Atrial Fibrillation or AFib is a type of heart arrhythmia (an irregularity in the rhythm of the heart), which is caused by a disorder of the heart’s electrical system.
Normally, the heart’s electrical system rhythmically contracts the upper chambers (atria) of the heart in synergy with the lower chambers (ventricles). However, with AFib the heart’s two upper chambers contract rapidly and out of sync with the lower chambers.
Each person’s experience with AFib may differ; some people may have no symptoms, while others may have incidents of:
- Heart palpitations
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
If you are frequently experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment to see your physician. Your doctor will run the following to diagnose atrial fibrillation: electrocardiogram, trans- telephonic monitor, holter monitor or portable event monitor testing.
If symptoms are ignored and AFib goes untreated it can develop into serious health complications such as:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
- Pulmonary embolism
There are many options available to treat or improve the symptoms of AFib. Your doctor may prescribe medications that can help in controlling the heart rate, reducing the risk of stroke and normalizing the rhythm of the heart. He or she may also recommend exercising and eating a healthy diet, as well as several lifestyle changes which can be incorporated into your daily routine.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.