People are more in tune with their minute-to-minute heart rate than ever due to the rise of fitness tracking devices and smartwatches. Now that you’re able to constantly track it, you may have noticed slower-than-usual heart rates on occasion. This isn’t bad, and having a slow heart rate doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy. In some cases, an abnormally slow heart rate, medically known as Bradycardia, can indicate a healthy lifestyle.
Adults’ normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, if you have Bradycardia’, your heart beats fewer than 60 times a minute. A slow heart rate may or may not indicate better health and fitness, and in this article, we will go over the signs that indicate when a low heart rate is healthy and when it isn’t.
Heart rates of 60 beats per minute (bpm) or below are considered low by medical professionals. Even when awake and active, people with Bradycardia have heart rates significantly lower than 60 beats per minute.
It’s important to note that some people with Bradycardia have no other symptoms save a sluggish heart rhythm. Symptoms of Bradycardia in other people may include:
Exhaustion and weakness
Confusion and shortness of breath
Facial and head trauma
If your doctor suspects a problem with your heart rate, they can recommend a few straightforward tests to determine the cause. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiograms (ultrasound of the heart) are examples of these tests.
The rate at which your heart beats varies naturally depending on your bodily needs and the activities you engage in. Causes of Bradycardia that are not harmful but can lead to low heart rate include:
People with preexisting heart issues, or those over 65, are more likely to experience Bradycardia due to their medical condition. The following are some conditions that may lead to Bradycardia:
You should see a doctor soon if you have any moderate symptoms. You should immediately get medical attention if you feel symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.
Aging can make you feel like you’re just going to have to accept things like fatigue, concentration difficulties, and increased respiratory effort. Tell your doctor about all symptoms you’re experiencing. Do not hesitate to let them know if you are seeing a marked increase in your rate of fatigue compared to previous months or years.
If your doctor is unable to assess the cause using your input and the tests, they may alter your cardiac medication. To calm your heart muscle, your doctor may recommend a beta-blocker. If its use causes an abnormally slow heart rate, your doctor may reduce your dosage or switch to a different medication.
If these methods fail and your illness is severe enough to cause injury to your other organs, you may require a pacemaker. If your doctor has fitted you with a pacemaker, paying attention to their instructions for using the device and recognizing when it’s not functioning correctly is essential.
If you have a low heart rate, your doctor would most likely ask about your daily routine and perform a physical check. However, a low heart rate is not always a cause for alarm. The presence of Bradycardia is sometimes indicative of general health and fitness.
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How low can your heart rate go before it’s a problem?
What is deemed too slow can depend on your age and physical condition. For example, elderly people are more prone to Bradycardia, while adults have a resting heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute (BPM).
Is a heart rate of 40 dangerously low?
Many people typically have a resting heart rate between 40 and 60 beats a minute during sleep.
Is a resting pulse of 45 good?
A “normal” RHR falls between 60 and 100 beats per minute. An RHR under 60 can imply that you’re more physically fit and may be associated with adequate heart function.
Can Bradycardia cause a stroke?
Yes, Bradycardia may be associated with ischemic stroke, which is a stroke that blocks blood vessels in the brain.
Can a low heart rate be fatal?
A slow heartbeat may indicate that inadequate blood is being pumped to supply the heart’s needs. This can cause fatigue that is serious enough to sometimes cause cardiac arrest and death.