September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Jonathan Medford

Atrial Fibrillation, also called Afib or AF, is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart related complications. At least 2.7 million Americans are living with Afib. When the heart is in Afib, blood pools and can form a clot. When the clot moves from the heart it can travel to the brain where it can block an artery causing a stroke. Blocked arteries prevent the brain tissue from getting oxygen rich blood causing brain tissue death.

Common Symptoms of Afib:
· Racing or irregular heartbeat.
· Shortness of Breath.
· Tired (fatigue).
· Lightheadedness/dizziness/fainting.
· Anxiety.
· No symptoms at all.

Possible Risk Factors for Afib:
· Prior heart attack or heart disease.
· High Blood Pressure.
· Diabetes.
· Sleep Apnea.

Common Behaviors or Triggers that may be associated with Afib:
· Excessive alcohol.
· Smoking.
· Prolonged athletic conditioning.
· Caffeine/Energy Drinks.
· Stress/anxiety.
· Poor sleep.

Treatment of Afib
· Procedures such as Cardioversion, catheter ablation, etc.
· Medication to control your heart rate.
· Medication to control your heart rhythm.
· Anticoagulants (blood thinners).
· Medications are prescribed for a reason. Always take them as written, and talk with your doctor before making any changes.

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