Heart racing caffeine: Could your racing heart be caused by caffeine?: Premier Cardiology Consultants: Cardiologists
Could your racing heart be caused by caffeine?: Premier Cardiology Consultants: Cardiologists
It is not uncommon to hear patients say that, when they started experiencing racing or skipping a heartbeat, they stopped drinking caffeinated beverages. In general, there is a widespread perception that caffeine may be a root cause of a racing heart, even in light of our overwhelming consumption of caffeinated products, including energy drinks, coffee, and energy supplements.
Caffeine is a natural product that is derived from the raw fruit that grows on coffee plants. Some tea leaves also have caffeine, as does cocoa, kola nuts, and yerba maté. When we consume caffeine, the chemical is absorbed by the body within 30 minutes to an hour.
Caffeine And Your Heart
Whether you feel its effects or not, the fact is that caffeine does affect the heart. When caffeine is consumed in substantial amounts (and that can be a single energy drink), the level of epinephrine rises in the blood. You may not recognize this name, epinephrine, but you may know what adrenaline is, and it’s the same thing. When the body has high levels of adrenaline, blood pressure and the force of the heartbeat increases. Heart rate may also increase, but usually only slightly. For the person who is more susceptible to abnormal heart rhythms, caffeine may cause palpitations or skipped beats.
The uncomfortable sensations of increased heart beating and force are normal responses to high doses of caffeine. Typically, symptoms decrease as the body processes caffeine and its resulting epinephrine. In the susceptible person, though, it can take several minutes, hours, or even days for heart rhythm to return to normal.
Should You Stop Drinking Caffeine?
In most cases, a person will build up a tolerance to caffeine over time and the heart-thumping effects will decrease. If symptoms are severe or persist long after caffeine consumption has occurred, there is a good reason to contact your doctor. A thorough examination and specific cardiac screenings may also be beneficial if you develop symptoms such as a racing or skipping heartbeat after years of regular caffeine consumption, as your sensations may originate from a source other than caffeine.
Premier Cardiology Consultants provides diagnostic and clinical care for a range of cardiac symptoms. To learn more about our services or to arrange a visit, call 516-437-5600.
If Coffee Doesn’t Cause Heart Palpitations, Why Does It Feel Like My Heart Will Explode?
This article originally appeared on Inverse.
Coffee lovers rejoiced when researchers reported on Tuesday that caffeine doesn’t actually give you heart palpitations. Irregular heartbeats — the occasional hiccup or sporadic rapid drumming — have been associated with potentially fatal heart failure, but caffeine fiends can rest easy knowing their morning cup won’t cause their hearts to malfunction. Still, that’s not very helpful when over-caffeinating makes you feel like your not-actually-fluttering heart is going to explode.
Even if it doesn’t cause irregular heart rhythms, caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant, will make your heart race. Your morning red eye causes the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine to increase the rate and force of heart muscle contraction. Your blood pressure rises, your heart rate goes up, and, when you’ve had too much, heart explosion anxiety sets in.
Knowing you’re not going to die from heart palpitations brings some relief, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the sweaty, jittering mania that over-caffeination unleashes. The thing to do, if your trembling hands can manage it, is to hydrate. A lot. It’s been suggested that you down at least 32 ounces — about three soda cans worth — in five to 10 minutes. Flushing the drug out of your system is the only way to still your too-quickly beating heart.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, attempted to take down the long-held assumption that caffeine and cardiac ectopy were associated because the stimulant, in many forms, is actually good for the heart, and avoiding it out of the unfounded fear your heart might race out of control could actually be harmful.
Caffeine intake has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression, and has been shown to help keep the brain young.
While the researchers focused on caffeine intake by way of coffee, tea, and chocolate, they didn’t consider the super doses of the stimulant found in energy drinks. Moderate doses of caffeine probably won’t kill you by way of heart arrhythmia, but the dose, as they say, makes the poison.
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What Does It Mean When My Heart Skips a Beat?
A heart palpitation is when you feel a fast-beating, pounding, or skipping heartbeat. Most of the time, there’s no reason to worry. But sometimes palpitations can be signs of trouble.
Many say a palpitation feels like a heaviness in the chest, head, or even the neck. Sometimes there’s a flip-flopping in the chest or the throat, or the heart may stop or skip for a brief second.
Do You Need to Call 911?
The answer is yes when you’re also having shortness of breath, severe chest pain, heavy sweating, and dizziness, or you feel like you’re going to pass out. You might be having a heart attack.
Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. Let an ambulance come to you. Paramedics can begin treatment as soon as they arrive. You’ll get help sooner than if you go to the ER on your own.
Do You Need to See a Doctor?
Yes, if your pulse is more than 100 beats per minute and you’ve not been exercising and don’t have a fever.
Yes, too, if you have:
Possible Causes of Heart Palpitations
How does each of these contribute to heart palpitations?
Stress: When you’re in a stressful situation, your body releases the hormone adrenaline. That temporarily speeds up your heart rate and breathing, and raises your blood pressure. If you’re under pressure for a long time, your heart may continue to beat faster than normal, or trigger extra beats.
Exercise: Your heart rate rises when you work out hard. So you might feel palpitations before and after exercising, but not during — that’s because you won’t notice the extra heartbeats when your heart rate is up. When you stop working out, your heart rate slows down again, but your adrenaline level stays high. That’s when you may feel your ticker beating extra-fast.
It could be a warning sign of something serious. Call 911 if you also have:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Extreme lightheadedness
Caffeine: It’s what doctors call a stimulant. It revs up your heartbeat. You may have more of it in your system than you think. You’ll find caffeine not only in coffee and tea, but also in:
- Coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos
- Sodas (even some non-cola ones)
- Energy drinks
- Some over-the-counter cold medications — often the “non-drowsy” formulas
Caffeine causes your brain to release adrenaline, and that speeds up your heart rate. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. But if you had a lot of caffeinated drinks in one day — and you’re also feeling tired and stressed out — you could end up with heart palpitations and extra, early beats.
Alcohol: Drinking raises your odds of having an irregular heartbeat. Heavy drinking, like a binge, can bring on an episode if you haven’t had one before. Wine and liquor are more likely to cause problems than beer.
Hormones: Hormone changes that come with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can bring on heart palpitations.
How Do You Figure Out the Cause?
Take notes on what was going on before your palpitations began. Bring the notes with you to your doctor’s appointment.
