What is Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is a condition in which the heart beats too slowly (low heart rate). Normally, the heart beats about 60 to 100 times per minute. In bradycardia, the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute.

A heartbeat is caused by the contraction of the heart muscle. This happens because the sinus node, a nerve node located in the right ventricle of the heart, gives an electrical pulse to the heart muscle.

A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. This frequency of beats ensures that enough oxygen-rich blood reaches the brain. The heart rate is not the same for everyone and depends on factors such as age, fitness and gender. For example, women have a higher resting heart rate than men, with an average of 76 beats per minute. In men, more blood is pumped through the body per heartbeat. However, this distinction makes no difference when we speak of a too low heart rate in women and men, this is always if the heart rate is lower than 60.


Causes of too low heart rate (bradycardia)

There are several causes of bradycardia. Some of these are within the heart itself while others may be outside the heart. Sometimes it is a result of an underlying condition, such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, or a disease of the heart rhythm.

A body temperature that is too low (poor blood circulation), an underactive thyroid gland, increased pressure in the brain and side effects of certain medications are examples of causes that lie outside the heart.


Symptoms of a too low heart rate

People with bradycardia may experience symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. In some cases, bradycardia can be severe and lead to cardiac arrest.

It is recommended to consult a doctor if you have regularly recurring symptoms and if you measure a too low heart rate yourself and you have complaints. A cardiologist can do further tests such as a ECG, an exercise test and an echocardiogram. Medication is usually prescribed and if this does not work, the cardiologist can opt to fit a pacemaker. This imitates the impulses that the sinus node should give. If you do not have pronounced symptoms, treatment is often not necessary.
Early diagnosis and treatment of bradycardia can reduce the risk of complications.

De Rossmax X9 professional upper arm blood pressure monitor has the ability to detect bradycardia. If it is detected, it will display it with a symbol on the screen. If you suffer from bradycardia, it is recommended to measure with this blood pressure monitor.


A dangerously low heart rate

A dangerously low heart rate is a heart rate of less than 50 beats per minute. For example, athletes can experience a lower heart rate without being dangerous, as their heart pumps blood more efficiently and more slowly. Also during sleep, the heart rate will be lower because the body then needs less oxygen. A dangerously low heart rate usually does not occur until signs of disturbed consciousness or heart failure are noticeable. A dangerously low heart rate can be fatal.


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