A healthy heart beats at a steady, regular pace to keep blood flowing throughout the body. But sometimes, the heart can beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly. This condition, when serious, often requires prompt treatment.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists these common risk factors for heart arrhythmia:
- Having had a previous heart attack.
- Problems with your endocrine system.
- A decline in the heart’s general health.
- Blood chemistry abnormalities.
- Consuming caffeine.
- Cocaine use.
- Use of certain drugs, such as amphetamines, beta blockers, psychotropics or sympathomimetics.
Eat a heart-healthy diet
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in many countries, but you can reduce your risk by eating a heart-healthy diet.
The National Women’s Health Information Center in the US offers these suggestions:
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
- Opt for low-fat or no-fat dairy products.
- Choose lean, healthy proteins, such as chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, nuts and beans.
- Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, found in many forms of butter, fatty meats, fast food, desserts and creamy condiments such as mayonnaise.
- Reduce cholesterol in your diet, found in organ meats, pork and sausage, and whole-fat dairy products.
Avoid foods that are high in salt (sodium) and sugar.
Help prevent childhood migraines
Adults aren’t the only ones affected by the often disabling pain of a migraine. Many children and teens also are prone to the intense pounding, occasional nausea and “aura” that warns some migraine sufferers.
While there’s no sure way to prevent a migraine, the American Academy of Family Physicians says there are certain things that your child can do that may help:
- Eat regularly and don’t skip any meals.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
- Get frequent and consistent exercise.
- Recognize what triggers migraines (examples may include stress or overexertion) and try to avoid those triggers.
- Identify any foods that may trigger a migraine. Common examples are chocolate, caffeine, cheese and processed meats.
- Talk to your child’s pediatrician about medication if migraines can’t be controlled by other methods.