Blockage due to heart disease
Sustained rates at the high end (above 85 beats per minute) can be due to problems in the heart itself or may suggest other processes such as dehydration, thyroid disorders, infections, and anxiety.
There is a strong relationship between the heartbeat and one’s emotional state. A condition of severe anxiety, called a panic attack, is often associated with a fast and sometimes irregular heartbeat.
Through all this, the heart must maintain its essential function: to pump blood throughout the body. If the heart beats too slow or too fast, or is irregular or otherwise ‘out-of-sync’, it may struggle to do its job. When the heart’s blood output diminishes, we can become light-headed, breathless, and even lose consciousness. In the worst case, particularly if the heart is significantly abnormal, some arrhythmias can be fatal. Heart rates that are less than or greater than the normal range of 50-99 beats per minute are clearly abnormal and should be addressed by a physician.
Helping the heartbeat naturally
If your pulse is normal or you have checked with your doctor to exclude heart disease or other medical disorders, there are natural supplements that help promote a healthy heartbeat.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Inexpensive, safe and effective, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are the closest things we have to an ideal anti-arrhythmia drug specifically, the
omega-3 fatty acids, known technically as EPA and DHA. They not only sharply reduce the frequency of irregular beats, but also diminishes the likelihood of death from dangerous arrhythmias. They achieve all this without significant side effects, an advantage lacking in all the prescription anti-arrhythmia drugs.
A secondary source of omega-3 fatty acids called ALA, found in flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil. When humans ingest ALA, however, only 10 per cent of it is converted into active EPA or DHA that helps the heart.
Magnesium is a crucial nutrient that helps the proper functioning of the human body. Unfortunately, on average, we ingest far less than the daily recommended dietary allowance. Low magnesium levels promote abnormal heart rhythms.
Moreover, research has demonstrated that our average magnesium intake is dropping precipitously as we consume greater amounts of magnesium-depleted processed foods. Soft drinks are manufactured using water that is essentially devoid of magnesium. Sodas contain phosphates that prevent magnesium being absorbed in the intestinal tract. To make matters worse, more of us are drinking bottled water, and many retail brands contain little or no magnesium.
Because low magnesium tissue levels are so common, everyone with an irregular heart beat should supplement with magnesium. They should also eat lots of magnesium rich foods nuts, beans and green leafy vegetables.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural substance found in the mitochondria (energy generators) of the body’s cells, especially the heart cells. Arrhythmias commonly occur when there is abnormal weakness of the heart muscle often associated with CoQ10 deficiency. Research has shown that CoQ10 supplementation can benefit people with weakened heart muscle. A safe, effective nutritional agent that is virtually free of side effects, CoQ10 may help lessen the long-term risk of arrhythmias.
Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) is a small, native European tree whose berries, flowers and leaves have been used therapeutically since the Middle Ages as an aid in treating heart failure. Modern research suggests that it helps to reduce irregular heartbeat.
Finally, poorly managed stress is a common cause of irregular heartbeat. Practise relaxation techniques, get counselling and learn to manage stress in a healthy way.