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Bradycardia is a condition which in basic terms means slow beating of the heart. In most cases, the typical rate is 60 to 100 beats in a minute when the person is at rest. In case your heart beats less than 60 times in a minute, then it is slower than normal. But a slow heart rate is not always a health concern even though sometimes it could indicate issues with of the heart.
What could bradycardia mean?
Some people with slow heart rate or bradycardia tend to be very fit, and they have no underlying health issues. Athletes and healthy young adults often have a heart rate lower than 60. But in others, bradycardia indicates that the natural pacemaker of the heart is not working well, or the electrical pathways have been disrupted. In severe forms of the problem, the heart may beat so slowly that it fails to pump adequate blood for meeting the needs of the body. This may show some symptoms and could be fatally dangerous.
What are the causes of bradycardia?
There are various causes of bradycardia, and some of them include:
- Alterations in the heart which results from aging
- Health conditions that slow down the electrical impulse through the heart. This may include electrolyte imbalance, low thyroid levels, and others.
- Diseases which may disrupt the electrical system of the heart including heart attack, coronary artery disease, and myocarditis.
- Certain medications that are used for treating heart problems like high blood pressure or hypertension, arrhythmia, and beta-blockers, and digoxin.
What are the symptoms of bradycardia?
When a person has very slow heart rate, he or she may experience lightheadedness or dizziness, feeling short of breath, having difficulties in doing normal activities or exercising, having chest pain, feeling tired and fatigued. In some cases, it is seen that the person may have palpitations, feeling confused, trouble in concentrating and fainting.
What’s worse, some people don’t have any symptoms at all, or their symptoms are so negligible that they think they are caused just because of aging. The best way to understand whether you have this problem is to take the pulse, and in case, it is slow or uneven, you must talk to a doctor.
How is bradycardia diagnosed and treated?
Bradycardia tends to come and go from time to time, and therefore, a standard EKG is not always able to detect it. A standard ambulatory electrocardiogram is used for detecting the condition, and sometimes, blood tests are also necessary.
The treatment of bradycardia is entirely dependent on the cause of the problem and its symptoms. It is worthy of mention here that in case the problem is not causing any symptoms, then they would not be treated under usual circumstances.
Stroke is a condition known to all for its deadly impact. Even if the affected person survives, the after-effects can be immensely debilitating right from affecting movement to speech. Being informed, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Here are the common signs of stroke that you should be aware of:
- Numbing of arms and legs: Many people wake up and find that their arms and legs are numb and they tend to assume that it is due to compression of the nerve. But the actual reality is that the flow of blood through the arteries running up to the spine is reduced, and it has led to weakness or numbness on either side of the body.
- Double vision and blurriness: Vision problems can also be a strong indicator of stroke even though most people think it is due to long hours of work or aging. When you see two images of the same object, it doesn’t have to mean that you are reading too much. It could mean that the blood vessel in charge of supplying oxygen to the eyes has been disrupted or blocked.
- Slurred speech: Some medicines, particular painkillers can cause speech issues. But this is not the case always; if it is not a side effect that you typically experience after taking painkillers, you should consult a healthcare expert without any delay.
- Confusion and trouble over thinking and articulating: When you find yourself in a state where you cannot recall the right word to explain the right thing, you may rest assured that it is an issue stemming from the stroke. If you find yourself to struggle thinking or finding a word very commonly, then you are heading for big trouble.
- Balance problems: Some people have balance issues, and they think it is due to the dose of alcohol, but experts say it is crucial to identify whether this assumption is correct. You will never have delayed balance problems, and therefore, you cannot blame a drink that you had last day. So, if you have balance issues without any identifiable reason, it is advisable to call a doctor.
- A headache that becomes intolerable at times: Headaches can be a sign of a migraine but in case you are not prone to this ailment, then the debilitating headache could indicate a stroke. Migraine headaches can also mean stroke since both of them have similar signs and symptoms.
- Fatigue that won’t let you stay upright: If you are not doing any physically strenuous job but still feel tired most of the time, it could be a warning sign of stroke. If it continues for over a week, it is recommended that you consult an expert immediately.
Equipped with this knowledge, stay aware and pay attention to the indications your body gives to take care of yourself. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.