Natural treatment & Home remedies for cardiac arrhythmia

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cardiac arrhythmia
heartbeat

The cardiac arrhythmia refers to a disturbance in the rhythm of the heartbeat. Some cardiac arrhythmias are very mild and they are nothing to worry about while other cardiac arrhythmias can be life – threatening. The atrial fibrillation is one of the most common disturbances in the heart rhythm. Also, PVCs (premature ventricular contractures) is a common minor rhythm. The ventricular fibrillation is more serious form of cardiac arrhythmia.

The mild cardiac arrhythmias go unnoticed or the affected person can feel that his or her heart is beating out of pace or too rapidly. More serious cardiac arrhythmias can produce a medical emergence and they can be associated with heart attack. Primarily, the cardiac arrhythmias are a result of disturbance in the electrical system within the heart which stimulates the heart to beat. Also, cardiac arrhythmias can happen when seats of the heart muscles develop their own beat. It is known that potassium and magnesium deficiencies can lead to cardiac arrhythmias. You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from cardiac arrhythmia before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies so in this way you will avoid side effects.

Home remedies for cardiac arrhythmia

cardiac arrhythmia

Exercise regularly: It is known fact that exercise can improve the overall cardiovascular health and it can restore the heart’s natural rhythm. Also, exercises can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Cardiovascular exercises can help to strengthen the heart and this can prevent or reduce palpitations. Some beneficial exercises for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia are swimming, biking, running, jogging and walking. In some people, exercises can trigger palpitations so it is very important to identify and avoid problematic exercises. [1,2]

Avoid excessive alcohol use: We know that alcohol is a depressant and it does not typically raise the heart rate. Drinking alcohol in moderation is not a problem but there are some studies in which are said that even one drink a day can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation. The palpitating heart is one symptom of this condition. [3]

Hawthorn: This natural cure can be used as a home remedy for cardiac arrhythmia. This herb has been used in the ancient Roman rituals and it has been used since middle Ages to treat many different conditions, including heart problems. There should be done a lot more studies in the future to be sure if this home remedy really works for cardiac arrhythmia so you need to consult with your doctor if you can use it. [4]

Magnesium and potassium: These minerals can keep your heart stable. When your body does not have enough magnesium, then it can cause an irregular heartbeat, irritability and muscle weakness. If your body has too much magnesium, then it can cause breathing difficulty, blurred vision, dizziness and bradycardia. In the most cases, diets are low in magnesium. It is known that aging and some medications, like diuretics or “water pills” can deplete magnesium and potassium. Also, the low potassium levels could lead to muscle weakness and cardiac arrhythmia.

Magnesium and potassium, along with calcium and sodium are examples of electrolytes which are present in the blood. Electrolytes help to trigger and regulate electrical impulses in the heart. When you have low levels of magnesium and potassium, then it could lead to electrolyte imbalance which could lead to cardiac arrhythmia. You should take magnesium and potassium supplements so in this way you will reduce the symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia but you should talk with your doctor about the recommended dosage so he or she can monitor your blood levels. Some foods rich in potassium include spinach, avocados, bananas and potatoes. Dark leafy greens and dairy products are rich in calcium. Also, magnesium is found in these vegetables, as well as fish and nuts. The normal diet usually provides a sufficient source of sodium. There are some cases when potassium can cause side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and rash so you need to talk with your doctor if this mineral is suitable for you. [5]

Stimulate the vagus nerve: The vagus nerve connects the brain to the heart and it can help to calm palpitations. There are different things which you can do to stimulate the vagus nerve, such as taking a cold shower; chanting “Om”, splashing cold water on the face; gagging; placing ice or a cold, damp towel on the face for a few seconds; coughing; holding the breath and pushing down, as if making a bowel movement. Before you try some of the mentioned techniques, you need to talk with your doctor if they are suitable for you.

