Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Last Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Change Language

Atrial Fibrillation - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Atrial fibrillation? What can trigger atrial fibrillation? What are the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation? How to diagnose AFib? How is the condition treated? What is the best exercise for atrial fibrillation? What foods should be avoided with atrial fibrillation?

What is Atrial fibrillation?

Irregular beating of the heart is known as atrial fibrillation. It increases the incidences for heart disease and stroke. Fatigue, weakness and dizziness are all signs of an atrial fibrillation. Treating it requires lifestyle changes and medications and often procedures like ablation, cardioversion, and surgery or pacemaker placement. The heart has an abnormal functioning electrical system in atrial fibrillation. Other problems in health cause wearing out of the heart and makes it difficult for the cardio vascular system to perform at its best.

What can trigger atrial fibrillation?

Some of the triggers which can cause AFib are given below:

  • Fatigue and illness: Some of the most common triggers of AFib are recent surgery, physical illness, and sleep deprivation. If the body of the person is not functioning properly then it means that a person is suffering from stress. This can lead to abnormal activity in the heart.
  • Emotional triggers: The functioning of the body can be affected by the emotions as well. if a person is excited, extremely happy, anxious, or frightened it can make the heart race.
  • Hormones: In women, an AFib can be triggered by the normal fluctuations of the hormones. According to research, there is a strong connection between the Afib and hormonal fluctuations.
  • Medication: If a person is suffering from the condition of AFib then he/she should consult the doctor before taking consuming any over the counter medication. some of the medicines which can trigger AFib are nasal sprays, and cold medications.
  • Alcohol: It is one of the most common triggers of the AFib. If a person is in a habit of drinking then it must be avoided as it can have adverse effects. These symptoms can be experienced by just one drink.

What are the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation?

A person suffering from the condition of AFib may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • The ability of a person to exercise may reduce.
  • A person might experience pain in the chest.
  • There may be shortness of breath.
  • A person might experience dizziness.
  • There may be weakness and fatigue
  • A person might feel lightheadedness.
  • A person might experience palpitations.
  • There may be a sensation of heart racing or irregular heartbeat.

How to diagnose AFib?

To diagnose whether a person is suffering from AFib or not a doctor might review the signs and symptoms being exhibited by the patient. The doctor may also take a look at the medical history of the patient. There are some tests that may be ordered by the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

  • A doctor may ask a patient to undergo an electrocardiogram test (ECG).
  • Echocardiogram: in this test sound waves are sent for the creation of the pictures of the heart.
  • Chest x-ray: An image of the chest x-ray might help the doctor in diagnosing the condition of the lungs and the heart.
  • Stress test: this test may be ordered by the doctor to check the condition of the heart while running or exercising.
  • Blood test: a doctor may order some blood tests to rule out other complications that may have similar symptoms like that of AFib.

How is the condition treated?

Three main treatment types are available:

  • Treatments for slowing the heart rate
  • Treatments aimed at controlling the heart rhythm
  • Treatments for avoiding a stroke

Treatment for Stroke Prevention

Atrial fibrillation can become dangerous when the heartbeat isn’t steady or strong as blood might pool or collect in the atrium. Pooled blood has greater chances of forming clots. Clots can spread via the blood vessels to anywhere in the body, like the brain and lead to a stroke. A doctor can predict the likeliness for you to have a stroke by assessing your health and age. This can be of utmost importance for both your doctor and you to lower the risks.

What is the best exercise for atrial fibrillation?

Best exercise for atrial fibrillation:

If a person is suffering from the condition of AFib then there are chances he/she may tire easily. A person who suffers from the condition of AFib must ensure that he/she stretches the muscles or does some reduced impact walking for a period of 10 minutes so that the heart can adjust to the activity. Once a person is warmed up then exercises like power walking, hiking, or jogging can be a good workout without any stress on the heart.

People suffering from the problem of AFib riding an exercise bike or using a treadmill are also considered safe exercises. People can also look for lifting light weights. For the persons suffering from AFib shorter exercise period of 5 to 10 minutes is good. The time for exercising should be increased gradually until a person reaches the level that is satisfying for him or her.

What foods should be avoided with atrial fibrillation?

