Extrasystole: Treatment and Preventionby Richard J. Manager
Extrasystoles, also called premature ventricular contractions, are extra heartbeats that disrupt the regular heart rhythm. Extrasystoles are quite common in people with perfectly normal hearts and happen at some point of life, but are generally of no importance and usually require no treatment. Most people experience no symptoms even though premature beats occur at frequent intervals. Certain individuals may complain of distinctively disagreeable sensations that result from the premature ventricular contraction itself or from the forceful systole that follows a long compensatory pause.
The causes of extrasystoles are unknown, though there are a number of factors which are directly responsible, and their detection and correction results in disappearance of that irregularity. Among those factors are excitement, fatigue, excessive nervous strain, infectious diseases like influenza or meningitis, chronic constipation and individual sensibility to coffee, tobacco, alcohol or tea.
Extrasystoles alone can never be interpreted as evidence of heart ailment, though they often occur in people with organic heart disease. Therefore treatment may be needed for the underlying cardiac condition to help the person feel better. The therapeutic strategy includes:
- Treatment of the underlying condition and elimination of predisposing factors
- Alcohol and tobacco refuse
- Limitation of coffee consumption
- Sedating medications and nervine teas if the extrasystole is due to psychoemotional state or nervous system disorders
- Antiarrhythmic medications if premature beats result from serious cardiovascular conditions
- Immediate drug withdrawal if extrasystole is its side effect
- Beta blockers, often used for hypertension, can also suppress premature ventricular contractions
- Radio frequency ablation when antiarrhythmic therapy and lifestyle changes appear ineffective or poorly tolerated. This method uses radiofrequency energy to destroy tiny areas of the heart tissue that are causing irregular beats.
Extrasystole prevention includes:
- Timely detection and treatment of the underlying condition;
- Avoidance of stressful situations
- Early observation and reporting of any possible side effects provoked by medications
- Dieting, and namely, limiting high-fat products, spicy foods, alcohol, strong tea and coffee
- Vitamins and minerals intake.
Even though premature beats are usually not harmful, it is any way necessary to consult a doctor. Timely diagnosis of the pathology that causes this condition is very important as frequent premature beats may put you at risk for arrhythmias or cardiomyopathy.
Created on Oct 26th 2018 07:51. Viewed 85 times.
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