The reason why persistently rapid heart action is serious lies in the fact that the heart itself is not given a proper opportunity to rest and be nourished. These essential needs are met only during the interval between one active pulse and the next; it is during each such brief spell that the blood is able to permeate the tissues of the heart � from its own network of vessels, of which the coronary is the best-known � and that the muscle fibres must recuperate in preparation for their next cycle of duty. This resting period � or diastole � is seriously curtailed when the pulse-rate is increased. In a healthy heart, not under special stress, the diastole is much longer than the systole (the active or contracting part of the cycle). In a heart meeting heavy demands, the relationships may be reversed, the resting period becoming the shorter. In the heart trying desperately to meet impossible demands, there is almost no resting period, and the heart muscle's nutrition and self-reparative capacity are dangerously diminished.
Having accepted that tachycardia is a serious condition, we must now turn our attention to the cause of the abnormally high rate. That may appear an over-obvious remark, but it may not even seem logical to one trained in the orthodox attitude to cardiac disorders. There are physicians �respected and conscientious men�who quite cheerfully prescribe medication to counter tachycardia, without any attempt to discover the reasons for its presence. To them, tachycardia is a condition in itself; an entity which can be treated without reference to anything else within the patient's physical or emotional make-up. The drug-of-the-day to slow down the heart is an adequate answer to the patient's problem. It certainly may have the desired effect � but only upon the one symptom. The heart beats more slowly � at least for a time, or as long as the dosage can be increased without producing obvious and alarming 'side effect's' � but what happens to the circulation of blood throughout the body? Answer: it is depressed; the patient is immediately subjected to a serious handicap and vital function of all kinds is restricted. The brain, too, may show signs of inadequate supplies of fresh blood as a result of the artificial slowing-down of heart action.
Cardio & Blood
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