Electrophysiology experts at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Arrhythmia Care are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of the entire spectrum of heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias).

Our team of electrophysiologists (physicians who specialize in heart rhythm problems) are focused on delivering individualized care that offers a comprehensive management plan for your arrhythmia and any underlying condition(s) that may be intensifying or causing the heart rhythm disorder.

What is a Normal Heartbeat?

The heart has an electrical system that regulates all four chambers of the heart to maintain a constant rhythm. In a healthy heart, a heartbeat is considered normal when the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart work in tandem, alternatively contracting and relaxing to move blood through the heart and out to the rest of the body. Typically, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute.

Understanding the Symptoms & Causes of Heart Rhythm Disorders

Symptoms of Arrhythmias

Heart rhythm disorders can vary greatly in severity. Some patients will not have any noticeable signs or symptoms. However, even an arrhythmia that does not produce obvious symptoms could still lead to serious complications and require medical attention. Common symptoms include:

  • A fluttering in your chest
  • A racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • A slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope) or near fainting

If you have one or more risk factors for arrhythmia and/or are experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above, please consult with your physician.

Causes and Risks of Arrhythmias

There are several things that can lead to an arrhythmia, which can include lifestyle choices or pre-existing heart conditions. Common causes include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Drug abuse
  • Stress

It is important that you tell your doctor if you have any of the above risk factors. Understanding your complete health history will enable us to create the best treatment plan for your unique condition.


Why Choose UChicago Medicine for Arrhythmia Care

Our arrhythmia specialists are committed to improving the lives of our patients through ongoing innovation and discovery in order to provide the most complete heart rhythm care possible.

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