WRITTEN BY: Tammy C. Perez, M.A., NCC, LCDC, LPC
REVIEWED BY: Dr. Terry Schroeder on April 18, 2023
What is Arrhythmia?
Arrhythmia, also known as an irregular heartbeat or dysrhythmia, is a term used to describe any abnormality in the heart's rhythm. The heart beats constantly and consistently to pump blood effectively throughout the body. An arrhythmia disrupts the heart's electrical signals, which control its beating, causing it to beat too fast, slow, or irregularly.
There are several arrhythmias, including tachycardia, bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and ventricular tachycardia.
Tachycardia consists of a fast heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute. Bradycardia is a slow heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute. Atrial fibrillation is a condition that causes rapid and irregular electrical signals within the atria, which is the heart's upper chambers. These erratic signals cause them to quiver instead of contracting properly. Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation but with more organized and regular electrical signals in the atria. Ventricular fibrillation is rapid, irregular, and chaotic electrical signals in the ventricles, the heart's lower chambers. This ailment can be life-threatening as the heart cannot pump blood effectively. Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heart rate originating from the ventricles.
The severity of arrhythmias can vary greatly, from being harmless and requiring no treatment to causing symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain, to being life-threatening and requiring immediate medical attention.
What causes Arrhythmia?
Several factors can cause arrhythmias, including heart-related conditions, electrolyte imbalances, substance abuse, medications, infections, excessive stress, sleep disorders, genetics, and aging.
Heart-related conditions include coronary artery disease, heart attack damage, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, heart valve problems, and congenital heart defects. Electrolyte imbalances involve abnormal levels of essential minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which can disrupt the electrical signals in the heart and lead to arrhythmias. Substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and illicit drugs, can also trigger arrhythmias. Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause arrhythmias as a side effect or when taken excessively.
Elevated stress levels, anxiety, emotional turmoil, and infections, particularly those affecting the heart, can trigger arrhythmias due to the tension they produce. They can also be inherited or result from genetic mutations. Interruptions in breathing patterns during sleep can strain the heart and create arrhythmias. Age can also lead to changes in the heart and the electrical system that controls heartbeats and cause arrhythmia.
What are the symptoms of Arrhythmia?
The symptoms of arrhythmia can vary depending on the type and severity of the disorder. Common arrhythmia symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near-fainting, fatigue, physical weakness, chest discomfort, sweating, and anxiety.
How are Arrhythmias treated?
Treatment for arrhythmias includes a variety of methods depending on the type, severity, and underlying cause. Some common treatments for arrhythmias are lifestyle changes, medications, cardioversion, catheter ablation, implantable devices, and surgery.
Lifestyle modifications can help manage or prevent arrhythmias. These may include quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress through psychotherapy, and exercising regularly.
Medications can help control heart rate or restore a normal heart rhythm. Examples include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, antiarrhythmic drugs, anticoagulants, or antiplatelet agents to prevent blood clots.
Cardioversion involves delivering an electrical shock to the heart to reset its rhythm. This procedure commonly treats atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure of inserting a catheter through a blood vessel into the heart. The catheter delivers energy, such as radiofrequency or cryoablation, to the problematic area, which creates a small scar that disrupts the abnormal electrical pathways.
Plantable and implantable devices like pacemakers and cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) help to regulate the heart rhythm. A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart to maintain a regular heart rate. An ICD monitors the heart rhythm and delivers an electrical shock if a life-threatening arrhythmia is detected.
How do Arrhythmias affect brain health and wellness?
Arrhythmias can have significant effects on brain health and wellness. These effects include decreased blood flow, increased stroke risk, cognitive decline, sleep disturbances, elevated anxiety, and depression.
Arrhythmias can cause a decrease in blood flow, leading to inadequate oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain. A lack of oxygen and nutrients can result in cognitive impairment, dizziness, or fainting spells, among other symptoms.
Irregular heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation, can lead to the formation of blood clots in the heart. These clots may break off and travel to the brain, causing a stroke. A stroke can result in severe neurological damage and long-term disability, depending on the severity and location of the event.
People suffering from arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation, may be at a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia. This risk increase could be due to microemboli, tiny blood clots that reduce blood flow to the brain over time, leading to decreased cognitive function.
Some arrhythmias can interfere with sleep, resulting in sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. Poor sleep quality can negatively impact brain function and overall health.
Living with an arrhythmia can be stressful and may contribute to anxiety and depression. These mental health issues can affect overall brain health and wellness.
How can Brain Frequency™ help?
The Brain Frequency™ AI system is an innovative therapeutic approach to improving brain health and wellness. We use proprietary science-based technology to promote optimal brain functioning across mental, emotional, physical, and social domains. Our diagnostic technology and individualized treatment protocols help decrease or eliminate trauma-related symptoms and various mental health disorders.
The Brain Frequency™ 3 Step Treatment Process consists of; first, performing a Baseline EEG and completing Psychometric Assessments; second, conducting a Brain Frequency Consultation; and third, Initiating Treatment.
An Electroencephalogram (EEG) analyzes brain waves and produces a brain map identifying current and optimal frequencies in 19 areas of the brain. Based on the individualized brain map, Brain Frequency™ will determine possible diagnoses of various mental health disorders or brain trauma for the provider to consider during treatment. Brain Frequency™ AI software provides clinicians with an "Approval Ready" treatment plan using personalized protocols based on each patient's needs.
Those suffering from symptoms of arrhythmia can efficiently and effectively improve their brain health and wellness by using the Brain Frequency™ AI system. Our innovative system drastically reduces the time needed to properly diagnose and construct treatment plans leading to a faster recovery and greater quality of life.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA): https://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Center For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
American Psychological Association (APA): https://www.apa.org/
National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
National Suicide Prevention Line: https://988lifeline.org/
National Library of Medicine: https://medlineplus.gov/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/