Heart Rhythm Is Slowing Down

Feeling fatigued? Dizzy sometimes for no apparent reason? Finding it difficult to stay awake or focus without getting lightheaded?

Check your pulse! If it is less than sixty beats per minute, you may be suffering from a slow heart rate, or bradycardia. This can be due to many different factors, some related to heart function, others due to dietary or lifestyle habits. It is important, however, that if you feel faint, or are experiencing lasting chest pains or difficulty in drawing breathe, that you get emergency care at the earliest opportunity.

For some people, a resting heart rate less than sixty beats per minute can be considered normal. Trained athletes and others in peak physical condition frequently have slower resting heart rates than average individuals. It is important to note, though, that they do not exhibit any of the negative side effects normally associated with bradycardia, as their bodies are functioning properly, and sufficient oxygen-rich blood is flowing to necessary organs. Through extensive training, they have shaped their bodies to be stronger, and function properly when resting, even though clinically speaking they have bradycardia.

A heart rate of less than one hundred beats per minute is considered bradycardia in infants. Normally, infants should have a heart rate of between 120 to 160 beats per minute. Researchers are still working to determine the causes; though it is theorized that bradycardia in infants could potentially be caused by yet-underdeveloped centers in the brain that regulate breathing. Also, premature babies are more likely to exhibit bradycardia than those born full-term. In minor cases, rocking the incubator or touching the child lightly is known to remedy the matter. In severe or potentially life-threatening cases, medications containing caffeine or theophylline are used. Premature babies are monitored extensively, and their hearts are no exception.

As we all know, the heart is regulated by electrical impulses. Many factors can modify this, the most common being aging. High blood pressure can also be a reason, or an underactive thyroid gland. Certain congenital defects could be the reason, or an infection of the heart tissue later in life. People who have heart disease or suffered a heart attack could later exhibit bradycardia also. Certain drugs can influence heart rate to a great degree, and if they are abused, severe bradycardia can manifest, resulting in hospitalization in fortunate cases, or death if left untreated.

Summarily, if you have a pain in your chest lasting over a minute, or if you faint or can't seem to catch your breath, call an ambulance immediately. Exercise regularly, eat well, and live life to its fullest!

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