Ways to Reduce the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

Jan 8 • 2015

Many people experience atrial fibrillation. It is the most common type of arrhythmia, which is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. It could cause the heart to beat too quickly, too slowly, or have an irregular rhythm. With atrial fibrillation, blood pools within the atria and is not pumped completely into the ventricles of the heart. This causes the upper and lower chambers to not work together in the way that they should. People who have atrial fibrillation might not feel any symptoms, but it can increase the risk for stroke. It can also cause chest pain or heart failure.

In order to reduce your risk for the onset of atrial fibrillation, it is important to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. After diagnosis, take the medications that have been prescribed by your doctor and be sure to get proper treatment to manage the condition. This will help you to reduce the risk of the consequences of this disease.

There are several complications associated with atrial fibrillation; however, the risk of these complications can also be reduced. The following lifestyle changes are important:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats
  • Manage high blood pressure
  • Do not smoke
  • Only consumer alcohol and caffeine in moderation
  • Control your cholesterol
  • Get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight

The onset of atrial fibrillation can also be contributed to other underlying conditions. People suffering from diabetes, sleep apnea, thyroid disease, chronic lung disease, or other heart conditions should work with a doctor to address them right away. Additionally, having a family history of atrial fibrillation means a greater risk of onset.

To find out more about heart health, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.