The most common type of heart arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) is called Atrial Fibrillation. It is also known as “AFib,” and results in an irregular, and frequently fast, heartbeat. This irregular impulse, or signal, starts in the chambers of the heart when someone has atrial fibrillation, affecting the blood flow to the body and the heart muscle. This may result in blood clots that cause a stroke.
The heart’s top chambers (the atria), which normally have an orderly electrical stimulus by sinus node activity, switch to a chaotic, unstructured rhythm during atrial fibrillation, which causes the ventricles to beat erratically.
Atrial fibrillation impairs the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively and frequently results in irregular chest palpitations. Weakness, weariness, vertigo, or shortness of breath could arise from this. Some patients with atrial fibrillation, however, are utterly oblivious to it and exhibit no symptoms at all.
Despite the fact that AFib raises the chances of heart-related death as well as stroke, many people do not understand its potentially dangerous repercussions. Usually, those who have one or more of the following lifestyle habits (ref. link) are at higher risk for AFib.
Atrial fibrillation episodes can be brought on by insufficient sleep, which is frequently brought on by the disease known as sleep apnea. Individuals with insomnia are up to 40% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, and even minor sleep disruptions in a person’s sleep pattern can increase the risk of the condition by as much as 18% (ref. link).
Alcohol use, especially binge drinking, can weaken the heart muscle and make it more challenging for the heart to circulate blood throughout the body. The heart is therefore more vulnerable to AFib events. Dehydration, another typical AFib trigger, can be a result of alcohol consumption.
Caffeine happens to be a plausible cause of AFib in some people. However, numerous clinical studies show that coffee has little to no effect on most people with AFib. Normal caffeine consumption won’t affect or cause any atrial fibrillation episode in patients.
Exercise causes the heart to beat more quickly; therefore, for certain AFib sufferers, a brief period of exercise may start an episode. In general, intense exercise or exercising when dehydrated increase the risk of AFib episodes.
Dehydration is a frequent cause of atrial fibrillation, resulting from drinking too much alcohol, caffeine, or not getting enough water. Because caffeine and alcohol are possible diuretics, they can cause dehydration, which can trigger bouts of atrial fibrillation if a person doesn’t consume enough water to replenish.
Atrioventricular fibrillation events can result from any kind of psychological or physiological stress. Additionally, people who are stressed out may have trouble sleeping, drink more coffee or alcohol, or both. These behaviours can combine to cause an AFib event.
Some people may experience digestive issues after a large meal. The vagus nerve, which connects the gut, brain, and heart, can be stimulated. An AFib event may be triggered by a vagus nerve spike brought on by a substantial meal. According to research, gastrointestinal problems usually go away when an episode of AFib occurs.
No matter what causes the illness, a patient’s preferred course of action will determine how their atrial fibrillation is treated.
People must be attentive to their symptoms because AFib triggers can be subtle and they are instrumental in determining what causes the atrial fibrillation. Additionally, wearable technologies like wristbands, smartwatches, and patches have trigger monitoring features. This aids patients in identifying the precise reason for a recent cardiac rhythm problem.
Because of the numerous factors that could trigger an AFib episode people are recommended to consistently follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes moderate alcohol use, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and controlling your blood pressure and weight.
When your heart rhythm reverts to the regular within seven days and Atrial Fibrillation is resolved likely on its own or without any form of AFib treatment, it is known as Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. Arrhythmic episodes that persist for more than seven days are called Persistent Atrial Fibrillation. Long Standing Persistent Atrial Fibrillation tends to occur when no medical action is taken for over 12 months, and there is possible structural heart damage present. Lastly, Permanent Atrial Fibrillation is a condition where medication and other remedies cannot bring the heart rate and rhythm back to a healthy level.
With regard to the complications, blood clots have the propensity to form in some patients with atrial fibrillation because of the slow blood flow through the atria. Patients might suffer stroke and other complications which is why some people with atrial fibrillation require blood-thinning drugs like aspirin or warfarin.
In the early stages of atrial fibrillation, episodes of the condition may come and go and end on their own. That being said, if it persists, Atrial fibrillation won’t go away on its own if nothing is done to treat it. Numerous AFib treatments, including drugs, surgeries, and lifestyle changes, can significantly reduce atrial fibrillation.
Medical researchers (ref. link) estimate that over the next few years, there will be a major increase in the number of instances of AFib due to the fact that people are living longer and the probability of developing AFib increases with age.
The long-term management of atrial fibrillation must include changes in lifestyle and the reduction of inflammation. Targeted lifestyle changes can lessen (ref. link) your symptoms, lessen your dependency on drugs or procedures, and potentially increase the likelihood that a catheter ablation operation for AFib will be successful long term. However, most patients do not receive guidance or advice on how to implement these crucial lifestyle adjustments in a way that is specific to AFib.
Each person will have a distinct experience with atrial fibrillation triggers. It all boils down to your medical background. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a particular type of AFib, managing your symptoms largely depends on being conscious of your health and of the circumstances that could potentially set off an episode. Do not put off seeing a doctor if you think you could have AFib. Do it as soon as you can since the earlier you take action to obtain relief, the better.
Finally, AFib events can be hard to pinpoint without the right technology. Check out the Frontier X2 and it’s continuous ECG monitoring feature that gives you the best chance at catching an AFib event.
Some triggers of AFib are excessive alcohol intake, being overweight, drinking lots of caffeine, such as tea, coffee, or energy drinks, and also taking drugs.
Try to avoid foods like Alcohol, Caffeine, Food with Fat, Salt, Sugar, Vitamin K, Gluten, and more.
Natural Treatments for AFib include:
There is no precise sleep position that is useful for atrial fibrillation.
Ventricular fibrillation is the most deadly type of fibrillation as it can cause sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death.