Bradycardia is an arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder) characterized by a slow heartbeat. For most people, a resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute is normal. The exceptions are young people and athletes who naturally have a lower heart rate due to their age and conditioning. But for many people, a heart rate below 60 beats per minute can be a sign that the heart’s natural pacemaker isn’t working properly – or electrical pathways in the heart are being disrupted.
- Slow or irregular heartbeat when your pulse is taken
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Loss of breath, feeling winded
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Confusion or trouble concentrating
- Blood pressure drop
- Changes in the heart due to aging
- Heart disease
- Heart infections such as endocarditis and myocarditis.
- Low thyroid level (hypothyroidism)
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Heart and hypertension medications (beta-blockers, antiarrhythmics, and digoxin)
- Physical exam
- Medical history
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG).
- Holter monitor - a lightweight, wearable device that records your heart rhythm while you go about your daily routine.
- Using a pacemaker if there is damage to hearts electrical system.
- Treating underlying conditions if you have hypothyroidism or electrolyte imbalance
- Adjusting or prescribing a different medication if medicine is causing your heart to beat slowly
Contact us to learn more about our Electrophysiology team that provides patient treatment and physician training for bradycardia and a range of heart rhythm disorders.
UT Erlanger Cardiology
Erlanger Medical Mall
979 East 3rd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403