Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ways To Slow Heart Rate

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How Long Does It Take To Lower Your Heart Rate

Slow heart rate or Bradycardia: Will my heart stop?

Plan to be patient. It can take a few months before a new exercise routine or other lifestyle changes affect heart rate. Just like building your biceps and triceps, it takes time for your heart to become stronger, notes Dr. Singh.

Focus on heart rate patterns rather than getting hung up on a specific number, too. Look for trends. For instance, how does your heart rate change after you eat certain foods or if youre dehydrated? Or did it drop after starting a new exercise routine or stress reduction program?

Those trends will point you toward healthier choices. Resting heart rate isnt the end-all be-all, Dr. Singh adds, but its a marker you should pay attention to.

Massage Your Carotid Artery

The carotid artery runs down your throat, just below your jaw, and is located next to the vagal nerve. By firmly massaging the carotid artery using your fingertips, you can stimulate the vagal nerve which might help slow down your heart rate. Note that extra caution should be taken because you could accidentally knock off a piece of a blood clot and cause a stroke. If possible only allow a qualified person to do these exercises. These tips will come in handy when you notice a sudden spike in your heart rate. However, if this is something that occurs often, the following tips will be helpful in the long run:

What Are The Symptoms

A very slow heart rate may cause you to:

  • Feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Have chest pain or a feeling that your heart is pounding or fluttering .
  • Feel confused or have trouble concentrating.
  • Faint, if a slow heart rate causes a drop in blood pressure.

Some people don’t have symptoms, or their symptoms are so mild that they think they are just part of getting older.

You can find out how fast your heart is beating by taking your pulse. If your heartbeat is slow or uneven, talk to your doctor.

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When To Call 911

When your doctor teaches you how to do a vagal maneuver, ask how long you should do it before stopping. You should also know when to stop and call 911. For many people who have tachycardia, waiting 30 minutes may be enough.

Often, a fast heart rate will ease on its own. But if your doctor suggests you learn one or more vagal maneuvers to slow your heart down, you may be able to cut short the unsettling feeling that comes with a racing heart.

Show Sources

American Heart Association: âAtrioventricular node,â âTachycardia / Fast Heart Rate,â “Congenital Heart Defects and Physical Activity.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia: Symptoms and Causes.”

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions: “Ice Bucket Challenge — For the Heart?”

Cleveland Clinic Wellness: “What Happens in Vagus.”

UCSF Department of Surgery: “Arrhythmias.”

Stanford Health Care: “Vagal Maneuver Treatment.”

American Family Physician: âManagement of Common Arrhythmias: Part I. Supraventricular Arrhythmias,â âPerforming Carotid Sinus Massage in Elderly Patients.â

UpToDate: âVagal maneuvers.â

Foods That Lower Heart Rate

Resting Heart Rate Chart

Diet also seems to have an effect on your heart rate. A cross-sectional analysis of about 10,000 European men without heart disease showed that eating fish was associated with a decreased heart rate. Fish consumption was still an important factor in lowering heart rate when the study adjusted for age, physical activity, smoking, and several other factors.

Most instances of a sudden spike in heart rate come from faster-than-normal impulses from the sinus node, the hearts natural pacemaker. This situation is called sinus tachycardia. In this case, the heartbeat is fast, but normal.

The notes that sinus tachycardia can arise from several different conditions, including:

  • some medical and street drugs
  • severe emotional distress

It results less commonly from:

  • heart muscle damage from heart failure or a heart attack
  • severe bleeding

Doctors address sinus tachycardia by going after the cause. For example, they may prescribe psychological care for anxiety and other types of emotional distress. Physiological conditions such as anemia or thyroid problems will require medical treatment.

In some cases, its impossible to link sinus tachycardia back to a source. This type of so-called inappropriate sinus tachycardia is a difficult condition to treat. In the long run, it can cause significant medical problems.

In other cases of elevated heart rates, the rhythm is both fast and irregular. These conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by your doctor.

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A Simple Breathing Exercise To Lower Your Heart Rate

Though there isnt current evidence that one particular breathing exercise is best for lowering heart rate, Dr. Anderer notes that many breathwork practices, largely originating in India and dating back centuries, are belatedly being actively researched and recommended to patients by many in the medical community for conditions as varied as high blood pressure and depression.In particular, deep and controlled breathing exercisesand their use for calm and meditationhave their roots in pranayama, one of the eight limbs of yoga.

One adaptation of this measured breathing is called square breathing, which can be utilized anywhere, anytime to help slow down the heart rate, says Dr. Martin. Below, she outlines the steps:

  • Start by exhaling completely.
  • Gently inhale through your nose while counting to four.
  • Hold your breath in for a count of four.
  • Gently exhale through your mouth for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath out for a count of four.
  • The even repetition of inhaling for four, holding for four, exhaling for four, and then holding again for four is what gives this breathwork practice its square name. You can repeat it as many times as youd like, says Dr. Martin, allowing your heartbeat to return to its usual speed.

