Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of irregular heartbeat that occurs when the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat too fast and out of rhythm with the two lower chambers (the ventricles). This can cause the heart to beat irregularly and too fast, which can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Palpitations (a rapid or fluttering heartbeat)
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
AFib can also increase the risk of stroke, as blood can pool and form clots in the atria, which can then travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
AFib can be caused by a range of factors, including heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and alcohol or drug use. Some people with AFib may not have any underlying health problems and may be classified as having lone AFib.
Treatment for AFib may involve lifestyle changes, such as reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. Medications, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and anticoagulants, can also be used to control symptoms and reduce the risk of stroke. In some cases, electrical or chemical cardioversion may be necessary to restore normal heart rhythm.
It is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs and to monitor for any potential side effects or complications. Early detection and treatment of AFib can help reduce the risk of stroke and improve overall health outcomes.