When you’re resting, you want your heart rate to be lower. It’s a sign that you’re in good health. If it’s too slow, however, it could be a sign of a condition known as bradycardia.
When you’re at rest, your heart beats 60 to 100 times each minute. However, when you have bradycardia, your heart rate drops to less than 60 beats per minute.
For some folks, this may not be an issue. However, it could be a sign that you have a problem with your heart’s electrical system.
Bradycardia is a dangerous condition in which the heart beats too slowly and cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body. Moreover, you may feel dizzy, very exhausted or weak, and short of breath. Bradycardia can occur without causing any symptoms or problems.
The presence of a sluggish heart rate isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. During sleep, for example, a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute is relatively normal in some persons, especially healthy young adults and trained athletes.
If bradycardia is extreme, a pacemaker inserted in the heart may be required to keep the heart beating at a normal rhythm.
Basics functions of Heart
Electrical signals go through the four chambers of the heart: two on top, called the atria, and two below, called the ventricles. However, these impulses cause it to beat in a regular pattern. Pulses, on the other hand, don’t always fire as they should.
Arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, result as a result of this.
Some conditions cause the heart to flutter or beat too quickly. Moreover, It’s the opposite with bradycardia. The electrical malfunction causes the interval between heartbeats to be longer.
It’s possible that you simply have a slower-than-normal heart rate with no symptoms. It’s possible that the electrical activity is fine, but it’s a little slower than it is in most people. You might not even be aware that you have this problem, and even if you do, you may never notice any symptoms or require therapy. However, this isn’t always the case.
Symptoms of Bradycardia
A slower-than-normal heartbeat (bradycardia) can prevent the brain and other organs of oxygen. When this occurs, the following may occur:
1. Dizziness or light headedness
2. Confusion or a hard time concentrating
3. Shortness of breath
4. Chest pain
5. Confusion or memory problems
6. Easily tiring during physical activity
8. Fainting (syncope) or near-fainting
Be alert of those signs if your heart rate falls below 60 beats per minute on a frequent basis.
You generally don’t need to see a doctor right immediately if you don’t have any other symptoms. You may exercise frequently, and a slow heart rate may indicate how fit you are.
Causes of Bradycardia
Bradycardia is more likely to develop as you become older, as is the case with most heart problems. Although, it can be caused by a variety of factors that differ from person to person.
After a cardiac attack or as a side effect of heart surgery, an irregular rhythm may develop.
It can be caused by:
1. Drugs for high blood pressure and various arrhythmias, as well as medications for irregular heartbeats
2. A genetic defect is an issue that you have from birth.
3. Thyroid illness is a hormonal imbalance in the body.
4. When your breathing pauses repeatedly throughout the night, you have obstructive sleep apnea.
5. Aging-related heart tissue damage
6. Heart illness or a cardiac attack can cause heart tissue damage.
7. Heart tissue inflammation (myocarditis)
8. Chemical imbalances such as potassium or calcium in the blood
Knowing how the heart normally beats will help you better understand the causes of bradycardia.
The heart is divided into four chambers: two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles) (ventricles). The sinus node is a collection of cells located in the upper right chamber of the heart (right atrium). However, the natural pacemaker of the heart is the sinus node. It is responsible for generating the signal that initiates each heartbeat.
Bradycardia is caused by the slowing or blocking of these signals.
Also Read :- 10 Possible Signs and Symptoms of Clogged Arteries
Sinus node problems
Bradycardia frequently begins in the sinus node portion of the heart. Sinus node disorders can cause alternating slow and fast heart rhythms in some persons (bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome).
Heart block (atrioventricular block)
Bradycardia can also develop when electrical signals from the heart’s top chambers (atria) do not reach the lower chambers in a timely manner (ventricles). Heart block, also known as atrioventricular block, occurs when this happens.
There are three types of heart blockages.
1. First-degree heart block
All electrical signals from the atria reach the ventricles in the mildest form, but the signal is retarded. If there is no underlying problem with electrical communication, first-degree heart block rarely causes symptoms and usually requires no therapy.
