What are Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles?
Ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles is a disorder of the heart where an abnormal electrical activation in the ventricles results in extra heartbeats. The heartbeats are classified as premature because it happens sooner than a normal heartbeat would occur.
Causes of Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
Certain factors are known to be the real causes of ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. They include:
- Coronary artery disease causes ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles.
- Ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles is more common among older people.
- Alcohol will cause ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles.
- Due to its stimulating nature, this is a great cause of ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles as high consumption of caffeine will increase blood flow causing the heart to beat extra hard –which may result in premature heartbeats.
- Heart failure will cause the lower chambers of the heart to enlarge drastically which in the long run will cause premature heartbeats in the ventricles.
- Stress can cause anxiety, which in turn can result in premature heartbeats.
- Any medication that contains pseudoephedrine e.g. medications for hay fever, as an ingredient is dangerous because this ingredient highly stimulates the heart which in turn might result in irregular heartbeats.
Symptoms of Ventricular Premature Beats
There are no known fixed symptoms for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles especially to healthy people who do not have a history of heart problems. This is because irregular heartbeats will occur even to the healthiest of people for one reason or another during their lifetime. However if you have a very strong feeling like your heart has skipped a beat, this is a pretty good symptom that you might have ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. It is however not common to the young, healthy or people who do not have a history of heart problems.
Tests to Diagnose Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
Once you suspect that you have ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles, you should head straight to the hospital where an Electrocardiography will be carried out to precisely ascertain if you have the disorder, and at what stage it has reached.
Treatment for Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
For healthy people who have never had a history of heart diseases or problems, and who do not have irregular heartbeats often, there is no known treatment for them other than stress reduction, reduction in intake of caffeine, alcohol and over the counter prescription drugs. However, if the irregular heartbeats persist, or you have structural heart disease, drugs such as beta blockers are usually advised.
Treatment for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles include drugs that can prevent Arrhythmia are also administered but these usually have mixed results. Also for patients who have gone through Angioplasty, it is advised that they go through a coronary bypass surgery which is helpful in preventing ventricular fibrillation that can cause sudden death.
Home Remedies for Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
There are simple do it on your own home remedies for people with ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles that can seriously reduce those irregular heartbeats. Even after professional medication, it would be wise to follow up with the following routines back home. These routines will not only ensure a safe healing process, they will ensure you heal in the proper way.
- Stress alleviation is an excellent home remedy for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. No human being can escape stress. Sometimes, stress is even good for you as it will help you to critically analyze a situation and come up with the best course of action. But for a person with Ventricular premature heartbeats stress can be dangerous if not fatal. Stress tends to cause a rise in anxiety levels which can be detrimental to anyone suffering from ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. Always make sure you evaluate your emotions avoiding extreme emotions that may lead to anxiety. Also try and amicably work out problems that cause hurt and pain to your life. By dealing with issues that really stress you out, you will be surprised to find out that your irregular heartbeats will be greatly reduced.
- Taking in caffeine even after diagnosis of ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles is suicidal. Staying away from caffeine and all caffeine products is a good home remedy for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. And yes chocolate and some sweets are on that list too. Being the stimulant it is, caffeine will just worsen your heart's situation by overworking it and causing even more irregular heartbeats.
- Consumption of quality foods rich in valuable nutrients cannot be adequately emphasized for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. Avoid junk foods at all costs as they are of no nutritious use to your heart. Also, make sure you have intakes of beneficial supplements that will help with your overall health, while critically ensuring the removal of cellular waste. Too much waste accumulation in heart cells results in disruption of electrical signals which in turn may cause even more irregular heartbeats. Supplements like CoQ10, D-ribose, Magnesium and L-carnitine are particularly useful. For better heart rate variability, also use fish oil.
For people who do not have a history of heart complications, ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles do not require any treatment except for home remedies and lifestyle changes. The trigger factors should be checked, and avoided. Beta blockers should only be administered if the symptoms are intolerable. Care should be taken when administering Antiarrythmics as there is evidence to show that they lead to more serious Arrythmias.
Recovery Period/Healing Time for Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
Premature ventricular heartbeats have no known recovery period or healing time. No one can ever quite get rid or recover from ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. This is because irregular heartbeats are a part of our heart system due to factors beyond our control like stress and anxiety. What can be done is reduce the irregular heartbeats to such a level that is manageable. This can be done by avoiding the risk factors, and generally living a healthy life. ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles should be of concern when, you realize you have a genetic abnormality, a structural heart disease, and when the ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles are 20% or more of all total heartbeats.
Prevention of Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
As previously stated, ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles cannot be completely prevented. This is because every human being has had irregular heartbeats at one time or another in their lifetimes. The best method of prevention is avoidance of risk factors, living healthy and eating right. Also seeking sound medical advice will help a lot.
Risk Factors for Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
As a normal human being who is fortunate enough to have cardiovascular health, it is wise to try and maintain that health by making sure you do not engage in activities that will increase your risk of getting severe ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. These risky activities include:
- Over exercising is a risk factor for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. Believe it or not, this is one of the risky activities that may overwork your heart and cause it to pump too hard. What follows thereafter are constant irregular heartbeats.
- Another risk factor is caffeine, alcohol and tobacco consumption. All through the article we have talked about the dangers of overindulgence of these three to your heart and ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. Care should be taken with these three and advice heeded, especially for people who already have ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles.
- Anxiety should be avoided at all costs as it is a risk factor. This will help maintain a healthy heart and ensure irregular heartbeats are tamed.
- If you have a history of heart disease or hypertension you are very likely to have irregular heartbeats which might be triggered by stress or anxiety.
Complications of Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
Most of the complications that arise from ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles are cardiovascular in nature. They may include,
- Developing of arrhythmias.
- Cardiomyopathy which is the weakening of the heart muscles.
- Cardiac death as a result of chaotic and dangerous heart rhythms. Though this is very rare.
Lifestyle Changes for Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
To be able to effectively manage ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles, or to ensure you do not ever have extremely severe irregular beats, lifestyle changes need to be made. They are imperative for every human being who loves his/her heart. Try as much as possible, to limit your caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use. These three contribute heavily to ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles due to stimulant natures. By curtailing on consumption or reducing consumption to a healthy level, you will not only ensure your overall health, but your heart's health as well. Try also to find productive ways of managing your stress levels. Beneficial stress dealing mechanisms will also ensure your heart will be healthy as well. Try talking to a friend or exercising. These are good ways of making sure your heart does not have to deal with anxiety from stress.
Coping with Ventricular Premature Beats or Extrasystoles
Since there is no known cure for ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles and since irregular heartbeats will affect everyone at one point. Everyone has to learn how to cope with the various forms of ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles. You might be experiencing the mild forms or the severe forms. Ensure you acquire proper medical advice, proper medication, and make sure your lifestyle does not aggravate the condition. Proper care, avoiding risk factors and proper diet, even for people with serious forms of ventricular premature beats or extrasystoles will ensure a long prosperous life for them.