They may suggest you have an electrocardiogram (also called an EKG). This test shows the electric activity in your heart and its rhythm. This information can help your doctor understand what might be going on.
Having extra, early beats usually isn’t dangerous, but it can be frustrating. It affects some people’s quality of life. But once you know what triggers it, you can take steps to treat it and feel better.
Treating Heart Palpitations
Unless your doctor finds another heart condition, they probably won’t suggest treatment for your heart palpitations.
If your symptoms or condition does require treatment, your doctor will probably try one of these methods:
- Medications: Antiarrhythmic drugs like beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers are a good starting point. Sometimes, these drugs don’t work as well. You might need stronger antiarrhythmic drugs that directly act on the sodium and potassium channels of the heart.
- Catheter ablation: Your doctor will thread small wires through your leg veins and into your heart. This will trigger an arrhythmia, and your doctor will identify the area and send energy to cause scars and stop the irregular beat.
- Electrical cardioversion: The doctor gives your heart a shock to get its rhythm back to normal.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Palpitations
The best way to stop palpitations is to make sure they never start:
- Lower stress. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
- Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, certain cold medicines, and even energy drinks can cause an irregular heartbeat.
- Don’t use illegal drugs. Certain drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can lead to palpitations.
Caffeine and Heart Arrhythmias (Irregular Heartbeat)
The guidelines to follow for safety
A cardiac arrhythmia is when the heart beats out of rhythm sometimes missing a beat or beating twice in the time period that usually would be one beat.
Since caffeine is a stimulant and speeds up heart rate, doctors believed that this effect could be dangerous for those with heart arrhythmias.
Doctors once warned those with cardiac arrhythmias to avoid consuming caffeine, but this advice may be somewhat outdated.
Those with existing heart arrhythmias should exercise caution when consuming caffeine, which involves understanding the amount of caffeine in beverages/ foods as well as the amount they are consuming daily.
Some people do report that their heart “flutters” after drinking caffeinated beverages and are understandably concerned about this.
Moderate Caffeine Ok for those with Arrhythmias
The Arrhythmia Research:
1.The most up to date research published in the January 2016 edition of the Journal of the American Heart Association found that among regular coffee, tea, and chocolate consumers studied there was no increased instance of heart rate rhythm abnormalities compared to the study group that did not consume coffee, tea, and chocolate regularly.
You can read more about the study here.
2. An article published in The American Journal of Medicine shows that caffeine in moderation seems safe.
After reviewing all of the studies published concerning caffeine consumption among those with known arrhythmias, Daniel J. Pelchovitz, MD, and Jeffrey J. Goldberger, MD concluded that moderate doses of caffeine are well tolerated by most people diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias.
3. Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, CA recently conducted a study in which the coffee-drinking habits of 130,054 men and women were assessed along with their medical history.
The research showed that those who had 4 or more cups of coffee a day (400mg of caffeine or more) had an 18% lower risk of being hospitalized because of heart rhythm disturbances while those that consumed at least 1-3 cups had a 7% lower risk.
The head researcher, Arthur Klatsky MD, says:
“While other factors could have been involved here and that this study doesn’t prove that coffee has a protective effect, it does however, show that coffee drinkers are not harming themselves from drinking the caffeine or increasing their risk of hospitalization due to heart rhythm problems. ”
4. A Danish study also looked at coffee’s relationship to heartbeat fluttering. After assessing almost 950 patients, they concluded that coffee consumption was not associated with the risk of heart flutter.
5. Another study which was a meta-analysis of four other studies that looked for a link between coffee consumption and atrial fibrillation risk found that there was no association between coffee or caffeine consumption and increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
6. A 2021 study found that caffeine or coffee is not a risk factor for developing a heart arrhythmia. In fact, coffee can even offer a preventative benefit. For a very small number of people, caffeine can act as a trigger but this is extremely rare. This study was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine publication.
This is all good news for those who love coffee and/or energy drinks but have known heart arrhythmias. It looks like they can have caffeine-laden beverages in moderation and still be safe.
A moderate daily dose of caffeine for a healthy adult is between 300-400mg.
Those with heart rhythm problems should probably aim for no more than 200mg daily.
Most doctors advise patients with arrhythmias to quit or cut back on their caffeine consumption.
Energy Drinks and Heart Rhythm Problems
Unfortunately for energy drink consumers, most of the caffeine and heart rhythm research conducted looked at coffee as the caffeine delivery method.
We know from other studies that coffee is naturally high in antioxidants, which are believed to be beneficial in protecting bodily organs from disease.
Energy Drinks do not offer the same benefit and the results could be different with this caffeine delivery agent. Especially since many energy drinks are a combination of caffeine, taurine, sugar and sometimes other stimulants.
People with existing heart arrhythmias should be extremely cautious when using these products.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that participants who consumed 32 fluid ounces of an energy drink in 60 minutes experienced significant changes to their heart rhythm and blood pressure. This was independent of the caffeine in the beverage.
People consuming energy drinks and shots should fully understand their heart health before consuming these products in larger than recommend quantities.
Excessive Caffeine May Be Deadly
For those with heart arrhythmias, excessive caffeine may be deadly. To date, there have been several reported deaths as the result of caffeine overdose in those with heart arrhythmias.
Some reported caffeine deaths of those with arrhythmias.
- Anais Fournier died after just 480mg of caffeine.
- A New Zealand woman died after 900-1000mg of caffeine daily.
- Alex Morris died from reportedly drinking 320mg of caffeine though Monster Energy Drink.
- A 25-year-old woman died after consuming a guarana based drink. Src.
It is vital that people know their heart health and respect caffeine as it can be deadly for people with arrhythmias under certain circumstances.
Caffeine Doesn’t Cause Arrhythmias to Develop
There is no scientific evidence that caffeine causes heart arrhythmias in those with a healthy heart.
Nor is there any evidence that drinking caffeinated beverages long-term will cause an arrhythmia to develop.
However, some people could be unaware that they have an arrhythmia or that they are prone to developing one based on their genetics, which is why caffeine should always be consumed in moderation.
Binging on caffeine, even once, can have dangerous consequences.
We encourage caffeine in moderation and especially in cases where people have heart arrhythmias. If you have an arrhythmia, we encourage you to use all of the tools this site has to offer to help you consume caffeine safely.
- Pelchovitz, D. J., & Goldberger, J. J. (2011). Caffeine and cardiac arrhythmias: a review of the evidence. The American journal of medicine, 124(4), 284-289.
