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High Blood Pressure

How to raise a low heart rate

07/30/2007

Question:

I have a pacemaker/defibulator. When my heart rate goes below 65, the pacemaker takes over and paces my heart up to 65. This is both uncomfortable and scarey. My question is: What can I do to raise my heart rate ? Will eating certain foods help ? When my heart rate is low i seem to get more tired. Any answers? Thanking you in advance for your kind reply

Answer:

For most people, the best heart rate is around 60.  Your pacemaker seems to work, but you should not have any symptoms when it takes over.

You can raise your heart rate with certain medications (phenylephrine, hydralazine). but these can cause other problems and are usually not necessary.  If the pacemaker bothers you, you should talk to your cardiologist.  The setting of the pacemaker can be changed to kick in at a lower heart rate.  However, there may be a reason to keep your heart rate above 65.

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Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati