How to Protect Your Heart From Atrial Fibrillation

Every year, more than 2 million Americans experience symptoms of atrial fibrillation, often described as a fluttering feeling in the chest caused by out-of-sync heart movements. Atrial fibrillation can put you at a much higher risk of stroke or heart attack. Understanding your condition and how to avoid episodes of atrial fibrillation could save your life.

At Premier Cardiology Consultants, with five locations in New York City, our skilled team of cardiologists can diagnose and treat atrial fibrillation.

Causes of atrial fibrillation

While atrial fibrillation can occur at any age, it’s most common in seniors as nearly 10% of men and women over age 65 are affected by atrial fibrillation at some level. Atrial fibrillation can be caused by:

With atrial fibrillation, an episode can cause the heart to beat abnormally. This, in turn, can hamper the normal flow of blood into the lower chambers of the heart, which can allow fluid to pool and clot. If a clot forms and travels to the brain, this could result in a stroke.

Preventing atrial fibrillation

The best way to prevent episodes of atrial fibrillation is to make lifestyle changes to reduce stress on your heart and make your entire body healthier.

Lose weight

If you’re overweight, your chances of developing atrial fibrillation go up 20-25%. If you’re obese, your chances go up 60%. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent atrial fibrillation episodes. 

Lower your blood pressure

Losing weight, exercising, reducing stress — and taking medication if needed — can all help you lower your blood pressure, which can also reduce your risk of developing atrial fibrillation or suffering a stroke.  

Manage your blood sugar

If you have prediabetes or diabetes, your risk of developing atrial fibrillation goes up. By eating the right foods in the right portions and taking medication if necessary, you can reduce your risk. Limiting your consumption of alcohol and caffeine may also help.

Address any underlying conditions

Treating sleep apnea, anxiety, thyroid problems, and other chronic conditions can reduce stress on your heart and therefore reduce your risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Talk to your cardiologist

If you have atrial fibrillation and it’s giving you lots of problems, lifestyle changes alone may not be able to properly protect your heart. At Premier Cardiology Consultants, we offer the Watchman™ implant. This small device, which is implanted in the heart, can help prevent blood clots and lessen your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. 

If you have symptoms of atrial fibrillation and want relief, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Cardiology Consultants today.

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