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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Dear Shar 2020:
Thank you for contacting us and seeking information.

First, some information about bradycardia, an abnormally slow heart rate. In adults, it's defined as a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. Different types of bradycardia include (collectively referred to as “bradyarrhythmias”) :

* Sinus bradycardia—an unusually slow heartbeat due to heart disease, a reaction to medication, or normal causes (such as excellent fitness or deep relaxation)
* Sick sinus syndrome—an unusually slow heartbeat due to a malfunction of the heart’s natural pacemaker (sinoatrial node)
* Heart block (atrioventricular block or AV block)—an unusually slow heartbeat due to a slowing or blocking of electrical impulses in the heart’s conduction system

Bradycardia may be caused by:

* Normal responses to:
o Deep relaxation
o Being in excellent physical shape
* The heart’s natural pacemaker developing an abnormal rate or rhythm
* The normal electrical conduction pathway being interrupted
* Another part of the heart taking over as pacemaker

Bradycardia may cause symptoms such as fatigue, poor exercise tolerance, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. Rarely, profound bradycardia may lead to death.

There are many factors which would determine whether you need to be placed on work or activity restrictions, and your physician should be able to provide information to you about this based on your overall health and your treatment plan.
You may want to first seek a clarification from your current cardiologist. You may also want to consider getting a second opinion. If you have a health plan it should list other cardiologists on the plan. If you don't have a health insurance plan, your local hospitals should be able to provide information about area cardiologists.

In the meantime, here are some resources that can help you learn more about cardiac conditions and care:

American Heart Association

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health


Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Please let us know what you're able to learn as it could also help others. Best wishes to you in learning how to manage this condition.

Take good care,

October 12, 2009 - 6:32pm


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