Causes And Risk Factors Of A Low Pulse Rate
Here are some conditions that can cause a low pulse rate:
Sick sinus syndrome
This syndrome is also known as sinus node dysfunction and primarily affects the sinoatrial node, which is the area in the top of the heart where the heartbeat impulse originates. The condition is more common in older people.
With this condition, your pulse rate will abnormally slow down and cause lightheadedness and dizziness because there is not enough blood and oxygen circulating to meet your bodys needs.
Low heart pulse rate can be caused if the heart’s signals don’t move correctly from the atria to the ventricles . If this happens, the condition is called an atrioventricular block.
There are different versions of this condition, which can be detected by an EKG tracing or further cardiac testing to help pinpoint the area of dysfunction.
In some cases, a permanent pacemaker may be needed if no reversible cause is found.
Some metabolic issues can result in a lower heart pulse rate. The most common is hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland fails to release enough hormones. The condition can affect the health of blood vessels and the metabolism level, consequently slowing down the heart pulse rate.
About 5% of Americans have hypothyroidism,¹ making it very common among otherwise healthy individuals.
Other metabolic conditions that can lead to low heart rate include:
When Should I Go To The Er For A Low Heart Rate
Low heart rate can be a serious problem, especially if the heart rate is very low and cannot pump oxygen-rich blood to vital organs.
Bradycardia may be caused by various issues such as inflammation of heart tissue , aging, underactive thyroid gland , an imbalance of chemicals in the blood, inflammatory disease, and certain medications.
Be on the lookout for the following symptoms associated with a lowered heart rate:
Passing out or feeling like you will pass out
How Is Bradycardia Diagnosed
When you see your doctor, they will measure your heart rate. Your heart rate might have returned to normal, so its a good idea to keep a record of when you experience bradycardia or related symptoms.
Your doctor will also need to work out the cause of your bradycardia. They will ask about your symptoms and your medical and family health history, and will examine you. Tests, such as an electrocardiogram, or ECG, might be done to check your heart. Depending on what is found, you might need further tests such as a stress test.
Also Check: Blood Sugar 30 Minutes After Eating
Whats The Relationship Between High Blood Pressure And Low Pulse
To consider how your pulse and blood pressure can affect each other, think of your pulse as an electrical system and your blood pressure as plumbing.
Your pulse is mostly controlled by electrical impulses. These impulses travel through your heart, telling the chambers to beat in even time. Exercise, stress, fear, and other factors can speed up your pulse. Being sedentary can slow it down.
This electrical system stimulates the pumping motion that propels your hearts plumbing system. When the pipes, or blood vessels, arent blocked, blood easily flows through them.
If your blood vessels are narrow or have some kind of obstruction, your heart has to either squeeze harder or beat faster to pump blood. This results in high blood pressure.
When your blood pressure and pulse are out of balance, it strains your heart. You might also experience a range of symptoms, including:
Several things can cause a combination of high blood pressure and low pulse.
Secondary High Blood Pressure
Some cases of high blood pressure are the result of underlying factors or cause and this is known as secondary high blood pressure.
Underlying factors include:
- kidney conditions, such as a kidney infection, or kidney disease
- narrowing of the arteries
- hormonal conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome
- conditions that affect the bodys tissue, such as lupus
- medication, such as the oral contraceptive pill, or the type of painkillers that are known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen
- recreational drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines and crystal meth
Occasionally, a rise in blood pressure can result from taking herbal remedies, such as herbal supplements.
Read Also: 140 Over 82 Blood Pressure
Facts About High Blood Pressure
There’s a good reason why every doctor’s appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
Treatment For Low Blood Pressure And High Pulse Rate
Treatment will depend on your underlying cause, with most requiring their own unique form of therapy. For example, neurally mediated hypotension is often treated with a combination of blood pressure medication and increased salt and water intake. However, this will not cure the condition, but rather help you manage it. Treatment for NMH will require persistence, commitment, and willingness to try several other drug and therapy combinations to help control the problem. Drugs known for improving NMH include fludrocortisone , beta-blockers , disopyramide , fluoxetine , sertraline , ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, theophylline, methylphenidate , and midodrine.
If your condition is benign and not due to any serious underlying problem, the following changes to your lifestyle may provide some help with low blood pressure.
Therapies employed to remedy cases of low blood pressure and high heart rate often do not cure the problem and should be managed with the guidance of an experienced physician. If you were to suddenly stop any prescribed treatment plans, symptoms may return or even worsen. It is important to recognize situations that may lead to symptom exacerbation and to avoid triggers. However, many of the conditions leading to low blood pressure and high pulse rate have not been extensively studied, with more research being required.
Don’t Miss: Does Donating Plasma Clean Your Blood
Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
|SYSTOLIC mm Hg||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 1||130 139|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:
Symptoms Of Atrial Fibrillation
In atrial fibrillation, the heart rate is irregular and can sometimes be very fast. In some cases, it can be considerably higher than 100 beats a minute.
You may be aware of noticeable heart palpitations, where your heart feels like it’s pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for a few seconds or, in some cases, a few minutes.
Sometimes atrial fibrillation does not cause any symptoms and a person who has it is completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular.
Recommended Reading: What Size Needle Is Used For Blood Donation
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure In Minutes
Taking deep breaths is the best way to see immediate changes if your blood pressure is high. By lowering your blood pressure within minutes, you will slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure, which will help you sleep better. The release of hormones that cause your blood vessels to dilate is a sign of stress.
