptoms
- VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION – This is a rare form of arrhythmia where disorganised signals are sent to the heart which causes a disorganised and rapid rhythm. When this occurs, the two lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) are not able to pump blood heard enough to move it through the body which leads to a rapid decline in blood pressure and a lack of oxygen to vital organs. This is a very serious condition that can have fatal outcomes if not treated immediately.
More than 2 million people in the UK experience arrhythmias or other heart rhythm problems, and most of these people can lead a normal life once diagnosed. All age groups can be affected though there are factors which can make people more likely to develop the disorder including: viral illnesses, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine consumption, changes in posture, exercise, over the counter and prescribed medicines and recreational drugs.
There are several different treatments for arrhythmia which are subject to the underlying cause of the condition.
Treatments can include:
- Electrical cardioversion
- Catheter ablation
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
Do you know the health benefits garlic has on the heart?
For a centuries garlic has been associated with the heart’s health. Studies have suggested that garlic extract has a beneficial effect of regulating and modulating heart rate and rhythm.
Garlic supplements can noticeably reduce blood pressure in those who have high blood pressure. They can also boost the function of the immune system, improve cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart disease and support blood vessel health.