Atrial Fibrillation Risk Factors and Treatments
Atrial fibrillation is a condition that affects the heartbeat’s rhythm and rate. When a person has AFIB, the heart beats abnormally. The two upper chambers squeeze too quickly, and the contractions are out of sync. The contractions make the walls fibrillate. Several factors can cause AFIB. The problem can occur if the heart’s electrical system is damaged, but the condition is usually caused by other factors.
Genetics and Other Medical Conditions
The condition is common in senior citizens. Caucasian males are frequently diagnosed with the condition. The condition can also be genetic. People who have coronary heart disease have a higher risk of developing AFIB. Atrial fibrillation can occur during a heart attack. Obesity, viral infections, an overactive thyroid, lung disease and high blood pressure can also cause atrial fibrillation.
Most people who have AFIB experience chest pain. The pain occurs when the heart pumps irregularly. Chronic fatigue is another common symptom. AFIB can increase a person’s risk of having a stroke. The condition can occur without symptoms, but the condition usually causes shortness of breath.
The treatments for AFIB depends on a person’s age, symptoms and medical history. Your doctor might prescribe blood thinners. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart failure, your doctor may treat the condition with an anticoagulant. Warfarin is the most common blood thinner. If you are taking a blood thinner, you should avoid getting cuts and bruises.
Your doctor may prescribe medications that will slow your heart rate. A fast heartbeat can cause fatigue. Your doctor wants your heart to have less than 100 beats per minute. If your heart is constantly racing, your doctor may prescribe calcium channel blockers or beta blockers. When your heart beats slower, your heart muscle will be less strained.
Correct Irregular Heartbeat
You may need an electrical cardioversion. If your doctor recommends this treatment, you will be given anesthesia. While you are sleeping, the doctor will gently shock your heart with paddles or patches. Before performing the procedure, your doctor might want to check for blood clots. If you have any blood clots, you will need to take a blood thinner to eliminate the clots.
If medications and electrical treatments do not correct the problem, your doctor might recommend an ablation. You will be sedated while the surgeon inserts a flexible tube into a blood vessel. The doctor will keep the tube near the area that is misfiring, and he will destroy the damaged tissue with heat or freezing.
People who consume an excess amount of alcohol can develop AFIB. Caffeine and nicotine can also cause the condition. Yoga can be used as a natural treatment for AFIB. According to a recent medical study, people who regularly practiced yoga had a lower heart rate and a better quality of life. The patients also lowered their blood pressure. Overall, a healthy lifestyle can relieve some of the symptoms.