Beta Blockers And Slow Heart Rate
Submitted by Dr T on October 19, 2012 1:11pm
Hi Jackie,The Beta blocker Propranolol 20mg twice daily is a relatively low dose, and will not drop your heart rate or BP to dangerously low levels. The question is why are you taking it? If for PVCs, it will help reduce their frequency. However, you need to make sure your heart is otherwise normal.Read this blog:
How To Lower Your Heart Rate In The Moment
If your heart rate has seemingly spiked without cause, there are a few things you can do to bring it back down to a normal level:
- Make sure your surroundings are cool and comfortable. High temperatures and humidity can increase blood flow and heart rate.
- Emotional upset can raise your heart rate. Slow, measured breathing can help bring it back down.
- If youre going from sitting to standing, make sure to rise slowly. Standing up too quickly can bring about dizziness and cause your heart rate to increase.
Other approaches can be effective in lowering your heart rate in the short term and over time.
Practicing mindfulness can help lower your heart rate in the moment, as well as lower your overall resting heart rate. After a 12-week mindfulness course, participants in one study had lower heart rates overall and were able to physically cover more distance during a standard six-minute walk test.
If youre familiar with yoga, practicing a few poses may also help lower your heart rate. Research also suggests that practitioners of yoga can develop the ability to voluntarily lower their heart rate.
How To Measure Your Heart Rate
You can check your heart rate at your wrist. Lightly place your second and third fingers of one hand on the inside of your other wrist, below the base of your thumb. You should feel your pulse under your fingertips. Count the number of beats in one minute. Repeat to make sure you get a consistent reading.
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How Will Your Doctor Find And Treat Bradycardia
Your doctor will ask about your usual activities and conduct a physical exam.
He or she may use an electrocardiogram to measure the electrical signals in your heart . A wearable, 24-hour monitor can tell your doctor how your heart performs over time.
Once your doctor decides you need treatment, he or she will try to rule out medications or other pre-existing conditions as causes. Sometimes changing medications or similar strategies can solve the problem.
If not, implanting a pacemaker via minimally invasive surgery is the only option to speed up your heart rate, Dr. Baez-Escudero says.
He notes that bradycardia isnt often an emergency, so doctors have time to choose the right treatment.
In general, bradycardia allows time for us to evaluate the condition and rule out if any other condition is responsible, he says. Then, we can adjust medications or take other steps if we need to.
Common Causes Of A Rapid Heart Rate
You may experience a fast heart rate for a variety of reasons, and usually the solution is to deal with the underlying cause. For instance, when a fever triggers the heart to beat faster, treating the fever with over-the-counter fever-reducers or a lukewarm bath can slow your heart rate.
Some people with panic attacks another potential cause of heart racing use deep, abdominal breathing exercises to help them relax. If dehydration is the cause, replenishing the body with fluids can lower your heart rate. Other causes of a fast heart rate, such as hot flashes, resolve on their own.
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Danger Signs Of A Fast Heart Rate
Although a rapid heartbeat can have many harmless causes, some causes are serious. The heart normally beats between 60 and 100 times each minute. While a slight increase in heart rate is usually harmless, especially in people without heart disease, a very rapid heart rate can cause your blood pressure to plummet to dangerously low levels, which can lead to dizziness or fainting.
A fast heartbeat can also stress your heart, causing chest pain or a heart attack. When shortness of breath accompanies the rapid rate, this suggests the rate is too fast for your heart to pump properly. If you experience any of these danger signs or if something just “doesn’t seem right” seek immediate medical attention.
How To Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
How can you dial down a resting heart rate? Lifestyle changes can boost heart health and lower your pulse.
1. Get moving
Exercise is the number one way to lower resting heart rate, says Dr. Singh. The most common cause of a high resting heart rate is a sedentary lifestyle, one where you spend a lot of time not moving.
And being in poor shape can increase the risk of other problems, including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. To give your heart a healthy workout, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity.
