Irregular heartbeat or atrial fibrillation can have serious implications with regard to your cardiovascular health. Heartbeat irregularities can range significantly in type and severity, but in some cases may cause debilitating physical symptoms, as well as placing you at an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and other dangerous complications. However, symptoms of afib or other heartbeat irregularities can be subtle and difficult to identify, making it easy to mistake something less serious for a potentially frightening heart problem.
As trained cardiologists, we can help to pinpoint the issue and find the right treatment plan.
The feeling of your heart lagging, racing, or skipping a beat can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. Given that this is your heart that we’re talking about, it’s completely understandable to experience a physical sensation like this and immediately assume the worst. However, palpitations, flutters, or other feelings of this nature don’t always mean the issue is with your heart.
Symptoms of an irregular heartbeat often mirror those of stress, anxiety, or panic attacks. Some studies have shown that false reports of afib or arrhythmia symptoms are most common among patients who have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders in the past.
When considering the likelihood of a serious heart issue, it’s important to keep into account external factors like high-risk lifestyle or family history of relevant health problems. You should also be aware of any other symptoms that might indicate insufficient or interrupted circulation which can result from an irregular heart rhythm. These include fatigue, headache, and faintness or lightheadedness. Any symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain should be reported to your doctor immediately.
One of the challenges of diagnosing an irregular heartbeat is that symptoms will frequently come and go depending on time of day, physical activity, and other factors. This can make it difficult to pinpoint the issue by performing tests during a regular doctor’s appointment. That’s why a portable ECG monitor may be used to get the most accurate possible diagnosis.
An ECG monitor is worn throughout the course of a 24-hour period. This device essentially allows your doctor to follow you over the course of a day and identify any irregularities or abnormalities in the ordinary function of your cardiovascular system over this time period. This can also help to spot specific behaviors and environmental factors which may be contributing to the issue.
As with many heart issues, early detection of heartbeat abnormalities is critical to reducing the risk of long-term complications. If you’re nervous about arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation, our cardiologists can help you get to the root of the matter and find a treatment plan to address any problems that may be found. Book your appointment today through our online portal.