What Causes Heart Rhythm Disturbances

If you are experiencing heart rhythm disturbances, there are many reasons for its cause.

The most common reasons though are usually one of the following:

  • electrical impulses are coming from another part of the heart and not the sinus node (the place in the heart where natural electrical impulses are usually generated);
  • electrical impulses are coming from the sinus node, but going to the lower chambers of the heart by the usual path;
  • there is an abnormality in blood chemical levels.

Often an abnormal heart rhythm is an inherited condition.

Therefore, if inherited Dr Begley may talk to you about having other family members tested.

Whilst this might be alarming for a relative, it can also be as important to them to find out about any issues as it is you.

Are You Worried About Your Heart Rhythm?

If the answer is yes, you may be experiencing any one of the following symptoms.


The most common symptom that people experience is palpitations.

This simply means an awareness of your heart beating.

Although this is frequently distressing it is rarely dangerous and is not necessarily associated with a heart rhythm abnormality.

Palpitations can be associated with breathlessness, fatigue, chest discomfort, light-headedness, and even rarely blackouts.

Occasionally these symptoms can occur in the absence of palpitations.

Conditions associated with palpitations include:

  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs or ectopics)
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
  • Atrial flutter or fibrillation (AF)
  • Atrial tachycardia
  • Ventricular tachycardia (VT)

Syncope (Blackouts)

Blackouts or a transient loss of consciousness can be very alarming.

Prompt assessment, particularly if recurrent, is critical to either provide reassurance or offer treatment.

Blackouts can be due to both cardiac and neurological causes.

Cardiac causes of blackouts include:

  • Simple faints
  • Vasovagal syncope
  • Sinus node disease
  • Heart block

Make your appointment with Dr David Begley

Dr David Begley holds positions at the Royal Papworth Hospital, Nuffield Cambridge Hospital and BMI The Sandringham Hospital.

However, if you would like to arrange an appointment, please simply contact his Personal Assistant, Lynn Thomas by telephoning 01223 850423 or 07368 364147.

Alternatively, email Lynn Thomas on lynn@drbegleycardiology.co.uk