You can reduce your risk of triggering symptoms of bradycardia by making certain lifestyle changes. Cardiac specialists at NYU Langone’s Heart Rhythm Center recommend making heart-healthy choices. These include managing medications that can cause symptoms and receiving treatment for other medical conditions, as well as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol use, and engaging in regular exercise.
Medications that are used to manage other conditions, such as other types of heart rhythm disorders, can cause bradycardia. Your heart specialist works with your other doctors to make necessary changes to your medications—such as lowering doses or switching medications—to help raise your heart rate.
The use of certain narcotics, such as heroin and painkillers, can also cause a low heart rate. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.
Some other conditions can cause bradycardia. These include sleep apnea, an electrolyte imbalance caused by dehydration or extreme dieting, and hypothyroidism, which is also referred to as an underactive thyroid. Your heart specialist works with your other doctors to help manage conditions that can trigger a low heart rate.
Because smoking tobacco can increase your risk of developing heart disease, it can lead to changes in your heart’s rhythm. Experts in our Tobacco Cessation Programs can provide you with techniques to help you quit smoking.
Heavy alcohol use can lower your blood pressure, so your doctor may advise you to drink in moderation. This means no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two for men. If your doctor recommends avoiding alcohol altogether and you have difficulty stopping, he or she can recommend a treatment program in your community.
Taking a brisk 30-minute walk each day can raise your heart rate and positively impact your health. Your doctor can help you determine what type of physical activity is right for you.
Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.