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 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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    Occasional atrial fibrillation most often affects adults. Because it is a condition that is caused by heart disease and other risk factors that increase with age, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, atrial fibrillation is not common in children. Even though 50 percent of all people who have atrial fibrillation are older adults, 50 percent of them are under the age of 75 years.

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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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    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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    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 , Internal Medicine, answered

    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.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    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.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    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.

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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Losing 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.