Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which there is irregularity in the rhythm and increase in heart rate that results in various complication like stroke, heart attack and other heart related disorders.

During each cycle upper heart chambers which is atria beat irregularly and lower chambers which is ventricles beat become clumsy.

Events of atrial fibrillation are episodic but sometimes it may persist which require proper treatment. It is generally not a life-threatening condition but occasionally it results is medical emergency.

The concerning problems related to this condition is the potential to develop clots inside the chambers which circulate as an embolus and lead to ischemia of tissues due to blood flow blockage.


Atrial fibrillation usually presents asATRIAL FIBRILLATION

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations {racing of heart, feeling of flip flopping in the chest}
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

Atrial fibrillation may be

  1. It is also known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Episode last for minutes to hours. Symptoms are transient for which you usually don’t need treatment.
  2. Persistent. In thus type heart rate doesn’t become normal after some time on its own. So, in order to have proper heart rate you may need treatments like electric shock or medication
  3. Long-standing persistent. Fibrillation is continuing and last for more than 12 hours.
  4. In this type heart rhythm can’t be corrected and you have fibrillation permanently. In order to prevent blood clots and control heart rhythm you need medication.

The main cause of atrial fibrillation is the over excitation of impulses in the AV node which then transfer to ventricles. Due to this the impulses in the upper atria chamber become disorderly. As a result, they tremble. The rate of contraction of ventricle also increases but at much less pace then atria. Other causes are:

  • Stroke: the risk of stroke depends upon your age and other co-morbid like diabetes, hypertension, or other history of past stroke or heart failure. Different medication that causes thinning of blood like aspirin prove to lower the risk of stroke
  • Heart failure: uncontrolled atrial fibrillation can lead to ineffective pumping of blood to the body condition known as heart failure.

There are many factors to keep in mind in order to reduce the risk of heart diseases

  •       Eating LDL low content food
  •       Exercising daily
  •       Avoid smoking
  •       Limiting stress
  •       Limiting the use of caffeine and alcohol
  •       Use over the counter medication with precaution that could increases the risk of heart diseases

Firstly, asking about detailed history, reviewing sign and symptoms and preforming complete physical examination following test are done:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). It detects the electrical signals of heart through leads which are attach to heart and arms. It is considered as the primary tool for diagnosis.
  • Holter monitor. Prolong indication of the rhythm of heart for the duration of 24 hours or more. It is a portable devise.
  • Event recorder. It provides the history of heart rhythm at the time of symptoms by giving ECG of a given time. This device allows you to record the activity of heart over weeks.
  • This is used to diagnose structural heart diseases and diseases of heart related to blood clots.
  • Blood tests. In order to find out any toxic substance or thyroid problems
  • Stress test. It involves test on your heart while you are doing exercise
  • Chest X-ray. It can be used to rule out condition other than atrial fibrillation that is mimicking the clinical features.

The main aim of treatment is to restore the rhythm and making heart rate in control as well as to minimize the risk the production of blood clots that would ultimately decrease the risk of stroke

  1. Cardioversion: this procedure reset the heart rhythms to normal. It can be electric or can be dine with drugs.
  2. anti-arrhythmic medications: it includes sotalol, amiodarone, propafenone.
  3. Catheter and surgical procedures: sometimes when medication and cardioversion doesn’t provide good results catheter ablations and other surgical procedures like; maze procedure, AV node ablation can be considered.
  4. Anticoagulants: to minimize the possibility of blood clot formation drugs like warfarin, apixaban, rivaroxaban is prescribed.
  5. Left atrial appendage closure: this procedure is given to deal with the clot formation complication of atrial fibrillation
Home Remedies
  1. Consuming healthy diet which has low salt content and rich in fruits and organic vegetables
  2. Be active by exercising and running daily
  3. Reduce the body mass. Obesity is the leading cause of many heart diseases
  4. Stop smoking.
  5. Keep your blood pressure and body weight under control
  6. Limit alcohol consumption
  7. Have a consistent follow up medical visits.
Scroll to Top