Expert Guidance From Louise O’Connor - The Thyroid Naturopath { Discover More! }

What Is Bradycardia? Why Is A Slow Heart Rate Associated With Hypothyroidism?

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what is bradycardia?Bradycardia is the medical term to describe a slow heart rate. It is defined as a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute or less.

For most people a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute while at rest is considered normal.

If the heart rate drops below 60 beats per minute it places far greater strain on the heart as it struggles to pump blood efficiently around the body. This impaired blood flow also reduces delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients to the different organs and tissues of the body.

What Causes Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is caused by changes to the normal electrical impulses controlling the heart rate. A problem with the heart’s electrical network is a common finding in individuals with hypothyroidism.

The reason?

The thyroid hormones target the heart to keep it working in tip-top shape. For example, the thyroid hormones regulate your heart rate, the force of each heartbeat and help maintain the physical strength of your heart by supporting ongoing tissue repair and growth.

As a consequence, low thyroid hormone activity within the heart has dramatic effects on heart function. Two key symptoms indicating a heart/thyroid problem is low blood pressure and a slower than normal pulse rate.


Healthwise staff. American College of Cardiology. CardioSmart. Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate). November 21, 2011. Link

Mayo Clinic Staff. Diseases and Conditions: Bradycardia. Link

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  1. Nell Davis says:

    Hi, Louise

    Is there anything I can do to change this bradycardia?

    Thank you,

  2. Louise O'Connor says:

    The thyroid hormones, especially T3 fire up heart function. It is therefore very important to make sure you are getting healthy conversion of T4 to T3. Ideally you want to see free T3 above 4.5 pmol/L on your thyroid blood test results. When T3 is lower than this you will experience a slower than normal heart rate, low blood pressure and many other symptoms of an underactive thyroid. It is also important to check reverse T3. When reverse T3 is abnormally high it can cause your heart to slow down. I have a new blog post that explains what causes high reverse T3: If you are in Australia please check out the thyroid health product I developed. It is helping people improve T3 levels.

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