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Lionheart Music Group

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Murad Prokhorov
Murad Prokhorov

If Your Heart's Not In It

A heart arrhythmia (uh-RITH-me-uh) is an irregular heartbeat. Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical signals that coordinate the heart's beats don't work properly. The faulty signaling causes the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or irregularly.

If Your Heart's Not In It

Although a heart rate below 60 beats a minute while at rest is considered bradycardia, a low resting heart rate doesn't always signal a problem. If you're physically fit, your heart may still be able to pump enough blood to the body with fewer than 60 beats a minute at rest.

A premature heartbeat may feel like your heart skipped a beat. These extra beats are generally not concerning, and they seldom mean you have a more serious condition. Still, a premature beat can trigger a longer-lasting arrhythmia, especially in people with heart disease. Occasionally, very frequent premature beats that last for several years may lead to a weak heart.

If you feel like your heart is beating too fast or too slowly, or it's skipping a beat, make an appointment to see a doctor. Seek immediate medical help if you have shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near fainting, and chest pain or discomfort.

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The heart's rhythm is normally controlled by a natural pacemaker (the sinus node) in the right upper chamber (atrium). The sinus node sends electrical signals that normally start each heartbeat. These electrical signals move across the atria, causing the heart muscles to squeeze (contract) and pump blood into the ventricles.

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Arrhythmias can be an emergency, or they could be harmless. If you feel something unusual happening with your heartbeat, get medical help right away so doctors can find out why it's happening and what you need to do about it.

Another type of arrhythmia, bradyarrhythmia, is a slow rhythm because of disease in your heart's electrical system or because of medication. It may make you pass out or feel like you will. Types of bradyarrhythmia include:

This device sends small electrical impulses to your heart muscle to keep a safe heart rate. It includes a pulse generator, which houses the battery and a tiny computer, and wires that send impulses to the heart muscle.

The ICD constantly tracks your heart rhythm. When it detects a very fast, unusual rhythm, it delivers an electric shock to the heart muscle to make it beat in a regular rhythm again. The ICD has two parts: the leads and a pulse generator. The leads are made up of wires and sensors that monitor the heart rhythm and deliver energy used for pacing or defibrillation. The generator houses the battery and a tiny computer. Energy is stored in the battery until it is needed. The computer receives information from the leads to determine how the heart is beating.

Your doctor will determine which type of ICD is best for you. Before you have your ICD implanted, ask your doctor what medications you can take. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications before the procedure. You will receive specific instructions.

Your doctor will insert a catheter through your leg. It delivers high-frequency electrical energy to a small area inside your heart that causes the unusual rhythm. This energy "disconnects" the pathway of the unusual rhythm.

The maze procedure is a type of surgery to correct atrial fibrillation. Your surgeon makes a series, or "maze," of cuts in your heart's upper chambers. The goal is to keep your heart's electrical impulses only on certain pathways. Some people need a pacemaker afterward.

If you have no symptoms and you haven't had any serious heart rhythm problems, you should be able to drive as you always have. If meds keep your arrhythmia under control, your doctor may give you the green light to drive, too.

It's an unfortunate truth that your body slows down in your sixth and seventh decades. Climbing a flight of stairs that you once took two at a time can now feel as daunting as scaling Mount Everest. While some degree of vitality loss can be attributed to natural aging, fatigue and breathlessness may also be signals that your heart is not functioning as well as it should. "There is a general tendency for people to ignore heart failure symptoms and attribute them to just getting older. Therefore, it was very important for us to create an easy way to identify those symptoms," says Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Heart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle or reduces the heart's ability to pump effectively. Most often, the damage stems from coronary artery disease or heart attack. But faulty heart valves, longstanding high blood pressure, or genetic disease may also be to blame. No matter what the cause, the failing heart can no longer pump well enough to keep up with the body's demand for oxygen-rich blood.

In addition to the physical exam, doctors have two other important tools to spot the presence of heart failure. The first is an echocardiogram (often called an echo), which is a simple, noninvasive test that uses ultrasound to create images of your heart while it beats. If the echo shows a lower-than-normal percentage of blood leaving the heart when the left ventricle contracts, there is a strong possibility of heart muscle damage. Other findings that point to heart failure include abnormal thickening and ballooning of the heart wall and malfunctioning heart valves.

The next step in identifying early-onset heart failure is to look for biomarkers in the blood, such as B-type natriuretic peptide, which is released when the heart is under stress. "I call these compounds 'tears from the heart' because they show that the heart is crying for help," says Dr. Mehra. Once the initial diagnosis is confirmed, further testing may be needed to figure out what's causing the heart's dysfunction and determine the best treatment approach.

People with heart failure often take multiple medications. However, several commonly used prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and supplements can interact dangerously to intensify heart failure symptoms. To be on the safe side, make sure all of your medical providers have a complete list of all the medicines you take. Particular compounds to watch out for include these:

Shortness of breath is best explained as a change in your normal breathing pattern. Is it hard to take a deep breath? Do you get winded more easily during exercise or walking up a flight of stairs? When you lie down, do you have trouble breathing, or do you wake up in the middle of night trying to catch your breath? These are all signs that your heart might not be working efficiently, says Dr. Phillips.

Do you really think that avoiding worship will be the means by which your heart will changed, prepared to engage in worship? Can disconnecting from the means of grace somehow bring about a revival of the heart? No! The means of grace are for those who need them; for those who are not feeling as they ought, to change the heart, realign the will, and draw men and women to Jesus Christ.

Christian, you may be cold in heart right now. You might find yourself sitting in darkness and uninterested in God's word, prayer, or worship. But do not neglect these things, for no matter how feeble your faith is at the moment, God will strengthen and enlarge it. Begin actively seeking the Lord. Look to him in the Scripture. Cast your anxieties on him. He will hear you. He will respond. Open his word that he might open your eyes.

Don't you see itYou're letting us down againDon't you seeYour heart's not in it babeDon't you see itYou're letting us down againCome on admit itIt's not easy, is it?

Don't you see itYou're letting me down againDon't you seeYour heart's not been in it babeDon't you see itYou're letting us down againCome on admit itIt's not working, is it?

Stop turning your back on meEvery time someone passes byOr mentions your nameStop turning your back on meStop turning it round on meTelling me I'm the oneThat pushed you far out to seaOh, if your hearts not in itWill you tell me honestlyDon't turn on your light on meWasn't it love that brought usRight back where we're meant to beIf your hearts not in itThen there's nothing more to sayStop turning your back on meStop turning your back on me

Heart failure means that your heart can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet your body's needs. Heart failure doesn't mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop beating. But without enough blood flow, your organs may not work well, which can cause serious problems.

The symptoms of heart failure depend on which side of your heart is affected and how serious your condition has become. Most symptoms are caused by reduced blood flow to your organs and fluid buildup in your body.

Fluid buildup happens because the flow of blood through your heart is too slow. As a result, blood backs up in the vessels that return the blood to your heart. Fluid may leak from the blood vessels and collect in the tissues of your body, causing swelling (edema) and other problems. 041b061a72


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