- Klatsky, A. L., Hasan, A. S., Armstrong, M. A., Udaltsova, N., & Morton, C. (2011). Coffee, caffeine, and risk of hospitalization for arrhythmias. The Permanente Journal, 15(3), 19.
- Frost, L., & Vestergaard, P. (2005). Caffeine and risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter: the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(3), 578-582.
- Larsson, S. C., Drca, N., Jensen-Urstad, M., & Wolk, A. (2015). Coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation: results from two prospective cohorts and a meta-analysis. BMC medicine, 13(1), 207.
- Consumption of Caffeinated Products and Cardiac Ectopy, Shalini Dixit, Phyllis K. Stein, Thomas A. Dewland, Jonathan W. Dukes, Eric Vittinghoff, Susan R. Heckbert, and Gregory M. Marcus J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5:e002503, originally published January 26, 2016, doi:10.1161/JAHA.115.002503
Written by Ted Kallmyer, last updated on July 22, 2021
Why Is My Heart Racing? 10 Surprising Reasons
When you notice your heart racing seemingly out of nowhere, you probably find yourself wondering, “Wait, is something wrong?” But try not to worry that something drastic is happening, if you can help it. Plenty of things can cause your heart to pick up the pace, and many of them are pretty mundane. And before you ask, it’s almost definitely not a heart attack, which is most likely to present with symptoms like pain in your jaw, neck, back, arms, or shoulders, discomfort or pain in your chest, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. A racing heart isn’t one of the hallmark symptoms, for what it’s worth.
To understand why certain things cause our hearts to kick into overdrive, it’s important to understand how this all-important organ functions. As you read this, your heart is performing an incredible balancing act that’s crucial to keeping you alive and healthy. “The heart beats because of electricity,” Shephal Doshi, M.D., director of cardiac electrophysiology at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. No, not the type that keeps your lights on, although that would be interesting. Instead, these are electrical impulses from a group of cells in your heart’s right atrium (chamber) that act like your own internal pacemaker. These cells, known as your sinoatrial (SA) node, tell your heart when and how to beat in order to send oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.
At rest, it’s normal for your heart to respond to these signals by beating anywhere from 60 to 100 times per minute. Anything higher than that is known as tachycardia, the fancy way of describing the sensation that your heart is galloping a mile a minute. Which is the whole reason why you’re reading this article! So let’s talk about the most likely causes behind your racing heart.
1. You’re stressed.
Let’s be real, with everything going on with the new coronavirus, there’s an extremely good chance that you’re stressed right now. When you encounter something stressful, your sympathetic nervous system and adrenal glands release a surge of norepinephrine, also known as adrenaline, Camille Frazier-Mills, M.D., a cardiologist at Duke Electrophysiology Clinic, tells SELF. Receptors in your heart respond to these triggers and can make your heart rate pick up.
If you can’t immediately solve whatever’s making you stressed (which is unfortunately the case with the literal pandemic happening right now), try deep breathing to at least help you feel better in the moment. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking deep breaths in through your nose so that you feel your stomach rise, not your chest, and exhaling through your nose as well. Focus on your breath and the rise and fall of your abdomen throughout.
2. You’ve had a lot of caffeine.
While most people can handle a certain level of caffeine just fine, overdoing it can make your heart speed up. “A bunch of patients come to see me with an elevated heart rate, then they tell me they drink multiple highly caffeinated beverages daily,” Dr. Mills-Frazier says. “They’re revving themselves up.” This is most likely to happen if you’ve had too much caffeine, but it could also happen in response to small amounts if you’re just sensitive to this stimulant.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s safe for adults to have up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or around the amount in four cups of coffee, 10 cans of soda, or two energy drinks (caffeine content varies based on the specific beverage). Try cutting back on caffeine gradually to see if it reduces your racing heart. If not, get in touch with your doctor.
3. You have a cold or fever.
If your pounding heart is accompanied by typical signs of a cold or fever, like an elevated temperature, coughing, and sneezing, this is likely the culprit. Battling an infection requires your body to work harder than usual, and that includes making your heart beat faster in order to fight for homeostasis (its usual stable condition) and kick the infection to the curb, Dr. Mills-Frazier says.
4. You’re not getting enough sleep.
When you sleep, your body isn’t doing as much, so your heart can slow down. “Sleep is your time to reset. If you’re not getting that recovery phase, your adrenaline levels during the day can be higher,” Dr. Mills-Frazier says. Excess adrenaline charging through your system during the day can lead to a faster heartbeat. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble clocking those restful minutes, check out what might be getting in the way.
5. You’re taking some kind of medication that affects your heart.
If you’ve ever read a list of possible medication side effects, you probably know tons of them out there cause an elevated heart rate. “Whether it’s related to osteoporosis, allergies, ADHD, or another condition, a lot of medications will increase circulating adrenaline and cause someone to feel like their heart is racing,” Dr. Doshi says. This happens so often that doctors will often first ask which medications you’re taking when you tell them your heart is beating too quickly. Depending on your medication and medical history, a racing heart can be expected or a sign that you might need to try a different option. Only a doctor can tell you for sure.
6. You’re pregnant.
No, we don’t mean, “Surprise! Better rush out and get a pregnancy test because your racing heart is an early sign you’re pregnant.” A racing heart isn’t one of the usual first signs of pregnancy that people pick up on. We more so mean that if you do get pregnant, as your body adjusts over time, you might start noticing that an increased heart rate is part of the ride. Pregnancy is one heck of a roller coaster for your body, including your heart. In order to support the growing pregnancy, your blood volume goes up, and your heart has to work harder to pump out that extra blood, leading to a higher heart rate, Dr. Doshi says. This is completely normal, but if you’re concerned, check in with your ob-gyn just to make sure.
7. You have an anxiety disorder.
There’s also a chance you’re dealing with something more than typical everyday stress like we talked about above. Persistent, excessive worry might signal one of several anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or separation anxiety disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic. While each of these anxiety disorders manifests in different ways (such as in social situations for social anxiety disorder), they have a few very important symptoms in common—including a racing heart.
Heart palpitations and ectopic beats
Heart palpitations are heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.
Your heart may feel like it’s pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for just a few seconds or minutes. You may also feel these sensations in your throat or neck.
Palpitations may seem alarming, but in most cases they’re harmless and are not a sign of a serious problem.
