Are You at Risk for Atrial Fibrillation? What You Should Know About This Heart Condition

If you’ve noticed a fluttering sensation in your chest, it could be a sign of atrial fibrillation. Approximately 2 million Americans experience this condition that develops when your heart beats irregularly, which causes the upper and lower chambers to move out of sync. 

 

Unfortunately, having atrial fibrillation can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, so understanding this serious condition and avoiding episodes could help save your life.

 

With six locations throughout New Jersey and New York, our skilled team of multispecialty physicians at One Oak Medical can diagnose and treat atrial fibrillation.

Understanding the cause of atrial fibrillation

Anyone can develop atrial fibrillation, but it’s most common in seniors and affects nearly 10% of men and women over age 65 at some level. 

 

Several factors can cause atrial fibrillation, including:

 

 

When you have atrial fibrillation, an episode can cause the heart to start beating abnormally. This interferes with the normal flow of blood into the lower chambers of the heart, and fluid can start to pool and clot. 

 

If a clot forms in your heart and travels to your brain, it can cause a stroke.

Reducing your risk of atrial fibrillation

The best way to prevent atrial fibrillation is by making healthy lifestyle changes that reduce unnecessary stress on your heart and improve your overall health.

Manage your weight weight

Being overweight increases your chances of atrial fibrillation by 20-25% — and these numbers jump to 60% if you’re obese. Taking steps to reach and maintain a healthy weight can help prevent episodes of atrial fibrillation. 

Watch your blood pressure

Losing exercising, weight, reducing stress — and taking medication, if needed — can all help you lower your blood pressure, which can also help reduce your chances of atrial fibrillation or suffering a stroke.  

Control your blood sugar

Having prediabetes or diabetes increases your risk of developing atrial fibrillation. By making the right dietary choices and taking medication, if necessary, you can address these risks and protect your health. Limiting your consumption of caffeine and alcohol may also help.

Don’t ignore underlying medical conditions

Untreated health problems, like anxiety, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, and other chronic conditions can put added stress on your heart. Therefore, it’s crucial to work closely with your provider to identify these issues and treat them to reduce your risk of having atrial fibrillation.

Talk to your doctor

If you have atrial fibrillation and it’s causing problems, lifestyle changes alone may not be able to adequately protect your heart. At One Oak Medical, we can design a personalized treatment strategy to keep your heart rhythm regular, prevent blood clots, and reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. 


Don’t ignore your symptoms of atrial fibrillation; book an appointment online or by calling one of our convenient One Oak Medical locations today.

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