Cardiac dysrhythmias are also known as arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. In essence, if you are experiencing an arrhythmia, your heart is either beating much slower or much faster than normal or it is beating in an irregular fashion. To be considered too slow, your heart must beat less than 60 beats per minute and this is called bradycardia. To be too fast, it must be above 100 beats per minute and is called tachycardia.
Arrhythmias can occur in both the upper and lower chambers of the heart and can happen at any age. Some are barely noticeable and others can be quite dramatic.
Most arrhythmias are minor. In fact, it is not uncommon to feel your heart skip a beat or produce an extra beat. There is nothing to worry about unless these cause problems. If you experience palpitations, an increased awareness of your heart beating, there is a good chance that you will only have some discomfort and need do nothing about them.
One naturally occurring arrhythmia is called sinus arrhythmia. During sinus arrhythmia, your heart accelerates and slows naturally as your breath. In children, sinus arrhythmia is very pronounced. This type of pattern can also be mimicked during meditation when you breathe in and out deeply with various holding patterns.
Another frequently occurring arrhythmia is called proarrhythmia. This is a new arrhythmia or an older arrhythmia that is now happening more frequently. Ironically, this can happen when being given a drug to prevent or reduce arrhythmia!
However, some arrhythmias are problematic and can even cause your heart to stop. In fact, cardiac arrhythmias are often the cause of death during an ambulance ride. Therefore, if you are experiencing an arrhythmia, check with your doctor. It could be due to an atrial fibrillation, a ventricular fibrillation, or issues with a pacemaker or defibrillator. Some may also make you more prone to a stroke or embolism.