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Lifestyle Changes for Ventricular Arrhythmias

Your doctor at NYU Langone’s Heart Rhythm Center may recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk of triggering a ventricular arrhythmia.

Limiting Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

Excessive alcohol consumption raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure can lead to ventricular arrhythmia. Your doctor may advise avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation—no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.

Consuming high amounts of caffeine can increase your heart rate and risk of ventricular arrhythmias. Your doctor may suggest reducing your caffeine intake or avoiding it altogether.

Stopping the Use of Recreational Drugs

The use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, raise heart rate and blood pressure and can trigger ventricular arrhythmia. Prolonged use can lead to cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart muscle to thicken and makes it harder for blood to move through the body. If you are unable to stop using these drugs on your own, NYU Langone doctors can provide treatment and counseling for addiction and a referral to mental health services.

Avoiding Certain Medications

Your doctor may advise avoiding over-the-counter cold remedies and antihistamines and certain prescribed medications, such as Ritalin® and Adderall®. They are stimulants that can trigger a ventricular arrhythmia, particularly in people with heart conditions.

Managing Underlying Conditions

Left untreated, heart disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and sarcoidosis can cause symptoms that can trigger ventricular arrhythmia.

In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of the hormone thyroxine, speeding up metabolism. This can lead to a rapid, erratic heartbeat and ventricular arrhythmia. Receiving treatment for this condition can reduce your risk of triggering ventricular arrhythmia.

Heart disease, diabetes, and sarcoidosis can all cause inflammation and damage to the heart that can increase the risk of ventricular arrhythmia.

Refraining from Extreme Dieting and Exercise

The heart uses electrolytes to transmit information between cells. Certain diets, such as high-protein or liquid-based weight loss plans, can affect the body’s electrolyte balance. Extreme exercise that triggers dehydration, or not drinking enough water during exercise, can also deplete electrolyte levels. Experts at the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease can provide you with information about heart-healthy ways to exercise and lose weight.

Our Research and Education in Ventricular Arrhythmias in Adults

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.