The more you exercise, the stronger your heart becomes. Since its pumping more blood with each beat, it wont need to pump as hard, which will lower your heart rate, she says.
2. Manage stress
Anxiety and stress can elevate the heart rate, too. To help bring it down, try to bring calm to your day, Dr. Singh says. Practice mindfulness, try to meditate or do breathing exercises.
3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine
Stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes can drive your heart rate up, Dr. Singh says. Cutting back may help lower your resting heart rate.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
The more weight you carry, the harder your body has to work to move blood through the body especially if you dont have a lot of muscle mass, Dr. Singh says. Losing weight can help bring down your heart rate.
5. Stay hydrated
6. Sleep well
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Lowering Your Heart Rate
There are several ways you can do this to help your heart stay healthy:
Exercise. Physical activity strengths your heart just like other muscles in your body. It trains your heart to be more efficient so it doesnât work as hard when youâre at rest. A walk, bicycle ride, or yoga class can all help.
Relax.Stress can send hormones like adrenaline and cortisol racing through your blood, which can raise your heart rate. Things like meditation and yoga can help lower stress levels. Over the long term, they can lower your resting heart rate, too.
Eat more fish. A healthy diet is the cornerstone of heart health. In addition to fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, add fish to your menu. Eating it regularly can help lower your heart rate.
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.
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How Slow Is Too Slow
Doctors consider a heart rate below 60 beats per minute as low, Dr. Baez-Escudero says.
If you have bradycardia, youll have a sustained heart rate below 60 even when youre awake and active. A normal range is from 60 to 100 beats-per-minute while awake. The heart rate can also slow down normally while we are asleep to 40 to 60 beats a minute.
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Slowing A Chronically High Heart Rate
Description Of Increased Heart Rate
A fast heartbeat, or a high heart rate , is when the heart beats faster than usual.
- If a person trains or exercises any physical load, the heart will be reduced more often. This allows the body to pump blood throughout the body so effectively that all cells and tissues are provided with oxygen.
- If a person experiences fear, anxiety, or emotional stress, the heart rate will also increase.
Such variants of tachycardia are considered physiological or functional and in most cases pass independently, that is, special treatment is not performed.
People who can feel their heartbeat or fluttering heart, often have an increased heart rate. If it is often determined or symptoms of tachycardia do not come for a long time, then you need to inform your doctor about it.
Other causes of rapid heart rate:
- Infectious lung diseases, such as pneumonia.
- Infectious diseases of the blood that can cause fever.
- Anemia .
- Heart disorders, including irregular heartbeats .
Symptoms of rapid heartbeat
- There may be no signs of rapid heart rate, or a rapid pulse is felt .
- Anxiety or an attack of fear.
- The feeling that the heart is not right in the chest.
- Pain or mild discomfort in the heart area.
- The heart “trembles”, and it seems that it is abbreviated incorrectly.
- With concomitant anemia, there may be a feeling of fatigue, weakness.
- It may be difficult to perform any routine activities.
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Treating Supraventricular Tachycardia In Hospital
SVT is rarely life threatening. But you may need treatment in hospital if you keep having long episodes.
This may include:
- medicines to control the episodes of SVT given as tablets or through a vein
- cardioversion a small electric shock to the heart to help it get back to a normal rhythm
- catheter ablation a treatment where thin tubes are placed through a vein or artery into your heart to correct the problem with the electrical system this permanently cures the problem in most patients
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Reason Of Slow Heart Rate
A heart that beats less than 60 times in a minute is called Bradycardia. Though considered common and healthy for adults, it is a serious heart disease and if not diagnosed on time can lead to serious heart ailments.
Types of Bradycardia
- Sinus pause: Also called Sinus Arrest, under this, the heart skips one beat.
- Sinus Bradycardia: It is common and not a serious issue as the heart beats less than 60 times in a minute.
- Sick Sinus Syndrome: When the pacemaker of our heart does not work properly, several irregular heart rates can take place.
