Tags: atrial fibrillation | heartbeat | afib | causes | treatments | flutter

Atrial Fibrillation: Causes and Treatments

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 02:05 AM

Atrial fibrillation is characterized by an irregular heartbeat. Though atrial fibrillation is not life-threatening, but it can lead to serious problems like heart stroke and heart failure. Patients of atrial fibrillation or flutter may experience minimal to severe symptoms. Palpitation is among the common symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation. Shortness of breath, a heart flutter, and fatigue can also be the symptoms of atrial fibrillation. 
 
Causes of Atrial Fibrillation
 
Causes of afib are still being debated. People with a normal heartbeat may also sometimes develop an irregular heartbeat and flutter. Rapid and chaotic electrical impulses generated in the atria can be among possible causes of atrial fibrillation. Various cardiac conditions may be considered among the causes of atrial fibrillation such as the valvular heart disease, pericarditis, heart failure, CAD, and chronic hypertension. Afib is common in people suffering from hyperthyroidism, pulmonary embolus, or pneumonia. Viral infection is among the less common causes of afib.
 
Other causes of afib may include too much caffeine, stimulants, or amphetamines. Aging is often considered to be one of the causes or risk factors associated with afib. This is because afib is common in people older than 80. About 3 to 11 percent of patients suffer from idiopathic afib, which has no evidence of causes or reasons. Moreover, there can be cardiac as well as noncardiac causes of afib. Abnormality from birth can also be among causes of afib.
 
Atrial Fibrillation Treatments
 
There are different treatments available for atrial fibrillation.
  • Medicines are helpful atrial fibrillation treatments. Medication is effective in controlling the heartbeat. Blood thinner medicines can prevent blood clotting.  
  • Devices like a pacemaker and defibrillators are useful in detecting and treating afib early. These devices act as treatments by suppressing the onset of afib.
  • Avoiding consumption of alcohol and caffeine can help all afib treatments. These products may aggravate the symptoms of afib. Making simple lifestyle changes like avoiding smoking can be supportive to all medical treatments. 
  • Rhythm control can be effective among afib treatments. It involves conversion of an irregular rhythm to normal rhythm. These treatments are only applicable for some cases.
  • Rate control is also among effective afib treatments. These treatments can be used in most cases where patients have a rapid heart rate. 

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Atrial fibrillation or flutter is a condition characterized by irregularity in the heartbeat. The causes of afib are still being debated but it is associated with various cardiac conditions. Treatments can help to regulate abnormality in the heartbeat.
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2014-05-07
Friday, 07 Mar 2014 02:05 AM
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