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Last Updated: Nov 13, 2019
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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 am suffering from sinus bradycardia and I have pain on left side chest since 15 days I am doing running for past 10 years. What should I do? please tell me.

MD, DM - Cardiology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology
Cardiologist, Surat
If you are an athlete it is very natural for you to have slow heart rate. You must undergo exercise stress test /treadmill test for diagnosis of your chest pain.
4 people found this helpful

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