Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?

During our lives, we have a one in three chance of developing a heart rhythm abnormality. In cardiology, the field of electrophysiology focuses on heart rhythm disturbances—or heart arrhythmias as they are called. While the heart muscle may not be damaged, a heart arrhythmia can cause serious functional problems. With a normal range of 60 … Read More

Underactive Thyroid: Is Yours Being Overtreated?

Is your underactive thyroid being overtreated? If your thyroid gland is underactive — a condition called hypothyroidism — your body produces too little thyroid hormone. Endocrinologists can make sure that you have enough of this important hormone by prescribing synthetic thyroid hormone T4 (Synthroid®, Levoxyl®, Levothroid® or another brand). Or they may prescribe a medication … Read More

Can You Cough Away a Heart Attack?

The real danger about the misinformation regarding so-called “cough CPR” is that it could prevent heart attack victims from getting the life-saving help they need. Social media posts on the Internet claim that by coughing vigorously when you have a heart attack, you can keep yourself from passing out, theoretically saving yourself until your heart … Read More

Skiing Marathons Soon After Surgery

Athlete Jay Wiener gives this firsthand account on recovering from mitral valve repair and his journey to getting back into the race. Two months after having mitral valve repair at Cleveland Clinic, I found myself back in the race. My first test was the American Cross-Country Ski Marathon in Northwest Wisconsin. I felt better at … Read More

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Buzz Kill: Energy Drinks

The instant buzz you get after downing an energy drink gives your body a lift in other ways—increased blood pressure and a prolonged QT interval, which could spell heart problems. Results from a meta analysis of how energy drinks affect heart health weren’t all that surprising, but they do raise enough concern to warrant a … Read More

Anxiety and Arrhythmia (Video)

The heart and brain do a lot of talking, and our emotional health can seriously impact the heart. We’re learning that anxiety can tax the heart. Specifically, high anxiety levels can  cause an irregular heart beat  and it’s a vicious cycle, as the more arrhythmia you have – it makes you more anxious. Cleveland Clinic’s Leo Pozuelo, … Read More

A Racing Heart

Linda Shaw is an avid runner, and she always dresses in costume when she races so she can spark conversations to encourage others to seek trusted medical care. Here, she shares her story. I am the one at the road races dressed in costume. I travel the country to run 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons. And I … Read More

What is an EKG? (Video)

EKG is short for electrocardiogram, and it’s the most common heart test. The EKG provides an immediate snapshot of what’s going on in the heart. An EKG helps doctors find out if the heart is beating too quickly or slowly, or whether the heart is under stress from not enough blood flow. In this whiteboard … Read More

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Atrial Fibrillation – Dispelling 6 Myths

Butterflies in the stomach can signal excitement or nervousness. But fluttering in the chest can signal a short circuit in the heart’s natural electrical wiring, or arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation (A-fib), the most common arrhythmia in the United States, is an off-speed rhythm in the heart’s upper chambers. A-fib may be linked to conditions such as … Read More

A Different Kind of Defibrillator

Good news for people who are “wired” with defibrillators that jumpstart their hearts when they skip a beat (or more): A new device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is stronger and kinder to the body. That’s because the wires (called leads) that run from the device to the heart are implanted under … Read More