During atrial fibrillation, the heart's upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of sync with the lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. For many people, A-fib may have no symptoms. However, A-fib may cause a fast, pounding heartbeat (palpitations), shortness of breath or weakness.
The exact cause of atrial fibrillation is unknown, but it's more common with age and affects certain groups of people more than others. Atrial fibrillation is common in people with other heart conditions, such as: high blood pressure (hypertension) atherosclerosis.
The most common symptom: a quivering or fluttering heartbeat
Jul 31, 2016
Atrial fibrillation is not usually life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable and often requires treatment. Treatment may involve: medicines to prevent a stroke (people with atrial fibrillation are more at risk of having a stroke) medicines to control the heart rate or rhythm.
Amongst the group of patients aged between 55-74 years, the 10 year mortality was 61.5% in men with AF compared to 30% in men without AF. Amongst women in a similar age group, the 10 year mortality was 57.6% in the AF group versus 20.9% in women without AF.
It's one of the best ways to put a stop to prevent AFib. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts, and seeds. Avoid foods that are salty or high in sugar or saturated fat. Low or zero-fat dairy products and leaner meats such as fish and poultry are better choices.
Fresh fruit provides lots of nutrients; bananas especially may be beneficial in managing afib due to their high potassium levels. Low potassium levels may increase your risk of arrhythmia, so instead of going for the packaged fruit cups with loads of extra sugars, stick to fresh fruit.
A left lateral recumbent position increases the dimensions of the left atrium and the right pulmonary veins and thereby increases local myocardial stress (Wieslander et al., 2019).
Once you've warmed up, try exercises such as power walking, jogging, or hiking to get a good workout without overloading your heart. Riding an exercise bike or using an elliptical machine or treadmill are also safe workouts for people with AFib. Lifting light weights can also be a good workout.
Tackle stress, anxiety and depression to benefit your heart. Stress can contribute to heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) such as atrial fibrillation. Some studies suggest that stress and mental health issues may cause your atrial fibrillation symptoms to worsen.
AFib episodes rarely cause serious problems, but they'll need to get checked out. If they're uncomfortable or their heart is beating rapidly, call 911 or go to an emergency room. Doctors may use medications or a device called a cardioverter to help their heart go back to a normal rhythm.
Yes. Your risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder, increases as you become older. Atrial fibrillation is much more common in older adults. Atrial fibrillation can occur at any age, but when it develops in younger people, it's usually associated with other heart conditions.
You should avoid drinking alcohol if you have an abnormal heart rhythm. One study, performed in Australia, found that AFib patients who did not drink during a 6-month period had fewer AFib episodes. If you're taking blood thinners, alcohol can raise your risk of bleeding.
The AHA notes that an episode of AFib rarely causes death. However, these episodes can contribute to you experiencing other complications, such as stroke and heart failure, that can lead to death.
In general, aspirin is considered to be inferior to other blood thinners for reducing stroke risk in people with nonvalvular AFib and a CHADS–VASc score of 2 or higher. When it comes to bleeding risk, aspirin is also not necessarily safer than some other blood thinners.
People who have prolonged episodes of atrial fibrillation have an increased risk for heart complications and stroke. Guidelines recommend that patients with atrial fibrillation take blood thinners to reduce their stroke risk, Swiryn said.
About one in three people with afib will have a stroke at some time. Those at greatest risk have other risk factors for a stroke, such as other forms of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, or high cholesterol.
If you are a heart patient who is taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin®), you need to be careful not to overdo vitamin K.
Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are the drugs of choice because they provide rapid rate control.