Living with Atrial Fibrillation

Discovering the cause of fluttering heart episodes can be both enlightening and a little frightening. Atrial fibrillation is a common type of irregular heartbeat, one that may occur due to damage within the heart’s electrical system. Atrial fibrillation, known as Afib, may stem from coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, or other conditions. If you have been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, your primary course of action may be to develop strategies that prevent episodes of heart fluttering. Here, we offer four easy suggestions.

Hydrate

We commonly hear that we should consume at least 8 glasses of water a day, but we don’t often understand all the reasons why. When it comes to the heart, hydration is vital to electrical function. This is because a dehydrated body develops an imbalance of electrolytes. Without sufficient quantities of magnesium and potassium, the heart cells may be triggered to fire automatically, inciting an Afib episode. Don’t rush through your daily dose of water; drink throughout the day for maximum absorption.

Implement Stress-Reducing Habits

Stress is a precursor to numerous health problems. For the heart that already has irregularities, stress can be a major factor in Afib episodes. This is because chemicals like cortisol and other stress hormones can aggravate an already-irritable heart muscle. Stress reduction looks different for every person. For some, yoga or meditation is beneficial. Others find stress relief in a fun hobby or moderate workout. 

Manage Blood Pressure

High blood pressure may have a direct effect on the left atrium, causing this chamber of the heart to stretch. Pressure within the left atrium, in particular, could lead to Afib episodes. Blood pressure regulation may involve several practices, from reducing salt intake to being mindful of taking prescribed blood pressure medication.

Prioritize Sleep

Studies suggest that sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia can cause scar tissue to form in the heart muscle. Sleep apnea, in particular, has been identified as a major risk factor for atrial fibrillation as well as other cardiac events such as heart attack and stroke. Proper treatment for sleep apnea or other chronic sleep disruption is necessary to improve the quality of sleep and reduce the risk of recurrent Afib.

Are you questioning what your heart symptoms may indicate? Call 516-437-5600 to schedule a consultation at our Forest Hills, Richmond Hill, or Lake Success office.

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