Low pulse and BP

Hi all, sorry I am back with another question, not convinced got to the bottom of my issue really, I saw a lung consultant last Monday who after checking said no clot, and put illness down to Costochondritis although my pulse is still low at an average of 50bpm. (Normal when I checked back on phone is between 65 and 75) I still have virtually a permanent headache, feel dizzy, tired and can not concentrate and achy chest pains (on and off) all of which when I googled headaches came up with Bradycardia is this the same as AF?

I am off to see my GP tomorrow as certificate from hospital expires and also really want to get to the bottom of feeling rubbish. When you were at your GPs did you have to suggest ideas as I really would like them to check my heart with a holter to make sure, but I don't like telling a GP what they should do as I think they should know. As I'm in my mid 40s I think they usually go with the "it's nothing" approach.

Please can you help with your experiences on being diagnosed I did have a very quick ECG done in A&E and when I say quick she put the last sticky thing on my foot and then took off the monitors.

Thanks again I am sorry to keep asking.

11 Replies

  • Firstly Bradycardia just means slow hear rate. Nothing to do with AF. Generally this is accepted as anything less than 60 but do understand that people vary . Athletes will have much lower heart rates than most people and the less fit you are possibly higher rates. Normal is considered to be 70 ish maybe 72 and tachycardia (fast heart) rate is above 100. Whilst doing some random monitoring last year I found one elderly ex lifeboat man with a rate of 36 who was perfectly fit and happy.

    I do agree that you need to get to the bottom of this problem whatever the cause. ECGs are usually automated in as much as once they press the button it records a trace so I doubt the nurse "rushed it". I suspect that you need to have some blood tests done to check for other possibilities as it isn't obvious from what you say. Not sure a cardiologist will help as it does sound much more like a virus infection but I'm not medically trained. Do be assertive with your GP and ask what other tests or X rays he can do.

  • Oops - I didn't mean to reply to Bob

  • Thank you, I am sorry to be a pain with the questions.

  • Hello Piano16. No need to apologise - ask away.

    AF is an irregular heartbeat. The heart is off on a wild rhythm that has no pattern. Often it can be very fast as well as irregular but it is the randomness that makes it AF.

    Dizziness can be a blood pressure thing. Have you had your blood pressure checked when you are standing up or has it always been done when you are sitting? You can buy a blood pressure machine in a supermarket really cheaply and take a few readings - lying down, sitting and standing. I know someone whose systolic reading has a drop of about 40 when he is standing rather than lying flat and diastolic goes down about 20 - i.e 130/70 becomes 90/50.

  • I do have a BP machine I bought one a few years ago. I will try your test as I have always thought you should be sitting to have one done. My HR monitor I bought for the gym with my Garmin watch is also good so I guess I could try that too.


  • Most HR monitors are pretty useless if you do have AF although there are some expensive ones which can cope with the irregular rhythm. The easiest way to check for AF is a simple pulse check. Learn to take your own pulse (go to AF Association website and look for "Know your Pulse") If it is chaotic with no real rhythm (and I don't just mean some odd missed beats) then it is likely AF.

    I still think you need to cast the net wider.

  • Thanks for this, have just tried and my pulse is really erratic, to start with once found I thought I moved but I didn't it just stops and then I get 2 beats together then normal then goes again. I will speak to GP tomorrow as it felt like a 2 man job me doing it and trying to watch the time lol.

  • When you see your doctor explain you took your pulse and it felt like this..... then drum the beat out on their desk.

  • It took me a while to get a definitive diagnosis about my heart problem as I have AF with bradycardia. Mine is due to disease within the electrical conduction pathway - identified by a consultant electro physiologist. I have been closely monitored for the last four years and my treatment adjusted according to need. I had lots of investigation including a two week Holter monitor to help achieve a diagnosis.

    I was fine on a heart rate of 45 beats a minute it's when it dropped to 30 I became symptomatic. I am aware that other underlying health issues are likely to impact on how each of us are affected by AF.

    Hope you get some answers soon about what is causing you to feel unwell.

  • Hi, went to GP he's made a referral for a chest strap for 48 hours with the hospital so now await the appointment could be up to 2 qweeks. ECG which was done in A&E looked normal, He wasn't convinced my phone pulse checker was any good even though it seems to read exactly as my heart strap monitor. He checked my pulse in surgery and BP and said it seemed OK. The frustration is that as I'm mid 40s they think I am probably fine. Just wish I felt fine and didn't feel so tired 😪 and a constant headache. Im popping so many paracetamol.

  • Just a shot in the dark Piano, do you feel fuzziest when you wake up....if so you may want to start deep breathing exercises and use a Breathe Right Nasal strip at night occasionally to check the difference.

    Bad habits, anxious or both I understand can result in shallow breathing where you don't take in enough oxygen or expel enough carbon dioxide. The result is broadly as you described. I have a pulse of 55 and it has helped me a lot.

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