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Bradycardia: Is your heartbeat slow?

Bradycardia: Is your heartbeat slow?

Heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in a minute and is a measure of cardiac activity.

A healthy heart beats between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm) at its resting state. But if the heartbeat is slower than 60 bpm, then it might be a symptom of bradycardia.

Bradycardia is life-threatening only when the heart is not able to maintain the rate at which it pumps enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

Read the full article to know further about this condition.

What is Bradycardia?

Bradycardia means a slow heart rate. This may be perfectly normal and desirable, but sometimes it can be an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

It can be a serious problem when the heart rate is very slow and the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood into the body.

In this case, you may feel dizzy, very tired, or weak and short of breath.

Bradycardia may not cause complications. Severe bradycardia requires a pacemaker to be implanted to help the heart maintain proper speed.

Symptoms of bradycardia

Some people may and may not experience the following symptoms:

Causes of Bradycardia

Bradycardia may happen due to damage to heart muscles. And may interfere with the electrical signalling that coordinates your heartbeat.

Here's a list of a few causes of bradycardia

It's a condition where blood flow to the arteries of the heart is impaired.

Here, the blood flow to the heart is cut off, causing the heart muscle to die.

A history of cardiac operation may trigger bradycardia.

These are the abnormalities in the heart that are present from birth.

Swelling of the heart muscle that may be caused by infections or autoimmune disease.

It's a condition that involves inflammation of the sac surrounding your heart.

A potential complication of strep throat, can lead to heart issues.

Diagnosis

Doctors find it hard to figure out bradycardia as it's not diagnosable all the time. The doctor diagnoses bradycardia during a test called an electrocardiogram (ECG). This test measures the heart rate.

If the heart rate appears normal, but the person has had symptoms of bradycardia, the doctor may monitor you for the next 24 hours.

Complications of Bradycardia

Bradycardia can lead to severe cases when left untreated.

Treatment

The treatment of bradycardia depends on its cause. For example, if the cause is hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, treating that may take care of the heart rate issue.

But if there is no clear physical cause, the doctor might keep you on medications that'll help to slow down the heart rate.

If the medications don't work and the person's condition is serious enough to put his/her life at risk. Then the person may need a pacemaker.

A pacemaker is a small device placed in the chest to help control the heartbeat. It sends an electrical impulse to the heart when needed.

A word from the team—

Old people have more chances of getting bradycardia. If you or a loved one notices mild to medium symptoms, then contact us right away!

We, at Corrielus Cardiology, value the strong correlation between heart health and overall wellness. The practice aims to educate the community on how good lifestyle choices and routines can ultimately help prevent emergency room visits, save money, and build stronger, healthier families.

 

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