Is something wrong with your heart’s “electricity”? When we think of the human heart, we usually focus on its ability to pump blood and nutrients to the body. However, it also sends electrical signals. Sometimes the system doesn’t work properly, which can result in problems like right bundle branch block (RBBB). Like other heart conditions, the name can be a big question mark Each word in RBBB is basic but it might be unclear what’s going on. For example, what’s the “bundle” and “branch” all about? If you know what it’s all about then it’s easier to deal with it.
Most people would agree that heart health is important. However, are we doing enough about it? Each year about 25% of all deaths in the US are linked to heart disease. It’s so important to make sure you’re taking steps to reduce the risk of heart problems like eating healthy, exercising regularly, and lowering stress. Heart attacks and heart disease are just a few of the causes of RBBB. The good news is in many cases it’s possible to treat RBBB. Sometimes making tweaks to your everyday life can help deal with these conditions by making sure you have a healthier heart.
Heart’s Electrical System
Let’s take up the heart’s electrical system before discussing a possible problem. The main function of this system is to time your heartbeats by controlling the heart rate. We’ve often heard about “irregular heartbeats.” This is connected to the electrical system.
The situation is like a mechanical pump that sends out stuff like air or water. When the rhythm gets messed up and isn’t uniform it affects how efficient the machine is. It’s very similar to how the heart works but this time we’re talking about the function of the heart’s 4 chambers.
The heart’s different parts are related to this process. If things are working right then the muscle will cause the “right” number of beats per minute. That includes 60 to 100 steady beats when you’re resting. The rate will be higher when you’re doing physical work or exercising then lower when you’re sleeping.
Here’s how the system is supposed to work. The heart has 4 chambers including 2 upper and 2 lower chambers. The fancy name for the upper chambers is “atriums” and the bottom chambers are known as “ventricles.”
The electrical signal usually starts in the upper-right chamber then moves down the lower chambers. This process causes the different parts of the heart to work together so everything goes smoothly. Well, sometimes it doesn’t. So, it’s important to know what some possible problems like RBBB are all about.
Different things can cause your electrical system not to work properly. The whole system is complex but it’s enough to know that sometimes there’s something wrong with the cells that send messages to each other.
This causes problems with the heart working properly and creating a steady beat. While there are various possible conditions RBBB is the one we’ll be talking about in this article.
Right Bundle Branch Block
The first thing to keep in mind of RBBB is usually there aren’t any symptoms. If you have another heart condition then that’s a different story.
What’s RBBB all about? This involves the “right branch” of the system that sends out the electrical signal to the bottom-right chamber (right ventricle). In short, the problem is the signal doesn’t travel in the path it normally does.
The signal still gets to the bottom-right part of the heart. So, what’s the problem? In this case, the problem is the signal sends it slower than to the left side of the heart. The heart takes a little more time than normal to contract. That causes the heart to send out a little less blood.
RBBB can happen to anyone. However, it’s more common among older people and very rare in young people who are generally healthy. Older people sometimes have a problem with a heart system that causes this condition.
There are other common causes of RBBB. For example, if you’ve had other heart or lung issues this can result in RBBB. You also might experience it if you’ve had heart surgery.
Here are some conditions that can result in RBBB:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure (right side)
- Lung blood clot
One thing to keep in mind is other conditions don’t always cause RBBB. Sometimes it can happen normally.
In fact, there are times when it’s “normal” and there’s nothing wrong with the heart’s structure. Scientists aren’t sure what causes this type of RBBB. However, it’s important to know the signs of RBBB itself so you can treat it effectively. This can help you detect it sooner rather than later.
A doctor can diagnose RBBB then provide treatments to deal with the condition. This is important to help deal with the problem quickly and effectively.
RBBB: Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention
Like other heart conditions, it’s important to pick up the signs that you might be suffering from. If you have more than one symptom then there’s a greater chance that you have RBBB.
It’s interesting that RBBB often doesn’t cause any symptoms itself. If you have other heart conditions then you’re more likely to experience symptoms from RBBB.
If you suffer from heart failure then there’s a chance RBBB could cause worse symptoms. However, researchers are still studying this issue so there’s a chance that there’s no link between the two conditions.
How about treatments? If you’re healthy and don’t have any other heart problems then you might not need any treatments.
However, it’s important to note that just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. If you’ve been diagnosed with RBBB then it’s important to have some tests run to check if there are other heart health issues causing the problem.
There are some cases in which people with RBBB need a pacemaker. However, this usually isn’t necessary. It’s only required when someone not only has RBBB but also another heart condition.
How about if you already have heart disease? If you’re in that category and have had a heart attack then this is a very serious issue. Make sure you get the right treatments and make lifestyle changes that will help to improve your heart health.
Finally, you might want to know if you can take steps to prevent RBBB. This condition is usually related to other heart conditions. So, if you already have one then make sure you’re taking steps to treat it effectively.
Do you want to avoid RBBB? Make sure to reduce fast food, don’t sit all day, and don’t get stressed out. These steps can help to prevent right bundle branch block.