Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation -- the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia -- causes an irregular heartbeat that can increase your risk for stroke and heart failure. Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) results from faulty signals produced by the heart's electrical system, causing the upper portion of the heart to fibrillate, or contract rapidly and irregularly. AFib doesn't cause noticeable symptoms for everyone. For those who do experience symptoms, heart palpitations are common along with feeling weak, dizzy and tired. Learn more about atrial fibrillation with expert advice from Sharecare.

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    If 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.

     
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    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.

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    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.

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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    It'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.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    It 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.  
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    A Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, answered on behalf of
    The best way to prevent atrial fibrillation is to prevent hypertension and treat it promptly if it occurs. Stay healthy, exercise regularly, and eat healthily.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    A regular exercise regimen can help lower your risk of high blood pressure and obesity -- two factors that can contribute to atrial fibrillation. Exercise also helps strengthen your heart muscle and is a good way to release bottled-up stress. Emotional stress is also linked to atrial fibrillation.

    Aim to be active 30 minutes on most days. You can go to a fitness center, ride a bike through your neighborhood, or do household chores such as mowing the lawn, washing windows, and vacuuming. If you don't have 30 minutes to work out, try to exercise for 10-minute segments, three times a day. You can exercise at work by using the stairs. You can park your car at the end of the lot when you shop at the mall. If you have been sedentary, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Depending on the cause of chronic atrial fibrillation, it may or may not be able to be prevented. By the time the atrial fibrillation is chronic, there may be some heart changes that require medications to keep the heartbeat and heart rhythm normal. Still, there are lifestyle changes you can adopt to keep your heart healthy in spite of chronic atrial fibrillation. In doing so, you may help prevent another episode of the fast, irregular arrhythmia. Here are some tips:

    -Eat a diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables to get plenty of necessary electrolytes for the heart such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
    -Be active every day with exercise and physical activity.
    -If you smoke cigarettes, stop. Nicotine is a stimulant and can cause atrial fibrillation.
    -Cut back on drinking alcohol as it can cause atrial fibrillation.
    -Eliminate caffeine from your diet to reduce the chance of atrial fibrillation.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    A low-salt diet helps to lower blood pressure, which is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation. If you have a racing, irregular heartbeat from atrial fibrillation, talk to your doctor about whether you need to lower your blood pressure. If high blood pressure is a problem, many experts advise consuming less salt, or sodium, to help bring the levels down.

    The current dietary recommendation is to eat less than 2300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. That equals less than 1 teaspoon of salt a day --  including not only whatever you shake onto your foods, but also the sodium content already in lunch meats and processed foods, soups, fast foods, and snacks. You can reduce sodium in your diet by eating more fresh foods than processed foods. However, the adequate amount of sodium that can help prevent health problems in many people is an intake of 1500 mg. This lower intake of sodium helps lower blood pressure. A low-salt diet may also help blood pressure medications work better. Ask your doctor about the DASH diet, a heart-healthy, low-sodium eating plan that helps to lower blood pressure.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    YES! There is no question that binge drinking can cause a bout of atrial fibrillation. There’s even a name for this phenomenon: “holiday heart syndrome,” since it often occurs in people who imbibe too much on special occasions.

    However, more modest, but frequent drinking may make your heart flutter, too.

    So your best bet is to keep your bar tab small. Men should have no more than two alcoholic beverages daily, while women should stick to one.

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