To the beat of my heart: Heart Rhythm Week

Posted on June 5, 2018 by kerri

Heart tracing in the shape of a heart

Heart rhythm disorders are also known as arrhythmias, where the heart beats do not follow a normal rhythm. There are many types of arrhythmias: some can be very serious, and others may go unnoticed until a routine EKG (heart tracing) test, causing no problems.

There are a lot of different types of heart rhythm disorders. They may mean the heart beats too fast, too slow, or not at a normal cadence (“skipping beats”). General symptoms of an arrhythmia include: heart palpitations (feeling those “skipped beats”), feeling the heart pounding or “fluttering” in the chest, and feeling as if the heart is racing. [1] As well, if you have an arrhythmia, especially if it is more serious, you may feel faint or light headed, feel tired, pass out (known as syncope), be short of breath, or have discomfort or pain in your chest. [1]

Heart rhythm disorders are complex. Some arrhythmias may be “normal”, others require the care of a cardiologist (heart specialist) and treatment. Some arrhythmias may lead to heart attacks or may be a warning sign.

Interestingly, one common symptom of arrhythmia is syncope (passing out). Often, especially in younger people, this may lead to being misdiagnosed with epilepsy (a seizure disorder), instead of identifying the underlying arrhythmia. [2]  This may happen in up to 30% of children with arrhythmia, and nearly 40% of adults. [2] If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy after fainting unexpectedly, consider asking your doctor to rule out a heart rhythm disorder.

If you have a heart problem, it is very important to wear medical ID jewelry for heart patients in case of an emergency. Arrhythmia medical ID necklaces and bracelets are available from My Identity Doctor and can be custom engraved for your type of arrhythmia or heart rhythm disorder.

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