Slow heart rate and tired

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Submitted by Dr T on April 13, 2013 – 9:12am

My heart rate is usually in the 50s, regularly dropping into the 40s. I can usually tell when it does because I feel very tired and headachy. Had a treadmill/echo today and doc said EKG looked “great” and tech said same of echo. While on treadmill, I noticed on the monitor, my heart rate drop 3 times. Is that unusual? Would you recommend an electrophysiologist?

Unless you are an athlete (who sometimes have slow heart rates), your slow heart rate and (possibly consequent) symptoms are abnormal, nor can your EKG look “great”.

If your heart beats too slowly, your brain and body might not get enough blood to function well, leading to any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting (syncope) or near fainting
  • Shortness of breath

Thus, either your heart rate is faster than you measured at home, or your EKG was misinterpreted (unlikely), and your bradycardia needs to be confirmed or denied by your doctor! There is no need to see an electrophysiologist, just someone to interprate your symptoms and findings correctly.

Hope this helps,

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