What is palpitation and arrhythmia (rhythm disorder)?

Palpitation is the state of feeling the heartbeats in an uncomfortable way by the person. Heartbeats can be fast, strong, irregular, misfire. Palpitations can be momentary, long-term or short-lived. Not all palpitations are a sign of illness. If we are sad, excited, angry, we can feel palpitations. We can feel our heartbeats more where we lie down; this is normal.
Palpitations can be significant in people with hypertension, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease and require medical investigation.
Those with palpitations can sometimes be diagnosed with “arrhythmia”.
Arrhythmia is the general name for rhythm disorders seen in the heart. There are many different types of arrhythmias; many of these are minor, but some arrhythmias may be vital.
Arrhythmias can be continuous or transient. Arrhythmias can last as little as a few seconds, or they can last for hours or days. Some arrhythmias are chronic; can continue for life.
There are many different types of arrhythmias, depending on how the electrical stimulus arises, how it spreads through the heart tissue, and heart rate. Their distinction can be made mainly by electrocardiography (ECG). ECG recording is made with an electrocardiography device and is an examination that shows the electrical activity of the heart.
Our heart pumps blood to our body by contracting and relaxing in order to deliver the nutrients and oxygen necessary for life to our organs. In order for all the muscles in our body to contract and relax, the muscle cells must be electrically stimulated every time. There is also a special electrical activity for the heart to contract and relax rhythmically as a pump. This electrical impulse is created by a special group of cells called the “sinus node” in the right atrium and spreads to the entire heart muscle with special conduction cells. The rate and pattern of contraction of the heart are normally under the control of the sinus node. The average resting heart rate in healthy people is between 50 – 100/min.
Arrhythmias develop as a result of an unusual electrical stimulus in any part of the heart or the failure of the normal electrical stimulus to be properly transmitted to the heart. In this case, our heart can sometimes work faster than necessary and sometimes slower than necessary.
Extrasystole: It can be defined as the contraction of our heart suddenly and for a very short time, one or more beats. It is possible to feel this state mostly as a “misfire in the heart”, “a fluttering feeling like a bird’s wing”, “one or more strong heartbeats” or “a pause in the heart followed by a strong beat”. Extrasystole is a common condition in healthy individuals. Excitement, stress, excessive consumption of caffeinated food, smoking, etc. substances increase the frequency of extrasystoles. The presence of extrasystoles in people without heart disease or heart disease risk factors usually does not require significant research.
Bradycardia: It is the state of the heart rate below a certain number (less than 60 / min). Many healthy people may have heart rates of around 60/min, sometimes even slower, and are not a sign of disease.
Tachycardia: Heart rate is higher than normal / expected (over 100 / min). However, an increase in heart rate is normal in situations of physical or emotional stress (movement, exercise, excitement, etc.). Consuming large amounts of caffeinated beverages can also cause an increase in heart rate. In some tachycardias, the electrical impulse develops in other areas of the heart other than the sinus node. Such rhythms are often unrelated to our body’s needs, and the heart often starts to beat at a high rate.
Block: When the electrical stimulus encounters obstacles as it spreads through the heart and the heart muscle cannot be stimulated as needed or as many times as possible, it is generally called a “block”. There are many different types of blocks; the majority of these occur only on ECG examination and do not usually require intervention. The type of block in which the electrical connection between the atria and ventricles is reduced or interrupted is important.
Atrial fibrillation: It is an important type of arrhythmia originating from the atria. Random stimuli occur 400-600 times per minute in the tissues of the atria. The sinus node is disabled. With so many and chaotic stimuli, the atria cannot contract effectively. On the other hand, these chaotic impulses of the atrioventricular node may be transmitted irregularly and partially to the ventricles. Heart and pulse beats are completely irregular and can be fast or slow.
This rhythm disorder is sometimes in the form of attacks that occur and improve from time to time; sometimes it can persist for life.
Atrial fibrillation usually occurs in people with high blood pressure, heart or chronic lung disease. In addition, the frequency and risk of atrial fibrillation increases with advancing age.
The importance of atrial fibrillation is that this arrhythmia increases the risk of stroke due to vascular occlusion. Blood clots form in the atria, and when these clots enter the circulation, they block the cerebral vessels and cause paralysis. For this reason, patients with atrial fibrillation need to take a drug that reduces blood coagulation (coumadin) to prevent coagulation-related vascular occlusion, and this is of vital importance. However, patients using coumadin should pay attention to some basic points.

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