Causes of an irregular heartbeat include the use of certain medications, blockage of arteries in the heart, low levels of potassium in the body and changes in the heart muscles, explains Healthline. An irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia, can occur as a result of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, states Mayo Clinic.
A normal heartbeat ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute, explains Mayo Clinic. Cholesterol may deposit in the heart, leading to coronary heart disease, notes Healthline. Beta blockers, which lower the symptoms of high blood pressure, and drugs that stimulate the brain, including amphetamines, are medications that can trigger an abnormal heart rhythm. A person who is healing from a heart surgery or suffering from high blood pressure may experience an abnormal heart rhythm.
Stress, excessive consumption of alcohol, drinking too much caffeine and drug abuse may cause an irregular heartbeat, states Mayo Clinic. Certain food supplements, certain herbal treatments, smoking and changes in the heart structure, which may be due to cardiomyopathy, may also induce arrhythmia.
Risk factors for an abnormal heartbeat include diabetes, too much weight, history of heart problems and lack of exercise, explains Healthline. Eating foods that are enriched with fats or cholesterol may also trigger an irregular heart rate. Chest pain, sweating, lightheadedness, pale skin and difficulty breathing are symptoms of arrhythmia. An individual should exercise regularly, eat healthy and avoid smoking to avoid suffering from arrhythmia.