The normal function of the heart is something most people take for granted, while others live with heart rhythm abnormalities with no other symptoms. However, heart rhythm conditions and abnormalities can cause concern, so it is important to understand the risks.

Changes to the Heart Rhythm

As discussed before, heart rhythm abnormalities are known as arrhythmia. Defined as any interruption to the natural rhythm of the heart, arrhythmia can speed up or slow down the rate of the heart. Arrhythmia can be caused by a problem in the generation or conduction of the heart’s electrical system. Problems can be due to problems in the structure of the heart to hormone imbalance to medical influence.

The heart beating too quickly is known as tachycardia. When it beats too slowly it is called bradycardia. Both can be symptomless, and people can live as normal, but for others, they can be dangerous and can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body.

Types of Heart Rhythm Abnormalities

Some kinds of heart rhythm abnormalities can be considered “benign”. This means you may experience your heart jumping or missing a beat, but it causes no harm. Other types of arrhythmia include:

  • supraventricular tachycardia
  • ventricular tachycardia
  • ventricular fibrillation
  • heart block
  • sick sinus syndrome
  • atrial fibrillation
  • atrial flutter


These conditions vary in commonness and all need to be treated in a different way, which is why correct diagnosis is absolutely essential.

Diagnosing Heart Rhythm Abnormalities

Your GP will refer you to a cardiologist for diagnosis of a heart rhythm condition. They will go through your medical history and family history, as well as taking your symptoms into consideration. Further testing is usually necessary and may incorporate:

  • ECG tests, both short-term and 24-hour tests
  • Cardiac stress test
  • Echocardiogram testing
  • Blood tests

There are further diagnostic tests too, so your specialist can be as sure as possible before making a diagnosis.

Finding out more about your condition is recommended if you have any concerns at all. You can make an appointment with Dr David Begley via his private secretary via this contact form.