Heart Dysrythmias

Heart Dysrythmias Overview:

Heart Dysrythmias involve an irregular beating of the heart. This can be too slow, in the case of bradydysrythmias, or too fast, as with the case of tachydysrythmias.

 

Aetiology:

+ Bradydysrythmia

Involves an irregularily slow heartbeat.

Causes:

  • Endurance athlete
  • Opioid medications

+ Tachydysrythmia

Involves an iregularily fast heartbeat. The most common form is Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) including Atrial fibrillation (AF).

Causes:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hypovolemic shock

+ Atrial Fibrillation

Involves the hyperexcitability of the aria of the heart.

Causes:

Subclinical Hyperthyroidism

Low serum thyrotropin concentration has been associated with a 3 fold increase in risk of developing atrial fibrillation (Sawin et al., 1994). Roughly 0.9 to 1.9 percent of older persons were found to have lowered thyrotropin concentrations (Eggertsen et al., 1988).

Osteoporosis Medications

Menopause has also been shown to increase the chances of developing osteoporosis (Stein et al., 2003). One of the first line of treatments for osteoporosis is bisphosphonates such as bisphosphonate zoledronic acid (Grey et al., 2006; Woolf & Åkesson., 2003). Nitrogenous bisphosphonates have been shown to increase the incidences of atrial fibrillation (Black et al., 2007; Cummings et al., 2007). This was later backed up with the findings of a large case-control study from Denmark investigating atrial fibrillation patients medication intake (Sørensen et al., 2008). This was not found in patients taking non-nitrogenous bisphosphonates in this study.

 

Symptoms:

Fluttering sensation in the chest

Racing heartbeat

Slow heartbeat

Chest pain or tightness

Shortness of breath

Lightheadedness

Dizziness

Syncope

 

Diagnostic Considerations:

  • Full blood count
  • Coronary calcium score
  • Liver function testing
  • Scanning
  • ECG
 

Therapeutic Aims:

1. Stabilise Heart Rhythm

  • Antidysrhythmics (Crataegus oxycanthus, Leonurus cardiaca, Ziziphus spinosa)

2. Reduce Nervous Tension

  • Nervine Sedatives (Valeriana officinalis, Scutellaria lateriflora, Passiflora incarnata, Piper methysticum)
  • Adaptogens (Withania somnifera)

3. Prevent Thromboembolism (AF)

  • Fibrinolytics (Salvia miltorrhiza, Allium sativum)
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors (Allium sativum, Ginkgo biloba, Vitamin E, Fish Oil)

4. Support Cardiac Function

  • Cardiovascular tonics (Crataegus ocycanthus)
  • Nutritional (Magnesium, CoQ10, B Vitamins, Taurine)
 

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypercalcemia
 

Comorbidities:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Sleep apnea
  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Caffeine intake
  • Nicotine
 

Cautions:

Diagnostic testing required to rule out differentials.

 

Herbs For Heart Dysrhythmias:

Other herbs:

  • Ziziphus spinosa
  • Leonurus cardiaca
  • Cinchona spp.
 

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: May 2018


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