In addition to a medicine or procedure, your doctor may recommend any of these common sense lifestyle changes or basic maneuvers to reduce symptoms.  Before you make any lifestyle changes or try any alternative treatments, you should discuss options with your doctor to see if they are safe for you.

Lifestyle Changes

Improving your health and making better lifestyle choices can go a long way to lessening symptoms and decreasing your likeliness to develop further problems.

Giving up cigarettes or ending an addiction to nicotine—a stimulant that speeds up your heart’s rhythm—can help decrease symptoms of arrhythmia. The same goes for caffeine or medicines with stimulants—anything that speeds up your heart rate may put you at risk for experiencing more or great arrhythmia symptoms. The use and abuse of alcohol, medicines, and illegal drugs can also increase your chances of experiencing an arrhythmia. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will decrease your risk factors and are beneficial to your overall health.

Vagal Maneuvers

Simple exercises can have an effect on your nervous system. In particular, they have been shown to affect the vagus nerve which helps control your heart rate. These moves are recommended for people with supraventricular arrhythmia, meaning the arrhythmia starts above the ventricles.

Some vagal maneuvers include:

  • coughing
  • gagging
  • holding your breath
  • immersing your face in cold water

Vagal maneuvers are not appropriate for every person with an arrhythmia. It’s important you discuss this option with your doctor and decide if any of these movements are right for you.