Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

Overview of Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rate or rhythm. In normal adults, the heart beats around 60-80 times per minute. You can usually feel your heartbeat through your pulse in the arm or neck.

Signs and Symptoms of Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rate or rhythm.  In normal adults, the heart beats around 60-80 times per minute. You can usually feel your heartbeat through your pulse in the arm or neck.
Basically the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) and the lower chambers (Ventricles) work together to pump blood through the heart. They form an electric system that controls the heart rhythm.
Disruption in heart rhythm can cause a too fast or too slow heart rate. Depending upon your conditions, this change in a heartbeat can be a minor difficulty or a potentially severe problem.

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Types of Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

The common symptoms of arrhythmia include:

  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure \ Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Extreme fatigue

Although in some cases, you might notice no symptoms at all. In some more complex scenarios, you might feel light weightedness which can lead to unconsciousness and eventually death if not treated immediately.

Causes of Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

Some common types of Arrhythmia are:

  • Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common type of Arrhythmia. In this condition, the heart beats much faster than the normal pace.

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia

In this condition, you would feel a much faster heart rate in rest.

  • Bradycardia

In this condition, the heart beats at a lower heart rate than normal.

  • Ventricular Fibrillation

This is a rare condition of arrhythmia. In it, you may feel a disorganized rapid rhythm of the heartbeat. This may lead to unconscious and sudden death if not treated timely.

  • Heart Block

In this condition, the heart beats at a much slower pace which can lead to unconsciousness.


Risk Factors of Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

Some common trigger points for arrhythmia are:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Excessive tobacco consumption
  • Excessive consumption of drinks containing caffeine
  • Overdoing exercises
  • Consumption of recreational drugs
  • Viral illnesses



Arrhythmia can affect people of all age groups. Alcoholics and obese patients are more vulnerable to this dysfunction of the heart. Atrial Fibrillation is more common in people aged above 50.
Underlying cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart failure, or stroke can further increase the chances of arrhythmia.
The chances of stroke are increased up to 5 folds if a patient already has arrhythmia.



Adopting a healthier lifestyle and being more physically active can reduce the chances of any Cardiovascular disease.
Some other approaches can be:

  • Being watchful of weight
  • Quit smoking/ drinking alcohol
  • Keep a check and balance on your cholesterol and weight.

Treatment of Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias) | When to Consult a Doctor

If you notice any symptoms of arrhythmia in yourself or you have a family history of arrhythmia, you should consult your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can refer you to a cardiologist or electrophysiologist.
The most effective way for the treatment of arrhythmia is through Electrocardiogram (ECG). In case, ECG does not find a problem, you may need a Holter monitor.
You can visit Islamabad Diagnostic center, Al-Razi Healthcare Lab, Alnoor Diagnostics Centre, Shalamar Hospital Laboratory, Punjab Clinic of radiology, Shifa international HOspital Laboratory, Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Umer Hospital, and Heart Centre for a complete checkup and lab tests.
You can also consult Healthwire.pk for more professional cardiologists.

Some other tests that help in diagnosing arrhythmia are:

  • Cardiac event recorder - this is a device that is used to record the occasional symptoms of arrhythmia.
  • electrophysiological (EP) study - this is a test that locates issues with the electric signals in your heart.
  • Echocardiogram (Echo) - This is simply an ultrasound of your heart.

Doctors to treat Abnormal Heart Rhythms (Arrhythmias)

Last updated on Sunday 23/10/2022


Dr. Muhammad Kashif Zafar

Cardiologist | MBBS, FCPS, FCPS

Punjab Institute of CardiologyRs 1500

Omar Hospital and Cardiac CentreRs 1500


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Highly recommended. Very good Doctor.


Dr. Muhammad Saleem Akhtar

Cardiologist | FCPS, MBBS, MCPS

Hameed Latif HospitalRs 3000


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Riaz Zulqurnain Aslam

Cardiologist | MBBS, DIC

Iqra Medical ComplexRs 2000


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Very supportive doctor, experience was good.

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