Bradycardia is a type of slow heartbeat, which can be caused by an underlying health condition or could be a hereditary condition. When it occurs, the heart does not pump blood the way it should, resulting in reduced oxygen in the blood. If left untreated, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke could result.
1. Lightheadedness and Fatigue
People with bradycardia usually suffer from bouts of lightheadedness and fatigue. This is because they are not getting enough oxygen to their brains, resulting in dizziness and nausea. If you experience a sudden spell of fatigue and lightheadedness, it could be a sign of the condition.
2. Vaginal Bleeding without Period
Vaginal bleeding without a period is often a sign of bradycardia. This is because the flow of blood to the uterus is significantly reduced, resulting in rectal or vaginal bleeding. It is important that you report these symptoms to your doctor.
3. Decreased Exercise Capacity
Bradycardia can also cause a decreased exercise capacity, as the heart is not able to keep up with the demands of exercise. For example, you may suddenly find that you cannot complete a run in the same amount of time as usual or you may find it difficult to walk up a flight of stairs. This could be a sign of the condition.
4. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is one of the common symptoms of bradycardia. The lack of oxygen-rich blood to the lungs can cause impaired breathing. This may be accompanied by chest pain and wheezing.
5. Palpitations and Chest Pain
Palpitations and chest pain are also common signs of bradycardia. You may experience a rapid or irregular heartbeat, or feel a fluttering in your chest. This could be a sign that your heart rate is dropping.
6. Loss of Consciousness
If your bradycardia is severe, you may experience a complete loss of consciousness. This is because the heart is not pumping enough oxygen to the brain, resulting in fainting or other forms of unconsciousness.
7. Swelling of the Feet and Legs
Swelling of the feet and legs can also be a sign of bradycardia. This is because the heart is not making enough of the hormones necessary to circulate fluid to the extremities.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of bradycardia, it is important to speak to a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the condition and will be able to provide the right treatment.
Health Tips to Manage Bradycardia
Once you have been diagnosed with bradycardia, there are a few things that you should do to manage your condition.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and lean protein, can help your body get the nutrients it needs to keep your heart healthy.
- Stay active: Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease, as well as helping to manage existing conditions.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can increase your risk of developing heart disease, so it is important to quit.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can also increase your risk of developing heart disease, so it is important that you limit your consumption.
- Monitor your blood pressure: Monitoring your blood pressure can help to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible.
Making lifestyle changes is an important part of managing bradycardia and reducing your risk of serious complications. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice and to make sure that you are following the right treatment plan.