Bradycardia: When Your Heart Beats Slowly

If you have been diagnosed with bradycardia, then you are probably aware that this condition means that you have a slow heart rate. A slow heart rate beats less than the normal 60 beats per minute. Individuals who are in optimal shape and exercise regularly will often have a slower-than-average heart rate. This is normal for athletes and shouldn’t pose any risks or require treatment. However, bradycardia has other causes, as well, and here is an overview of each of these causes:

Abnormal mineral levels

In order for a person to be completely healthy, their mineral levels and electrolytes must remain properly balanced at all times. Electrolytes, which consist of potassium, sodium, chloride and bicarbonate, can become unbalanced for various reasons. One reason is underlying diseases related to kidney function and metabolic conditions. Once these conditions are treated, then a person should no longer experience bradycardia problems.

Heart issues

Another main cause of bradycardia is an underlying heart condition. These heart issues consist of congestive heart failure, damage to the heart as a result of a prior heart attack, abnormal heart valves, as well as an enlarged heart. A cardiologist is a heart specialist and should be able to address the underlying heart issues causing your bradycardia, which will enable your heart rate to become normalized.

Certain medications

With the myriad of medications that are prescribed on a regular basis, many people have to deal with various side-effects, many which often vary person to person. One side-effect of many common medications like those prescribed for high blood pressure and other conditions, is a slowed heart rate. If your medication for blood pressure or another issue causes your pulse to become significantly slower, then you doctor will monitor you. If he or she feels that the medication is compromising your health, then you will likely be placed on a different medication.

There are many causes of bradycardia besides being athletic and very fit. If you notice that your pulse is abnormally slow, then you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Your slow heart rate could have a serious cause, or a not-so-serious cause, but it is up to your doctor to determine your bradycardia causes.