Symptoms and Treatments for Arrhythmias
Dr. Jonathan Steinberg, Director of the Summit Medical Group Arrhythmia Center, shares the symptoms and treatments for individuals with arrhythmias. He also explains the critical importance of sharing any concerning symptoms with a healthcare professional.
"Welcome folks. Steve Adubato here. Everything you've ever needed and wanted to know about arrhythmias, or dealing with arrhythmia, we have Doctor Jonathan Steinberg, Director of the Summit Medical Group Arrhythmia Center. Good to see you doctor. Thank you. Now I use the word "arrhythmia" only because it's been in our family. People have dealt with heart issues... arrhythmia. What is it? Very simply, it's a disturbance from a normal rhythm, but it has an enormous spectrum ranging from very benign arrhythmias, or irregularities that require nothing but reassurance, to potentially fatal arrhythmic events. What causes it? Again, very variable. Sometimes it's just a natural behavior of the heart. But most often, it's due to some illness in the heart, some cardiac condition. If you've had a heart attack, if you have high blood pressure... Yeah. ...you're more vulnerable to all sorts of potentially dangerous arrhythmias. So, it's so interesting, I think there's some misconceptions, and maybe just for me, but sometimes I confuse... if I'm... sometimes when I'm getting here to the studio, if I'm working out in the morning, and there's not enough time between the workout and here, my heart's racing faster, I think that's an arrhythmia. What's the difference between arrhythmia and your heart just beating faster? So the heart has an incredibly complex electrical system... Electrical? Electrical, that controls the pumping of the heart. So that electrical system is very sensitive to what you're doing or experiencing. So when you're exercising there's a great deal of release of adrenaline, adrenaline stimulates the heart to beat faster, and deliver more oxygen around the body to your muscles that require more oxygen, because you're active. But that's not an arrhythmia? That is a physiologic normal response to activity. But an arrhythmia is something that is a defect? That's correct. It is something that is abnormal, that the heart should not, in its day to day working, experience. How would one know they have it? How do you detect it? Sometimes patients feel it. So... What do you feel? So it's very variable. And sometimes it's subtle. It's real obvious if you feel an extra beat or a skipped beat. It's real obvious if you feel a sudden, abrupt, rapid, racing, chaotic heartbeat. But it's much less obvious if you suddenly feel more tired than usual. Or if you have more difficulty with doing... taking out the garbage. Walking up the stairs? Walking up the stairs. And many patients will walk into my office and say, "Well, you know, for the past year I've had difficulty taking out the garbage. And I always thought I'm just getting a little older. I gained a little bit of weight.."