Know your pulse

Know your pulse

In June it was World Heart Rhythm Week (04-10 June).

It is a very good idea to be aware of your pulse (heartbeat). Is it regular and how fast is your heart beating (beats per minute)?

The Normal Heart Rhythm

The normal heart beats 60-100 beats per minute – and is regular

Heart Arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmias are characterized by an irregular heartbeat, where the heart beats either too fast (tachycardia – more than 100 bpm) or too slow (bradycardia – less than 60 bpm).

The Symptoms

  • Heart palpitations or rapid ‘thumping’ inside the chest
  • Dizziness, sweating, chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or anxiety
  • Tiring more easily when exercising
  • Fainting

The Complications

Arrhythmias may be asymptomatic – you may feel nothing and be completely unaware. In some cases, they may result in complications such as a stroke or heart failure.

The Risk Factors

  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Electrolyte (salt) imbalance
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake

Preventing Heart Arrhythmia

There are ways to minimise the risks of developing arrhythmias. Here is how:

  1. Eat a healthy diet
  2. Maintain a healthy weight
  3. Exercise
  4. Avoid tobacco use
  5. Reduce stress

Author: Sister Erika Janutsch – Nursing Manager at The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village

To read more about Health Care at The Somerset, click here.

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