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"What causes arrhythmia?"


When I was a kid, I think the doctor diagnosed me with arrhythmia. I'm 26 now, and I'm not in touch with my family or anything. But sometimes I feel lightheaded and I worry about my heart. Is this arrhythmia, and should I go back to a doctor?


If you are having concerning symptoms, you should be evaluated by your doctor. A history of childhood arrhythmia can be associated with a predisposition to sudden death and adverse events in adulthood. There are certain types of childhood arrhythmia that are genetic and present throughout life.

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These conditions should be treated aggressively with medications and in certain instances, an automated internal cardiac defibrillator (AICD). If you are having palpitations and/or lightheadedness, it is critical for you to be evaluated by a physician and have extended cardiac monitoring to assess whether you are having abnormal heart rhythms that can quickly degenerate into deadly arrhythmia. Lightheadness, chest fluttering, chest pain, shortness of breath, passing out can all be signs that you may be having arrhythmia. If you have certain types of childhood arrhythmia, you should also be aware so that you can avoid certain medications that could be potentially dangerous. You are also more susceptible to electrolyrte abnormalities. You should have an electrocardiogram and holter monitoring. In certain cases, your doctor will want to obtain further testing, including an echocardiogram, a stress test or provocative testing to see if the arrhythmia or focus of electrical irritability is inducible. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a physician, especially if you are experiencing concerning symptoms.

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