Medical History and Physical Exam for a Slow Heart Rate
A doctor will ask you questions about your medical history and do a
physical exam to evaluate your symptoms. The information gained from your
medical background and physical exam may provide important clues about your
symptoms. It also can help a doctor recommend specific tests to help diagnose
and treat your condition.
If the doctor thinks you have
bradycardia, he or she may ask:
Carotid artery disease is also called carotid artery stenosis. The term refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries. This narrowing is usually caused by the buildup of fatty substances and cholesterol deposits, called plaque. Carotid artery occlusion refers to complete blockage of the artery. When the carotid arteries are obstructed, you are at an increased risk for a stroke, the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
The medical history and physical exam are needed for a doctor to
find out whether you have a slow heart rate. They are also important to help
discover whether you have any underlying conditions or complications.
Normal findings include the following:
Blood pressure and pulse rate are
Breathing and heart rhythm and rate are
You have no signs of fluid buildup in the body (fluid
buildup is a sign of heart failure).
Abnormal findings that may suggest a problem from a slow heart
when listening to the lungs, which may indicate a backup of blood in the lungs
caused by heart failure.
If the physical exam and medical history strongly suggest a very
slow or irregular heartbeat, you will have more testing.
What To Think About
It is important to provide your doctor with detailed information
about your symptoms, past medical history, and lifestyle. It may help to write
down some of the symptoms you have recently had. Your doctor might ask you to keep a diary of symptoms.
Before your visit, write down all of the medicines you are
currently taking. Also, write down other details about your medical history. Be sure to include nonprescription medicines, including diet supplements
or herbal remedies. Bring the information to your scheduled appointment.