When To Worry About Low Heart Rate
Our heartbeat is one of our most essential biomarkers. One of the most significant statements to the significance of this bodily function is its recognition world over as one of the principal medical markers for the presence of life.
However, the importance of your heartbeat extends beyond acting as a notification that you are still alive.
The heartbeat is a rhythmic contraction of the cardiac muscles. These muscles then control the pumping of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood around your body. Consequently, the rate of your heartbeats can be a direct measure of the function and overall health of the organ.
Furthermore, in the multifaceted and interconnected system that is the body, a variance in heart rate levels can be an indicator for a host of conditions, including the adrenaline rush from exercise or fear, hormonal imbalances, psychological issues, or other underlying medical problems.
With heart rate, when you are at rest, less is often always better. Generally, a lower resting heart rate indicates that the organ is performing more efficiently than average. Lower heart rates are usually standard among well-trained athletes and people with high cardiovascular fitness levels.
A lower rate implies that your heart does not have to overexert itself to provide the rest of your body with the minimum required amount of oxygenated blood.
Help Your Heart Work Stronger
Cardiovascular exercise is especially effective in keeping your heart healthy and reaching your target heart rate. This specific type of exercise gets your heart beating fast for several minutes at a time.
Target heart rate is defined as the minimum number of heartbeats in a given amount of time in order to reach the level of exertion necessary for cardiovascular fitness, specific to a persons age, gender, or physical fitness.
The following is an estimate given by the American Heart Association for target heart rate numbers for adults ages 45 to 70:
- 45 years: 88 to 149 beats per minute
- 50 years: 85 to 145 beats per minute
- 55 years: 83 to 140 beats per minute
- 60 years: 80 to 136 beats per minute
- 65 years: 78 to 132 beats per minute
- 70 years: 75 to 128 beats per minute
Protect Your Health By Seeking Immediate Emergency Care For Heart Palpitations In North Texas
Feeling your heart begin to race, pound, or beat abnormally can certainly be frightening. Fortunately, most heart palpitations are harmless and resolve on their own. However, some heart palpitations may point to a serious underlying condition that requires immediate treatment. If you are experiencing heart palpitations, we encourage you to seek evaluation at your nearest ER as soon as possible. iCare ER & Urgent Care is proud to offer rapid, reliable, and effective treatment for a wide range of heart issues, including heart palpitations, at both of our convenient locations in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX. When it comes to your heart, every second counts. Ensure your health by seeking emergency heart care at iCare ER & Urgent Care at the first sign of a problem.
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When To Go To The Er During An Afib Attack
Have you ever caught yourself asking, when do I need urgent medical attention during an AFib attack?” If so, this article is going to be a great resource for you.
If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, the sudden onset of symptoms can be a stressful and frightening experience. While mild AFib episodes can commonly be managed with at-home techniques, it is super important to be able to identify more serious symptoms that require urgent medical assessment and treatment by trained medical professionals.
Here is everything I want you to know about seeking urgent medical attention for an atrial fibrillation attack:
What Are The Symptoms Of Congenital Heart Disease
A congenital heart defect is often detected during a pregnancy ultrasound. If your doctor hears an abnormal heartbeat, for instance, they may further investigate the issue by performing certain tests. These may include an echocardiogram, a chest X-ray, or an MRI scan. If a diagnosis is made, your doctor will make sure the appropriate specialists are available during delivery.
In some cases, the symptoms of a congenital heart defect may not appear until shortly after birth. Newborns with heart defects may experience:
- bluish lips, skin, fingers, and toes
- breathlessness or trouble breathing
Causes Of Low Heart Rate
Firstly we will discuss things directly affecting the heart tissue and the conduction system called intrinsic disease. Aging is a common cause of slow heart rate, which results from degeneration of the conduction system of the heart. Heart attacks may damage areas of the conduction system also. Conditions that affect many organs of the body such as sarcoid, lupus and others can also affect the conduction system of the heart. Undergoing heart valve surgery such as the TAVR procedure for aortic stenosis, the mitraclip procedure for mitral regurgitation, mitral valve replacement or mitral valve repair, aortic valve replacement, or other complex heart surgeries may also cause trauma to the conduction system of the heart. Sometimes infection of the heart valves can extend in to the conduction system of the heart also.
Next we will discuss outside influences on the heart and conduction system known as extrinsic causes. Certain situations such as coughing, vomiting and others can lead to slow heart rate through the nerve system. Drugs that directly slow the heart rate include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and others. Metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism can lead to a slow heart rate. Levels of electrolytes such as potassium derangement can lead to a slow heart rate.