Sometimes you may feel an extra or missed beat. These are known as ectopic beats and are also usually nothing to worry about.
Causes of heart palpitations
Causes of heart palpitations include:
- lifestyle triggers
- emotions and psychological triggers
- hormone changes
- heart rhythm problems
- heart conditions
- other medical conditions
Common triggers of heart palpitations include:
In these cases, the palpitations should go away on their own. Avoiding these triggers may help stop them from coming back.
Emotional or psychological triggers
Heart palpitations are also often caused by emotions or psychological issues, such as:
- excitement or nervousness
- stress or anxiety
- panic attacks – an overwhelming sense of anxiety or fear, accompanied by feeling sick, sweating, trembling and palpitations
Doing breathing exercises and learning how to deal with a panic attack may help if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or panicked.
Palpitations can occasionally be triggered by some medicines, including:
Speak to a GP if you think a medicine may be causing your heart palpitations. But do not stop taking a prescribed treatment without first getting medical advice.
Heart palpitations in women can sometimes be the result of hormonal changes that happen during:
In these cases, the palpitations are usually temporary and not a cause for concern.
Heart rhythm problems
Palpitations are sometimes caused by a problem with the heart rhythm (arrhythmia), such as:
- atrial fibrillation – this is the most common type, where the heart beats irregularly and faster than normal
- atrial flutter – a fast and irregular heartbeat
- supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) – abnormally fast heart rate
- ventricular tachycardia – a more serious condition where the regular heartbeat is typically fast. It can be associated with dizziness or blackouts
Some palpitations may be associated with other types of heart conditions, such as:
Some of these conditions can be serious and often require treatment.
Other medical conditions
Other conditions that can cause heart palpitations include:
When to see a GP
You do not usually need to see a GP if the palpitations pass quickly and only happen occasionally. They’re unlikely to be caused by a serious problem and probably will not need treatment.
But it’s a good idea to see a GP if:
- the palpitations last a long time, do not improve or get worse
- you have a history of heart problems
- you’re concerned about the palpitations
To help find the cause, a GP may:
- ask about your symptoms and medical history
- arrange a blood test
- carry out an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check your heart rate (if the GP has the equipment available)
If you cannot have an ECG at the GP surgery or the GP wants to arrange heart monitoring over a longer time period, you may be referred for tests at a local hospital.
When to get emergency help
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E if you have heart palpitations and any of the following symptoms:
- severe shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- dizziness or light-headedness
- fainting or blackouts
These symptoms could indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening heart problem that should be checked by a doctor straight away.
Page last reviewed: 24 October 2019
Next review due: 24 October 2022
Energy-Drink Habit Sends Man to ER with Heart Problems
A previously healthy 28-year-old man wound up in the emergency room with heart problems after drinking two energy drinks a day, as well as alcohol, for months, according to a new report.
The man experienced a very fast heart rate and an irregular heart rhythm (called arrhythmia), and the report supports a connection found in many previous studies: that there is a link between energy-drink consumption and heart problems.
Although the new report cannot prove that the energy drinks caused the man’s abnormal heart rate, this case, combined with other previous reports, shows the abnormal heart rhythm “could be a complication” of energy-drink consumption, the researchers, from the University of Florida, reported in the July/August issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine.
Given the popularity of energy drinks, doctors should consider asking patients about their energy-drink consumption if they have an unexplained heart rhythm problem, the researchers said. [5 Health Problems Linked to Energy Drinks]
Previous studies have found that consuming just one energy drink can increase blood pressure, sometimes to unhealthy levels. And there have been several reports of young people who have suffered heart attacks after consuming energy drinks, including a 2015 report of a 26-year-old who drank eight to 10 of these highly caffeinated beverages a day.
In the new report, the researchers wrote that the man went to the hospital after he started vomiting blood. He told the doctors that he had consumed two Monster energy drinks that day, each of which contained 160 milligrams of caffeine, for a total of 320 mg of caffeine that day. (For comparison, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 95 to 200 mg of caffeine, according to the Mayo Clinic.) He also reported having consumed two to three beers that day.
A physical exam showed normal results, except that the man’s heart rate was very fast — 130 beats per minute. (A normal heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute. ) A test of his heart’s electrical activity showed he had atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heart rhythm. The problem is not usually life-threatening, but it can increase the risk of stroke and other heart complications, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The man was treated with two heart medications (diltiazem and metoprolol), and his heart rate returned to normal within 24 hours. He was released from the hospital three days later, and as of one year after the incident, he had not experienced any more problems with his heart rhythm, the report said.
Monster energy drinks contain about four to five times the amount of caffeine per serving as caffeinated soft drinks. Caffeine can cause heart cells to release calcium, which may affect heartbeat, and high amounts of caffeine can cause heart palpitations and vomiting, the researchers said.
Between 2004 and 2012, the Food and Drug Administration received 40 reports of people experiencing health problems after drinking Monster energy drinks, including abnormal heart rate, increased blood pressure, loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest, the report said.
Still, up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered safe for healthy adults, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It’s possible that other ingredients in energy drinks, along with caffeine, contribute to the development of heart problems, the researchers said. For example, taurine, a common ingredient in energy drinks, may heighten the effects of caffeine, the researchers said. Another ingredient, called guarana, also usually contains caffeine and may boost the caffeine content of the whole beverage above what’s listed on the label, they said.
Further studies of the ingredients in energy drinks are needed for experts to better understand how the beverages may be linked with heart problems, the researchers noted.
Consuming alcohol along with energy drinks might also increase the effects of caffeine, allowing the compound to stay in the blood longer, the researchers said. Caffeine also could lower the sedative effects of alcohol, allowing people to continue drinking longer and consume more alcohol, which, in turn, could increase intoxication and lead to arrhythmias, they said.
Although the long-term effects of energy-drink consumption are not known, “it may be reasonable to limit their use, especially in combination with alcohol or illicit substances and in patients predisposed to arrhythmias,” the researchers concluded.
At the time of publication, Monster Energy had not responded to an email request from Live Science for comment on the study.
Original article on Live Science.
