How do you know if its heart rate is normal?|Health Magazine

Different cardiovascular diseases

Heart rhythm disorders may seem disturbing, but they are not always pathological.What is a ""normal"" heart rate?How to react in the event of a heart rate that is too slow, too fast or irregular?

The heart rate is born in a small area a few millimeters in diameter, the sinus knot, located in the right atrium.There, specialized cells are scheduled to send the electrical impulse which will trigger the contraction of the heart.This pace varies throughout the day, depending on the activities.An effort to climb a staircase?He accelerates.It's time to sleep ?He slows down.Everything is automatic and placed under the control of the autonomic nervous system.

The heart rate, that is to say the number of beats per minute, must remain in a range considered normal depending on age and physical activity.However, under the effect of stress, fatigue, even illness, happens that this rhythm is disturbing.

How does heart rate work?

1.The electrical impulse starts from the sinus node, at the top of the right atrium then walks to the left atrium, giving the signal of their contraction.

2.The electric current then crosses the atrioventricular node, at the junction between the earrings and the ventricles, and gives the signal to the ventricles to contract in turn.

This circuit is under the control of the autonomic nervous system, independent of our will.During the day, it is the sympathetic nervous system that dominates: it accelerates heart rate according to physical activity and stress.During the night, the parasympathetic nervous system slows the heart rate.

What is the right heart rate at rest?

The heart of an infant beats very quickly.Its heart rate then slows down, at the rate of its growth and under the effect of physical activity:

Just count the number of beats per minute to obtain its heart rate.There are three ways to take your pulse:

1.By placing three fingers (the index, the middle finger and the annular) along the carotid artery, at the level of the neck.

2.By placing two fingers (the index and the middle finger) on the radial artery, at the wrist level.

3.Using a connected watch that gives heart rate.Some even have an electrocardiogram function.

Cardiac rhythm too slow: when should you worry?

Below 60 beats per minute, the heart is in a bradycardia situation.It is not necessarily pathological.Well -trained athletes, like marathon runners, have a naturally slow heart rate, around 40 beats per minute at rest.

Likewise, it is normal for the heart rate to lower during sleep ... Up to a certain point.""At night, the heart can slow up to 35 beats per minute without problem.But if he takes prolonged breaks of three to four seconds, there is a risk of syncope or even cardiac arrest, ""observes Professor Jacques Mansourati, cardiologist at the Brest University Hospital.

What signs should alert?

A slow heart, associated with shortness of breath even with rest and discomfort, reveals an underlying pathology.

What are the risks ?

""When the flow is too low, the heart no longer ejects enough blood towards the organs.In a few days, respiratory signs can be set up due to heart failure, ""said Professor Mansourati.

What solutions?

To identify the cause of this bradycardia, various examinations are necessary.A holter, worn for 24 hours, will perform a continuous electrocardiogram.

An effort test and cardiac ultrasound are sometimes necessary.The blood test is looking for anomalies such as hypothyroidism or too high potassium levels.

Certain drugs, such as beta -blockers prescribed in case of high blood pressure, can slow the heart rate.The doctor may adjust the treatment if necessary.

As a last resort, the patient can be equipped with a heart stimulator.This pacemaker is inserted under the collarbone, between the skin and the muscle.One or more probes, allowing to drive the electric influx, are introduced into the veins to the heart.

Too fast heart rate: palpitations to monitor

We are talking about tachycardia beyond 100 beats per minute.Stress, anxiety, excessive consumption of exciting such as coffee or even fever access can explain this acceleration of heart rate.If the phenomenon occurs too often, you have to talk to your doctor about it.

Professor Mansourati details the procedure: ""The electrocardiogram will make it possible to verify that the heart rate starts well from the sinus knot and, in this case, it is often benign.But tachycardia can come from different parts of the heart.If it is of ventricular origin, it is more serious.Different examinations will make it possible to know the origin and the frequency.A blood test can reveal hyperthyroidism, anemia or other causes.""

What signs should alert?

Tachycardia gives the impression that the heart is racing.These palpitations are sometimes accompanied by stunning and breathlessness.

What risks?

Sinusal tachycardies, linked to stress, are punctual and benign.But other forms of tachycardia excessively tire the heart.In the extreme, heart failure can be ended which can be serious. Chez une personne dont les artères coronaires sont en mauvais état, ""la tachycardie entraîne une souffrance cardiaque qui peut finir par un infarctus"", avertit le cardiologue.

What solutions?

Dans les cas les plus simples, l’activité physique pratiquée de manière régulière va permettre, selon le Pr Mansourati ""un meilleur contrôle du système nerveux autonome"".The heart rate will resume a normal, more peaceful rhythm. ""Il vaut mieux privilégier les activités d’endurance comme la marche, la course à pied, le vélo ou la natation"", précise le cardiologue.

In some cases, antiarrhythmic treatment is necessary to slow down and stabilize the heart rate.Several types of drugs can be used: beta -blockers, retardant calcium inhibitors, flexible or amiodarone.The latter drug is very effective, but it is also the one that causes the most side effects.

In people whose tachycardia is of ventricular origin, and who are exposed to a risk of sudden death, the solution involves the installation of an implantable defibrillator.A case, placed under the skin, is connected to the heart by a probe.If necessary, the device sends an electric shock to restore a normal heart rate.

Irregular heart rate: think of atrial fibrillation

It happens that heartbeat becomes, an instant space, anarchic.These extrasystoles due to a lack of electrical conduction are, in the majority of cases, without gravity.In the elderly, you have to think about atrial fibrillation. ""On estime que 10 % des plus de 80 ans en sont atteints"", précise le Dr Mansourati.

What signs should alert?

Acceleration can occur suddenly, with irregular beats.Consequences: shortness of breath, discomfort or fatigue.

What risks?

These disorders make the contractions of the earpieces ineffective, which can promote the formation of a clot and cause a stroke (stroke).Blood flow being reduced, there is a risk of heart failure.

What solutions?

If the doctor believes that the symptoms are not worrying, atrial fibrillation requires only a simple surveillance.

The prescription of anticoagulant drugs helps prevent the risk of stroke.But in some cases, it is necessary to remove the defective electrical circuit, at the origin of fibrillation. ""L’ablation peut se faire au moyen d’une sonde de radiofréquence (cautérisation par le chaud) ou d’un ballon de cryothérapie (thérapie par le froid). Les sondes sont introduites par la veine fémorale et remontent jusqu’au cœur"", explique le Pr Mansourati.The intervention is generally done under local anesthesia.Hospitalization is very short, two to three days maximum.This treatment is effective in 70 to 80 % of cases.In the event of a relapse, the procedure is renewed.

A lire aussiAuteur : Sylvie Dellus, Journaliste chef de rubriqueExpert : Pr Jacques Mansourati, chef du département cardiologie du CHU de Brest Article publié leDans le dossier Different cardiovascular diseases

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