Congenital Heart Disease In Adults
Depending on the defect, diagnosis and treatment may begin shortly after birth, during childhood, or in adulthood. Some defects dont cause any symptoms until the child becomes an adult, so diagnosis and treatment may be delayed. In these cases, the symptoms of a newly discovered congenital heart defect may include:
- shortness of breath
- a reduced ability to exercise
- being easily fatigued
The treatment for congenital heart disease in adults can also vary depending on the severity of the heart defect. Some people may only need to monitor their condition closely, and others may require medications and surgeries.
In some cases, defects that may have been treated in childhood can present problems again in adulthood. The original repair may no longer be effective or the initial defect may have become worse over time. Scar tissue that developed around the original repair may also end up causing problems, such as heart arrhythmias.
Regardless of your situation, its important to continue seeing your doctor for follow-up care. Treatment may not cure your condition, but it can help you maintain an active, productive life. It will also reduce your risk for serious complications, such as heart infections, heart failure, and stroke.
Can Some Medical Conditions Affect The Heart Rate During A Heart Attack
According to the American Heart Association, tachycardia is where a persons heart rate is too fast for their age and overall physical condition. During a heart attack, their heart rate will likely remain elevated.
Bradycardia causes a slower heart rate. People with bradycardia or other diseases of the electrical system may not experience an increased heart rate during a heart attack.
Causes Of Electrolyte Disorders
Electrolyte disorders are most often caused by a loss of bodily fluids through prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating. They may also develop due to fluid loss related to burns.
Certain medications can cause electrolyte disorders as well. In some cases, underlying diseases, such as acute or chronic kidney disease, are to blame.
The exact cause may vary depending on the specific type of electrolyte disorder.
Elevated levels of an electrolyte are indicated with the prefix hyper-. Depleted levels of an electrolyte are indicated with hypo-.
Conditions caused by electrolyte level imbalances include:
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The Heart Of The Matter
The heart is comprised of upper and lower chambers, known as the atria and ventricles. It is split into the right and left side that separates the blood to and from the lungs for oxygenation. Normal heart rhythm is initiated by the sinus node, which serves as the hearts internal pacemaker. This electrical signal is transmitted to the ventricles by the atrioventricular node, allowing for a coordinated impulse between the right and left sides of the heart. A normal heart rate typically ranges between 60 to 100 beats per minute.
When the heart beats more than 100 times a minute, we call it tachycardia. When the heart beats less than 60 times per minute, we call it bradycardia, Dr. Huang details. There are occasions when it is normal for the heart to beat faster or slowerupon exercise or when sleeping, for example.
The Most Common Causes Of A Rapid Heart Rate
Normally, people have heart rates averaging around 60-100 beats per minute, patients with AFib or other heart conditions can quickly experience resting heart rates of over 120 bpm or much higher with other associated symptoms. The most common causes of rapid heart rates include:
Atrial Fibrillation Attacks An AFib episode is one of the most common causes of tachycardia . Caused by asynchronous electrical impulses to the atria of the heart, moderate to severe AFib attacks can require urgent medical attention to resolve, and increase risk for stroke.
Atrial Flutter Atrial flutter occurs when the hearts atria beat in a regular rhythm that is faster than the expected normal rate. Atrial flutter symptoms can resolve on their own, but in severe cases may also require medical attention. In addition, atrial flutter also increases risk for stroke, similar to AFib.
Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation The ventricles of the heart are responsible for pushing blood out of the heart to the rest of the body. If the rate and rhythm of the ventricles becomes too fast, such as in ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, this can quickly turn into a life-threatening condition. These two conditions frequently require emergent medical attention.
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Putting It All Together
At the end of the day, your safety is the most important thing to consider when it comes to seeking urgent medical attention for atrial fibrillation. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unwell, I recommend seeking medical attention as early as possible into your symptoms. Early access to medical treatments can help to provide additional education and can result in treatment options being more successful.
I hope this article has been a helpful resource for anyone living with AFib. Stay safe and be sure to seek urgent medical attention when needed!
Is A High Heart Rate A Sign Of A Heart Attack
An elevated heart rate is not a reliable sign of a heart attack.
There are three types of heart attack, each of which affect heart rate differently. The three types are:
- ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction
- non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction
- coronary artery spasm
STEMI can be the most severe form of heart attack. It typically causes an elevated heart rate during the event but certain types of STEMIs can cause damage to the electrical system of the heart and slow the heart rate. NSTEMI heart attacks are usually less damaging to the heart, but may also increase the heart rate. Sometimes the NSTEMI is a result of fast heart rate as a result of some other underlying issue with a fixed blockage of the coronary arteries.
