Brendan Sullivan, MD, FACC
Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Board Certified in Cardiology & Board Certified in Nuclear Cardiology located in Clifton, NJ & Ridgewood, NJ
If you’re experiencing palpitations and irregular heart rhythms, it could indicate a serious medical condition. At his clinic in Clifton and Ridgewood, New Jersey, triple board-certified physician and cardiologist Brendan Sullivan, MD, FACC, helps treat and prevent cardiovascular disease. Don’t ignore palpitations and irregular heart rhythms. Book an appointment online or over the phone today.
Palpitations and Irregular Heart Rhythms Q & A
What are palpitations and irregular heart rhythms?
Palpitations and irregular heart rhythms are ways to describe heart arrhythmias. These rhythm problems typically occur when the electrical impulses that control your heartbeat malfunction. You can experience different kinds of arrhythmias, including:
- Tachycardia: heart rhythms faster than 100 beats each minute
- Bradycardia: heart rhythms slower than 60 beats each minute
- Supraventricular arrhythmias: irregular rhythms originating in your upper heart chambers
- Ventricular arrhythmias: irregular rhythms starting in your lower heart chambers
One of the most common irregular heart rhythms is atrial fibrillation. This condition causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat that can lead to serious health complications, like stroke and heart failure.
What are the symptoms of heart arrhythmias?
Not all heart arrhythmias cause symptoms. When symptoms are present, they often include:
- Palpitations or fluttering sensations in your chest
- Racing or slow heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Chest pain
If you’re experiencing palpitations and other symptoms of an irregular heartbeat, it’s essential to get medical attention as quickly as possible.
What causes heart arrhythmias?
You can develop palpitations and irregular heart rhythms for numerous reasons, including:
- A high-stress lifestyle
- Excessive drinking, smoking, or drug abuse
- Consuming too much caffeine
- An underactive or overactive thyroid gland
- Certain conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea
- Blocked heart arteries
- Changes in your heart’s structure
It’s also possible to develop heart arrhythmias during a heart attack or from scar tissue formation after a heart attack.
How are palpitations and irregular heart rhythms diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Sullivan is an experienced cardiologist with specialized training in cardiac care. He also provides convenient, on-site diagnostic tools, such as EKG’s, holter monitors and event monitors, to help diagnose arrhythmia disorders.
During your appointment, Dr. Sullivan conducts a comprehensive physical exam, reviews your symptoms, and discusses your medical history. Based on your symptoms and risks, he might also recommend:
- Blood draws to look for underlying conditions
- An electrocardiogram to measure the electrical activity in your heart
- Imaging tests to check your heart activity and look for changes in its size and structure
- Short- and long-term cardiac rhythm monitoring
Dr. Sullivan will develop a treatment strategy based on the cause of your arrhythmia. In some cases, medications can manage your condition, but in other cases, surgery may be required.
If you’re experiencing palpitations and irregular heart rhythms, call Brendan Sullivan, MD, FACC, or schedule an appointment online today.