    Fast Facts On The Heart Rate

    • The heart rate measures the number of times the heart beats per minute.
    • After the age of 10 years, the heart rate of a person should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute while they are resting.
    • The heart will speed up during exercise. There is a recommended maximum heart rate that varies depending on the age of the individual.
    • It is not only the speed of the heart rate that is important. The rhythm of the heartbeat is also crucial, and an irregular heartbeat can be a sign of a serious health condition.
    • One in every four deaths in the United States occurs as a result of heart disease. Monitoring your heart rate can help prevent heart complications.

    It is important to identify whether your heart rate sits within the normal range. If disease or injury weakens the heart, the organs will not receive enough blood to function normally.

    The United States National Institutes of Health have published a list of normal resting heart rates.

    The heart rate gets progressively slower as a person moves through childhood toward adolescence.

    The normal resting heart rate for adults over the age of 10 years, including older adults, is .

    Highly trained athletes may have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, sometimes reaching 40 bpm.

    The following is a table of normal resting heart rates at different ages according to the NIH:


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    Foods That Lower Heart Rate Could Save Your Life

    The bottom line is that an elevated heart rate can signal a serious heart problem, with possible complications including frequent fainting, heart failure, and blood clots. These all can lead to stroke or heart attack, and in rare cases, sudden death also may occur.

    Ventricular tachycardia is another complication where the ventricles of the heart beat faster than normal, and this can lead to dysrhythmias and problems with the blood pumping efficiently throughout the brain and body.

    That is why therapies and foods that help regulate heart rate are important. Vagal maneuvers, deep breathing, yoga, acupuncture, and regular exercise can all help lower your heart rate in the moment and over the long term. Some of the key foods for heart rate regulation include turmeric, garlic, spinach, avocado, bananas, nuts, seeds, beans, and other legumes. Keep this in mind if you have problems with an irregular heartbeat.

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    How To Check Your Pulse

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    You can check your pulse by following these steps:

  • Place two fingers on the inside of your wrist, below your thumb.
  • Press lightly and shift your fingers as needed until you feel your pulse.
  • Count the number of beats in a 30-second period, then double this number to get your bpm count.
  • Your pulse will vary according to how active, anxious, or relaxed you are.

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    Splash Your Face With Cold Water

    Take ice water and pour it on your face or alternatively, deep your face in ice water. This stimulates the vagus nerve to slow down the heart rate by causing a dive reflex. The dive reflex is what slows down your metabolism and is what makes it possible for some people to survive underwater for a long time. Keep your face in the ice water until you notice a drop in your heart rate.

    Maneuvers To Slow The Heart

    Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is a type of fast heart beat that may or may not have serious consequences. In PSVT, the heart beat speeds up suddenly and unexpectedly, occurring as distinct episodes lasting for seconds to hours.

    Many people with this condition are taught physical maneuvers to quickly lower their heart rate and make a trip to the emergency room unnecessary. They include bearing down as if having a bowel movement, coughing, swallowing or placing your head between your knees. However, these maneuvers should only be attempted if your doctor has recommended them.

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    Atrial Or Supraventricular Tachycardia

    Atrial or supraventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rate that starts in the upper chambers of the heart. Some forms of this particular tachycardia are paroxysmal atrial tachycardia or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia .

    With atrial or supraventricular tachycardia, electrical signals in the hearts upper chambers fire abnormally. This interferes with electrical impulses coming from the sinoatrial node, the hearts natural pacemaker.

    The disruption results in a faster than normal heart rate. This rapid heartbeat keeps the hearts chambers from filling completely between contractions, which compromises blood flow to the rest of the body.

    A profile for atrial or SVT

    In general, those most likely to have atrial or supraventricular tachycardia are:

    • Women, to a greater degree than men
    • Anxious young people

    In extreme cases, those suffering with atrial or SVT may also experience:

    • Unconsciousness

    Treatment for Atrial or SVT

    If you have atrial or SVT, its possible that you wont need treatment.

    But if the episodes are prolonged, or recur often, your doctor may recommend treatment, including:

    • Some medicinal and street drugs

    Other, less common causes may include:

    Approach to treatment

    What Is A Dangerously Low Heart Rate For Dogs

    How to Slow a Rapid Heart Beat

    The normal heart rate of a dog with sinus bradycardia may vary depending on its age and size, but the condition is characterized by an abnormally low resting heart rate. Puppies with low heart rate may have the condition, as they have a heart rate of 160 beats per minute or less. The heart rate of a large adult dog is typically 60 beats per minute.

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    When Your Heart Rate Slows

    Sometimes our hearts beat slower than 60 beats per minute. This is called bradycardia. For some people, like athletes and healthy, young adults, this heart rate could be normal. But for others, it could cause your brain and other organs to not get enough oxygen to function like they should.

    If thatâs the case, you may feel faint, dizzy, weak, or short of breath. You might also have chest pains, memory problems, or tire easily.

    Eating For A Healthy Heart

    Heart rate plays a vital role in a persons overall health. While athletes, pregnant women, and people with congenital heart defects are expected to have an abnormal heart rate, people outside of these categories should have a resting heart rate between 60-90 beats per minute. Having a heart rate above this range can put a person at risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases and conditions, including heart disease, heart failure, and heart attack.

