Why is my heart rate suddenly so slow? Please help?!?

Kitsune Asked: Why is my heart rate suddenly so slow? Please help?!?

I think my heart rate is normally around 70-80 beats per minute, but tonight it slowed down to around 60. I've heard it's normal for athletes or healthy young adults to have slow heart beats, but I'm not really an athlete, and I'm only 16 years old. I'm 5 feet tall, 75 pounds. The only kind of physical activity I do is marching band, which is actually really rigorous. I'm kind of freaked out because I'm also feeling lightheaded and short of breath, although right now I can't tell if it's because of my heart rate or because of a panic attack (I have pretty severe panic disorder).

I tried going to sleep a while ago, but all of a sudden my heart kind of jumped and woke me up again… Not sure if this has anything to do with the slow heart rate, but yeah…

Is this normal? Please help! Thank you!


David Parsons Answered:
You may be thinking too much about this and it might just be scaring you into bad thoughts. But if you are feeling light headed and short of breath, you may have to see the doctor if this condition worsens. I would first be wondering if you ate a normal meal beforehand. Also you could be getting the cold, because the weather is starting to get colder. Slowing heart rate means your blood is being pumped through your body at a lower rate. Could mean you are just simply relaxed or that you haven't had a balanced meal today.
And this sounds normal from my point of view, because your heart rate can't stay at the same rate throughout the whole day you know.

Mads Answered:
Slow heart rate or Bradycardiain the context of adult medicine, is the resting heart rate of under 60 beats per minute, though it is seldom symptomatic until the rate drops below 50 beat/min. It may cause cardiac arrest in some patients, because those with bradycardia may not be pumping enough oxygen to their heart. It sometimes results in fainting, shortness of breath, and if severe enough, death.
Resting bradycardia is often considered normal if the individual has no other symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, chest discomfort, palpitations or shortness of breath associated with it.
The term relative bradycardia is used in explaining a heart rate which although not actually below 60 beats per minute still is considered too slow for the individual's current medical condition.
This cardiac arrhythmia can be underlain by several causes, which are best divided into cardiac and non-cardiac causes. Non-cardiac causes are usually secondary, and can involve drug use or abuse; metabolic or endocrine issues, especially in the thyroid; an electrolyte imbalance; neurologic factors; autonomic reflexes; situational factors such as prolonged bed rest; and autoimmunity. Cardiac causes include acute or chronic ischemic heart disease, vascular heart disease, valvular heart disease, or degenerative primary electrical disease. Ultimately, the causes act by three mechanisms: depressed automaticity of the heart, conduction block, or escape pacemakers and rhythms.

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