- Tachy-Brady Syndrome: Due to damage pacemaker of the heart, the heartbeat is usually too fast or slow.
Symptoms and Causes of Bradycardia:
Heart gets damaged due to various causes like as below:
- Side-effects of medication,
- Fainting and tired most of the time,
- Lack of energy due to which hard to do any physical exercise
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How Can You Care For Yourself
Bradycardia is often the result of another heart condition, so taking steps to live a heart-healthy lifestyle will usually improve your overall health. The steps include:
- Having a heart-healthy eating plan that includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean meat, fish, and whole grains. Limit alcohol, sodium, and sugar.
- Being active on most, if not all, days of the week. Your doctor can tell you what level of exercise is safe for you.
- Losing weight if you need to, and staying at a healthy weight.
- Not smoking.
- Managing other health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Perform The Valsalva Maneuver
This exercise will try to relax your heart rate by stimulating the vagus nerve which regulates your heart rate. Take a deep breath and squeeze your abdominal muscles the way you would when having a bowel movement. Hold the pressure for about five seconds before letting go. Repeat multiple times until you notice your heart slowing down. Other activities that you can try to stimulate the vagus nerve include coughing and gagging yourself.
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Resting Heart Rate And Health
A relatively low resting heart rate is considered healthy, while a high resting heart rate may increase the risk of various conditions.
A lower heart rate allows the heart to maintain a healthful rhythm and respond to routine stressors efficiently. These may include exercise, illness, and day-to-day activities.
Having a relatively low heart rate is a significant contribution to overall health. An abnormally high heart rate can lead to a variety of health risks and conditions.
Complications associated with a high heart rate include:
- low energy levels
Stress may cause a high heart rate.
Each heartbeat arises from specialized muscle cells called myocytes.
When these cells need more oxygen, as during exercise, the brain sends messages to the heart, causing myocytes to make stronger, more frequent pulses.
Everyone experiences sudden, temporary changes in their heart rate. They may be caused by:
Having a chronically high or abnormal heart rate is often a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle or an underlying medical condition.
Common long-term causes of a high heart rate include:
- lack of exercise
What Is Bradycardia
The official bradycardia definition according to Harvard Medical School is an abnormally slow heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. Each time the heart beats, oxygen-rich blood is pumped through the body. When you have an extremely low resting heart rate, your organs may not receive enough oxygen to operate properly.
However, a low heartbeat of 50 beats per minute may be normal for some elite athletes and some people who are extremely active. For these people, their bodies have adapted to a low heart rate and their body is efficiently pumping blood. Nevertheless, even people who are physically fit should have any signs of bradycardia evaluated by a physician.
Sinus bradycardia occurs when this condition starts in the sinus node, the natural pacemaker of the heart. Bradycardia may start here if electrical impulses that trigger the heart rate are not occurring as they should. This includes a slower than normal impulse, a failed impulse, an irregular impulse, or an impulse thats blocked. Some individuals may experience sinus node problems that cause alternating bradycardia and tachycardia.
While bradycardia and tachycardia sound similar, they are polar opposites. Tachycardia is a condition where the resting heart rate is faster than normal. There are several types of tachycardia including atrial fibrillation, SVT and others and if you are experiencing an abnormally slow or an abnormally fast heart rate, call 911.
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How The Heart Works
The heart has two upper chambers and two lower chambers .
The atria and ventricles have walls of muscle. A heartbeat happens when this muscle suddenly contracts so that the chambers become smaller and the blood inside is squeezed out.
The control of the heartbeat starts with a small clump of cells in the right atrium, called the sinoatrial node . This sends out electrical impulses through the atrial muscle to another clump of cells called the atrioventricular node, found between the atria and ventricles. The impulse then continues through the AV node down fibres that conduct the impulse into the muscle of the ventricles.
The AV node determines the rate of contraction of the ventricles. The pulse felt at the wrist is due to the contraction of the ventricles.
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 be caused by your brain and other organs not getting 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.
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