    Fortunately, eating healthier foods is one of the most effective ways a person can reduce their risk of disease and extend their life expectancy. Leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, and items rich in Omega-3s are all examples of foods that lower heart rate and improve overall quality of life.

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    Slow Heart Rate Symptoms

    As people become increasingly health-conscious, it’s more common to monitor vital signs at home, such as blood pressure and heart rate. Some people may have automated monitoring equipment or a smartwatch that detects heart rate. Others may only find out about an abnormality when they start to experience symptoms, or they visit a doctor’s office. The heart is a vital organ that supplies the body with oxygenated blood, and if the heart is beating too slowly, the reduced blood supply can cause a number of symptoms that require investigation.

    Is A 45 Heart Rate Good

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    A slow heart rate isn’t always a concern. For example, a resting heart rate between 40 and 60 beats a minute is quite common during sleep and in some people, particularly healthy young adults and trained athletes.

    Bradycardia: Slow Heart Rate Causes And Treatment With Dr. Poulina Uddin | San Diego Health

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    What Are The Best Breathing Exercises To Use For Improving Heart Rate Variability

    There is a clear evidence that HRV is influenced by breathing exercises, however, debate remains regarding the best breathing exercise for improving it. A recent randomized control trial conducted in 2021 evaluated the best breathing technique to improve HRV. Participants that attempted breathing at 6 breaths/min along with those in the soothing rhythm breathing achieved a significant increase in HRV compared to the group that watched relaxing nature videos. That being said, there is a need for a systematic review comparing different breathing techniques to confidently ascertain the best breathing exercise for you.

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    Foods That Lower Heart Rate For Better Health And Longevity

    From maintaining a healthy weight to living longer, eating healthy offers many benefits for our long-term wellbeing. The foods we eat also have a major impact on our heart especially for those who suffer from a high heart rate.

    Having a high heart rate is a dangerous condition that can increase a persons risk for heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease, all while shortening their life expectancy. Heres what you should know about heart rate, plus the best foods that lower heart rate and improve quality of life.

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    Causes Of A Slow Heart Rate

    Its normal for your heart rate to change throughout the day. It speeds up when you exercise, slows down as you recover from exercising, and is usually at its lowest while you sleep.

    Sometimes people have a slower heart rate than normal. This is called bradycardia, and it isnt necessarily a problem. Its diagnosed when your heart beats less than 60 beats per minute.

    There are several causes of a slow heart rate. The most common are being young or physically fit. The heart is a muscle, and just like the other muscles in your body, it responds positively to exercise. When youre in good shape, your heart doesnt need to beat as often to supply your body with enough oxygen.

    But a slow heart rate can also be a sign of a medical problem, such as a heart condition. If your resting heart rate is slow and you have other symptoms of bradycardia such as lightheadedness, call your doctor or go to the ER.

    How Is It Diagnosed

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    To diagnose bradycardia, your doctor may take your pulse, do a physical exam, ask questions about your health, and do an electrocardiogram . An EKG measures the electrical signals that control heart rhythm.

    Bradycardia often comes and goes, so a standard EKG done in the doctor’s office may not find it. An EKG can identify bradycardia only if you have it during the test.

    You may need to wear or carry a device called a portable, or ambulatory, electrocardiogram. Examples include a Holter monitor and a cardiac event monitor. You might use it for a day or more. It records your heart rhythm while you go about your daily routine.

    You may have blood tests to find out if another problem is causing your slow heart rate.

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    Reduce Stress With Breathing Techniques

    Even minor stressors can make your heart rate go up. Try to reduce sources of stress where you can, or try some methods to reduce feelings of stress as they happen.

    For example, practice taking a few deep breaths when you are in a stressful situation, such as having problems at work or arguments with loved ones. If you can step back from the moment and give yourself a moment to calm down, your heart rate should go down.

    Causes Of High Heart Rate

    The most common causes of high heart rate are hypertension and coronary artery disease both of which can be controlled by lifestyle factors. In particular, things like chronic stress and excessive use of caffeine are all modern factors that contribute to high heart rate.

    Additional risk factors that elevate resting heart rate include excessive alcohol consumption and alcoholism, taking certain medications, smoking cigarettes, and taking recreational drugs. High blood pressure is another common cause of high heart rate.

    Medical professionals have understood the correlation between lifestyle and heart health for quite some time, but recent research shows that high heart rate can be caused by a variety of genetic factors.

    For example, a heart study led by cardiologist Pim van der Harst found 64 gene locations that influence heart rate, suggesting that genes and gene location influence both heart rate and life expectancy more than previously thought. Congenital heart defects, which can be caused at birth or after heart surgery, can also cause the heart to beat irregularly.

    Diet plays a significant role in high heart rate because the foods we eat affect our blood pressure. Alcohol and stimulants are especially hard on the heart because they cause dehydration and are considered toxic to the body. This means the heart has to work harder to remove them leading to an increase in heart rate.

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