There are some foods that may be bad for the heart of the person. Consuming these foods makes a person susceptible to the appearance of the symptoms of AFib. Some of the foods which should be avoided with AFib are given below:

  • Alcohol: There have been studies that reveal that an episode of AFib can be triggered if a person suffering from the condition is diabetes or heart problem consumes alcohol moderately. Heavy drinking is very risky for such people.
  • Caffeine: People suffering from the condition of AFib should avoid caffeine products like soda, coffee, tea, and guarana. A person must be able to limit the intake of the caffeine to a cup of coffee.
  • Fat: Trans fats must be avoided at all costs as these are the most dangerous fats. People should avoid eating fried foods all the time. according to one of the studies a person who eats more polyunsaturated fats is at an increased risk of AFib.
  • Salt: Consuming salt in the right amounts can be very beneficial for the person suffering from the problem of AFib. Avoiding processed and frozen foods is also a good idea as they use a lot of salt in the form of preservatives.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have a trial fibrillation intermittent. Which medicine I have to start amidrone or flecarite which one is safe. Also taking metoprolol 75 mg. telmisartan40 bd. ecosprin75/20. Clopidogrel75 mg. cilnidipine10 mg. Please suggests.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in EP
Cardiologist, Delhi
Ecosprin av and clopidogrel are required after a heart attack. Avoid these medicines unless you have received a coronary stent. Flecainide is quite toxic for people who require blockage medicines. Amiodarone is usually very effective. Amiodarone t...
1 person found this helpful

I have a trial fibrillation attack occur 3 time in 1 years after my angioplasty was done in Nov. 18. Which medicine I have to take as per my doc. I started metoprolol 25 mg, morning. 50 mg at night with other bp medicines. If it's life long disease and I have to take medicine life long.

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
Abnormalities or damage to the heart's structure are the most common cause of atrial fibrillation. Possible causes of atrial fibrillation include: High blood pressure. Heart attack.But we have to look into the details of the problem. Let's have a ...

If I take cordrone100 mg for atrial fibrillation for a long time how much is it safe and if not pls suggest some other medicine for the same which you thing is safe and suggest me some other therapy also to permanently cure this disease.

DNB Cardiology, MD - Medicine, FACC-Fellowship American college of Cardiology, FESC- Fellowship ESC, FSCAI- Fellowship SCAI
Cardiologist, Mohali
Hi, there is no permanent solution to at fibrillation. You have to take medicine. Taking cordrone for long time is also not safe although you r taking less dose. There are so many other safe medicines than cordrone. But for taking those you have t...
1 person found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

Thrombolysis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Bhubaneswar
Thrombolysis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Of It!
Formation of blood clots in the arteries of the lungs, heart or legs can actually kill a person. In such a case, the immediate medical action is necessary and the only way to deal with blood clots is thrombolysis. Thrombolysis or thrombolytic ther...
2867 people found this helpful

Do You Have Atrial Fibrillation - All You Need To Know?

MBBS, Master of Surgery - General Surgery, Magistrar Chirurgiae (Cardio-Thoracic Surgery)
Cardiologist, Faridabad
Do You Have Atrial Fibrillation - All You Need To Know?
Atrial fibrillation is a condition that results in rapid heartbeat leading to heart failure, stroke, and other cardiac complications. In this condition, the upper valves of the heart beat irregularly. Some of the common symptoms of this condition ...
3149 people found this helpful

7 Tips for a Healthy Heart

Diploma In Nutrition & Health Education
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Ahmedabad
7 Tips for a Healthy Heart
If you are concerned about your heart s health, it is important for you to make some dietary modifications. Simple changes in your everyday diet may offer benefits, which help in preventing future heart problems. If you suffer from high blood pres...
4935 people found this helpful

7 Hidden Atrial Fibrillation Dangers

PGD In Ultraasonography, Non Invasive Cardiology Course, MD - Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Narnaul
7 Hidden Atrial Fibrillation Dangers
When you are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or afib, the most common type of irregular heartbeat, putting your heart back in its proper rhythm is only half the goal. Stroke prevention is the other. Both objectives require rethinking certain f...
Content Details
Written By
MD - Internal Medicine,MBBS,DM - Cardiology,Fellow European Society of Cardiology
Play video
Stroke In Women
Hi all, I am Dr. Sahil Kohli, consultant neurologist and stroke specialist in hospital in Gurgaon. I will be talking about stroke and women today. Stroke in women is a very very important topic because one in five females are going to have a strok...
Play video
Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Hello, I am Dr Krishna Prasad cardiothoracic surgeon from Mumbai. I would like to discuss with you all about minimally invasive cardiac surgery. Now recently minimally invasive cardiac surgery is picking up its interest and lot of surgeries can be...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice