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When your heart rate dips below 60 beats per minute, it’s called Bradycardia (40-60bpm). It is often perfectly fine, especially when you’re catching some Z’s or if you are fit as a fiddle. You don’t need much oxygen and energy during sleep, so your heart does not work as hard.

And if you exercise regularly and care for yourself, having a heart rate under 60 can be a sign that your ticker is in tip-top shape.

What Happens If Heart Rate is Below 60?

If you have bradycardia, it means your heart is beating less than 60 times every minute. Sometimes, if it’s really slow, it can cause problems because your heart might not pump enough oxygen-rich blood around your body. If that’s the case, you might feel dizzy, super tired, or weak and find it hard to catch your breath.

What Is Dangerously Low Heart Rate?

A dangerously low heart rate is when your heart beats too slowly, usually less than 60 beats per minute. This can be a concern because your heart might not be pumping enough blood to your body for proper functioning. If it goes too low, like below 40 beats per minute, it could be a sign of a serious problem and might need medical attention.

What Causes Low Heart Rate?

A low heart rate, or bradycardia, can be due to multiple factors. Sometimes, it’s perfectly normal, like when you are sleeping or physically fit. Other times, it could be due to certain medical conditions or medications.

For example, problems with the heart’s electrical system, such as sick sinus syndrome or heart block, can cause bradycardia. Certain medications, like beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, can also slow heart rate.

Factors such as aging, electrolyte imbalances, thyroid disorders, and infections can also trigger a slow heart rate. If you are concerned about your heart rate, it’s always best to consult a physician or cardiologist.

Bradycardia Symptoms

Bradycardia, or a slow heart rate, can sometimes show itself through symptoms like:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Discomfort

It is possible that some individuals might not show any symptoms at all. Therefore, it is always recommended to seek advice from a medical professional.

Can a Slow Heart Rate Be Fixed?

The treatment for bradycardia heavily depends on the causes behind it. Following are some treatment options:

  • If your slow heart rate is due to hypothyroidism, treating the thyroid condition could help bring your heart rate back to normal.
  • If you are physically fit and your heart rate is slow, you might not need any treatment.
  • Sometimes, if a medication is causing your bradycardia, stopping that medicine might be necessary.
  • In certain cases, you might require a pacemaker or another treatment to help regulate your heart rate.

Key Takeaway

Remember, a heart rate under 60 is normal only if you are healthy or sitting idly. Having it while you are working or performing your routine tasks is abnormal. It indicates that your body is not getting the required amount of oxygen.

Visit Dr. Philip L Berman at Memorial Cardiology Associates. Our Cardiologist’s clinical interests include arrhythmia management to diagnose and treat your heart rate accordingly. Dial (713) 464-6006 to schedule a consultation.

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