The most effective way to prevent bradycardia is to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you already have heart disease, monitor it and follow your treatment plan to lower your risk of bradycardia.
Prevent heart disease
Treat or eliminate risk factors that may lead to heart disease. Take the following steps:
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet. Live a heart-healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a healthy, low-fat diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease.
- Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to correct high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol.
- Don't smoke. If you smoke and can't quit on your own, talk to your doctor about strategies or programs to help you break a smoking habit.
- If you drink, do so in moderation. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. For some conditions, it's recommended that you completely avoid alcohol. Ask your doctor for advice specific to your condition. If you can't control your alcohol use, talk to your doctor about a program to quit drinking and manage other behaviors related to alcohol abuse.
- Don't use recreational drugs. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate program for you if you need help ending recreational drug use.
- Control stress. Avoid unnecessary stress and learn coping techniques to handle normal stress in a healthy way.
- Go to scheduled checkups. Have regular physical exams and report any signs or symptoms to your doctor.
Monitor and treat existing heart disease
If you already have heart disease, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing bradycardia or another heart rhythm disorder:
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- Follow the plan. Be sure you understand your treatment plan, and take all medications as prescribed.
- Report changes immediately. If your symptoms change or get worse or you develop new symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.
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- Bradycardia — Slow heart rate. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Bradycardia-Slow-Heart-Rate_UCM_302016_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 27, 2013.
- What is an electrocardiogram? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg/. Accessed Jan. 13, 2013.
- Hayes DL. Indications for permanent cardiac pacing. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 13, 2014.
- Prevention & treatment of arrhythmia. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Prevention-Treatment-of-Arrhythmia_UCM_002026_Article.jsp. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 5, 2013.
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