The sound of our heart, which is constantly pumping blood to our body, gives very important clues about our health. It is in our power to add health to our health by controlling our sometimes fast and sometimes slow beating heart at least once a year! Bayındır İçerenköy Hospital Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Güngör gave important information about rhythm disorders in the heart and regular check-ups.
Your heart rate betrays your health
Pumping blood into our body nonstop
The first issue to be considered: Low heart rate
Electrical activity formation in the sinoatrial node of the heart, which constitutes the electrical activity, can cause degeneration associated with age, nutritional disorder due to vascular occlusion, some storage diseases, thyroid dysfunctions or may decrease due to many systemic diseases. In this case, the impulse output rate, which is normally between 60-100, decreases. The patient’s heart rate is below 60/min. This causes malnutrition in the body. The patient complains of dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath even with minimal effort, or fainting.
The patient’s heart rate is determined to be low by ECGs or 24-hour rhythm holter examination for rhythm monitoring. In this case, the treatment is permanent pacemaker applications that can provide the electrical activity of the heart. Pacemakers are 3×5 cm devices placed under the chest muscle.
Have your heart problems followed up with regular checkups
Normally, there is a main cable that transmits to the heart muscle connected to the generator of the heart. Some people may have a second cable congenitally. This is called the ‘accessory pathway’. In cases where this accessory pathway is activated, palpitations occur, which can increase the heart rate up to 150-200/min, start abruptly and end abruptly, causing a feeling of uneasiness in the chest. It is not possible to predict when these palpitations will begin and how long they will last.
If the duration of palpitation is long, the diagnosis can be made by the ECG taken when the patient applies to the emergency department or by the 24-hour rhythm Holter test if it repeats frequently. These palpitations are not bad rhythm disturbances that cause heart attack or heart failure. However, a very high heart rate can cause serious discomfort in the patient. The treatment of these disorders is called EPS (electrophysiological study) and ablation. These treatments are procedures performed in angiography laboratories and applied by entering the inguinal vein. It is based on locating the accessory pathway and eliminating it by radiofrequency (burning) or cryoablation (freezing).
Palpitation may not be caused by heart disease alone
Palpitation is the complaint we describe when we feel the heart beating. Normally, our heart works continuously for life, but we do not feel it working in our chest. These palpitations can sometimes be irregular misfires, and sometimes the heart rate can reach 200/min.
Find out and follow your family’s health history
Rhythm disorders seen in patients with structural disorders in the heart are clinically very important. In patients who have had a heart attack, undergone procedures such as bypass, stent, or have an enlarged heart, or in some congenital anomalies (such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmigenic right ventricular dysplasia, ebstein anomaly) or in genetically inherited diseases with some rhythm disturbances (brugada syndrome, long QT syndrome, short QT rhythm disorders (such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation) may cause sudden cardiac arrest, that is, fainting or death.
All patients with cardiovascular disease must have routine cardiology check-ups. In these examinations, if echocardiographic examinations are required, rhythm holter examinations should be performed. Cardiology examinations, ECG and echocardiographic evaluations of patients or athletes with a family history of unexplained premature death must be performed.
Patients who are at risk of sudden death in examinations or tests should be fitted with shock devices called ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator). These shock devices are devices that are placed under the chest muscle similar to pacemakers, slightly larger than batteries, approximately 5×7 cm in size. These devices are devices that continuously monitor the rhythm of the heart and make the heart work again by giving a shock when a fatal rhythm disorder is observed.
The most important group whose regular controls should be neglected: Athletes and heart patients
Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Güngör states that rhythm disorders seen in the heart can be so important that they result in paralysis or death, and continues: “Therefore, it is recommended that everyone undergo a detailed cardiology examination, ECG and echocardiographic examinations once a year. For patients in the risk group, coronary artery disease is recommended.
People with premature death in the family, athletes, patients followed up with heart failure or patients with complaints such as dizziness, weakness, fainting are important. ECG and rhythm holter follow-ups should not be neglected in terms of cardiovascular disease or rhythm disorders.
Take care of the problem of atrial fibrillation (continuous arrhythmia)
Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Another important issue that Mutlu Güngör underlines is the continual heart rhythm disorder , which is referred to as atrial fibrillation in medicine . Known as atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common persistent rhythm disorder is a disease that should be addressed separately. Its incidence increases especially in advanced age, in the presence of valve disease, hypertension, and heart failure. It is a rhythm disorder in which the atria cannot contract and only vibrate. Due to this feature, the blood in the atrium may coagulate due to inactivity. Embolization of these clots can lead to attacks of paralysis. The most common cause of strokes seen in advanced age is AF. Detection of AF necessarily requires the use of anticoagulant therapy. While anticoagulant treatments protect against clots and strokes, they need to be used in a controlled manner because they increase the bleeding tendency.