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What are the effects of a low heart rate?

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Quick Answer

Effects of slow heart rate, or bradycardia, include dizziness, shortness of breath, tiredness and chest palpitations, according to WebMD. People who have slow heart rate may also feel confused or faint.

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Full Answer

Some people who have slow heart rate may not have any symptoms at all, and this may be normal for them, claims WebMD. Other people may experience the symptoms of bradycardia, but they believe they are symptoms of aging. It is recommended that people experiencing these symptoms speak to a doctor. The doctor often takes the patient's pulse and conducts tests such as an electrocardiogram. Individuals should keep in mind that it is not uncommon for bradycardia to come and go, so heart rate may need to get checked more than once.

Treatment for bradycardia depends on the cause, explains WebMD. If the slow heart rate is caused by issues with the heart's electrical system, a pacemaker may be the best treatment method. This often occurs in those over the age of 65. Hypothyroidism may also cause bradycardia. In this case, the slow heart rate is not treated, but the hypothyroidism is treated. It is also possible that medications might cause a slow heart rate. If this is the case, a doctor might suggest the patient change medications or consider a pacemaker.

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