healtheo360 Wellness Blog

Life with Atrial Fibrillation

Posted on Jun 4, 2018 12:13:43 PM by healtheo360

Atrial fibrillation patients are five to seven times more likely to suffer a stroke than the general population.

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of sustained cardiac arrhythmia. The upper chambers of the heart beat in an irregular pattern. The condition may or may not show symptoms prior to onset. However, atrial fibrillation patients can generally lead normal lives, despite living with the condition. It is often difficult to identify a specific cause of atrial fibrillation as there can be many causes, but there are also several treatment options.

healtheo360 is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of treatment options for community members. Consider joining our community today!

Atrial fibrillation patients can lead normal lives. Treatment options can potentially restore regular heart rhythms, although patients are always at risk for a stroke or heart failure. Atrial fibrillation patients can take these steps to combat the condition:

  • Permanent AFib treatment
  • Medical appointments
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Tell your doctor if your medicines are causing side-effects
  • Blood-thinning medicines
  • Physical activity, weight control, and limited alcohol use

Atrial fibrillation symptoms may be non-existent in many cases prior to onset. However, there are some cases in which symptoms may arise. Symptoms include palpitations, weakness, reduced ability to exercise, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath, and angina (chest pain). While many of these symptoms are general to many conditions, a doctor should be seen immediately.

Atrial Fibrillation Causes and Treatment

Atrial fibrillation causes are wide-ranging with many being common, and a few that are rare. Here is a breakdown of atrial fibrillation causes:

  • Common
    • After heart surgery
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Heart attacks
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Abnormal heart valves
    • Congenital heart disease
    • Heart failure
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • An overactive thyroid gland or other metabolic imbalance
    • Exposure to stimulants, such as medications, caffeine, tobacco or alcohol
    • Lung diseases
    • Stress due to pneumonia, surgery or other illnesses
    • Sleep apnea

  • Less Common
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Pericarditis
    • Viral infection

To continue living a normal life with AFib, several treatment options exist. Treatment includes medications, procedures, and lifestyle changes.

Depending on the case, medications are used to slow heart rate, control heart rhythm, or prevent blood clots. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digoxin are all designed to slow the heart rate. For heart rhythm control, anti-arrhythmic medicines work best. Anticoagulants or blood thinners prevent blood clots.

Beyond medications, treatments such as catheter ablation, left atrial appendage closure procedure, maze procedure, and electrical cardioversion can mitigate the effects of atrial fibrillation.

Lastly, lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, a low-sodium diet, physical activity, stress management, and avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine all positively affect AFib patients in managing their health and the condition.

Join an Atrial Fibrillation Support Group

Atrial fibrillation support groups can help patients and loved ones tackle this condition. The WomenHeart AFib Virtual Support Network serves the over 40 million American women diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. The network has a comprehensive support system, offering services in-person, over the phone, at hospitals, and online. These groups can bring AFib patients together to lean on each other as they go through this critical condition.

A Healtheo360 membership gives you access to the WomenHeart AFib Virtual Support Network to help you and your loved ones combat atrial fibrillation together.


Works Cited

“Atrial Fibrillation (AF/AFib) | About the Condition.” healtheo360, www.healtheo360.com/condition/atrial-fibrillation-afafib/about/.

“Atrial Fibrillation (AF/AFib) | About the Condition.” healtheo360, www.healtheo360.com/condition/atrial-fibrillation-afafib/about/.

“Living with Atrial Fibrillation (AF/AFib).” healtheo360, www.healtheo360.com/condition/atrial-fibrillation-afafib/living-with/.

“Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AF/AFib).” healtheo360, www.healtheo360.com/condition/atrial-fibrillation-afafib/symptoms/.

“Top Causes of Atrial Fibrillation (AF/AFib).” healtheo360, www.healtheo360.com/condition/atrial-fibrillation-afafib/causes/.

“Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation (AF/AFib).” healtheo360, www.healtheo360.com/condition/atrial-fibrillation-afafib/treatment/.

“WomenHeart Launches First Virtual Support Network For Women Living with Atrial Fibrillation.” WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, www.womenheart.org/news/news.asp?id=246996.

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