Atrial fibrillation is the rapid and irregular heartbeat of the upper chambers of the heart or atria as a result of abnormal electric impulses. Normally heartbeat originate as an electric impulse from a part of the atrium called sinoatrial (SA) node. This impulse produces a wave of muscular contraction that travels through the atria towards the ventricle, causing the contraction of ventricles and thereby pumping the blood out of the heart.
During atrial fibrillation, multiple impulses from multiple sources, other than the usual SA node travel through the atria at the same time leading to irregular contraction. Atrial fibrillation may be intermittent, persistent or permanent and all of which may cause complications like blood clot and heart failure. Those who have thyroid problem, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, valvular heart diseases, congestive heart failure etc. are more prone to this disease.
Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
Treatment of atrial fibrillation depends mostly on the time period and severity of the disease.
Reset the Heart Rhythm
The rate and rhythm of the heartbeat can be set with the help of a procedure called cardioversion and this can be done either with drugs or with electrical shock. After cardioversion, certain medications like amiodarone, dronedarone, flecainide etc. are advised to maintain a normal heart rate and to prevent any future episodes of atrial fibrillation.
Heart Rate Control
The main intention of this treatment is to control the abnormal heart rate and slow down the heartbeat to a level between 60 and 100 beats per minute. This can be done either through medications or by atrioventricular node ablation.
If medication of electric shock is not enough to cure the disease, doctors may suggest surgery. There are different types of surgical procedures such as radio-frequency catheter ablation, surgical maze procedure and pacemakers.
Most of the patients who had undergone or are undergoing the treatment are prone to develop blood clots, which may lead to stroke and other heart diseases. Hence, doctors prescribe anticoagulants or blood thinning medications such as warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban etc. to such patients.
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Even after such treatments, patients require a number of lifestyle changes to regulate their atrial fibrillation properly. Some of the changes to be made are given below.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Diet plays a major role in managing atrial fibrillation, experts recommends intake of low fat, especially low saturated fat and low sodium foods. This helps to control the high blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood. Fish rich with omega 3 fatty acid, vegetables, fiber rich foods, green leafy vegetables etc. are ideal for heart.
Many patients with atrial fibrillation have magnesium and potassium deficiency, as these minerals are essential for the proper functioning of the heart. In such cases the patient can take magnesium and potassium rich foods with your doctor’s consent.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which are considered to be the triggers of atrial fibrillation. Similarly smoking is also dangerous as nicotine being a cardiac stimulant aggravates the problem. Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, hobbies etc. to boost your mood, as anxiety and depression can only make the condition verse.
Exercise is essential to regulate the heartbeat, hence involve in thirty minutes of moderately strenuous exercise daily. Capabilities and physical condition of patients will be different; hence the patient should consult their doctor before engaging themselves in physical activities. Regular exercises help to maintain an upbeat and positive mood, apart from maintaining a good biological rhythm. Exercises also play a major role in controlling the body weight.
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Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.