- Bradycardia - when the heart stops
- Conducting system of the heart
Bradycardia - a disorder characterized by a reduced heart rate. Considered normal heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute. If bradycardia it is less than 60 beats per minute.
Bradycardia can be a serious problem if the heart does not supply the body enough oxygen-rich blood. However, some people that the violation does not cause symptoms and serious complications.
What is bradycardia
There is fetal bradycardia - reduced heart rate of the fetus. The lower threshold of a normal fetal heart rate to 6.2 weeks of pregnancy is 100 beats per minute, at a later date - 120 beats. Generally, fetal bradycardia diagnosed if the average heart rate is less than 110 beats per minute. At the same time the fetus can be seen as a sine bradycardia, bradycardia caused by heart block or other types of disorders, which are usually diagnosed in adults.
Heart rate is controlled by a special electrical system that supplies the heart signals that stimulate contractions. If bradycardia movement of these signals for some reason slowed down or completely blocked.
In a healthy human heart rate is on average 60-80 beats per minute. Considered normal heart rate to 100 beats per minute. With such a heart rate can pump during one minute to five liters of blood, saturating it, and therefore the entire body with oxygen. If the heart beats too slowly, the volume of blood that the heart can pump over time, diminish the body gets less oxygen, appear lethargy, shortness of breath, drowsiness, and other very unpleasant symptoms of bradycardia.
Slow heart rate - it is not always a sign of disease
. In the dream of a healthy human heart rate falls to 40-50 beats per minute
. Young people with a very high level of physical fitness resting heart rate may be 30-40 beats per minute, and during exercise or competition of their heart can operate at speeds up to 180 beats per minute, and it is perfectly normal
. At the famous cyclist Miguel Indurain at the peak of his career, the heart rate at rest was reduced to 28 beats per minute
. He won five times in the Tour de France and other prestigious cycling
. However, if a person, for example, climbing stairs, his heart rate is 30-50 beats per minute, it feels weak and tired after a short exercise - these are signs of bradycardia
. Chance of bradycardia especially high in people older than 65 years, but it also occurs in young people and children - especially those who have had heart surgery
Typically, the symptoms of bradycardia related to insufficient supply of tissues of the body with oxygen. The most common symptoms of bradycardia:
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Increased fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the heart
- Confusion and memory problems
The heart rate at rest for some people is the norm - especially for healthy young people and athletes.
The symptoms of bradycardia may be caused by many disorders. If their appearance is very important as soon as possible to make the correct diagnosis and start appropriate treatment. If slow pulse is accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath and pain in the heart
Pain in the heart - always consult a doctor
And they persist for a few minutes, you should immediately seek professional help.
Usually, the cause of bradycardia are the factors that disrupt the heart's electrical system. Among them:
- Heart tissue injury associated with the aging process
- Damage to heart tissue in connection with heart disease or a heart attack
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Congenital disorders associated with the work of the heart (such as congenital heart disease)
- Infection of the tissue of the heart (myocarditis)
- A complication of heart surgery
- Reduced activity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- An imbalance of electrolytes, minerals, necessary for carrying out the electrical impulses in the heart
- Obstructive sleep apnea
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(repetitive violation or total cessation of breathing during sleep)
- Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism or systemic lupus erythematosus
- Hemochromatosis, iron accumulation in organs and tissues
Taking certain medications, including some drugs used to treat other heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure and psychosis.
Schematic diagram of the heart
The heart consists of two chambers - two upper (atria) and two lower (ventricles). The normal rhythm of the heart controls the sinus node, located in the right atrium. It produces electrical impulses, which begins with each heart beat.
Coming out of the sinus node, the electrical impulse passes through the atrium, making them contract and pump blood into the ventricles. Then, an electric pulse falls to a cluster of cells called the
atrioventricular node (AV node). AV node transmits a signal to a specific clusters of cells - bundle branch block, through which it enters the ventricles. When you receive an electrical pulse ventricles; from the right ventricle venous blood (with little or no oxygen) to the lungs, and from the left - oxygen-rich blood into the bloodstream and disperses throughout the body.
Bradycardia occurs when electrical signals are fed too slow, or when the displacement for some reason is blocked.
Problems with the sinus node
Bradycardia often begins with problems in this part of the heart. They may develop because the sinus node:
- It produces electrical pulses slower than necessary
- It generates electrical pulses irregularly
- It generates pulses that are blocked until the atrial contraction
In some patients, the sinus node malfunction may cause alternating periods when the heart is too slow, too fast (tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome).
Antrioventrikulyarnaya heart block
This type of heart block, in which the broken conductivity of pulses from the atria to the ventricles of the heart. There are the following antrioventrikulyarnoy degree heart block:
- Heart block of the first type - the most mild form of the disorder, in which all electrical impulses from the atria reach the ventricles, but it is slower than usual. The initial degree of blockade antriovuntrikulyarnoy rarely causes any symptoms and do not require treatment, if the patient does not have any other problems with the conduction of impulses.
- Heart block second degree. In this disorder, not all pulses reach the ventricles, causing the heart rate decreases, and sometimes pulse becomes uneven.
- Third degree heart block, or complete blockade causes the electric impulses that do not fall into the ventricles, atria tissue and begin to perform the function of a kind of the pacemaker. As a consequence, the atrium is obtained load for which they were not originally designed, and the heart rate slows down significantly.
Bradycardia - Risk Factors
In addition to the main causes of bradycardia, there are several factors that increase the likelihood of developing this disorder:
- Age - the older the patient, the greater the likelihood of developing bradycardia, and the more often you need to undergo a medical examination;
- High blood pressure;
- Elevated cholesterol levels;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Drug use;
- Chronic stress
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