what does an abnormal heart rate indicate

In our previous article we had a look at why it is important for you to measure your heart rate

Here we’ll discuss what happens if your heart rate is not in the normal range. Abnormal heart rates can cause arrhythmia, bradycardia or tachycardia.

Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. It means that your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular pattern. When the heart beats faster than normal, it is called tachycardia. When the heart beats too slowly, it is called bradycardia. The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular and fast heart beat.

Many factors can affect your heart’s rhythm, such as having had a heart attack, smoking, congenital heart defects, and stress. Some substances or medicines may also cause arrhythmias.

Symptoms of arrhythmias include

  • Fast or slow heart beat
  • Skipping beats
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

Your doctor can run tests to find out if you have an arrhythmia. Treatment to restore a normal heart rhythm may include medicines, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker, or sometimes surgery.

What does low heart rate indicate ?

A heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute (BPM) in adults is called bradycardia. What’s too slow for you may depend on your age and physical condition..

  • Physically active adults often have a resting heart rate slower than 60 BPM but it doesn’t cause problems.
  • Your heart rate may fall below 60 BPM during deep sleep.
  • Elderly people are more prone to problems with a slow heart rate.

Causes of bradycardia

  • Problems with the sinoatrial (SA) node, sometimes called the heart’s natural pacemaker
  • Problems in the conduction pathways of the heart (electrical impulses are not conducted from the atria to the ventricles)
  • Metabolic problems such as hypothyroidism
  • Damage to the heart from heart attack or heart disease

Symptoms of bradycardia

A heart rhythm that’s too slow can cause insufficient blood flow to the brain with symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting or near-fainting spells
  • In extreme cases, cardiac arrest may occur.

Complications of bradycardia

Severe, prolonged untreated bradycardia can cause:

  • Heart failure
  • Syncope (loss of consciousness; fainting)
  • Angina pectoris (chest pain)
  • High blood pressure

Tachycardia

A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute (BPM) in adults is called tachycardia. What’s too fast for you may depend on your age and physical condition.

if you are facing this kind of heart rhythms , it is  best to consult physician.

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Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!

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References:
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/arrhythmia.html
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

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