2 AnswersJoan Haizlip, MSN , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredIt is rare for children to get atrial fibrillation. However, some pediatricians feel tht atrial fibrillation is underdiagnosed in adolescents, especially those who play sports. Atrial fibrillation usually affects older adults. Over 2 million Americans currently have atrial fibrillation.
1 AnswerDr. Douglas E. Severance, MD , Family Medicine, answeredIt's quite rare for children to get atrial fibrillation. Still, children with congenital heart conditions may develop atrial fibrillation. But most people with atrial fibrillation acquire it because of heart conditions such as high blood pressure or coronary artery disease, and these are very rare in children. However, some pediatricians believe that atrial fibrillation may be somewhat under-diagnosed in adolescents, including those who participate in sports.
If your child has atrial fibrillation, you should inform your child's school about it. If teachers are informed of your child's condition, they can know to watch for symptoms of an episode that needs medical attention, like chest pain or breathing trouble. If your child is taking medications that are supposed to be taken during the school day, the school nurse would have to know. In the end, it is beneficial to your child's health for the people who take care of him or her when you are not around to know about atrial fibrillation.
Children who have atrial fibrillation experience the same symptoms as adults. However, children are less likely than adults to develop atrial fibrillation, because risk increases with age. Children also may not recognize or be able to articulate the symptoms. If you are concerned that your child has atrial fibrillation, talk to your doctor about treatment.
1 AnswerLife Line Screening answeredIf you have an abnormal result, you will need to see a physician for further diagnostic testing. Atrial fibrillation can be treated with medications to prevent blood clots and to control the heart rate. In some cases, surgery may be required. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, your symptoms, and your medical history.
Remember learning about the transitive property in math class? We don’t either. It comes into play in the answer to your question. The DASH diet has been clinically proven to lower elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure raises your risk for atrial fibrillation. Therefore (invoke the transitive property), following the DASH diet should help to prevent atrial fibrillation.
The key to DASH is limiting sodium and food felons like bad fats, and loading up on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and low- or non-fat dairy foods.
If you’re interested, ask your doc for the dope on the DASH diet.
You can reduce your risk for atrial fibrillation by following these golden rules of good health.
- Eat a diet that’s food felon free. To refresh your memory, these evil villains include: 1) saturated fat, the kind found in meat, poultry skin, full-fat dairy foods, and palm and coconut oils; 2) trans fats, the ugly stuff still pumped into many snack foods and commercial desserts; 3) simple sugars; 4) added sugars in general, including all added syrups, and 5) any grain that’s not a whole grain.
- Eat five handfuls of fruits and five handfuls of veggies every day. The more colorful, the better.
- Minimize the amount of salt in your diet.
- Stick to lean proteins. Like chicken breast, ground turkey, fish, tofu, nuts, and legumes.
- Get those 10,000 steps every day. NO excuses!
- Breathe free. If you do smoke, quit ASAP.
- Don’t abuse booze. That means no more than one drink a day for the ladies and two for the gents. And no, you can’t stockpile them for the weekends and have seven to fourteen in one sitting.
- Manage your stress. We know it’s tough, but deep breathing, yoga, and a good night’s sleep (six to eight hours a night) can work like a charm.
1 AnswerDr. Douglas E. Severance, MD , Family Medicine, answeredLosing pounds can help prevent atrial fibrillation because being overweight or obese is a risk factor for the abnormal heart rhythm disorder. Also, if you are overweight or obese, you have a higher chance of getting high blood pressure, which also raises the odds of developing the irregular heartbeat. As your weight rises, so does your blood pressure. But losing just 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about a healthy eating plan if you need to lose weight. While the DASH diet can help you lower high blood pressure, it is not a weight loss diet. Your doctor can recommend a diet that has the right number of calories that will let you shed pounds and lower your blood pressure and your risk for atrial fibrillation.
YES!! We know you have plenty of reasons on your list of why you should quit smoking, but we’re going to add another one: avoiding atrial fibrillation (AF): Smokers are about 50% more likely than nonsmokers to develop AF.
By the way, if you occasionally inhale a certain illegal herbal product, this means you, too. So the sooner you breathe free, the sooner your risk of AF drops.
Regular physical activity reduces stress (a risk factor for atrial fibrillation), lowers your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes (all risk factors for atrial fibrillation), and a whole host of other benefits that we won’t go into here.
So, lace up those walking shoes and get at least 10,000 steps a day, no excuses!
If you’ve been on the sidelines for a while, you should probably check in with your doctor to see what types of activities you can do.