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Heart Rhythm DisordersArrhythmias or heart rhythm disorders are conditions that causes changes in the normal heartbeat. There are numerous types of arrhythmias, for example, supraventricular tachycardia, sinus sick syndrome, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and ventricular fibrillation. Signs and symptoms of an arrhythmia may include: Chest pain or discomfort Shortness of breath Palpitations Racing heart sensation Treatment for arrhythmias depend upon the cause.
Atrial FlutterAtrial flutter is a type of arrhythmia, that is, an irregularity in the beating of the heart. Symptoms of atrial flutter include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiety, weakness, and a fluttering feeling in the chest. Causes of atrial flutter include heart disease, hypertension, heart muscle disease, heart abnormalities, substances, and diseases that affect other areas of the body. Treatment of atrial flutter includes defibrillation and medication.
Blood ClotsBlood is supposed to clot to help repair a blood vessel that is injured. Clots or thrombi become a problem when they form inappropriately. There are a variety of illnesses and risk factors that can lead to blood clot formation such as atrial fibrillation, heart attack, strokes, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and more. Diagnosis and treatment of blood clots depends on the cause and severity of the clot.
Congestive Heart FailureCongestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood and oxygen to the body's tissues. Learn about symptoms and treatment.
Hardening of the ArteriesAtherosclerosis is the term referring to a hardening of the arteries caused by buildup of fat and cholesterol on the artery walls. The deposits, called plaque, can eventually block blood flow. Obesity, high cholesterol, age and a number of other factors put people at risk for atherosclerosis. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, surgery, and medication.
Heart AttackA heart attack is an interruption in blood flow to the heart muscle. Arterial plaque rupture is often the cause of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack may include chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, and nausea. Emergency heart catheterization and thrombolytic therapy may be used to treat a heart attack.
Coronary Heart DiseaseCoronary heart disease (CHD) is a group of different types of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease depend on the cause and inclue chest pain or angina, shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness. Many conditions causes heart disease, for example, genetics, obesity, high cholesterol, and smoking. Treatment for heart disease depend on the cause and include diet and other lifestyle changes, medications, procedures, and surgery. The prognosis (outlook) and life span for someone with heart disease varies depending on the cause.
High Blood PressureHigh blood pressure (hypertension) may be present in an individual, without any symptoms. Thus, it is called the "silent killer." Causes of high blood pressure include heart disease, kidney disease, tumors, birth control, alcohol, thyroid dysfunction, and birth control pills.Treatment of high blood pressure is generally through diet, exercise, and medication if necessary.
High CholesterolHigh cholesterol increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. There are no symptoms and it is often diagnosed during routine blood tests. Learn about prevention and treatment.
HyperthyroidismHyperthyroidism refers to a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Causes of hyperthyroidism include: Graves' disease, thyroid adenoma, thyroid goiter, subacute thyroiditis, and drug-induce hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irritability, heart palpitations, heat intolerance, weight loss or gain, frequent bowel movements, lower leg edema, infertility, fatigue, and more. Treatment for hyperthyroidism depends on the cause and can include medications or surgery.
Low Blood PressureLow blood pressure (hypotension) may be caused by heart conditions, intravascular fluid complications (dehydration, pneumonia, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding), medications, endocrine conditions, allergic reactions, orthostatic hypotension, diabetes, and micturition syncope. Low blood pressure may or may not have symptoms depending upon the cause. Treatment also depends upon the causes of low blood pressure.
PalpitationsHeart palpitations are an abnormality of the normal heartbeat and rhythm and are a symptom of another disease or problem. Causes of heart palpitations include heart disease or other heart problems (mitral valve prolapse, atrial fibrillation), during pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause, anxiety, emotional stress, stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, drugs), and some over-the-counter and prescription medications. Other symptoms that may accompany heart palpitations include nausea, vomiting, sweating, shortness of breath, and angina (heart pain). Some types of heart palpitations can be fatal, for example, ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
PericarditisPericarditis is a condition in which the thin membrane that lines the heart becomes inflamed. In most cases of pericarditis, the cause is not known. The most common symptom of pericarditis is chest pain. Treatment is generally ibuprofen; however, if the condition is life-threatening surgery may be required. There is no way to prevent pericarditis.
Pulmonary EmbolismA pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot in the lung. The clot typically comes from other areas of the body and travels to the lung, where it becomes lodged. Pulmonary embolism can cause serious problems, from shortness of breath to instantaneous death, depending on the nature of the clot.
StrokeStroke is a medical emergency. When a person has a stroke, part of the blood supply to the brain is cut off or greatly decreased. There are two main types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic. Stroke symptoms include dizziness, sudden headache, weakness in an arm or leg on the same side, weakness in the muscles of the face, difficulty speaking, vision problems, and more. Treatment of stroke depends on the type and severity of the stroke suffered.
Expert Views and News
- Alcohol Ups Risk for Atrial Fibrillation Episode
- Stroke Risk Should Be Reassessed Annually in A-Fib
- Hypothyroidism and Atrial Fibrillation
- Eating Nuts Linked to Lower Odds of Having AFib
- Leadless Pacemaker for Heart Rhythm Disorders
- FDA Approves New DVT Blood Clot Treatment
- Comparing the New Blood Thinners to Warfarin
- FDA Approves Kcentra for Anticoagulation in Adults
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Irregular Heartbeat
- Irregular Heart Rhythm Linked to Mental Problems
- FDA Warning on Atrial Fibrillation Drug Multaq
- Painkillers Linked to Heart Rhythm Disorder
- Atrial Fibrillation Raises Death Risk for Middle-Aged Women
- Drug Helps Patients With Atrial Fibrillation
- Alcohol May Raise Risk of Irregular Heart Rhythm
- Atrial Fibrillation Drug Pradaxa Approved
- Ablation Beats Drugs for Atrial Fibrillatio
- Atrial Fibrillation Stroke 'Tragedy'
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Topic Guide - Visuals
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Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Dronedarone is a heart rhythm medicine that helps lower your risk of needing to be hospitalized for a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation. Drone...learn more »
Rivaroxaban is used to treat or prevent blood clots (venous thromboembolism, or VTE). Blood clots can occur in the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT) or the lu...learn more »
Dabigatran is used to lower the risk of stroke caused by a blood clot in people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation. This medicine is us...learn more »
Ibutilide is an anti-arrhythmic heart medication that corrects certain conditions of irregular heart rhythm...learn more »
Sotalol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation within the atrium and ventricles (the upper and lower chambers of the heart that allow blood...learn more »
Propafenone is a Class IC anti-arrhythmic that affects the way your heart beats...learn more »
Flecainide is a Class IC anti-arrhythmic that is used in certain situations to prevent serious heart rhythm disorders...learn more »
Esmolol is a beta-blocker that is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chamber...learn more »
Digoxin is derived from the leaves of a digitalis plant and is used to treat heart failure.learn more »
Metoprolol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins)...learn more »
Verapamil is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders...learn more »
Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker that is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) or angina (chest pain)...learn more »
Propranolol is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins)...learn more »
Quinidine is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain heart rhythm disorders, usually after other treatments have failed. Quin...learn more »