The Confusing World of Heart Arrhythmias

The Confusing World of Heart Arrhythmias

The Confusing World of Heart Arrhythmias

Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND


Arrhythmia is a word that you may have heard of but may not know what it means. So what exactly is an arrhythmia? Basically an arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. In general we can break down arrhythmias into 2 types, these are a fast heartrate (over 100 beats per minute) and is called tachycardia verses a slow heartbeat (under 60 beats per minute) which is known as bradycardia. Now in this bog I will be concentrating on tachycardia since it is what most people call with questions about. Now what are the most common types of tachycardia? These include atrial fibrillation (Afib), supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. (1)

What is atrial fibrillation (AFib)? AFib is an irregular and rapid heart rhythm. This means in laymen’s terms that the heartbeat is both irregular and very rapid. Do you remember the structures of the heart that we spoke about? Basically what is happening during an episode of AFib is that the atria or top chambers of the heat beat irregularly/ rapidly and out of sync with ventricles or bottom half of the heart. Now as you can guess this can have series consequences. One potential issue is that AFib can cause a blood clot to form.  This increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and other series conditions. Now not everyone who has AFib will experience symptoms but there are some symptoms that are common to experience.  These include palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, dizziness and a rapid/ pounding heartbeat. What can cause us to develop AFib? Some risk factors for AFib can include age, alcohol use, caffeine as well as nicotine/drug use and even certain medications. Additionally having a family or personal history of AFib, congenital heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and even obesity can all increase your risk of AFib. Having a history of sleep apnea, heat attack, lung disorders and even thyroid disorders also increase the risk of AFib. Lastly having abnormal concentrations of minerals can also increase the risk of AFib. (2)

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an episode of irregularly fast and erratic heartbeat where the heartrate can reach on average between 150 -220 beats a minute. During an episode of SVT there is a problem basically in the electrical system of the heart and it causes the heart rate to become fast and erratic. Because the heart beats so fast there is no time for the heart chambers to fill with blood which can lead to a feeling of being lightheaded or even dizzy. What are some of the symptoms you may expect if you have SVT? You may experience palpitations, a very fast heartbeat, pounding sensations in your chest, chest pain, and shortness of breath and even feel lightheaded or dizzy. There may be fainting and you may even start to sweat. Due to the fact that the chambers aren’t filing completely you may experience fatigue. Risk factors are very similar to AFIb with the addition of Wolfe Parkinson white syndrome as well as pregnancy. Complications of SVT can also include heart failure as repeated episodes can weaken the heart over time. (3)

Ventricular fibrillation (VFib) is a very dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. Basically during VFib the irregular heart rhythm results in the heat being unable to pump blood to the rest of the body. The most common symptoms are collapse and loss of consciousness preceded by chest pain as well as a fast heartbeat, dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. If you have a past history of VFib, heart attack, congenital heat defect, heart muscle injury or use certain drugs and have a fast, pounding heat rate it is important to see a doctor. I can’t stress this enough because VFib can be fatal within minutes of an episode stating. (4)

Ventricular tachycardia (VTach) is similar to VFib however, in VTach the episodes may be brief and not cause series complications. However, sustained VTach can cause complications including fainting, loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest. Signs and risk factors for VTach are very similar to VFib. (5)

When it comes to arrhythmias it is important to take any and all medications that are recommended. Therefore, while the following are amazing for heart health and even arrhythmias, it is important to talk to an Invite nutritionist to make sure they complement your medications rather than conflict with them.

  • Magnesium is an amazing mineral for so many things. Studies have found that magnesium can be helpful for varies forms of arrhythmias. While these are based on IV studies there is always room for oral supplements. (6) Studies have also found that a deficiency of magnesium can increase new episodes of AFib by up to 50%! (7) In fact studies have found that in up to 38% of those who experience arrhythmias there is a magnesium deficiency! (8)  Please see Invite’s extensive line of magnesium products.
  • Ginger as a supplement for the heart may surprise you! However there is plenty of research on this amazing supplement. Studies have found that ginger is helpful for both cholesterol and blood sugar. (9) In a 2015 study ginger was found to help reduce the incidence of arrhythmias. (10) Please see Invite’s Turmeric with Ginger!
  • Vitamin C is another supplement that you may not have considered for arrhythmias! But studies have found that vitamin C can help reduce the risk of AFib after surgery. (11) Please see Invite’s Buffered C 500 & 1000mg as well as the Immunity Hx!
  • Hawthorne is something that has come up quite a bit throughout our conversation about heart health. One more use studies have found for Hawthorne is to help with the heart rhythm. (12) Please see Invite’s Normotensive and Cardio Hx
  • CoQ10 has been found to help with AFib especially in those with heart failure. (13). Please see Invite’s CoQ10 60mg and 120mg.
  • Our product spotlight will focus on Fish Oil and all the ways it helps the heat!




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