Scientists have not found a link between coffee consumption and heart disease
Scientists have not found a link between coffee consumption and heart disease
Scientists have not found a link between coffee consumption and heart disease – RIA Novosti, 20.07.2021
Scientists have not found a link between coffee consumption and heart disease
American scientists have completed the largest ever study of the relationship between coffee consumption and heart rhythm disturbances. Results … RIA Novosti, 20.07.2021
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MOSCOW, July 20 – RIA Novosti.American scientists have completed the largest ever study of the relationship between coffee consumption and heart rhythm disturbances. The results showed that those who regularly drink coffee in moderation have an even lower risk of developing arrhythmias than the population average. This article was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Coffee has anti-inflammatory effects and reduces the risk of certain dangerous diseases, including cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, but some experts advise limiting consumption, because they believe caffeine can have a negative effect on the heart. in particular, cause arrhythmias.Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco decided to test this assumption. Based on data from the local branch of the world’s largest biobank UK Biobank, the National Health Service of England, containing medical and genetic information, they compiled a sample of almost 400,000 coffee drinkers. The average age of the participants was 56 years, men and women were roughly equal. Scientists have followed them for four years. “Coffee is the main source of caffeine for most people and has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias, but we found no evidence that caffeine consumption increases the risk of arrhythmias,” the press release said. University of the word of the research leader Dr. Gregory Marcus (Gregory Marcus), professor of cardiology.“Our population-based study is confident that general bans on caffeine to reduce the risk of arrhythmias are unfounded.” The rate of any type of arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contraction or other common heart disease, was four percent among coffee drinkers. The authors also found no evidence of an increased risk of arrhythmia among those genetically predisposed to a particular caffeine metabolism.To eliminate the analysis errors associated with a genetic predisposition to increased coffee consumption, the scientists used a special method of mathematical data processing – Mendelian randomization. They also adjusted for participants’ demographics, general health and lifestyle. “Our study found no evidence that drinking caffeinated beverages increases the risk of arrhythmias. Moreover, some of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee may protect against certain types of arrhythmias.” Says Dr. Marcus.The authors note that their conclusions are preliminary and based on an analysis of statistical data. In the future, they plan to conduct a randomized clinical trial to finalize the effect of caffeine on heart rate.
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MOSCOW, July 20 – RIA Novosti. American scientists have completed the largest ever study of the relationship between coffee consumption and heart rhythm disturbances. The results showed that those who regularly drink coffee in moderation have an even lower risk of developing arrhythmias than the population average. The article was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Coffee has anti-inflammatory effects and reduces the risk of developing some dangerous diseases, including cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, but some experts advise limiting its consumption, because, in their opinion, caffeine can negatively affect the heart, in particular, cause arrhythmias.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco decided to test this assumption. Based on data from the local branch of the world’s largest biobank UK Biobank, the National Health Service of England, containing medical and genetic information, they compiled a sample of almost 400,000 coffee drinkers. The average age of the participants was 56 years, men and women were roughly equal. Scientists have been observing them for four years.
“Coffee is the main source of caffeine for most people and has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias, but we found no evidence that caffeine consumption increases the risk of arrhythmias,” study leader Dr. Gregory Marcus said in a university press release. Gregory Marcus), professor of cardiology.“Our population-based study provides confidence that general bans on caffeine to reduce the risk of arrhythmias are unfounded.”
April 22, 2:34 pm or other common heart disease, among those who consumed coffee was four percent, which is three percent lower than the population average.
The authors also found no evidence of an increased risk of arrhythmias among those who are genetically predisposed to a particular metabolism of caffeine …To eliminate the analysis errors associated with a genetic predisposition to increased coffee consumption, the scientists used a special method of mathematical data processing – Mendelian randomization. They also took into account adjustments for the demographic characteristics of the participants, general health and lifestyle.
“Our study found no evidence that drinking caffeinated beverages increases the risk of arrhythmias. Moreover, some of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee may protect against certain types of arrhythmias,” says Dr. Marcus.
The authors note that their conclusions are preliminary and based on an analysis of statistical data. In the future, they plan to conduct a randomized clinical trial to finalize the effect of caffeine on heart rate.
April 28, 13:15
We figure out what is healthier for the heart – to drink coffee or not to drink
Is there a direct link between caffeine and heart function? Scientific research has an answer to this question.The main information is taken from the book “The Unstable Heart”, written by Chris Keyes, Dr. John Mandrol and Lennard Zinn.
As strange as it may sound, the problems associated with heart rate after consuming caffeine are still not fully understood. It used to be thought that caffeine clearly accelerates the heart rate after ingestion. New data, including long-term follow-up of the subjects, prove to us that caffeine has nothing to do with arrhythmia. There is also very provocative news that scientists have put forward suggests the opposite – the most popular stimulant available among athletes may even reduce the risk of arrhythmia.Here’s the latest research on caffeine and heart health.
Caffeine and extrasystole
Extrasystole is the most common type of arrhythmia. In the largest study of dietary patterns and heart rhythm problems, a group of American scientists published a report from the Global Heart Health Study, which involved more than 5,000 people from four major medical centers. Long-term studies have shown that no changes in the work of the atrium and ventricles were noticed.The results were identified taking into account possible additional factors.
Caffeine and atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder. This type of arrhythmia causes the two upper chambers of the heart (atria) to flicker instead of beating, as a result of which blood is not pumped completely and this causes blood to accumulate, and then blood clots.
There is much more evidence that caffeine has nothing to do with atrial fibrillation.In 2016, a team of scientists from Denmark examined more than 57,000 people. They found that caffeine was not associated with an increased risk of MA. And when more detailed information was received, it turned out that about 15% of the investigated reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation. Moreover, the more cups of coffee a day they drank, the lower the chance of MA occurrence. The Chinese team of scientists double-checked the data and agreed on the same opinion.
Caffeine and heart rates
This study was conducted in different clinics, in patients with already diagnosed “arrhythmias”.Canadian researchers tested 80 patients who were scheduled for catheter removal of supraventricular tachycardia. One hour before the procedure, one group was given a placebo and the other a caffeinated pill. Caffeine raised blood pressure, but no effect on cardiac conduction was seen.
Caffeine and general heart health
Coffee is one of the most researched substances in the world. In recent years, 36 studies have been conducted around the world, involving 1.2 million participants.On average, the subjects had 3-5 cups of coffee a day, which resulted in a lower risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart-related deaths. It is important to note that all studies speak specifically about large groups, and not about the effect of a substance on one particular person. This means that some people are not affected by caffeine, others are more sensitive to it. Caffeine works differently for every person. It is also important to understand that in addition to caffeine, coffee contains thousands of organic compounds, most of which have not even been studied, that also significantly affect the human body.