Coronary artery spasms occur when the artery walls tighten and restrict blood flow to the heart. They can also affect the heart rate.
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Understanding Your Target Heart Rate
Nearly all exercise is good. But to be sure youre getting the most fromyour workout yet staying at a level thats safe for you, you can monitorhow hard your heart is working.
Aiming for whats called a target heart rate can help you do this, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H. Think of it as the sweet spot between not exercising hard enough and overexerting.
Things You Can Do To Help With Supraventricular Tachycardia
If your episodes of SVT only last a few minutes and do not bother you, you may not need treatment.
You can make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your chances of having episodes, such as:
- cutting down on the amount of caffeine or alcohol you drink
- stopping or cutting back on smoking
- making sure you get enough rest
Your doctor may also be able to recommend some simple techniques to help stop episodes when they happen.
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What To Expect During An Ep Visit
An EP will begin by diagnosing the cause of the disturbance. We usually start with an echocardiogram, which is a non-invasive ultrasound that looks at the structure of the heart and how it is performing. If that looks normal, we often prescribe a monitor that records your heart rhythm while you are performing normal activities. This allows us to catch an episode of arrhythmia and review it. Once we have an appropriate diagnosis, we have many treatments available to manage or eradicate the malfunction, Dr. Huang says.
You dont have to live with an irregular heartbeat. If it affects your day-to-day life, we encourage you to speak with a doctor who can help appropriately diagnose, correct, or manage your arrhythmia, Dr. Huang encourages. The health of your entire body relies on the health of your heartpay attention to what its telling you and let us help keep it at its best!
Dr. Jason Huang is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist at Denver Heart. He completed his medical school and internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia. Dr. Huang continued his education with a general cardiology fellowship at the University of Washington. In Seattle, he discovered his true passion in cardiac electrophysiology, which led him to one of the countrys best EP training programs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Huang is particularly interested in complex ablation and device extractions.
Normal Resting Heart Rate For Kids
Childrens heart rates are normally faster than those of adults. According to Cleveland Clinic, the normal resting heart rate for a child aged six to 15 is between 70 to 100 beats per minute.
Many factors can affect your resting heart rate, including your level of physical activity. In fact, highly trained athletes can have a resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute!
Other factors that can affect resting heart rate include:
- Age. You may find that your resting heart rate decreases as you get older.
- Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
- Medication side effects. For example, medications such as beta-blockers can lower your resting heart rate.
- Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight. People who are obese may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- Body positioning. Heart rate can increase temporarily when you move from a sitting to a standing position
- Smoking. Smokers tend to have a higher resting heart rate. Quitting smoking can help bring it back down.
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Heart Rate Tips To Keep In Mind
- Start at your beginning. Before getting overly concerned about your heart rate, Martin says, its best to simply get moving. If you havent exercised much before, start where youre comfortable and gradually exert yourself more over time.
- Listen to your body. Your body provides other indicators of how hard its working that you need to consider along with heart rate. Pay attention to how hard youre breathing or sweating, and stop if you feel very uncomfortable, Martin says. Devices recording your heart rate have been known to malfunction, for exampleanother reason listening to your body is important.
- Remember that target heart rate is just a guide. Dont get overly fixated on numbers, Martin says. Ideally, they just push you to work a little harder.
When To Go To The Emergency Department For Heart Palpitations
by Jeffrey Dubin, MD, Chief Medical OfficerMay 29, 2017
Most people barely notice their hearts beating. And thats natural. But any noticeable change in the heartbeat should be concerning. Heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious condition, but some heart palpitations are totally normal.
I describe the feeling of heart palpitations as the heart-pounding sensation you get after running up a flight of stairs. But for people with heart palpitations, that feeling could just show up while theyre sitting on the couch.
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My sincere condolences Gina … and I’m sure that the site owners share that sentiment with me.
End of life is always a challenge. My sister is a nurse specializing in end of life monitoring … I don’t know quite how she does it … because you just have no idea when it will actually happen. My own mother died early this year age 85. Her heart was dodgy … She went into hospital one evening. They thought she was recovering. A few hours later her heart simply stopped. My step father, 96, died a few weeks later … unconscious for 2 weeks … he just hung on and on and on. He had been expected to go many weeks earlier.
Either way is hard on the family. Look after yourself and your family in these sad times.