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Question:

My bradycardia is getting worse. What can I do?

Hello, I am a 57 year old female and I started seeing a cardiologist about 1 1/2 years ago when my heart rate dropped to 40s when stressed. It had started dropping to 50s 6 months earlier when carrying things upstairs etc. My pulse has always been high..I am a lifelong smoker..and it has always run 90s and over. I have had hypertension since I was 16 years old. I had preeclampsia. Early menopause at 42. I also have very labile hypertension which is what the cardiologist says is my diagnosis. My problem is that the bradycardia is getting worse. When I try to do much of ANYTHING, pulse drops from 90s to low 50s. It feels like I am not getting enough air even though I am breathing deep and I just get exhausted. He is not concerned but my quality of life is significantly reduced. I was on beta blockers for years but he took me off them a few months ago thinking that was the cause but I am not a bit better. Is there anything that you could do that might help? 

submitted by Cheryl from Gardendale, Texas on 10/7/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Mohammad Saeed, MD    

Mohammad Saeed, MDIt sounds like your heart rate is too slow and doesn't increase appropriately in response to exertion, thus causing shortness of breath with any activity. If this is the case then you may benefit from a pacemaker. Please consult your doctor and ask him specifically about a pacemaker for your problem.

If you still have doubts and your questions are not resolved, consider obtaining a second opinion.

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Updated October 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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