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What Does A Slow Heart Rate Mean

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Whats The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse

Can You Function with a Slower Heart Rate?

Blood pressure and pulse are two measurements that a doctor may use to monitor your heart and overall health. While theyre similar, they can each say very different things about whats happening in your body.

Pulse, also called heart rate, refers to the number of times your heart beats in one minute. Typical pulse measurements range from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Blood pressure is an estimate of the force your blood is exerting on your blood vessels. A typical value for blood pressure is 120/80. Doctors consider blood pressure to be elevated when its between 130 and 139 systolic over 80 to 89 diastolic .

If you have high blood pressure with a low pulse, it means your blood is putting increased pressure on your blood vessels, but your hearts beating fewer than 60 times per minute. Read on to learn more about what this combination means for your health.

Maximum And Target Heart Rate

There is no definitive medical advice on when a resting heart rate is too high, but most medical experts agree that a consistent heart rate in the upper levels can put too much stress on the heart and other organs. If a person has a high heart rate at rest and is experiencing other symptoms, doctors may examine his or her heart function, Bauman said.

Knowing your heart rate during workout sessions can help know whether you are doing too much or not enough, the AHA says. When people exercise in their target heart zone, they gain the most benefits and improve their hearts health. When your heart rate is in the target zone you know you are pushing the muscle to get stronger, Bauman said.

A persons target heart rate zone is between 50 percent and 85 percent of his or her maximum heart rate,;according to the AHA.;

Most commonly, maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. For a 30-year-old person, for example: 220 30 = 190.

The target zone for a 30-year-old person would be between 50 and 85 percent of his or her maximum heart rate:

  • 50 percent: 190 x 0.50 = 95 bpm
  • 85 percent: 190 x 0.85 = 162 bpm

For a 60-year-old person, the target zone would be between 80 and 136 bpm.

You can either manually calculate your heart rate during exercise or use heart rate monitors that wrap around the chest, or are included in sports watches.

However, thats not to say that exercising without getting the heart rate up to the target zone has no benefit, Bauman said.;

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.

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Sleeping Heart Rate: Decoding The Clues To Long

Do you know how fast your heart beats when youre sleeping? If not, it might be time to find out. Countless studies;have shown that resting heart rate is a key indicator of longevity. How fast or slow your heart beats during sleep can determine your risk of certain diseases and disorders, all while shedding light on your overall physical health.

Tapping into this knowledge is also important for determining your target heart rate zones, which can guide you to peak athletic performance. Heres everything you need to know about your sleeping heart rate plus how to identify and improve it.

Hows Your Heart Rate And Why It Matters

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When it comes to your heart rate, it’s a bit like the speed of your car. What you want is not too fast, not too slow, and not too erratic. In fact, most of the time, heart rhythm and pace are not things you need to think about. And unless something unusual is going on, you’re likely completely unaware of what your heart is doing.

Heart rate is important because the heart’s function is so important. The heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. When it’s not working properly, just about everything is affected. Heart rate is central to this process because the function of the heart is directly related to heart rate and stroke volume .

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Lethargy & Chronic Fatigue

Cant shake that feeling of being tired and worn out? If your metabolism is lagging, and therefore the process of breaking down food and transforming the nutrients into energy, your energy levels will be diminished as well. Some medical ailments like a reduction in your red blood cell count brought on by iron or vitamin B deficiency can cause both fatigue and accompanying metabolism slow down.

What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse

While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.

  • They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
  • For people with high blood pressure;, theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.

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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.

What Is A Slow Heartbeat

Is A Slow Heart Rate Dangerous?

A slow heartbeat is a heart rate that is below normal. The medical term for a slow heartbeat is bradycardia. The normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. A slow heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute.

A slow heart rate may begin suddenly or develop over time . In some situations, a slow heart rate can occur as a result of chronic medical conditions.

There are many causes of a slow heartbeat, and they range from mild to serious. A slow heart rate can result from cardiovascular disorders, diseases and conditions. Athletes in excellent physical condition may have a slow heartbeat. Heat exhaustion, , and malnutrition can also cause a slow heartbeat. Some medications may cause a slow heartbeat as a side effect.

In many cases, a slow heartbeat is not serious. However, a slow heartbeat may occur as a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition such as a . Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, experience , chest or pressure, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness, or if you think you may be having a heart attack.

If your slow heartbeat is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

If you have never had heart palpitations before, see your provider.

  • Loss of alertness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • You often feel extra heartbeats .
  • You have risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
  • You have new or different heart palpitations.
  • Your pulse is more than 100 beats per minute .
  • You have related symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling faint, or loss of consciousness.

Risk Factors For Bradycardia

Risk factors that could contribute to bradycardia include:

  • Age: Men and women age 65 and older are most likely to develop a slow heart rate that needs treatment.;
  • Congenital heart defect: Problems with the structure or function of the heart present at birth can cause a slow heart rate.
  • Electrolyte imbalance:Any abnormality in the bodys mineral balance including calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium and sodium can lead to a slow or irregular heart rate.
  • Infection of the heart: Certain bacteria, viruses and parasites can infect the heart muscle, causing inflammation and damage leading to an irregular heart rate.
  • Previous heart attacks: Heart attacks can weaken the heart muscle or cause problems with its electrical system.
  • Low thyroid: An abnormally low level of thyroid hormones can cause a slow heart rate.
  • Medications for other heart problems: Some medications for treating high blood pressure or other heart conditions like beta blockers, antiarrhythmics and digoxin can cause bradycardia.

