What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of heart arrhythmia.  It is also known as AFib or AF.  A normal heart, contracts and relaxes at a regular beat.  For those with atrial fibrillation (heart arrhythmia) the heart beats too fast, too slow or is irregular.  This can lead to clots, heart failure, and other heart-related complications.

A person who suffers from atrial fibrillation has an irregular heart beat in the upper chambers of their heart.  In addition, blood does not flow as easily from the atria to the two ventricles.  This irregularity can be sporadic or it maybe constant.  An individual will feel symptoms of a quivering or fluttering heartbeat

In the case that a clot breaks off and it enters the bloodstream, it can lodge in an artery that leads to the brain.  As a result, a person may suffer from a stroke.  This is why patients with atrial fibrillation are placed on blood thinners.

Here Are Some Facts About Atrial Fibrillation:

  • Approximately, 20% of individuals who suffer from a stroke suffer from atrial fibrillation.
  • Approximately, 2.7 million people in the United States suffer from Atrial Fibrillation.
  • Individuals of European descent are predisposed to the disease.
  • Women have a higher likelihood of getting Atrial Fibrillation.
  • Only 33% of atrial fibrillation patients believe that it is a serious condition.
  • Less than half of atrial fibrillation patients think that their risk for stroke, heart-related hospitalizations and death is higher.

Treating Atrial Fibrillation

In order to treat atrial fibrillation, you need to be diagnosed first.  After diagnosing atrial fibrillation, you can work with your doctor to help prevent a stroke or clot.  The goal of treatment may include:

  • Preventing heart failure
  • Preventing further heart rhythm problems
  • Rhythm control of the heart
  • Rate control of the heart

Treatment can be as simple as removing coffee from your diet or getting your thyroid under control.  However, in most cases doctors use different types of medication to help normalize the heart rate as treatment for atrial fibrillation.

If you feel like you have the symptoms of atrial fibrillation, you should visit your doctor and have a check up.





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