2. Second-degree heart block
The ventricles do not receive all electrical inputs. Some heartbeats are skipped, resulting in a slower and occasionally irregular heartbeat.
3. Third-degree (complete) heart block
The electrical signals from the atria never make it to the ventricles. The ventricles will normally beat on their own, but at a very sluggish rate, when this happens.
Risk factors of Bradycardia
Bradycardia is frequently linked to cardiac tissue damage caused by heart disease. However, Bradycardia can be caused by anything that increases the risk of heart issues. The following are some of the risk factors for heart disease:
1. getting older
2. Blood pressure that is too high
4. Consuming a lot of alcohol
5. Use of illegal drugs
6. Anxiety and stress
Heart disease can be lowered by making healthy lifestyle adjustments or receiving medical therapy.
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Complications of Bradycardia
The following are some of the possible side effects of bradycardia:
1. Fevers on a regular basis
2. The heart’s inability to pump enough blood (heart failure)
3. Sudden cardiac arrest or death are both possible outcomes.
Bradycardia is a difficult condition for doctors to diagnose because it isn’t always present. However, Slow rhythms can be found in your heart.
If you have a bout of bradycardia during an ECG, your doctor will be able to make the diagnosis. However, An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a test that measures the electrical system of your heart.
Your doctor may ask you to wear a 24-hour monitor if your heart rate is normal but you experience symptoms of bradycardia.
Your doctor will inquire about your personal and family medical histories, as well as any current or previous symptoms.
When to see a doctor
If you or a loved one detects mild to moderate symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Call 102 if you or a loved one passes out, gets chest pains, or is having problems breathing.
Tiredness, difficulty concentrating, or having to breathe more deeply may appear to be a natural aspect of getting older. But there are moments when it’s more.
Make sure your doctor is aware of all of your symptoms. Let them know if you’re wearing out more quickly now than you were a month or year ago.
Treatment of Bradycardia
If your doctor determines that you have bradycardia, your treatment will be determined by the most likely cause.
If the cause is hypothyroidism, or poor thyroid function, Also addressing the hypothyroidism may resolve the heart rate problem.
Your doctor may modify medications that are slowing your heart if there is no evident physical cause. To relax your heart muscle, beta blockers may be administered. However, if they cause you to have a very painfully slow heart rate, your doctor may reduce the dosage or prescribe an alternative medication.
If these methods fail and your disease is serious enough to damage your brain and other organs, you may require a pacemaker.
This little device will be implanted into your chest by a surgeon. It has leads, which are thin, flexible wires that extend to the heart. Although, They transport tiny electrical charges that maintain the heart pumping at a constant rate.
If you’ve been given a pacemaker, Also pay attention to your doctor’s instructions on how to use it and any indicators that it’s not operating properly.
Certain medications, especially when used in large amounts, might cause bradycardia, thus it’s essential to follow all instructions. Although bradycardia is not usually prevented, health care experts advise on ways to lower the risk of heart disease. Follow these heart-healthy recommendations:
1. Get regular exercise
Your doctor may advise you on how much and what form of exercise is best for you.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that is low in fat, salt, and sugar.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight people are more likely to acquire heart disease.
4. Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control
To treat high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, make lifestyle modifications and use medications as directed.
5. Don’t smoke
If you need assistance quitting, talk to your doctor about possible tactics or training programmes.
If you want to quit smoking, you can read more about how to quit smoking on our blog. Click here to read more
6. If you drink, do so in moderation
Consume alcohol in moderation if you wish to do so. That is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men for healthy people. If you can’t control your alcohol consumption, talk to your doctor about a programme to help you stop drinking and manage other alcohol-related behaviours.
7. Manage stress
Strong emotions also affect heart rate. Regular exercise, joining a support group, and practising relaxation techniques like yoga are all good strategies to relieve stress.
8. Go to scheduled checkups
Maintain frequent physical examinations and notify your health care provider of any indications or symptoms.