Q: I have a very slow heart rate from 60+years of jogging. Lately, I’ve started to get an irregular heart beat. My doctor says the only cure is to get a pacemaker. Is there any other less drastic way to correct?
A: A heartbeat so slow that irregular heartbeats occur can be life threatening. Treatment is often a pacemaker. Although some irregular heartbeats can be controlled with drugs, it sounds like you have a problem, such as complete heart block, where a pacemaker is indicated. You should ask your doctor what is causing your irregular beats and discuss further why a pacemaker is needed.