Atrial Fibrillation

Below you will find more information about Atrial Fibrillation from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Atrial Fibrillation and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Atrial Fibrillation comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Atrial Fibrillation is an abnormal rhythm of the heart characterized by quivering instead of normal beating. This decreases the efficiency of the heart to move blood increasing the incidence of stroke because of the formation of blood clots in the heart.

Diagnosis

Electrocardiogram(ECG) measures electrical impulses of the heart. Holter Monitor records electrical activity of the heart as you do your daily activities. Echocardiogram provides video images of the heart in motion to detect any structural heart disease. Blood tests to help rule out other conditions leading to atrial fibrillation.

Treatment

Treatments include medications and procedures that aim to reset the heart rhythm to normal or control the heart rate and to prevent blood clot formation. Medications include blood thinners, cardioversion drugs, and anti-arrhytmics to help prevent future episodes of atrial fibrillation. If medications and cardioversion techniques won't work to control atrial fibrillation surgical and catheter interventions are carried out.

Symptoms and Signs

Thumping sensation in the chest as if the heart is racing clinically termed as palpitations. Fainting sensation or lightheadedness. Shortness of breath especially when lying down flat. Swollen ankles and feeling exhausted for a long period of time.

Causes

The most common cause of atrial fibrillation is damage or abnormality in the structure of the heart caused by diseases or conditions including long-term hypertension, heart attacks, and abnormal heart valves, and congenital heart defects, metabolic imbalances like overactive thyroid, lung diseases, viral infection, and even sleep apnea . In some cases, the cause is often unclear, this is known as lone atrial fibrillation.

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