What is it?
Heart arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats. Normally you don’t feel your heartbeat, so if you notice your heart is beating too fast or slow, this may be concerning. Some heart arrhythmias are serious, while others are not.
What are the symptoms?
- Many people with heart arrhythmias have no symptoms at all. But you might feel:
- like your heart is skipping a beat
- like your heart is beating too hard or fast, which is known as having palpitations
- a racing heartbeat
- a slow heartbeat
- an irregular heartbeat
- If you think you might have an arrhythmia, see your doctor.
- You should call triple zero (000) for an ambulance if you feel your heart is beating in an unusual way and you:
- feel dizzy or lightheaded
- feel short of breath
- have pain in your chest
- Eat heart-healthy foods. Eat a healthy diet that’s low in salt and solid fats and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise daily and increase your physical activity.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease.
- Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to correct high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol.
- Maintain follow-up care. Take your medications as prescribed and have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke and can’t quit on your own, talk to your doctor about strategies or programs to help you break a smoking habit.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
Things to watch out for
GP should be immediately contacted if the symptoms persist. GP can refer you to a heart specialist.