12 things in your home that Lead to Heart Disease
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What Causes a Low Heart Rate?

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Low Heart Rate

The heart is not just the center of our emotional life; it’s also the hardworking muscle that dictates the pace and rhythm of our physical existence. While an elevated heart rate often garners attention, a consistently low heart rate below 60 beats per minute, termed bradycardia, is equally significant and may hint at underlying health issues.

The heart’s natural cadence changes to meet the body’s demands. But when that rhythm continuously slows, it beckons a closer examination. Many factors, from daily lifestyle choices to more subtle environmental exposures, can influence our heart’s pace. Dive with us into nine pivotal causes behind a reduced heart rate and their implications for overall health.

1. Advanced Age

It’s no secret: As the years roll by, our bodies undergo countless transformations. One of the subtler shifts might be nestled within our chest—our heart rate. 

Much like how skin loses elasticity or eyesight blurs, the heart’s electrical system can change with age, leading to a natural decrease in heart rate. Recognizing this physiological evolution can be the first step in discerning if there’s an actual concern.

2. Athletic Conditioning 

Paradoxically, being in exceptional physical shape can also be a reason for a lower heart rate. Athletes, especially those in endurance sports, often showcase heart rates that would raise eyebrows in the average person. Why? Their finely tuned and efficient hearts can pump more blood with fewer beats. It’s like the relaxed pace of a seasoned marathoner compared to a sprinter’s frantic dash.

3. Medications 

In the age of pharmaceutical breakthroughs, many have found solace in pills and prescriptions. Yet, these wonder drugs often come with strings attached. 

Beta-blockers, commonly prescribed for high blood pressure or heart conditions, can intentionally slow the heart rate. Others, like certain calcium channel blockers and antiarrhythmics, can have a similar effect. In fact, these drugs sometimes send the heart rate plummeting to dangerously low rates. 

Individuals dealing with slow heart rates should consider any pharmaceutical medications they may be taking, including antidepressants, narcotics, and cardiac drugs. 

4. Thyroid  Abnormality

One often overlooked factor contributing to a low heart rate is the condition of our thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in our neck that releases hormones. These hormones directly influence many bodily functions. An underperforming thyroid, or hypothyroidism, slows various bodily functions, including the heart. 

While conventional thyroid tests are a starting point, they don’t always paint the complete picture. These standard tests often only measure a few thyroid markers, potentially missing subtle imbalances that could hint at the beginning stages of dysfunction.

A comprehensive thyroid panel is a more insightful approach for those concerned about their thyroid health and its potential impact on heart rate. Unlike standard screenings, these panels delve deeper, examining a range of markers to provide a holistic view of thyroid function. NHD offers such testing through our advanced cardiac panel, ensuring individuals receive the most thorough assessment. 

5. Dietary and Lifestyle Choices

Our ancestors relied on a rhythmic daily life, rising with the sun and consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods. Today, our habits have drastically changed, sometimes at the heart’s expense. Consuming processed foods high in unhealthy fats and sugars can overburden the heart. While an initial response might be an increased heart rate, chronic exposure can exhaust the heart, decreasing the rate.

Moreover, excessive alcohol consumption, while initially raising the heart rate, can depress the central nervous system over time, slowing down the heart. A sedentary lifestyle further compounds this, with the heart lacking regular stimulation to maintain an optimal beat.

The heart, in its wisdom, responds to our choices. Prioritizing nutrient-rich and organic diets, moderate exercise, and quality sleep can be the difference between a sluggish and a lively heart rhythm.

6. Imbalance in the Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) governs our body’s instinctual responses. It is split into two parts: the sympathetic, which kicks in during stress (“fight or flight”), and the parasympathetic, which helps us relax (“rest and digest”). 

These two systems should work harmoniously, helping our body react appropriately to its surroundings. However, when this balance is disrupted, issues arise. 

Chronic stress or lingering trauma can cause the parasympathetic system to over-engage. Initially, this will present as a fast heart rate, or tachycardia. However, over time, the heart may get tired and begin to slow its pace. 

The heart is, in essence, a reflection of this balance. The heart responds in kind when the nervous system’s communication lines falter. Biofeedback, deep breathing exercises, and chiropractic care can be beneficial in restoring this critical equilibrium.

7. Mold Exposure 

We are surrounded by a silent army of toxins, from the air we breathe to some homes’ walls. Among these threats is mold, an unassuming yet potent factor in heart health.

Mold thrives in damp, poorly ventilated areas, releasing spores and mycotoxins. While respiratory issues are a well-documented response to mold exposure, there’s growing concern about its impact on the heart. Specifically, certain mycotoxins may compromise mitochondrial function – the cellular powerhouses vital for energy production, including the heart’s regular rhythm.

Moreover, exposure to mycotoxins has been linked to inflammation, oxidative stress, and even electrolyte imbalances, all of which can alter heart function and lead to a slowed heartbeat.

Combating mold is a multi-pronged approach: thorough mold testing and eradication in one’s living environment, coupled with detoxification strategies under a healthcare professional’s guidance. NHD is highly skilled at helping individuals heal from mold-related health concerns. 

8. Environmental Toxin Exposure

While mold is a significant environmental toxin, it isn’t the only one. Everyday exposures, from vehicular emissions to chemical-laden products, can accumulate in our systems. Prolonged exposure can disturb our body’s natural rhythms, impacting hormonal balance, cellular functions, and, yes, the heart’s pacing.

Heavy metals are particularly concerning. Even at low levels, they can interfere with heart cell function and the electrical signals directing each heartbeat. Similarly, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) – residues from pesticides, industrial chemicals, and more – can accumulate in our bodies, potentially impacting cardiac health.

The message is clear: In an age where invisible threats linger, proactive measures like regular detoxification, choosing organic products, drinking pure water, and ensuring clean air become not just preferable but essential.

Next Steps 

A low heart rate, while sometimes indicative of optimal athletic conditioning, can also indicate that the body is signaling an imbalance or potential concern. Multiple factors come into play, from the foods we consume to the environment we inhabit.

For those concerned about their heart’s rhythm, seeking expert advice is paramount. Natural Heart Doctor is primed to assist, offering a wealth of knowledge to ensure every heart finds its perfect beat. Consider a free 20-minute consultation with one of our expert health coaches.

Whether you’re an athlete or simply aiming for optimal health, understanding the nuances of what affects heart rate can set the pace for a life in rhythm.

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

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Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.