Bradycardia is a slower than normal heart rate.Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in one minute. Heart rate is a measure of cardiac activity The hearts of adults at rest usually beat between 60 and 100 times a minute. You have bradycardia, if your heart beats fewer than 60 times a minute.
A slow heartbeat isn’t always a concern. For example, a resting heart rate between 40 and 60 beats a minute is quite common during sleep.Athletes, for instance, often have lower than normal resting heart rates because their heart is strong and doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body.
Bradycardia can be a serious problem if the heart rate is very slow and the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.
How can you measure your heart rate?
You can measure your own heart rate. First, find your heart rate by holding a finger to the radial artery at the wrist. Then, count the number of beats per minute while you’re resting.
Other places your heart rate can be measured are at the neck (carotid artery), the groin (femoral artery), and the feet (dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial arteries).
Here are some numbers to keep in mind:
• The resting adult heart rate is normally 60 to 100 beats per minute.
• Athletes or people on certain medications may have a lower resting normal rate.
• Newborns : 100 to 180 bpm
• Infants : 80 to 150 bpm
• Children ages 2 – 6 : 75 to 120 bpm
• Children ages 6 – 12 : 70 to 110 bpm
The primary symptom of bradycardia is a slow heart rate. Some people have no other symptoms.
Some common bradycardia symptoms include :
• feelings of exhaustion and weakness
• shortness of breath
• trouble breathing when working out
• chest pain
• passing out or fainting
• jaw pain
• arm pain
• blindness or visual change
• severe headache
• pallor (pale skin)
• abdominal pain
• cyanosis (bluish skin color)
• loss of consciousness
Bradycardia can be caused by:
• Inflammation of heart tissue (myocarditis)
• Heart tissue damage related to aging
• A heart disorder present at birth (congenital heart defect)
• Damage to heart tissues from heart disease or heart attack
• Inflammatory disease, such as rheumatic fever or lupus
• Imbalance of chemicals in the blood, such as potassium or calcium
• Repeated pauses in breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea)
• An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
• A complication of heart surgery
Medications, including sedatives, opioids, and drugs used to treat heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure and certain mental health disorder
Left untreated, severe or prolonged bradycardia can cause:
• Heart failure
• Low blood pressure (hypotension)
• Fainting (syncope)
• High blood pressure (hypertension
• Chest pain (angina pectoris)
Your doctor will feel your pulse to get your heart rate and will use tests to get more information about your heart rate and rhythm. A simple EKG can show the rhythm that is causing the slow heart rate, but you may need to wear an ambulatory monitor. The monitor is used to keep track of your heart rate and rhythm over a longer period of time. You will keep track of any symptoms you have. Your doctor will match up the symptoms with the activity on the monitor to see if a heart rhythm problem is the cause.
Treatment depends on the underlying condition. If slow heart rate is due to the effect of medication or toxic exposure, this must be treated medically.
An external device (pacemaker) implanted into the chest to stimulate heartbeats is the preferred treatment for certain types of bradycardia.
Take the following heart-healthy steps:
• Get regular exercise. Your health care provider may give you recommendations about how much and what type of exercise is best for you.
• Eat a healthy diet. Choose a healthy, low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
• Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to manage high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of developing heart disease.
• Don’t smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your health care provider about strategies or programs to help.
• If you drink, do so in moderation. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
• Manage stress. Intense emotions may affect heart rate. Some ways to relieve stress are getting regular exercise, joining a support group and trying relaxation techniques, such as yoga.
• Go to scheduled checkups. Have regular physical exams and report signs or symptoms to your health care provider.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
As per Ayurvedic Texts, slow heartrate is due to Kapha dosha Vikriti. There are some cardioprotective herbs available to correct this slow heartrate which are as follows –
For more informative articles on health issues ,please visit our website www.santripty.com and also feel free to consult.