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Some heart rhythm disturbances are harmless and you may not even be aware of them. Some limit your heart's effectiveness and may cause breathlessness or fatigue. Others may make you periodically dizzy or faint and may be warnings of more serious events to come.

General Guidelines for Managing Arrhythmias

Managing Fatigue

If your arrhythmia causes you to tire easily, you may have to limit your physical activities. Talk to your doctor about how much physical activity is appropriate for you. If you are being treated for chronic heart failure (which causes you to tire easily), an arrhythmia can worsen the condition, and correcting the arrhythmia may improve your symptoms.

Managing Sudden Loss of Control

If your arrhythmia might cause you to lose control without warning, avoid situations that require constant alertness, such as driving. For your sake and the safety of others, do not operate motor vehicles or dangerous equipment until the risk of losing control has been resolved. Avoid working or even being in dangerous places, such as ladders, rooftops, trees, cliffs, etc.

When to Contact Your Doctor

Become familiar with the symptoms of arrhythmias and report them to your doctor immediately.

References:

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 1998.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ .



Last reviewed December 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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