However, before you accept that everything is fine, there are some basic questions that need to be asked.
- Do you have any symptoms when your heart rate is slower than usual?
Call your doctor if you have chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness with a slow heartbeat.
- Does your heartbeat feel regular, like a clock ticking?
If the answer is yes, that is very reassuring. If it feels like it is skipping around, you may have a mild arrhythmia. Usually this won't need any special treatment. But you should get an electrocardiogram to identify the type of arrhythmia.
- Are you taking a beta blocker or calcium channel blocker?
These drugs slow the heart rate and a rate of 50 to 59 is fine. Sometimes doctors want the heart rate to stay in that range.
- Do you have more fatigue than usual?
A slow heart rate can be a sign of an under active thyroid (called hypothyroidism). Hypothyroidism in females is quite common. A simple blood test can determine if you have it.
Find out more about this book:Harvard Medical School A Guide to Womens Health: Fifty and Forward