Bradycardia patients have a lowered heartbeat from underlying cardiac issues. A slow heart rate is natural while resting, but it shows complications when individuals report the same when active.
Bradycardia is a serious health condition and could lead to cardiac failure if left untreated. We suggest patients experiencing abnormal heartbeat seek clinical support immediately.
Clinical facts on bradycardia
Bradycardia is among the most reported cardiac issues found in over 15% of all heart ailment patients. It’s also prevalent among athletes and found in older adults having hypotension (low blood pressure).
Patients with low blood pressure must take additional measures, as underlying bradycardia symptoms could trigger a silent heart attack.
Bradycardia meaning: Overview
Bradycardia is a Greek phrase comprising ‘bradys’, meaning slow and ‘kardia’, meaning heart. The average heartbeat lies around 72 bpm, but patients with bradycardia experience below 60 bpm in a resting state.
While seasoned athletes often report a slow heartbeat, the same in average individuals shows potential heart issues.
A healthy heartbeat is crucial for overall wellness as it ensures circulation. Individuals can either inherit this condition or develop it as an additional cardiac issue from potential infection and trauma.
Patients with an unexplained slower cardiac rate can experience prolonged fatigue and loss of consciousness under minimal stress.
Types of bradycardia heart rates
The heart rate of a bradycardia patient is less than 60 bpm, measured when awake but not performing physical work. Doctors classify it into three conditions based on the severity of bradycardia symptoms:
- Sinus bradycardia:
- Causes irregular stimulation of the SA node
- Inflammation of the outermost heart layer
- Observed in athletes, children, and adults
- Sick sinus bradycardia:
- Extreme stage of sinus bradycardia
- Rare cardiac ailment
- Side effects of untreated cardiac issues
- Heart block:
- Irregular conduction signals not relayed from the SA node to the AV node.
- Show underlying arterial blocks (first, second and third degree).
- Patients may experience a complete cardiac collapse if third-degree symptoms are untreated.
Clinical causes of bradycardia
Patients experiencing unexplained slow heartbeat may inherit the condition or develop it as a side effect of potential clinical issues. We consider the following conditions among the top reasons for bradycardia:
- Individuals with a history of coronary heart disease (CAD).
- Side effects of conditions leading to heart attack.
- Congenital heart complications.
- Patients having inflammation in the cardiac muscles (myocardia).
- Infection of the protective covering (pericardium) around the heart.
- Complications from rheumatic fever
- Individuals with a history of hypothyroidism
- Side effects of clinical medications (opioids, beta and Ca channel blockers)
Bradycardia symptoms: Signs of a slow heartbeat
Patients must seek immediate clinical support or visit a cardiologist when experiencing unexplained thoracic discomfort, considered an early sign of underlying bradycardia.
More details about the potential signs showing a bradycardia heart rate are as follows:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Tendency of fainting
- Respiratory complications (breathing shortness)
- Chest pain
- Cyanosis of the epidermis (bluish skin)
- Marked disorientation
- Inability to perform heavy mechanical work.
Detection of bradycardia: Methods of diagnosis
Patients experiencing the mentioned symptoms can undergo a preliminary examination by our doctors to detect a slower heartbeat.
For further confirmation, the patient may need to consult a specialist or undergo advanced diagnostic scanning. Bradycardia diagnosis includes:
- ECG/EEG examination
- Diagnostic evaluation of biochemical vitals (blood glucose, lipid profile, electrolyte balance)
- USG report of cardiac vitals
- Further inspection using Holter monitoring
- Observation through a sleep study
Bradycardia treatment: Clinical techniques
Unlike hypertension, bradycardia requires imminent care as there is an underlying risk of cardiac arrest from sudden blood pressure falls.
We prescribe medications to enhance the cardiac rate, keeping it close to the natural heartbeat. If blood pressure suddenly dips, it requires CPR or emergency clinical support to prevent cardiac arrest.
More details on how we treat bradycardia symptoms:
- Patients must recover from underlying conditions like hypothyroidism that affect the heart rate.
- Prescription of stimulants to ensure a steady heartbeat.
- A pacemaker as an emergency option to prevent cardiac failure.
- Patients need to consume prescription drugs to keep bradycardia symptoms under control.
- IV delivery of medication if a cardiac emergency arises
Prevention of bradycardia complications
Bradycardia is not a life-threatening condition. Although not preventable, it is possible to lead a natural life through a restricted lifestyle.
Here’s what individuals with a slow heartbeat need to know about managing bradycardia symptoms:
- Monitor health vitals to counter sudden dips in blood pressure
- Keep a check on underlying health issues (diabetes, thyroid) that affect the cardiac output
- Do not indulge in substance abuse
- Avoid unwanted stress
- Maintain a record of blood pressure to track wellness
- Follow a healthy routine to prevent unnecessary weight build-up.
Bradycardia is a treatable condition. Patients having slow cardiac rates can lead a long natural life with adequate clinical support and a preventive lifestyle. These eliminate sudden complications, preventing life-threatening situations.
Besides, surgical implantation of a pacemaker provides the heart with additional rhythmic frequency, keeping the patient healthy.
Patients with low cardiac rates should not neglect their health and seek immediate clinical consultation. To avail treatment for bradycardia symptoms, we suggest patients visit their nearest CK Birla Hospital.
We are equipped with state-of-the-art critical and emergency care to treat potential cardiovascular issues. Individuals with unexplained heart rates can get diagnosed under our top cardiologists so book an appointment or consult our leading cardiologist Dr Sanjeeva Kumar Gupta.