Anxiety can cause bradycardia


Released from visomatCategory (s): Cardiovascular knowledge

What does bradycardia mean?

The normal resting heart rate for an adult is around 60-80 bpm. Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) is an abnormal heart rhythm. The heartbeat is then clearly too slow: below 60. The body may be insufficiently supplied with blood and oxygen. Dizziness, exhaustion, shortness of breath and even fainting can result.

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Bradycardia forms

This cardiac arrhythmia can manifest itself in a harmless and dangerous form. If a too low pulse occurs during sleep or in healthy athletes, it is usually a harmless form, because the heart muscle is often enlarged in those who exercise. However, there can also be illnesses behind it, if a slow heartbeat occurs apparently for no reason. It should then be checked whether treatment is required. In bradycardiac atrial fibrillation, the movements of the atria in the heart are transmitted too slowly to the ventricles. It can happen that the atria and ventricles work independently of each other: the atria are in atrial fibrillation, while the ventricles work in their own slow cycle.

Bradycardia and tachycardia

While the heart rate is slower in bradycardia, an excessively high resting heart rate of over 100 beats / minute is called tachycardia. Both forms are forms of cardiac arrhythmia and can be life-threatening. In bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome, there is an unexpected change from slow to fast heart rate.

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How does bradycardia develop?

Bradycardia can occur due to an existing heart disease, from medication, while sleeping or, in exercising athletes, from slowing the heartbeat. In our sinus node, the so-called clock generator of our heart, the electrical impulses for the heartbeat are generated. In bradycardia, too few impulses are generated, their transmission into the ventricles of the heart is prevented or otherwise Arrhythmia prevent a faster pulse.

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Bradycardia causes

A slow heart rhythm can have several causes. These can be in the heart as well as outside the heart. A malfunction of the heart rate generator is called sinus bradycardia. There may also be a conduction disorder, in which case the connection between the sinus node and the AV node is disrupted.

Causes of bradycardia from heart disease:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Disorders of the sinus node function (e.g. due to sinus node or bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome, chronotropic incompetence)
  • Disturbances of the conduction system
  • Heart attack
  • Inflammation in the heart
  • CRT device (e.g., implanted pacemakers or defibrillators)

Bradycardia causes outside the heart:

  • Carotid sinus syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Electrolyte disorders
  • Drug or excessive alcohol use
  • Drug overdose

Bradycardia consequences

A slow heart rate is not necessarily a problem. Often it can be counteracted with home remedies or medication. It becomes problematic when it suddenly appears in everyday life, especially with increasing age, as the brain can be undersupplied. Surgical insertion of a pacemaker can be a last resort.

What to do with bradycardia

To prevent bradycardia, adverse factors should be avoided:

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • drug consumption
  • Smoke
  • Unhealthy and unbalanced diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Bradycardia symptoms

Sometimes symptoms are not visible. Even competitive athletes usually do not feel that their heart rate is lower during rest breaks than that of untrained people. Typical symptoms that may indicate bradycardia:

  • fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness, leading to loss of consciousness or fainting
  • Bluish skin sensitive to cold
  • Visual disturbances
  • Anxiety and nervousness

Bradycardia diagnosis

Many arrhythmias are harmless and therefore do not require treatment. However, it is important to have this examined by a doctor to find out whether and in what form therapy is necessary. When talking to a doctor, it is important to name all medications (including herbal ones) that are being taken and any existing diseases. It is also helpful to keep a record of when and under what circumstances the arrhythmia occurs.

Measure your electronic pulse with a blood pressure monitor

Regular blood pressure and to measure ones pulse irregular, high or low pulses can be detected. All fully automatic visomat blood pressure monitors can recognize irregular pulses or cardiac arrhythmias and show them with an optical signal on the display. visomat double comfort and visomat handy express also recognize Atrial fibrillation.

If you suspect a heart rhythm disturbance, your doctor can carry out various tests.

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound scan of the heart
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Tilt table examination
  • Electrophysiological examination (EPU)
  • Implantable heart monitor

The ECG is the most important means of diagnosing bradycardia. In addition to the normal ECG, a 24-hour long-term ECG is usually performed to determine how the heart behaves during the day. An exercise ECG can also be used. While the patient is exerting himself physically on a bicycle or treadmill, disturbances that are caused under great stress can be recognized.

Bradycardia treatment

Bradycardia does not always need treatment. If there is no organic damage to the heart, there are some home remedies that can stimulate blood circulation and increase the pulse, such as: B.

  • Consumption of coffee or tea
  • Regular exercise
  • Alternating showers

Therapy is usually necessary when symptoms occur and the heartbeat drops below 40. Treatment consists primarily of eliminating the underlying disease, after which the following options may be considered, depending on the cause:

If slow cardiac arrhythmias occur, it can be helpful to reduce or discontinue drugs such as digitalis preparations, beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. With a temporarily slow heartbeat, preparations such as sympathicomimetic, anticholinergic, or butylscopolamine can accelerate the heart rate.

If treatment is required, a pacemaker is usually implanted. This surgical procedure can be carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis. One, two, or three electrodes are attached to the heart. The pacemaker can monitor the pulse and give impulses if necessary.

Pacemaker device

When is bradycardia dangerous?

A slow heart rate due to exercise is usually not viewed as a disease, but rather as a side effect of regular exercise. Bradycardia caused by heart disease can often be treated well with a pacemaker. However, if a heart rhythm that is permanently too slow is not treated, this can become questionable and lead to cardiac insufficiency or other organ damage.

There is an increased risk of developing bradycardia

  • An age over 65 years
  • Existing heart diseases (e.g. coronary heart disease, heart failure)
  • Certain medication intake
  • Previous heart surgery