There are some key facts about atrial fibrillation you should be acquainted with.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, you’re not alone. 1% of our population has it, and it’s the most common wayward heart rhythm seen by physicians today.
➡ Men and women over the age of 40 have a one in four risks of developing A-fib
➡ The risk increases with age
➡ An episode of atrial fibrillation can last for minutes, hours or weeks
➡ Atrial Fibrillation is not usually life-threatening
When your heart muscle cells misfire, your heart can run a marathon from its normal resting rate of 60 to 90 beats per minute all the way up to 200 beats per minute, then slow down after a few moments.
- The very fast heart rate can make you feel dizzy, weak, out of breath.
- It can cause heart palpitations or chest pain.
- When the heart beats exceptionally fast, you may feel dizzy, weak, out of breath and/or experience palpitations or chest pain.
But here’s one of the key facts about Atrial Fibrillation to remembers: A-fib is not usually life-threatening.
Many stories and even articles would have you believe that atrial fibrillation is always deadly. It’s not.
However, and this is a big however, the presence of atrial fibrillation does increase the risk of blood clots forming in the heart, or of a stroke, if the clot travels to the brain.
In addition, strokes related to Atrial Fibrillation are often major strokes with worse outcomes than those caused due to other reasons and have a greater likelihood of significant disability or death.
BUT…The good news is that Atrial Fibrillation is treatable.
In most cases, people first seek treatment for A-fib because of its annoying symptoms, but the first thing an experienced physician will evaluate is the patient’s risk of stroke.
➡ Low-risk patients may not require any treatment.
➡ If the risk is high, based on testing, the patient will be given a prescription for anticoagulants.
➡ At that point, the physician will discuss strategies for helping the patient control their heart rate and rhythm to prevent complications.
The single, most important step you can take to manage any of the multiple implications of heart disease is to stay informed.
Make sure, however, that you are getting your information from professionals who work, hands-on, with your specific problem.
There is so much misleading and “sugar-coated” information out there, somedays I feel as if I’m fighting ghosts.
And never, ever, feel that you must stay with any doctors or healthcare professionals who do not answer your questions to your satisfaction, or who do not take an interest in your overall health, not just the specific issue that brought you to them.
Take charge, always, of your health.