Bradycardia means that your heart rate is too slow. A heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute is normal for most people. If your heart beats slower than that, it could cause problems. For some people a slow heart rate is normal. Many healthy young people have a slow heart rate. For them, it is a sign of being fit. For others, it could be a sign of damage to the heart’s electrical system. The heart’s natural pacemaker may be faulty or electrical signals may not be getting through. This damage means the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body.
There are several common causes of bradycardia that include:
A natural pacemaker (the sinus node) in the right atrium of the heart controls your heart rhythm. It produces electrical impulses that travel across the atria. The impulses cause them to contract and pump blood to the ventricles. Other signals cause the ventricles to contract and pump blood. The right ventricle sends blood depleted of oxygen to the lungs. The left ventricle sends oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Bradycardia is often caused by a problem with the heart’s sinus node. It may discharge electrical impulses at a slower rate, pause or fail to discharge. Blocking or slowing down of electrical signals can also cause bradycardia.
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