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Ventricular tachycardia – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by

Ventricular tachycardia (VT) refers to an abnormally fast heart rhythm from the lower part of the heart, which are called ventricles. In most cases, this could be a precursor to ventricular fibrillation (VF), which can be potentially life-threatening. In tachycardia, the rhythm is fast but regular. However, in ventricular fibrillation, both the rhythm is fast and irregular, so that the heart stops pumping. VF is one of the leading causes of cardiac death.

Known risk factors and symptoms of ventricular tachycardia

Some known causes for VT include:

  • The presence of another cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, an enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy) or heart valve disease.
  • A previous heart attack (myocardial infarction) or heart surgery, especially that from scar tissue formation
  • Medications
  • Excessive caffeine, alcohol
  • Recreational drugs
  • Advanced age
  • Family history

Symptoms of VT episodes include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Fainting episodes
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

In some cases, the symptoms may start and stop without warning, while other cases have no symptoms.

Body systems affected by ventricular tachycardia

For the most part, VT may cause congestive cardiac failure and cardiogenic shock, aside from developing fully into VF.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve ventricular tachycardia

Some food items can help balance the electrolyte, which can affect the rhythm of the heart. A balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins help a lot; still, here are some recommended herbs for managing VT – motherwort, oats, passion flower, and valerian. These four traditionally used in traditional treatments for palpitations, especially those caused by severe anxiety.

Treatment and management options for ventricular tachycardia

Besides a healthy diet, certain lifestyle modifications must be made for those with VT to manage the condition. These include:

  • Biofeedback and breathing techniques
  • Trying the vagal maneuver – This involves rubbing your eyeballs, then followed by the neck (where the pulse is felt). Then, hold your breath and bear down for as long as you can as if you’re having a bowel movement.
  • Ice baths
  • Avoiding caffeinated drinks like coffee, cola, tea, and chocolate
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Quitting smoking
  • Moderate exercise – Those with VT should consult with their healthcare professional before embarking on a new exercise. Otherwise, a condition called exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia may occur.

Where to learn more


Ventricular tachycardia is an abnormally fast heart rhythm from the lower part of the heart.

Ventricular tachycardia could be a precursor to ventricular fibrillation.

In ventricular tachycardia, the rhythm is fast but regular, but in ventricular fibrillation, both the rhythm is fast and irregular.

Ventricular tachycardia can be caused by the presence of another cardiovascular disease, a previous heart attack or heart surgery, medication, excessive caffeine, alcohol, and recreational drugs, among others.

Symptoms of ventricular tachycardia episodes include angina, fainting, lightheadedness, palpitations, shortness of breath.

Ventricular tachycardia affects the lower areas of the heart called ventricles.

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