You might refer to it as “my heart skipping a beat,” a “racing heart” or an “irregular heartbeat,” but physicians call it an arrhythmia. This means that sometimes the heart can beat too fast, too slow or beat out-of-sync. Whatever the issue, it can be debilitating when it causes you to miss out on your active lifestyle.

Some of the common symptoms of an arrhythmia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decrease exercise tolerance
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting or near fainting

3 common types of arrhythmias

SIH Prairie Heart Institute developed a heart rhythm services program to diagnose and treat arrhythmias. Our goal is to determine the underlying cause and help you get back to doing what you love. A heart rhythm specialist is specifically trained in arrhythmia and uses special diagnostic tools to determine the root cause of your disorder and treat it accordingly.

  • Bradycardia (slow heartbeat): Bradycardia is a slow heartbeat that occurs less than 60 beats per minute, particularly if the low heart rate happens at times when you’re active, which could make you feel tired or lightheaded. It’s not uncommon for some highly athletic individuals to have a heartbeat lower than 60 beats per minute during rest, which is normal. To require treatment, most of those conditions have to precipitate symptoms that impair your quality of life.
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat): Tachycardia is a condition that can be dangerous because the fast beat interferes with the heart’s pumping action. When the heart pumps too fast, the ventricles don’t have time to fill with the appropriate amount of blood. The danger of this depends upon which chamber of the heart the abnormality originates.
  • AFib: Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat in a rapid, uncoordinated and disorganized fashion, resulting in a very irregular and frequently fast heart rate. When the heart’s atria are in AFib, they quiver instead of beating effectively. AFib needs to be treated ASAP. Left untreated, it can negatively impact your day-to-day activities and makes you five times more likely to suffer from a stroke.