Also known as Afib, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that increases your risk for stroke and heart disease. Atrial fibrillation can be caused by conditions that damage or strain the heart.
The Top Five Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist.
Perhaps you’re going to the cardiologist because your physician recommended it. Or maybe you have a family history of heart disease, and you want to stay on top of it. Or you have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or both... Read more.
What Matters If You Have an Irregular Heartbeat?
Here’s the simple answer: people with irregular heartbeats are nearly five times more likely to have a stroke. The most common kind of irregular heartbeat is atrial fibrillation (AF, or AFib, for short). It’s a complicated name, but when you understand the definition, the name makes sense... Read more.
To manage or prevent Afib, follow a healthy lifestyle by taking these steps:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet, low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Maintain a healthy variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily.
- Do not smoke.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes three times per week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and take all medications as prescribed.
Afib symptoms and risks can be different for each patient. Your doctor will determine the right course of treatment depending on several factors. Treatments are aimed at helping you feel better and preventing future problems.
Afib treatment is available to control your heart rate, control your heart rhythm or prevent stroke. Treatment options include:
- Medication management for heart rate control or rhythm control, also called antiarrhythmics.
- Electrical Cardioversionto convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm
- Catheter ablation to correct an abnormal heart rhythm
- Pacemaker Insertion
- Cardio Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation
- Maze procedure
If Afib is suspected, your physician may listen to your heartbeat during a routine office visit. To diagnosis Afib however, other tests may provide more conclusive results. These include:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Stress test or exercise electrocardiogram
- Echocardiogram (ECHO)
- Holter event monitoring
- Blood test to test for hyperthyroidism or for Prothrombin time