AFib, or atrial fibrillation, is an abnormal heartbeat caused by irregular and rapid beats in the heart’s upper chamber. The chamber beats irregularly and chaotically, causing fast, pounding heartbeats. This rapid heart rhythm may lead to blood clots in the heart and increase the risk of stroke and other health complications. Researchers have called it the new cardiovascular epidemic of our times.
There are three types of AFib.
AFib may show no symptoms for most individuals but may cause weakness or fast palpitations with shortness of breath for others. AFib may require treatment to prevent stroke. Medication and therapy can help reset the heart’s rhythm and prevent the blocking of faulty heart signals.
The severity of AFib symptoms depends on how fast your ventricles beat. You may not feel anything if the ventricles beat normally. This can be the case even at a slightly elevated pace. However, if your ventricles beat significantly faster, you must start looking for the dangerous symptoms of heart fibrillation and consult a doctor.
Here is a breakdown of the AFib symptoms and signs you should be aware of:
If you observe AFib symptoms and signs, keep track of the symptoms and share the information with a healthcare provider.
Heart rates vary from one person to another. However, you may experience a heart rate that is slower or faster than the normal rate. Such an imbalance falls under the dangerous heart zone.
AFib patients can have a heart rate of around 100-175 beats per minute. Your blood pressure may decrease if your heart rate is high, causing dizziness, fainting, confusion, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. These are the dangerous heart zones if you have AFib, and you should be careful about it.
A safe heart rate zone for adults ranges between 60-100 beats per minute. The clinical practice guidelines for AFib patients recommend a safe heart rate of 60-80 beats per minute at rest and 90-115 beats per minute during moderate exercising sessions.
Now, the question is – can you exercise with the AFib condition? Can you stay within the safe heart zone while working out?
Experts say that physical activities are suitable for people with AFib. However, you must consult your cardiologist if you require any tests before you start exercising to prevent the dangerous symptoms of heart fibrillation.
Rehab specialists help you develop custom exercise programs to maintain your fitness if you suffer from AFib. The tips will help you exercise safely without the risk of health complications.
However, you must not indulge in high-intensity workouts and exercises if you have AFib. Start slowly with five to ten minutes of walking a day, adding a minute or two every week. Sweat a bit for a good workout session, and breathe faster to boost your heart rate.
You can check for AFib signs at home by feeling your pulse and counting your heartbeats per minute. Use a self-test kit like an electrocardiogram (ECG), an oximeter, or a heart rate monitor to check for AFib signs and symptoms.
You must know and understand the safe and dangerous heart zones to prevent health complications by maintaining an average heart rate.
There are multiple ways to treat AFib that can help you control your heart rate, regain a normal heart rhythm, and reduce the risk of stroke.
Medication with calcium-channel blockers or beta-blockers are some of the top recommendations to regulate heart rates and rhythm in AFib patients. The medication can slow down irregular heartbeats and reduce the risk of side effects related to elevated heart rates. You must consult your healthcare provider for treatment and a plan to help regulate your heart rate.
The following are the medications that treat AFib.
If you experience AFib symptoms, experts may recommend you undertake the following procedures and surgeries.
Most treatment procedures for AFib remain invasive, and experts continue to research and develop new treatment methods and technologies. Before making any decisions, please consult your doctor.
Lifestyle factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, and recreational drug use can cause AFib signs and symptoms. Moreover, you are at a higher risk of developing the condition if you suffer from obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, sleep apnoea, or hyperthyroidism.
Exercise helps strengthen your heart and improves blood circulation in the body. However, you must reduce your exercise intensity to regulate your heart rate if you have AFib.
Every one in three individuals does not know they have AFib. You must know the risk factors, signs, and symptoms and talk to your healthcare provider. It would be best to get treated immediately after detecting the AFib symptoms to prevent health complications. Get your heart rate and pulse checked regularly if you are at risk or suffer from a serious medical condition.