Perhaps this information sounds dubious and may even contradict common sense. We have heard from many athletes that when they stop drinking coffee, they seem to have stopped feeling arrhythmia. It is important to understand that it is very difficult to understand the true reasons for the reduction in arrhythmia symptoms. They depend on many factors and vary on their own. Perhaps the fact is that when people learn about their diagnosis, they reduce not only their caffeine intake, but also the volume of exercise, pay attention to sleep, as well as to their diet.Doctors call this “confusing” factors.
The facts outlined above are likely to just stick in your head and not force you to consume more or less caffeine. But now you don’t have to worry about your coffee consumption and do not focus on it: if you like it, drink it, and do not think about your heart health while drinking a cup of espresso on a cycling workout.
Unexpected conclusions about the effect of coffee on heart rate were made by scientists from the United States
For a long time it was believed that people with heart rhythm disturbances should avoid drinking coffee because caffeine can provoke arrhythmias. They were advised to drink as little of this drink as possible, or even give it up altogether.
However, a study by American scientists published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine proves that coffee is probably not dangerous for such patients. To understand whether caffeine can actually cause a fast or uneven heartbeat, the University of California, San Francisco’s Cardiology Research Department analyzed data from more than 386,000 people in a long-term health study.Of this large group, about 17 thousand people developed cardiac arrhythmias, this happened on average over 4.5 years.
Participants were asked about the frequency of drinking coffee. “We could not find evidence that those who drank more coffee were at increased risk of heart rhythm disturbances,” said Dr. Gregory Markus, deputy chief of the University of California’s Cardiac Research Division.
In addition, according to scientists, drinking an extra cup of coffee daily can even reduce the risk of arrhythmia by an average of 3%. More research is needed to figure out exactly how coffee affects the heart and why it may protect against arrhythmias, according to Marcus, his colleagues suggest.
The expert notes: some inflammations can contribute to the disturbance of the heart rhythm, and coffee has an anti-inflammatory effect. It may also be that caffeine encourages some people to be more physically active, which also lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Nonetheless, Dr. Zachary Goldberger, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, warns against jumping to conclusions, writes HealthDay.Both experts also admit that there are probably people who don’t respond well to coffee.
This is not the first such study. Scientists have previously stated that regular consumption of coffee can reduce the likelihood of developing arrhythmias. To determine the positive effects of the drink on the heart, they studied the relationship between habitual caffeine consumption and the risk of heart problems.
Effect of coffee on blood vessels, heart, skin, stomach, pressure
Many people love coffee, but few people think that just one sip of this drink can greatly affect your body. A cup of coffee before bedtime slows down the internal biological clock and provokes insomnia. And these are far from the only consequences of drinking coffee.
The fact is that coffee has an effect on the human body as a whole. Due to its composition, its components quickly enter the bloodstream, which affects vision, brain activity and digestion.If you drink just one cup of coffee, then caffeine will enter the bloodstream after 20 minutes and can be detected within the next 12 hours.
Pulse and blood pressure
Shortly after drinking coffee, blood pressure rises by one fraction. This effect is more pronounced if the person does not drink the drink regularly. At the same time, after one cup of coffee, the pulse slows down due to an increase in blood pressure.
Meanwhile, drinking more than two cups of coffee threatens to accelerate the heart rate .For healthy people, this is not a threat, but it can turn into a serious problem for those with heart disease or hypertension.
Drinking, for example, a cup of espresso after a meal is sometimes not so bad. Caffeine increases the acid levels in the stomach, which in turn aids in digestion. But experts advise to avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach , as the gastric juice produced can irritate the intestinal walls, pain, bloating and heartburn.
Intestines and bladder
The substances contained in coffee stimulate the bowels and the bladder to function faster. Since even decaffeinated coffee has such an effect, scientists believe that some other compound is provoking the process. However, coffee has no diuretic effect. Despite the prevalence of this myth, the effect of drinking coffee will be comparable to the same amount of water.
Within 20 minutes after drinking coffee , caffeine provides an influx of adrenaline into the body, activating the so-called “alert mode”.As a result, the pupils dilate slightly and the vision becomes clearer.
Brain activity and memory
Caffeine is a stimulant. Within 20 minutes after drinking coffee, you can feel how your concentration has improved, it has become easier to concentrate. What’s more, a recent study has shown that within the next 24 hours after a sip of coffee, a person retains information better.
This period seems quite long when compared to the fact that people usually forget information only a couple of hours after receiving it.In this regard, by the way, some scientists are confident that drinking coffee within acceptable limits throughout life can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Do not rush to drink coffee as soon as you wake up in the morning! The fact is that at this time the level of cortisol in the blood is already quite high. He will keep you in good shape for a while. Better to drink coffee one hour after waking up . Then caffeine will at the same time stimulate the production of heat in the body, which, in turn, leads to the burning of fat and helps to lose weight.
But after about three hours, this “energetic” effect from coffee begins to disappear. The person feels “overwhelmed”. This is because caffeine does not actually provide an energy boost. It just helps a person not to feel tired for a while.
In this regard, the caffeine in coffee is somewhat similar in its action to the substance theophylline. It is prescribed for patients with respiratory diseases. It helps to “open” the lungs and breathe easier.Caffeine has a similar effect.
Coffee stimulates the production of the hormone dopamine , which influences well-being and mood. It is also called the “hormone of joy”. According to scientists, an hour after drinking coffee, the feeling of anxiety disappears, a person feels calm. Studies have even found that women who drink coffee are less likely to suffer from depression . However, if you abuse this drink, you can achieve the opposite effect, for example, increased irritability, anxiety.
If you drink coffee late in the evening, your internal biological clock will go off. The production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, will be delayed. It is this hormone that determines our bedtime, as well as the time we wake up. Accordingly, if you drink three cups of espresso at night, you will be able to fall asleep, at best, only in the morning.
Three cups of coffee a day improves heart rate after a heart attack
A healthy heart beats in a certain rhythm, but in some diseases this rhythm is disturbed – arrhythmias occur, which are divided into atrial and ventricular , depending on the part of the heart where the failure occurred.The cause of most arrhythmias lies in the change in the state of the autonomic nervous system , which regulates the activity of all internal organs. One of the most common and dangerous heart rhythm disturbances is atrial fibrillation , or atrial fibrillation , when the atria begin to contract quickly and chaotically, the efficiency of the heart decreases, resulting in heart failure or stroke.