Read Also: Does Tylenol Increase Heart Rate
Measuring Your Heart Rate
To avoid complications that arise due to low heart rate, you could regularly check your pulse rate on your own without having to visit a healthcare practitioner.
If you want to measure your heart rate accurately, you should measure the pulse when sitting or lying down. You should also ensure that you are completely calm and relaxed to avoid incorrect readings.
You can get your pulse reading from different body locations, most commonly at your wrist and the side of the neck .
When taking your heart rate, use two fingers to trace the pulse. Since it has a pulse of its own, do not use your thumb as it’s likely to cause inaccurate results. Once you locate the pulse, press very gently and carefully count the number of beats you feel for 60 seconds.
You could set a stopwatch or use your phone to get a more accurate time count. If the heartbeat count is below 60 beats per minute, you have bradycardia.
It is important to note that children and young people have a faster heart rate than adults. The average pulse rate for a baby is about 140 beats per minute, whereas teenagers and older children should have a standard resting heart rate of about 70 beats per minute.
Recommended Reading: Recipes For High Blood Pressure
You Shouldn’t Ignore White Coat Hypertension
Some people experience white coat hypertension, when blood pressure is elevated in the doctor’s office but not in other settings. These patients need to monitor their blood pressure at home or wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that takes your blood pressure every 30 minutes for 24 hours.
While white coat hypertension was formerly considered simple nervousness, recent research suggests otherwise.
A study published in the journal Hypertension found that people with white coat hypertension are at a significantly greater risk for developing sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure. One possible explanation is that people with white coat hypertension have a harder time managing stress and anxiety.
How Much Water Is Required To Drink In A Day
It depends on many factors and according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine sufficient daily fluid intake is
- Nearly 15.5 cups of fluids for men
- Nearly 11.5 cups of fluids for women
These suggestions constitute fluids from beverages, water, and food. Nearly 20% of everyday fluid intake normally comes from diet and the remaining from drinks.
Besides these recommendations one should keep in mind the BMI and also the activity one does give the body the correct amount of water.
You May Like: What Happens If Blood Sugar Gets Too Low While Sleeping
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
When You Measure Matters
True: To measure your resting heart rate and blood pressure, pick a reliable and reproducible time, Dr. Laffin advises. Ideally, check in the morning before medications and occasionally in the evening, around dinner time. Dont take your readings right after exercising unless youre trying to establish a baseline for whats called active blood pressure and heart rate.
During readings, you want to be in a resting position with your legs uncrossed. Many people dont realize that crossing your legs while taking a reading may cause an eight to 10 point increase in systolic blood pressure.
Which measure is more important? This depends on your health, too. For patients with atrial fibrillation, heart rate might be more important to watch, but many other heart diseases depend more on blood pressure. To be safe, measure both.
Almost all automated kits you buy at a store provide blood pressure and pulse on one readout, Dr. Laffin says. Its convenient and knowing both numbers helps better understand how to make lifestyle and medication adjustments.
You May Like: Acid Reflux Heart Fluttering
Don’t Miss: Can I Go To Urgent Care For High Blood Pressure
About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually the systolic number comes before or above the diastolic number. For example, 120/80 means a systolic of 120 and a diastolic of 80.
Recommended Reading: Can Too Much Vitamin D Cause Heart Palpitations
Recommended Reading: What Is Blood Sugar Test Called
How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure
Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.
In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.
Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.
Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.
When To See A Doctor
If you think your pulse is low or your blood pressure is high, see your doctor to find out for sure and to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Seek immediate medical care if your pulse is less than about 50 beats per minute and you are experiencing dizziness, severe fatigue or fainting. You should also see a doctor if your systolic blood pressure is above 180 mm Hg or your diastolic blood pressure is higher than 120 mm Hg.
Also obtain immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms, no matter what your pulse or blood pressure values are:
- Chest or back pain
- Numbness or other changes in sensation
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
You May Like: What Flavor Is Tiger Blood
Treatment Options For High Blood Pressure And Low Heart Rate
You should monitor high blood pressure and low heart rate closely. However, in instances where you feel dizzy and tired, consider talking to your doctor for advice on correcting the condition.
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and look at your medical history record to check if you have other underlying conditions. They will likely order testing, including an EKG tracing of the heart and blood work.
If you experience low heart rates irregularly, you might need to wear an event monitor, which allows your healthcare provider to observe your heart for extended periods without you having to be at the hospital.
There are other diagnostic tests, such as an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart that allows for evaluation of the heart’s structure.
Other tests that give more information about the heart include an exercise stress test and tilt table test. The exercise stress test records the heart rate before, during, and after exercise to look for abnormalities. It also helps assess adequate blood flow through the heart.
The tilt table test helps determine how changes in position can affect the heart rate and blood pressure to help determine the cause of the symptoms.
When it comes to treatment, it will vary from one person to the next and depend on the type, severity, and cause of high blood pressure and low heart rate. In some cases, your current medication may be contributing to your low heart rate.
Medication Might Bring It On
Cold and flu medicines with decongestants are one of several classes of medication that can raise blood pressure. Others include NSAID pain relievers, steroids, diet pills, birth control pills, and some antidepressants. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if any drugs or supplements you’re taking could affect your readings.
Read Also: Does Uti Cause Blood In Urine
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is usually defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above.
The line between normal and raised blood pressure is not fixed and depends on your individual circumstances. However, most doctors agree that the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person is around 120/80mmHg.
A normal blood pressure reading is classed as less than 130/80mmHg.