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 arrhythmias) 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 arrhythmia?

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. If you have arrhythmia, your heartbeat will be irregular, and the electrical signals that regulate your heartbeat are not working properly. This can lead to a rapid, racing heartbeat (tachycardia) or a heartbeat slower (bradycardia) than a normal range. 

Types of Arrhythmia 

Fast Heartbeats (Tachycardia)

Slow Heartbeats (Bradycardia)

  • Sinus bradycardia syndrome (sinus arrhythmia)
  • Heart block
  • Sinus arrest

Arrhythmia Causes and Risks

There are several risk factors that increase your likelihood of heart arrhythmia, such as current lifestyle choices or a pre-existing heart condition that can impact your heartbeat. It is important to be aware of what could lead to arrhythmia for you, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease (over- and underactive)
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Drug abuse
  • Stress

Make sure 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.

Heart Arrhythmia Symptoms

Knowing the symptoms of arrhythmia can help you recognize any issues early and seek help sooner. Heart rhythm disorders can vary greatly in severity, and 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.

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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To speak to someone directly, please call 1-888-824-0200. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

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