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Problems With The Hearts Natural Pacemaker

The hearts natural pacemaker, or sinoatrial node, helps regulate heartbeat. Problems affecting this can cause a persons heart to beat unusually slow or fast, which doctors call tachycardia.

A condition that doctors call sick sinus syndrome refers to problems with the natural pacemaker. Typically, another heart health problem, such as scar tissue in the heart, complications of diabetes, or coronary artery disease, causes these problems.

What Causes Bradycardia

A High Heart Rate

Bradycardia, which is a type of arrhythmia, can occur when certain signals in your heart are blocked or move slower than usual. Various conditions may cause you to experience symptoms associated with bradycardia. Bradycardia may be caused by:

  • Damage to your tissue due to aging
  • Heart diseases or having a heart attack
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Blood tests or other lab tests

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Your Resting Heart Rate

When you are at rest, your heart is pumping the lowest amount of blood to supply the oxygen your body’s needs. For most healthy adult women and men, resting heart rates range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, a 2010 report from the Women’s Health Initiative indicated that a resting heart rate at the low end of that spectrum may offer some protection against heart attacks. When WHI researchers examined data on 129,135 postmenopausal women, they found that those with the highest resting heart ratesmore than 76 beats per minutewere 26% more likely to have a heart attack or die from one than those with the lowest resting heart rates62 beats per minute or less. If your resting heart rate is consistently above 80 beats per minute, you might want to talk to your doctor about how your heart rate and other personal factors influence your risk for cardiovascular disease.

When To Call Your Doctor

If youre on a beta blocker to;decrease your heart rate or to control an abnormal rhythm , your doctor may ask you to monitor and log your heart rate. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can help your doctor determine whether to change the dosage or switch to a different medication.

If your pulse is very low or if you have frequent episodes of unexplained fast heart rates, especially if they cause you to feel weak or dizzy or faint, tell your doctor, who can decide if its an emergency. Your pulse is one tool to help get a picture of your health.

Learn more:

ByBahar Gholipour12 January 2018

Heart rate, also known as pulse, is the number of times a persons heart beats per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person, but a normal range for adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, a normal heart rate depends on the individual, age, body size, heart conditions, whether the person is sitting or moving, medication use and even air temperature. Emotions can affect heart rate; for example, getting excited or scared can increase the heart rate.

Most importantly, getting fitter lowers the heart rate, by making heart muscles work more efficiently. A well-trained athlete may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 beats per minute, according to the;American Heart Association;.

Knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level, and it may help you spot developing health problems if you are experiencing other symptoms.

Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Training Heart Rate

When To See A Doctor

If you or a loved one notices mild to medium symptoms, go to a doctor quickly.

If you or a loved one faints, has chest pains or trouble breathing, call 911.

Tiredness, trouble concentrating, or breathing harder may just seem like part of growing older. But sometimes itâs more than that.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all your symptoms. If you wear out more easily now than you did a month or year ago, let themÂ;know.

How Will Your Doctor Find And Treat Bradycardia

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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.

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What Is The Heart Rate

Heart rate or pulse rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. It is a simple measure to know how much your heart works during rest or activities.;

Heart rate is one of the vital signs that are checked regularly whenever you visit your doctor, or when you get admitted to the hospital.

Your heart rate is lower when you are resting and higher when you are doing any kind of activity, or are feeling stressed or anxious.;

When you exercise, your heart needs to work harder, which increases your heart rate. As soon as you rest, the heart rate starts decreasing gradually and returns to its normal level, usually within an hour.

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.

Recommended Reading: Why Does Your Heart Rate Go Up When You Exercise

Can You Die From Bradycardia

When bradycardia is more severe, you may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, and fainting. If severe bradycardia goes untreated, it could lead to cardiac arrest, meaning the heart stops beating, and that can lead to death.

What If Your Heart Races

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The normal heart averages between 60 and 100 beats per minute. When your heart beats faster than this, you have a condition calledÂ;tachycardia.

When your heart races, itâs working too hard. It doesnât have enough time to fill withÂ;bloodÂ;or pump it to the rest of your body. You might have heart palpitations orÂ;chest pain. You may also feel dizzy or faint.

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What To Expect At Your Office Visit

Your provider will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.

You may be asked:

  • Do you feel skipped or stopped beats?
  • Does your heart rate feel slow or fast when you have the palpitations?
  • Do you feel a racing, pounding, or fluttering?
  • Is there a regular or irregular pattern to the unusual heartbeat sensations?
  • Did the palpitations begin or end suddenly?
  • When do the palpitations occur? In response to reminders of a traumatic event? When you are lying down and resting? When you change your body position? When you feel emotional?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?

An electrocardiogram;may be done.

If you go to an emergency room, you will be connected to a heart monitor.;However, most people with palpitations do not need to go to an emergency room for treatment.

If your provider finds you have an abnormal heart rhythm, other tests may be done. This may include:

  • Holter monitor for 24 hours, or another heart monitor for;2 weeks or longer

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