Keep hydrated: When our body is dehydrated, then the heart has to work harder to circulate blood and this can lead to heart palpitations [6]. It is recommended drinking a lot of water throughout the day. The recommended amount of water varies, depending on the sex, age and if the woman is pregnant. There are some conditions in which people should drink a full cup of water and they are

  • The skin is dry or pruny
  • They feel dizzy
  • They have a headache
  • They feel thirsty
  • They have dry mouth
  • Their heart rate increases
  • Their urine is dark

Vitamin C: It is known that the cardiac arrhythmia and other heart conditions are associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. There are some studies in which are said that antioxidants, like Vitamin E and Vitamin C can help to reduce these symptoms. We use Vitamin C to treat cold, flu and even cancer but also it can be used as a home remedy for cardiac arrhythmia. [7]

In one study was said that the Vitamin C can help to reduce the occurrence of postoperative atrial fibrillation by 85%. In another study was shown that the cardiac arrhythmia has recurred only in 4.5% of people who have received Vitamin C after cardioversion for the persistent atrial fibrillation [8]. Those people, who did not receive Vitamin C, have higher recurrence rate and it was 36.3%. This vitamin can be toxic if you have glucose – 6 – phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; sickle cell anemia; sideroblastic anemia; thalassemia and hemochromatosis. Also, if you have kidney stones or a kidney insufficiency, then you should not take Vitamin C. This is a reason why you should talk with your doctor before you start using this vitamin as your home remedy for cardiac arrhythmia.

Omega – 3 fatty acids: There are some studies in which are said that eating fatty fish and other foods with Omega – 3 fatty acids have a lower risk of heart disease and also these fatty acids can help to prevent cardiac arrhythmias. It is recommended eating 2 servings of fatty fish per week, such as albacore tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel and salmon. [9]

Maintain a healthy weight: It is very important to have a healthy weight because if you are overweight or obese, then you have higher chances of cardiac arrhythmia and heart disease.

Perform relaxation techniques: We know that stress can have many serious side effects on people. Stress can induce palpitations or it can make them worse. There are different relaxation techniques which you can use, such as using a method of guided imagery; taking short breaks from school or work; exercising; spending time outdoors; yoga; journaling; deep breathing and meditation.

Reduce or eliminate stimulant intake: When you are using stimulants, then you can notice the symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia much more than in the past. This is a reason why you should avoid stimulants like marijuana; appetite suppressants; caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and soda; some high blood pressure medications; some mental health drugs; some cold and cough medications; illegal drugs and tobacco products.

Acupuncture: There are some studies in which are said that 87 – 100% of study participants have shown normal heart rhythm functioning after they have used acupuncture [10]. But this review concludes that more studies need to be done in the future to show if this really works. There are other studies in which are said that acupuncture can help to prevent the abnormal heart rhythms after cardiovascular atrial fibrillation. This procedure can reset the heart’s rhythm, either with electricity or chemicals.

Quit smoking: If you smoke, then you should stop smoking as soon as possible. If you cannot do on your own, then you should talk with your doctor about programs or strategies which can help you to break a smoking habit.

 References:

[1] Skielboe AK, Bandholm TQ, Hakmann S, et al. Cardiovascular exercise and burden of arrhythmia in patients with atrial fibrillation – A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2017;12(2):e0170060.

[2] Elliott AD, Mahajan R, Pathak RK, et al. Exercise training and atrial fibrillation: Further evidence for the importance of lifestyle change. Circulation. 2016;133(5):457-9.

[3] European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Link between alcohol consumption, cardiac arrhythmias found in drinkers at the Munich Octoberfest. Science Daily. 2017.

[4] Tassell MC, Kingston R, Gilroy D, et al. Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Pharmacognosy Review. 2010;4(7):32–41.

[5] Zehender M, Meinertz T, Faber T, et al. Antiarrhythmic effects of increasing the daily intake of magnesium and potassium in patients with frequent ventricular arrhythmias. Magnesium in cardiac arrhythmias (MAGICA) investigators. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 1997;29(5):1028-34.

[6] Watso JC, Farquhar WB. Hydration status and cardiovascular function. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1866.

[7] Hemila H, Suonsyrja T. Vitamin C for preventing atrial fibrillation in high risk patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. 2017;17(49).

[8] Wilson JM. A day without orange juice is like an invitation to atrial fibrillation. Texas Heart Institute Journal. 2007;34(3):265–7.

[9] Bowen KJ, Harris WS, Kris-Etherton PM. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: Are there benefits? Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2016;18(11):69.

[10] Vanwormer A, Lindquist R, Sendelbach SE. The effects of acupuncture on cardiac arrhythmias: A literature review. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Critical Care. 2008;37(6):425-31.

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