Since September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, we thought it would be a great idea to discuss atrial fibrillation and how this condition can be treated and prevented. So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about atrial fibrillation.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial Fibrillation occurs when you have an irregular rapid heart rate. Since it can significantly raise your risk for heart-related complications like stroke and heart failure, it’s a serious condition that needs to be treated right away. If you are living with atrial fibrillation, two of your heart’s upper chambers beat irregularly and are unable to coordinate properly with the two lower chambers.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Unfortunately, you may have atrial fibrillation but have no idea because symptoms are not always apparent. If you do have symptoms, however, they will likely be palpitations or irregular heartbeat sensations, weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness, and dizziness. While this condition can be occasional, it can also be persistent or permanent.
Causes of Atrial Fibrillation
The most common causes of atrial fibrillation are heart structure abnormalities. These may include heart attack, abnormal heart valves, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, lung disease, and overactive thyroid glands. You are at a greater risk for developing this condition if you are older, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, are obese, or have a family history of it.
Treating Atrial Fibrillation
The way your atrial fibrillation is treated will depend on the cause of your condition, how your symptoms affect your daily life, and how long you’ve had it. Ideally, atrial fibrillation is treated through a procedure known as cardioversion, which focuses on resetting your heart to its regular rhythm. Medications such as digoxin, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers may also be prescribed to control how fast your heartbeats.
Preventing Atrial Fibrillation
Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent atrial fibrillation and achieve optimal heart health. Stick to a heart-healthy diet full of leafy green veggies, whole grains, nuts, fatty fish, and lean protein. Also, get into the habit of exercising regularly and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. In addition, keep your stress levels in control as excessive stress can lead to heart rhythm problems.
For More Information
If you have further questions on atrial fibrillation or would like more information on this condition, call (941) 629-2111 to schedule an appointment with PULSE: The Heart, Valve, and Vascular Institute. Dr. Farhan Majeed provides comprehensive and state-of-the-art care in the areas cardiac, vascular, and structural heart disease to patients in Port Charlotte, Florida and the greater Charlotte county area.