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What are possible treatments for bradycardia that causes symptoms like fainting?

Cardiology Sport Medicine Health & Fitness

My heart rate is low with a range of 45 to 50 per minute. I am not an athlete. I experience symptoms like lightheadedness and fainting spells quite often.

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

DxD has provided you with an excellent answer and from my perspective, if you are symptomatic, then you should get your low heart rate looked into. 

When I say symptomatic, I mean lightheadedness, feinting episodes, chest pain, breathlessness etc.  It suggests that perhaps your cardiac output is not sufficient to meet the your physiological demands and hence your symptoms.  

In addition to the causes DxD have mentioned, slow heart rate can be due to an increase in vagal tone (the nerve that slows down the heart rate), a lack of sympathetic response (the system that increases the heart rate) or an intrinsic issue with the heart muscle.

Seeing a physician or a GP in the first instance is a good step.  They can assess you clinically and perform some baseline investigations before referring onwards if necessary.

I hope this helps.

BW
Dr Dinesh

0 121 views 13 Jan 2019

A heart rate of below 60, even when you are awake is considered to be low. This is called "bradycardia" in medical terms.  

If you have bradycardia, but not other symptoms, you may not need any treatment. Healthy young people in good physical condition will frequently have resting heart rates in the 40s or 50s. 

However, as you have experienced symptoms like fainting and light headedness, you should discuss treatment options with your doctor.

Your doctor may decide that further treatment is not required, and give you advice on lifestyle changes (drinking more water, not getting up from a lying/sitting position too quickly to avoid fainting).

However, treatment may be necessary depending on other possible cause of your bradycardia.

1. Bradycardia often is caused by problems with the sinoatrial (SA) node.

The sinoatrial node is a "control centre" in your heart that affects how fast or slow your heart beats.

It does this by sending out electrical signals. If it's not working properly, your heart rate can be affected.

In some instances, a pacemaker may be necessary to maintain and restore the heart rate. 

2. Another common cause of bradycardia is thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid can also cause a low heart rate.

Treating an underactive thyroid with medication may help correct bradycardia.

Hope this helps!

0 132 views 13 Jan 2019
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