For most people, cardioversion can quickly restore a regular heartbeat. For some, your irregular heart rhythm may return within a few minutes or days. It's possible that you will need to have repeat procedures to keep a normal heart rhythm. You also may need to take medications to help maintain a normal heart rhythm.

To keep your heart healthy, you may need to make lifestyle changes that improve the overall health of your heart, especially to prevent or treat conditions that can cause arrhythmias, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Your doctor may suggest that you:

  • Eat heart-healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight
  • Use less salt (sodium), which can help lower blood pressure
  • Increase your physical activity
  • Limit or avoid caffeine
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid drinking more than one drink of alcohol for women of all ages and men older than age 65, or more than two drinks for men age 65 and younger a day, if you choose to drink at all
  • Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control
  • Reduce stress, as intense stress and anger can cause heart rhythm problems
  • Use over-the-counter medications with caution, as some cold and cough medications contain stimulants that may trigger a rapid heartbeat
May 17, 2014