What does it mean to have low blood pressure and a slow heart rate?
Everytime I go the docs, they tell me that I have low blood pressure and a slow heart rate. What does this mean?
We always check blood pressure and heart rate when we see a patient at clinic, and trust me, a low heart rate and low blood pressure is a fairly common incidental finding - especially amongst slim, smallish Asian women.
Your blood pressure is linked to heart rate - because your heart acts as a pump that pumps blood around your body, a slower "pump" will result in a lower heart rate as well.
Doctors consider a heart rate of < 60 beats per minute to be low. The typical heart rate range is from 60 to 100 beats per minute while awake.
If your heart rate is slow, but you don’t have symptoms, there’s no reason to worry.
David Beckham's resting heart rate is probably in the region of 30s - 40s when he was an active athlete - a low heart rate can be completely normal and healthy in a people who exercise heavily.
What are the risks of a low heart rate?
One of the biggest concerns of a low heart rate is a condition called syncope, or fainting.
This means a loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood flow to your brain.
How slow is too low a heart rate?
If your heart rate drops into the 30s, you might not get enough oxygen to your brain, making fainting, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath possible.
Otherwise, even if your heart rate is in the region of 40s - 60s, but you experience any of the following symptoms with your low heart rate, you should have a discussion with your doctor:
- Feeling faint
- Chest discomfort
- Heart palpitations or flutters
There could be other medical causes behind your low heart rate, which may necessitate medical treatment, according to the cause of your low heart rate.
Hope this helps!