Arrhythmias are abnormal beats of the heart. Types of arrhythmias are:
Some arrhythmias don't need to be treated. Others can be life-threatening. These may need medicines or an implantable device to help regulate your heart.
Depending the type you have, you may be sent home with a holter monitor. A holter monitor records your heart’s electrical activity. It's done over a period of time, usually 24 hours. This portable EKG tells your doctor how your heart is working as you go about your day.
You may be asked to monitor your pulse, blood pressure, or fluid intake when you are home.
You may need to:
Regular exercise will keep your heart healthy. Work with your doctor to create a routine that is right for you.
Ask your doctor when you will be able to return to work. Don't drive unless your doctor says it's okay to do so.
The type of medicine prescribed depends on the type of arrhythmia you have. You may need:
If you are taking medicines:
Your doctor will work with you on some life changes to help you get better faster. Some things to keep in mind:
Your doctor may ask you to carry a card in your wallet that explains your arrhythmia or device.
If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, your healthcare team will teach you how to take care of it so it works properly.
You'll need to see your doctor on a regular basis. You may need more tests such as EKGs or blood tests. Go to all scheduled appointments.
Call your doctor if you're not getting better as expected or you have other problems such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Heart Association
Heart Rhythm Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Arrhythmia. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/arrhythmia. Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed December 12, 2018.
Arrhythmia. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/arrhythmia. Accessed December 12, 2018.
Arrhythmia. Texas Heart Institute website. Available at: https://www.texasheart.org/heart-health/heart-information-center/topics/arrhythmia. Accessed December 12, 2018.
12/9/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115449/Dietary-considerations-for-cardiovascular-disease-prevention. Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J med. 2013;369(21):2001-2011.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC Last Updated: 12/12/2018