Heart Rhythm Awareness

Heart rhythm abnormalities are very common and can range in severity. Odds are, you, a friend or family member may suffer from a heart rhythm abnormality during your lifetime. An abnormal heartbeat or rhythm is referred to as an arrhythmia and shows something problematic with the heart’s electrical system. Arrhythmias can range from extra beats, or lack thereof, to concerning palpitations and rhythms that can increase mortality rates. Some devastating outcomes of abnormal heart rhythms can even include chronic disability or sudden cardiac death.

Being a cardiac electrophysiologist, I specialize in heart rhythms—and can help patients receive best outcomes in regard to abnormal heartbeats and the electrical activity of their hearts. Portneuf Medical Group’s cardiology team and I are proud to now offer this new service—which has been needed in Southeastern Idaho for quite some time.

Factors that increase the risk of arrhythmias are: high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol use, smoking, genetics, drug abuse (including the use of some over-the-counter medications), and sleep apnea. Patients should highly consider seeing a doctor if they are suffering from lightheadedness, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, or if their heart seems to beat abnormally. Once a professional’s advice is sought, treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication or (in some cases) a cardiac ablation surgery.

If you are concerned about heart rhythm abnormalities, please consult your primary care doctor or a heart specialist. Portneuf’s cardiology staff and I can work with your primary care physician to provide comprehensive, collaborative care—and find the best treatment options that may increase the quality of your life.

Call 911 if you have worsening chest pain, extreme shortness of breath or heartbeat irregularity accompanied with lightheadedness or passing out. If you would like to schedule a consultation with me or a member of Portneuf’s cardiology team, please call 208-239-3899.

Janet Lynn Otto, MD is a Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist. She graduated with honors from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine and comes to Portneuf Medical Center with over three decades of healthcare experience.