Slow Heart Rate Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Slow Heart Rate?
A slow heart rate, also known as bradycardia, is defined as a heart rate slower than 60 beats per minute. Generally, a healthy resting heart rate should range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A slow heart rate can be caused by many factors and can have serious health implications if it is left untreated. One of the most common causes of a slow heart rate is an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism or an electrolyte imbalance. People with low levels of potassium or magnesium are more likely to experience bradycardia. Other conditions that can cause a slow heart rate include some types of congenital (inherited) heart defects, certain types of infections and cardiovascular diseases such as cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease. Additionally, certain medications such as beta blockers used to treat hypertension or arrhythmias may cause bradycardia. Symptoms of bradycardia include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting spells due to decreased blood flow to the body’s organs resulting from the slower heartbeat. In some cases, chest pain may occur due to poor blood flow in the coronary arteries supplying oxygen-rich blood to the muscles in the chest wall and other parts of the body. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with a slow heartbeat it is important that you seek medical attention right away so that your physician can diagnose any underlying conditions causing your symptoms or prescribe necessary treatments for managing them. Treatment for bradycardia depends on its severity and underlying cause but may include lifestyle modifications such as avoiding triggers like alcohol or caffeine consumption, pacemaker implantation or medications designed to regulate abnormal electrical activity in your heart muscle cells (known as antiarrhythmic drugs). In conclusion, although less common than tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat), it is important for individuals who experience symptoms related to a slow heartbeat consult their doctor about possible treatments before their condition becomes more severe.