Many doctors advise patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases, including arrhythmias, to avoid caffeinated beverages, as it is believed that it can provoke irregular heart rhythms.But how justified is this recommendation? Australian scientists analyzed the results of a survey of about 230 thousand people to identify the relationship between the consumption of drinks containing caffeine and the incidence of arrhythmias. It turned out that the frequency of episodes of atrial fibrillation among “caffeinated people” was not only not higher, but even several percent lower than in the rest.
Data from another study, carried out on 103 patients with myocardial infarction, showed that the average daily dose of caffeine, equivalent to three cups of coffee, only improved their heart rate. As for ventricular arrhythmias specifically, the safe dose was 6 cups of coffee a day – the risk of developing such a disorder was increased only in coffee drinkers who drank 9-10 cups daily.
What is the reason for this beneficial effect of caffeine? As you know, adenosine , among others, is involved in the regulation of the heart rate. On the one hand, it is a structural element of nucleic acids – DNA and RNA, on the other hand, it plays the role of neurotransmitter in the synapses of brain neurons, exerting an inhibitory effect on the nervous system and mediating a feeling of fatigue.It is usually used as a medicine to stop some tachycardias – conditions in which the heart rate rises sharply, but it cannot cope with atrial fibrillation.
Chemically, adenosine belongs to purines , like caffeine, which, by the way, is found not only in coffee seeds, but also in tea and mate leaves, cocoa fruits, and also in some other plants. Caffeine is able to bind to specific adenosine receptors and, in a sense, is its “antidote”: occupying the adenosine receptors, it blocks its action, and the person feels vigorous.
Scientists conclude that moderate consumption of coffee and tea may have a preventive antiarrhythmic effect due to the antagonism of caffeine and adenosine, as well as the antioxidant properties of these drinks associated with their other components. But with energy drinks that contain 160 to 500 mg of caffeine in a can, you should be careful. Three quarters of patients with heart disease, when consuming two or more of these doses per day, complained of increased heart rate.
And the last thing: statistics are statistics, but no one canceled the individual reaction of the body to the same caffeine. Therefore, if you have heart rhythm disturbances, then it is at least unreasonable to abuse such drinks.
Prepared by Maria Perepechaeva
90,000 Researchers have dispelled the myth about the effect of coffee on heart rate. Reedus
For decades, doctors have told patients with heart rhythm disturbances to avoid coffee. However, a large new study by scientists from the University of California at San Francisco (USA) showed that you can enjoy your morning coffee, as well as other caffeinated drinks, without worrying about your heart rate.
To understand how caffeine affects the heartbeat, experts analyzed data on the health of more than 386 thousand people who participated in a long-term study in the UK. At the very beginning of the study, all participants were asked how often and how much coffee they consume.
A new study by scientists has shown that you can enjoy your morning coffee without worrying about your heart rate.
According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, scientists found no link between caffeine and heart rhythm disturbances, even when they took into account genetic factors that could influence how people metabolize caffeine. In addition, it has been found that each additional cup of coffee a person drinks daily can reduce the risk of arrhythmia by an average of about 3%.
We were unable to find evidence that people who consumed more coffee were at an increased risk of developing arrhythmias. Our research showed that there is a completely unfounded dogma that coffee can cause irregular heart rhythms, – said Dr. Zachary Goldberger, one of the authors of the work.
However, researchers recognize that there are people who do not respond well to coffee. Therefore, if a person notices a deterioration in health after drinking caffeinated drinks, then he should drink them less often or completely exclude them from the diet.
Previously, ridus. ru wrote that excessive consumption of caffeine increases the risk of fractures.
Abnormal heart rhythm or Cardiac arrhythmia occurs when the electrical impulses that initiate the heartbeat do not function properly, causing the heart to beat too fast or too slowly, or irregularly, irregularly.
Arrhythmias are common and generally harmless. In most cases, a person feels the loss of one or more contractions, interruptions in the work of the heart – “it beats, then it does not beat”, or a very frequent heartbeat.However, there are arrhythmias, the symptoms of which are dangerous, up to a threat to life.
Advances in medical technology have enriched the doctor with new therapeutic techniques and procedures that allow you to control and eliminate arrhythmias. In addition, since arrhythmia can worsen, and in some cases, itself have a damaging effect on the heart (deplete the heart muscle, disrupt the functioning of the valve apparatus, cause an increase in the size of the heart cavities), the risk of arrhythmia can be reduced by joining a healthy lifestyle, including the correct food and sports.
Symptoms of arrhythmia
Arrhythmias may not appear. The doctor can detect arrhythmia before it manifests itself with any signs, during a routine dispensary examination. But more often, disturbances in the heart rhythm cause noticeable changes in the condition, which include the following signs:
- Feeling of palpitations and interruptions in the chest
- Very fast heartbeat
- Extremely slow heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness or feeling close to fainting
Even such significant symptoms of ill health do not always indicate a serious problem.Very often, people who experience arrhythmia do not suffer from severe heart disease, while a person with life-threatening arrhythmia may not present any complaints at all.
The heart consists of 4 cavities. On each side, on the right and left, there are two pumps: above the atrium and below the ventricles.
During cardiac contraction, the thinner and smaller chambers contract, facilitating the filling of the relaxed ventricles with blood.The contraction begins when sinus node – a small group of cells in the right atrium – sends out an electrical impulse that causes both atria to contract. Then the impulse moves to atrioventricular node , located in the very center of the heart and lying at the junction of the atria into the ventricles. Coming out of the atrioventricular node, the impulse goes to the ventricles. As a result, the latter contract and push blood to all organs.
In a healthy heart, this process occurs evenly and continuously with a heart rate of 60-100 per minute in a calm state.In athletes, especially athletes at rest, the pulse rate is usually less than 60, since their heart is much more trained than that of an ordinary person and has great muscle strength, pushing a large volume of blood in one contraction. In children, on the contrary, the pulse is normally more than 100 beats per minute, and in infancy it is 140-160 beats per minute.
Causes of arrhythmia
The most common causes of arrhythmia or a condition leading to its development are heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, drug abuse, and stress.In some cases, the reasons for the development of arrhythmias can be an overdose of certain drugs, the use of dietary supplements and drugs based on medicinal herbs.
Scars can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common of these is acute myocardial infarction. Such a scar prevents the formation of an electrical impulse and / or interrupts the passage of an impulse through the heart muscle.
