Caffeine Limits Blood Flow To Heart Muscle During Exercise
Caffeine reduces the body's ability to boost blood flow to the heart in response to exercise.

In healthy volunteers, the equivalent of two cups of coffee reduced the body's ability to boost blood flow to the heart muscle in response to exercise, and the effect was stronger when the participants were in a chamber simulating high altitude, according to a new study in the Jan. 17, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"Whenever we do a physical exercise, myocardial blood flow has to increase in order to match the increased need of oxygen. We found that caffeine may adversely affect this mechanism. It partly blunts the needed increase in flow,"
Irregular Heartbeat --
  1. Heart disease
  2. High Blood Pressure
  3. Thyroid disease
  4. Hypoxemia or conditions that lower blood oxygen levels, such as lung disease
  5. Acidemia -- an increase in the acid content of the blood as seen in some lung problems.
  6. Low Blood Sugar
  7. Anemia (low blood)
  8. Smoking
  9. Cocaine use
  10. Amphetamine use
  11. XTC
  12. Caffeine -- coffee, tea, sodas
  13. Alcohol
  14. Vigorous exercise
  15. Stress
  16. Anxiety
  17. Panic attacks
  18. Lack of sleep
  19. Over eating
  20. Medications including over- the-counter cold remedies, diet pills
  21. Overdose of thyroid medicine, theophylline, or some antidepressants.
Cardiac Arrhythmias
Types of Arrhythmias - Arrhythmias stem from several causes. The heart's natural timekeeper--a small mass of special cells called the sinus node--can malfunction and develop an abnormal electrical impulse rate. Or, because all heart tissue is capable of starting a beat, any part of the heart muscle also can interrupt the electrical rhythm or even take over as the heart's pacemaker, setting off an abnormal heartbeat. When one of these events interrupts the heart's normal beat, arrhythmias can occur. Doctors frequently see these five types of arrhythmia
  • Premature beats. The most common arrhythmia, premature beats, which affect a large number of people, especially older Americans, are benign and are often described as "flip-flops." Caffeine and stress increase the occurrence of premature beats.
  • Atrial fibrillation. Doctors estimate that 3 to 5 percent of Americans have atrial fibrillation, making it the most common type of problematic cardiac arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation, which is found most often in people over 65, develops when a disturbance in the electrical signals causes the two upper atrial chambers of the heart to quiver rather than pump correctly. When this quivering occurs, not all the blood is forced out of the heart's chambers. The blood pools inside the atrium and sometimes clots. Blood clots can cause a stroke if they break off, travel through the body, and block an artery in the brain.
  • Bradycardia. A slowed heartbeat, or bradycardia, causes a person to feel fatigued, dizzy, and lightheaded and may trigger fainting spells.
  • Tachycardia. Rapid heartbeat, or tachycardia, can also cause inefficient blood circulation. During an episode of tachycardia, a person may feel palpitations, rapid heart action, dizziness, lightheadedness, and may faint.
  • Ventricular arrhythmias. The most severe and life-threatening arrhythmias affect the beating of the ventricles, the main pumping chambers of the heart. Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heartbeat arising in the ventricles. Ventricular fibrillation occurs when the ventricles go out of control, quivering and beating ineffectively, stopping the pumping action. If a more normal rhythm is not restored promptly--within three to five minutes--the patient will suffer brain and heart damage and die.
Cardiac Arrhythmias
Controlling Arrhythmias with Medications Introduced in England in 1785, digitalis (its modern-day derivative is digoxin) still remains a treatment for fast heart rates caused by atrial fibrillation. Several new compounds developed since the 1950s are used to stabilize the heartbeat or as preventive therapy to avert complications:
  • warfarin, an anticoagulant, is used in atrial fibrillation patients to prevent stroke-inducing blood clots;
  • antiarrhythmic agents such as amiodarone and sotalol help maintain the heart's normal rhythm;
  • beta blockers such as metoprolol and atenolol limit the stimulating effects of adrenaline on the heart, and slow the heart rate in atrial fibrillation; and
  • calcium channel blockers such as verapamil and diltiazem help slow the heart rate and suppress tachycardias.
Arrhythmia definition - eMedicineHealth - Consumer First Aid and Health Information
Arrhythmia: An abnormal heart rhythm. In an arrhythmia the heartbeats may be too slow, too rapid, too irregular, or too early. Rapid arrhythmias (greater than 100 beats per minute) are called tachycardias. Slow arrhythmias (slower than 60 beats per minute) are called bradycardias. Irregular heart rhythms are called fibrillations (as in atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation). When a single heartbeat occurs earlier than normal, it is called a premature contraction.
Heart Rhythm Disorders
Heart Rhythm Disorders
Sometimes, conditions other than heart disease may cause or aggravate arrhythmias. These conditions include the following:
  • Infection or fever
  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Diseases such as anemia or thyroid disease
  • Drugs and other stimulants, such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, and certain over-the-counter and prescription medications
  • Certain arrhythmias can be inherited as well

Heart Rhythm Disorders
Arrhythmias are abnormalities of the heartbeat. There are many types of arrhythmias, and they are classified by where they begin, (the atria, AV node, or the ventricles). Generally speaking, those that do not originate from the ventricles are called supraventricular arrhythmias while those that come from the ventricles are called ventricular arrhythmias.
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Heart palpitations
Reducing your caffeine intake will often significantly reduce your heart palpitations. Reducing stress and anxiety can help lessen the frequency or intensity of your heart palpitations. Try breathing exercises or deep relaxation (a step-by-step process of tensing and then relaxing every muscle group in your body) when palpitations occur. Practicing yoga or tai chi on a regular basis can reduce the frequency of your palpitations.

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