- Diseases that damage the heart's electrical system. These include coronary artery disease, heart attack, and infections such as endocarditis and myocarditis.
- Conditions that can slow electrical impulses through the heart. Examples include having a low thyroid level (hypothyroidism) or an electrolyte imbalance, such as too much potassium in the blood.
- Infection of heart tissue (myocarditis).
- A complication of heart surgery.
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
- Imbalance of electrolytes, mineral-related substances necessary for conducting electrical impulses.
- Obstructive sleep apnea, the repeated disruption of breathing during sleep.
- Inflammatory disease, such as rheumatic fever or lupus.
- Hemochromatosis, the buildup of iron in organs.
- Some medicines for treating heart problems or high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers, antiarrhythmics, and digoxin.
- High cholesterol.
- Heavy alcohol use.
- Use of illegal drugs.
- Psychological stress or anxiety.
- Feel short of breath and find it harder to exercise.
- Feel tired.
- Have chest pain or a feeling that your heart is pounding or fluttering (palpitations).
- Feel confused or have trouble concentrating.
- Faint, if a slow heart rate causes a drop in blood pressure.
- Exercise test. Your doctor may monitor your heart rate while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to see whether your heart rate increases appropriately in response to physical activity.
- Electrophysiology (EP) study.
- Insertable loop recorder.
- If another medical problem, such as hypothyroidism or an electrolyte imbalance, is causing a slow heart rate, treating that problem may cure the bradycardia.
- If a medicine is causing your heart to beat too slowly, your doctor may adjust the dose or prescribe a different medicine. If you cannot stop taking that medicine, you may need a pacemaker.
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