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What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) is a condition in which the heart's upper chambers (atria) beat irregularly. This can cause the heart to beat too fast or too slow, and it can also cause the heart to quiver or flutter.

A-Fib is the most common arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. It affects about 2.7 million people in the United States. A-Fib is more common as people age, and it is also more common in people with other health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and obesity.

A-Fib can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • Heart palpitations (rapid, fluttering, or pounding)

  • Lightheadedness

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis. A-Fib can be treated with medication, surgery, or a combination of both.

Medications for A-Fib can help to control the heart rate and prevent blood clots. Surgery can be used to restore normal heart rhythm. A-Fib can also be treated with a combination of medication and surgery.

If you have A-Fib, it is important to take steps to prevent complications. These steps include:

  • Managing your blood pressure

  • Managing your heart failure

  • Managing your obesity

  • Quitting smoking

  • Taking medication as prescribed by your doctor

  • Getting regular exercise

  • Eating a healthy diet

A-Fib can be a serious condition, but it is treatable. With proper care, you can live a full and active life.



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