If you suffer from atrial fibrillation (AFib), you know how disruptive and uncomfortable an episode can be. Luckily, there are some steps that can help stop an AFib episode in its tracks. First and foremost, it’s important to stay calm during a flare-up of symptoms. Stress or anxiety can actually make your heart rate increase further, making the episode worse than it needs to be. Take a few deep breaths and focus on relaxing your body as much as possible while waiting for medical attention if necessary.
Intense emotions like stress and anger can affect heart rhythm. Incorporating stress management strategies, like deep breathing, relaxation, and yoga, can minimize the chance of an AFib episode. A 2015 Journal of Arrhythmia study (Ref. Link) showed that AFib patients who did yoga twice a week for 3 months saw significant decreases in blood pressure and heart rate.
Antiarrhythmic medications like amiodarone or flecainide may help slow down the heart rate back into normal rhythm again without needing to go to the hospital right away; however this should only be done with supervision from a doctor who is familiar with treating arrhythmias like AFib episodes specifically for you since these drugs have potential side effects when used incorrectly or too often over time.
Additionally, electrical cardioversion – which involves shocking the chest area with electricity – has been known to work quickly in stopping episodes of arrhythmia including AFib but requires more intensive medical care either at home or within 24 hours after administration so please seek out professional advice before trying any new treatment methods yourself.
Finally remember that lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol consumption/smoking cessation along with regular exercise have all been proven helpful in managing chronic conditions like Atrial Fibrillation. However, when you are in the middle of an AFib attack, use any of these ways to stop an episode.
The Valsalva maneuver is a technique of blowing air to pop the ears and stimulate the vagus nerve to regulate heart rate in case of fast beating during AFib. To perform this, close your mouth and hold your nose, then try to exhale the air to equalize pressure.
Deep, mindful breathing is an effective way to slow heart rate during an AFib episode. Find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes, and focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly. Pay attention to the movement of your diaphragm during breathing.
A: Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related problems.
A: Symptoms of AFib include palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and lightheadedness.
A: Causes of AFib can include high blood pressure, heart disease, alcohol consumption, lung disease, stress, and certain medications.
A: AFib is diagnosed through an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the electrical activity of the heart, or through a heart monitor worn for an extended period of time.
A: Treatment options for AFib include medications to control the heart rate and rhythm, electrical cardioversion to restore a normal heartbeat, and procedures such as catheter ablation to destroy areas of the heart causing the irregular rhythm.
A: AFib can often be prevented by controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and stress.
A: To manage an AFib episode, it’s important to stay calm, avoid caffeine and alcohol, drink plenty of water, and try to relax. If the symptoms are severe or persistent, seek medical attention promptly.