- by Dr. Sunil Dwivedi
- 0 Shares
- Mar 08 2017
Diagnosis of ARRHYTHMIA-(problem in either the rate or rhythm of the heart beat )
It is often difficult to diagnose arrhythmias as their symptoms occur once in a while and may be difficult to detect. Your doctor can diagnose arrhythmia by taking your medical and family history, doing a physical examination and certain tests.
Medical and Family Histories
Your doctor would:
- Note your symptoms
- Ask you regarding other health problems you or your family member may have such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders etc.
- Note the medications you are taking including any over the counter medications or supplements.
- Ask you about your habits such as smoking, alcohol use, illicit drug use, level of physical activity, and whether you have physical or emotional stress and are prone to anger.
- Ask whether someone in your family was ever diagnosed with arrhythmia or died suddenly.
During your physical examination, your doctor may:
- Listen to your heart and lung sounds
- Hear an abnormal or unusual heart sound called a murmur.
- Check your pulse
- Check your legs and feet for swelling
- Check in general for other diseases such as thyroid swelling
Diagnostic Tests and Procedures
- Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG): This simple test helps record your heart beat. It tells the doctor about irregular heart beats, fast beats, previous heart attacks, and problem in the conduction of impulses in the heart.
- Holter and Event Monitors: Sometimes the ECG taken over a few seconds or minutes is not able to detect an arrhythmia. Hence you may be given a holter or event monitor to wear. These are small machines with leads or electrodes will be attached to your chest to record your heart beat. The recorder can be kept in a pocket or slung over your neck. You have to wear it for 24-48 hours while you go about your normal routine.
Holter can take continuous recording of your heart for 24-48 hours while event monitor does this at certain times. Both can be worn for a week also.
Both machines may have a push button which you can press if you have symptoms. When you have symptoms, you may also be able to send the electrical signals of your heart to a central database.
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