Arrhythmia, also known as irregular heartbeats, can be quite a distressing condition considering it affects the most important muscle in the human body. An arrhythmia is any disorder of the heart rate or rhythm and could indicate either an excessively rapid heartbeat or an extremely slow one. Arrythmias are not considered to be a condition on its own, but more of a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
Under normal circumstances, the human heart beats at a rate of between 50 to 100 times a minute. The condition is extremely common and accounts for the hospitalization of about 850,000 people every year in the United States of America alone. The condition does not seem to stem from any one particular factor and is the result of a number of contributors. Conditions like high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, excessive intake of drugs and / or alcohol as well as coronary heart disease all play a significant role in how the condition affects you. Some of the more common symptoms a patient is likely to experience when suffering from arrythmias include shortness of breath, sweating, paleness and chest pain. Arrhythmia tests are essential in order to identify the presence of the condition while it is still in its developmental phase.
Arrhythmia testing can be performed in a number of ways such as an electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG. This test helps the doctors analyze the electrical signals in the heart muscle and establishes which type of arrhythmia the patient suffers from. The Holter monitoring method of arrhythmia testing is another very effective method of diagnosing arrythmias. It works on the basis of continuously reading the heart rate over a period of about 24 hours with the help of small metal discs place on your chest. These metal discs are connected to the data recording device. The machine requires the patient to press a button on the recording machine whenever he or she experiences the onset of the symptoms. This then captures a lot of data about the body at that time, allowing the doctor to form a medical opinion about the condition and its seriousness after he or she has analyzed the data. An echogram is another method used to diagnose the root cause of arrhythmias and works on the principle of using sound waves that create images of the heart and help take a closer look at the blood flow.