According to a study, there is about one in every four adults over 40 years old who could have an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia – especially those who are always under stress and those who have coronary heart disease.
Most of the time, irregular heartbeats aren’t dangerous, but there are some that require immediate treatment. It is therefore important that you know about your risks, the cause of such problem, and some non-invasive ways to treat arrhythmia.
How to Know If It is an Irregular Heartbeat
Irregular heartbeat typically means that the heart is beating very fast (tachycardia), sometimes too slow (bradycardia), or sometimes with an abnormal rhythm.
The most common type is when there are extra beats of the heart as if there’s a fluttering in the chest. This is known as atrial fibrillation in which the upper chambers of the heart is abnormal and blood flow is irregular.
Premature beat is often felt as a palpitation or one that’s called a skipped beat in which it can occur in rapid succession. While it can be harmless and may be imperceptible at times, it can lead to cardiovascular collapse and even death especially if the arrhythmia is interfering with the functions of the heart. It is important to have your heart health checked, but while waiting, there are some natural remedies you can practice for arrhythmia:
- Vagal Maneuvers: This treatment is through the stimulation of the internal carotid artery receptors to encourage the release of acetylcholine, which slows down rapid heartbeats. The maneuvers often include:
- Forceful and repeated coughing
- Bearing down like when you’re having a bowel movement
- Blowing through a straw or a syringe
- Submerging the face in cold water or using an ice pack for 10 seconds
- Eat healthy. Your diet can affect your heart health, including how it beats. Avoid foods that cause inflammation and start consuming those that contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, including vegetables, fruits, turmeric, garlic, and fiber-rich foods.
- Exercise regularly. The benefits of exercise are well-established particularly in our cardiovascular health. Regular physical activity can improve blood pressure and overall wellbeing among others.
Other ways to combat dangerous irregular heartbeats include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress. Acupuncture is also beneficial to our cardiovascular functioning. In fact, a 2008 study showed that 87 to 100% of people with arrhythmia who underwent acupuncture returned to having normal heart rhythms.