What is AFib?
AFib is short for atrial fibrillation, a condition that can cause an irregular and very rapid heart beat. While AFib itself may not be life threatening, it can lead to other conditions. It can cause blood clots in the heart, stroke, contribute to heart failure and other forms of heart disease.
How do you know you have it or are in it?
During an episode of AFib, the upper and lower chambers of the heart beat out of synch with each other. Not everyone can feel the effects of AFib. Others experience a feeling of rapid or pounding heart beat, shortness of breath and maybe weakness.
Episodes can be intermittent or they can be persistent. Some people can be completely debilitated while in an episode and others can't even feel it. I know someone who is frequently in AFib and I'm aware of it before they are, simply by the way their breathing changes.
There are some diagnostic tests that can determine whether or not you have AFib:
- EKG - quick test that measure heart electrical activity
- Blood test - this can rule out thyroid abnormality and check for substances in the blood that can cause AFib
- Holter monitor - a portable EKG worn for 24 hours tracking heart behavior during regular activity
- Even recorder - typically worn for 30 days and records periodically, either when the wearer pushes a button at the onset of irregular heart rhythm or when it automatically detects the irregularity
- Echocardiogram - uses sound waves to assess the heart's structure, size and activity
- Stress test - usually done on a treadmill or stationary bike to assess the heart's activity while exercising
- Chest x-ray - used to look at heart and lungs
So what if you have it?
If you do experience AFib, the main goal is to determine the cause and to reset the heart's rhythm, control the heart rate and prevent blood clots. Treatment may include some are all of the following:
- medication - can include blood thinners, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, anti-arrhythmics and digoxin
- reset therapy - cardioversion can be done electrically, sending shockwaves into the heart to reset the rhythm or with medication
- surgery or catheterization - cardiac ablation uses heat or cold to create scar tissue in the heart to block abnormal signaling and to normalize rhythm
They have perfected so many of the therapies used in managing such conditions as AFib. I have provided a very high level and simplistic view of what is available. It's always important to confer with your healthcare practitioner if you suspect there is something going on with your heart that is abnormal. You know your body better than anyone, so if you suspect something is wrong, seek help. Do not allow anyone to dismiss you without first examining you. IF that happens, find another practitioner. You need to be heard.
Do You Want Help?
Would you like to have more energy, lose weight, sleep better, and balance your hormones? I am launching another 5 session Sugar Detox Program beginning soon.
This program is open to anyone who:
- would like to get control of their sugar cravings
- feel better
- have an abundance of energy
- and an overall increase in well-being.
Aren’t you tired of feeling bloated and lethargic?
If you continue to follow the path you’re on, where will it lead you in six months? a year? Isn’t it time to take a different approach?
What you have done in the past hasn’t worked or at least has not stuck. I can help you change that. Click here for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your challenges and your goals for the coming year and see if we’re a good fit. You have nothing to lose except those nasty cravings.
As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who are at risk for a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.