Sick Sinus Syndrome
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sick sinus syndrome is not a specific disease, but a group of signs or symptoms that indicate the heart is not functioning properly. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about sick sinus syndrome in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Sick sinus syndrome is the name for several conditions in which the sinus node does not work the right way.

The sinus node is a natural pacemaker in your heart that helps your heart beat steadily. An electric current starts in one of the upper chambers and goes through the heart to the bottom chambers.

The sinus node can increase your heart rate during times of high demand, such as during exercise. If you have sick sinus syndrome, your heart rate may be too slow or too fast to meet the needs of your body.

Some people with sick sinus syndrome do not even feel ill or only have mild feelings of illness. Other people have symptoms that come and go such as dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath.

Most people with sick sinus syndrome will need to have an artificial pacemaker inserted in their body. Your doctor may prescribe medicines if you have a pacemaker and your heart rate is too fast.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.