Atrial Fibrillation: Recognize the Signs - Dabbler.com

Atrial Fibrillation: Recognize the Signs

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rate that may increase your risk of developing a heart-related condition. Atrial fibrillation is often a rapid and irregular heartbeat that is due to the atria beating out of synchronization with the ventricles of the heart.

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This can cause heart palpitations, weakness and difficulty breathing. Atrial fibrillation may lead to a variety of health complications which may become serious if left untreated. Keep reading to find out more about atrial fibrillation.

Symptoms

Not all people who have atrial fibrillation will experience symptoms. Some people are completely unaware that they have atrial fibrillation until they have a full physical examination which exposes the condition. Some of the main symptoms that people who have atrial fibrillation experience include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • General fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in chest
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lack of energy

The symptoms of atrial fibrillation may be there all the time or may occur occasionally. There are a few different types of atrial fibrillation including occasional, persistent, long-standing persistent and permanent.

Diagnosis

If you are having any concerns that you may have atrial fibrillation you should make an appointment with your doctor. If your symptoms are sudden and causing chest pain you should visit your local emergency room immediately. A diagnosis will be made using the following tests:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitor
  • Echocardiogram
  • Blood tests
  • Physical examination
  • Stress test
  • Chest X-ray

Causes

The most common cause of atrial fibrillation is damage to the heart’s structure. This may be due to heart problems or abnormalities. The abnormalities may be from birth or after a trauma is suffered. Some of the most common causes of atrial fibrillation include:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Viral infections
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Lung disease
  • Previous heart surgery
  • Metabolic imbalance
  • Use of stimulants
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress

Risk factors

There are a few factors that may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Kidney disease
  • Obesity

Treatment

There are a variety of different treatment options available for atrial fibrillation, depending on the symptoms and general health. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Controlling the heart rate
  • Preventing blood clots
    • May use a catheter
  • Resetting the heart’s rhythm
    • Cardioversion
      • Electrical
      • Anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • Medications
  • Blood thinning medications
  • Treating any underlying disorders
    • Thyroid conditions
  • Surgery

Complications

Atrial fibrillation can be serious if complications arise and are not treated immediately. Some of the most common complications that can arise from atrial fibrillation include stroke and heart failure. If you have any concerns about your heart health make an appointment with your doctor.

Disclaimer: Any information on Dabbler.com is not intended to be used as self-management of health or wellness issues. The information is also not intended to recommend, or endorse, a particular type of medical treatment, and the results of any specific treatment may vary from person-to-person. Anyone with health-related questions, are encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a certified doctor or healthcare professional. The information on Dabbler.com should not be used to ignore medical or health-related advice, and it shouldn’t it be the root cause for delay in a consultation with a certified doctor or a healthcare professional.

The information on Dabbler.com shouldn’t be used to start using dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or any other discussed products prior to a consultation with a certified doctor or healthcare professional.

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