In a healthy person with a healthy heart, the development of sustained arrhythmia is impossible without the presence of an external trigger, such as electroshock.This is primarily due to the fact that in a healthy heart there are no pathological substrates for the development of arrhythmias, including scar tissue.
On the other hand, in hearts with signs of arrhythmia, the formation and / or propagation of an electrical impulse can be disrupted, facilitating the development of the disease.
Any of the following conditions can lead to the development of arrhythmias:
○ Inadequate blood supply .If blood flow to the heart is reduced for any reason, this can alter the cells’ ability to form and conduct electrical impulses
○ Damage or death of the heart muscle . Damage or death of the heart muscle leads to a change in the path of propagation of electrical impulses along it.
Among heart disease – the causes of arrhythmias are of particular importance:
○ Ischemic heart disease (IHD) . Despite the fact that many types of arrhythmias are recorded in IHD, the most strongly associated with it are ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.The narrowing of the arteries occurs until, as a result of the lack of blood supply, part of the heart muscle dies (acute myocardial infarction). This can affect the propagation of an electrical impulse through the myocardium: small electrical excitation circles are formed at the border of the scar tissue, which disrupt the normal functioning of the heart, causing abnormally fast heartbeats (ventricular tachycardia) and ventricular flutter or fibrillation – ineffective chaotic ventricular contractions.
○ Cardiomyopathy . It manifests itself as primary stretching and thinning of the walls of the ventricles and atria (dilated cardiomyopathy) or excessive thickening and overcontraction of the walls of the left ventricle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). With any variant of cardiomyopathy, the efficiency of cardiac output decreases (the amount of blood ejected by the left ventricle into the aorta to supply all organs and tissues of the body is reduced), and part of the blood remains in the left and right ventricles or is thrown back into the atria and veins flowing into them.
Heart valve disease. Damage to the heart valves by infectious agents or due to degenerative degeneration leads to narrowing of the valve openings and / or insufficient closure of the leaflets, i.e. valve failure. When heart cavities stretch and weaken due to inadequate valve function, there is an increased risk of various types of heart rhythm disturbances.
Risk factors for the development of cardiac arrhythmias
Risk factors for developing cardiac arrhythmias include:
- ✔ Genetics. Arrhythmias are more common in people with congenital malformations of the heart. Moreover, a number of arrhythmias (eg, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, some supraventricular tachycardias , some forms of long QT syndrome) are congenital.
- ✔ Thyroid diseases. With increased thyroid function, increased production of hormones occurs, metabolism in general increases, heart contractions become more frequent and irregular.Most often, atrial fibrillation develops. With insufficient thyroid function, metabolism decreases, which causes bradycardia , and in some cases extrasystole.
- ✔ High blood pressure. This increases the risk of coronary heart disease. High blood pressure also causes a thickening of the wall of the left ventricle, which can change the way impulses are conducted through it.
- ✔ Diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus in the stage of decompensation (uncontrolled blood sugar levels) significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and arterial hypertension.In addition, episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may be a trigger for the development of cardiac arrhythmias.
- ✔ Electrolyte disturbances. Electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium form the basis for the formation, maintenance and conduction of electrical impulses in the heart. Too high or too low a concentration of electrolytes in the blood and in the cells of the heart affects the electrical activity of the heart and can cause arrhythmias.
- ✔ Use of stimulants. Psychostimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, etc. cause the development of extrasystoles and can also lead over time to the development of more severe cardiac arrhythmias. The use of amphetamines and cocaine can damage the heart muscle with the development of any of the existing arrhythmias and even lead to sudden cardiac death due to the development of ventricular fibrillation.
Screening and diagnosis of arrhythmia
To diagnose arrhythmias, the doctor usually asks the patient about any heart disease and / or problems with the thyroid gland.In addition, specific types of medical testing are always performed to register arrhythmias. It can be a passive recording of an electrocardiogram, short or long (a day or more), or an attempt to provoke arrhythmia while simultaneously recording the heart rate.
Passive monitoring methods include:
- Electrocardiography (ECG). During an ECG recording, electrodes attached to specific locations on the arms, legs, and chest record the electrical activity of the heart.On the electrocardiogram, the intervals and duration of each phase of heart contraction are studied.
- Daily ECG monitoring using the Holter method. A portable ECG recorder is installed for a day or more to record the electrical activity of the heart during the course of a person’s normal daily activity, as well as during sleep.
- Echocardiography. It allows using an ultrasound sensor to obtain an image of the heart chambers, to clarify their sizes, the movement of walls and valves, and other information.
Arrhythmia can be induced using the following tests:
- Exercise Sample . Some arrhythmias are triggered or worsened by exercise. During the “stress” test, a treadmill or stationary exercise bike is used. During the test, an ECG is continuously recorded. For stress testing, drugs can be used that stimulate the heart in a manner similar to exercise.Usually this method is used when it is impossible to exercise, as well as to establish a diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
- Inclined table test . When a person has unexplained loss of consciousness, oblique tests may be helpful. In this case, the rhythm and blood pressure are monitored in a horizontal position for 20-30 minutes. Then a special table is placed in an upright position and the rhythm and blood pressure are also monitored for 10 minutes.Thus, the state of the heart and the specialized nervous system that controls the work of the heart when changing the position of the body and moving from a horizontal position to a vertical one is assessed.
- Electrophysiological research and mapping . This study is carried out using the thinnest catheters – electrodes, which are carried into the cavity of the heart. When electrodes are installed in the area of certain parts of the cardiac conduction system, they can be used to study the propagation of an electrical impulse through the heart, induce arrhythmia, while studying its localization, mechanism, and also test the therapeutic effect of various drugs.This is the most informative and accurate method for diagnosing most arrhythmias. In addition, during the EPI, it is possible not only to identify, but also to eliminate the arrhythmogenic focus with the help of a special thermal effect, called radio frequency. In this way, most supraventricular and some types of ventricular tachycardias are eliminated. Currently, this method is also used for atrial fibrillation.
Complications of arrhythmia
A number of cardiac arrhythmias can increase the risk of developing conditions and diseases such as:
- Stroke .When the atria fibrillate, they are unable to adequately pump blood to the ventricles. Slowing blood flow in the atria leads to the formation of clots. If a small piece comes off the clot, it can enter the bloodstream, spread throughout the body and clog the cerebral arteries, causing the development of ischemic stroke, i.e. damage or death of a part of the brain, and sometimes death.