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Atrial Fibrillation

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5 Things You Need to Know About Atrial Fibrillation

1. Atrial fibrillation (commonly called AFib) is the most common rhythm problem of the heart. The 2 top chambers of the heart, called the “Atria,” usually beat in a regular fashion. However when AFib develops, these chambers start twitching at a very fast rate. This results in an irregular heartbeat which can sometimes be too fast or too slow.

2. You should be suspicious of atrial fibrillation if you notice an irregular heartbeat when checking your pulse. Alternately, your blood pressure machine might show evidence of an irregular heartbeat.

3. Atrial fibrillation is well tolerated by most people; however in some cases, it can result in serious consequences:
• A stroke due to a blood clot
• Weakening of the heart muscle, causing congestive heart failure
• Symptoms of shortness of breath and noticing irregular heartbeat

blood pressure_afib4. Treatment of atrial fibrillation requires a multidisciplinary approach. This may require lifestyle changes, medications, or an invasive procedure.
• You might be placed on blood thinners to reduce the chances of developing a blood clot
• Certain other medications to control the rhythm and rate of her heart could be tried.
• You should be evaluated for sleep apnea.
• If you are overweight, weight reduction could be recommended to help better control the condition.

5. Atrial fibrillation can be cured. In certain patients, invasive procedures can be performed to potentially cure this arrhythmia. This procedure is commonly called an “ablation.”
• The procedure involves putting catheters from the groin into your heart and cauterizing areas of the heart that might be responsible for creating atrial fibrillation. The procedure usually requires one night stay in the hospital.

Watch this video to learn more about atrial fibrillation:

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