Atrial Fibrillation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the heart beats irregularly because the upper chambers do not get enough blood. This can result in chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, fatigue, and shortness of breath. There is no known cure for atrial fibrillation but it can be controlled by medication. The signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation often go unnoticed until a stroke occurs. Stroke risk increases dramatically if you experience more than one episode of atrial fibrillation per week or if you have diabetes.

In order to prevent strokes from occurring, it is important to make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake, controlling high cholesterol levels, and reducing stress. If you believe your heart rate has increased and you feel strange after exercise, call 911 immediately. Do not wait to tell paramedics about any symptoms. A silent stroke could lead to an infarction (a localized area of dead tissue). The sooner a person receives medical help, the better chance he or she has to avoid permanent brain damage.

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid uncoordinated contractions and quivering of atria which result in irregular and sometimes ineffective pumping action of the left ventricle.

This leads to inadequate blood flow throughout the body. AFib can occur spontaneously or it can be caused by other conditions such as infections, tumors, trauma, etc., and the condition can persist for weeks or months. Its most common symptom is dizziness, but if untreated, it can lead to stroke and death.

How many Types of atrial fibrillation?

There are three main types of atrial fibrillations paroxysmal, persistent, and Long-Standing Persistent. Paroxysmal is something you can catch and it goes away quickly. Persistence is something that comes back periodically over weeks to months.

It is possible to get both kinds. Paroxysmal AF has no symptoms. You will just be told by your doctor that you have it. If you do not take any treatment, the period of time where the AF occurs will gradually become shorter. Persistent AF results from structural changes in the heart muscle. This means that if you stop taking medications, the electrical impulses in your heart return to normal within days.

Types of atrial fibrillation

Long-Standing Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Your doctor can help you find out if it is safe to do electrical cardioversion or ablation surgery. Sometimes both treatments work together, but sometimes only one works. You will need to meet with a cardiologist who knows about your condition before deciding which procedure is right for you.

Ablation involves burning parts of your heart. It is an invasive operation and recovery takes several months. Electrical cardioversion does not require cutting anything open. It is less expensive. However, you will be given medicine to make yourself sicker until you get used to being off blood thinners. This affects how much damage you might sustain during surgery.

Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation is fast and irregular heartbeats. It is an abnormal electrical rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart. This condition can cause chest pain, palpitations, sweating, dizziness, feeling faint, shortness of breath, and other symptoms.

People will often be unaware of it until their doctor notices an irregular heartbeat. Treatment includes medications to control and prevent further episodes. You also need to make lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and large amounts of salt (commonly found in processed foods). If you have paroxysmal atrial fibrillation see your doctor or nurse practitioner immediately.

Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Persistent atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart. It can be treated with anticoagulant medications such as warfarin (Coumadin). About 50% of patients who receive warfarin will need to take other medicines to prevent blood clots from forming in their veins. Warfarin can also cause serious bleeding problems. For most people who need it, taking warfarin is more beneficial than harmful.

Persistent atrial fibrillation is much less common than paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. It means that your heart rate stays high and irregular for a long period. This usually happens because your electrical system has problems. You probably won’t need an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or another kind of device to prevent further episodes unless you also have another condition that makes you very prone to atrial fibrillation (e.g., Marfan’s syndrome).

However, it can be hard to recognize persistent AFib until other health issues develop. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how to best manage your atrial fibrillation so that you don’t have any complications such as stroke and heart failure.

Permanent Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormally fast heart rhythm that occurs in your upper chambers, which make up half of the heart’s lower chamber. It can lead to strokes and other health problems if it isn’t treated. If you have atrial fibrillation, your doctor will monitor your pulse using a device called a stethoscope. This allows them to detect any abnormalities quickly. Your doctor may also check how well your blood is flowing through your body using ultrasound, x-rays, EKG (Electrocardiogram), or MRI scans. Treatment options include medication, catheter ablation, electrical cardioversion, pacemaker implantation, or surgery.

This condition is related to an irregular heartbeat. It happens more often among older adults than younger ones. Doctors think that it might be caused by genetic factors. People with this problem should see their doctors regularly. Your doctor might recommend medications to help regulate your heart rhythm.

Acute Onset Atrial Fibrillation

Acute onset atrial fibrillation is rapid heart rhythm that occurs within 48 hours after symptoms first appear. It can be caused by electrolyte imbalances, such as low blood potassium (hypokalemia) or high sodium levels (hypernatremia). People who have experienced acute onset atrial fibrillation (AOAF) will need to take their medications regularly to keep their hearts healthy.

If you have AOAF, it is important to get your potassium level checked regularly so that you don’t develop complications from hypokalemia. You will also need to watch out for signs of hypernatremia, which could lead to dehydration.

Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation

Postop AF is often caused by an infection that travels to the heart through the bloodstream. It can occur anytime after surgery, but it seems to happen more frequently within the first 10 days. This means that you should be alert for signs of fever, chills, pain around your chest area, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and sweating. You will also need to take your medicine every day. If you notice any of those symptoms contact your doctor immediately. He/she might want to do tests to see if there is an infection that needs treatment.

Is atrial fibrillation a serious condition?

Atrial fibrillation is characterized by rapid irregular heartbeats. It often occurs during sleep. People who suffer from it can feel tired during the day.

Doctors sometimes use electrical shocks to restore normal heart rhythms in patients who have had abnormal heartbeat over a long period of time. This treatment involves placing an electrode inside one’s chest near the lungs. A wire leads from this electrode down through the body to another electrode attached near a leg bone (tibia). If the patient has too much electricity running through his system, he feels pain and might be more likely to die than if there was no electricity running through him. Electrical shock therapy should only be given after other treatments have failed to correct the problem.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood clots to form. AFib affects approximately two million Americans every year. It often occurs after you’ve had surgery. You hear a thumping sound instead of your normal heartbeat. If left untreated, it can lead to stroke or heart failure. Your doctor will try to find out how long you’ve been having these problems by checking your medical records. He or she may also ask questions about your lifestyle habits, such as whether you smoke cigarettes or use alcohol excessively.

  • Sensations of a fast, fluttering, or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness

How atrial fibrillation is diagnosed?

Atrial Fibrillation occurs when there are abnormal electrical impulses within the heart’s atria. This can cause irregular heartbeat. It is also referred to as A-fib. It affects about one out of every 100 adults over age 65. Most cases do not require treatment.

However, some symptoms need medical attention. For example, if you notice paleness, dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, or shortness of breath, contact your doctor right away. Your doctor will decide whether you should be hospitalized. If you are being treated for an underlying health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney problems, or heart failure, make note of all medications and doses.

Share any new symptoms that occur while taking these drugs. If your symptoms get worse or last longer than usual, contact your doctor immediately. Make sure to tell him or her which drugs you are taking. You may want to call ahead so he or she has enough information to give you the best advice. Checkup: When was the last time you had your pulse taken? Do you know how many beats per minute (bpm) it was? How well does your pulse match the normal rate for your age group? Have you ever had a diagnosis of AFib? What did your doctor say? Do you have questions about your condition? Share them in our discussion board below.

Tests for atrial fibrillation Blood tests, Electrocardiogram (EKG), Chest X-ray, Echocardiogram, CT scans, and MRI.

What is the latest treatment for atrial fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heartbeat that can make you feel lightheaded and weak. It may also cause chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or problems sleeping. Many people who have AFib do not know it until it has been going on for some time.

The most common way to treat AFib today is by using anti-arrhythmic drugs such as amiodarone. Amiodarone works by slowing down electrical impulses in your heart and making your heartbeat regular again. There are other treatments available. Your doctor may suggest one of these options:

Electrical cardioversion

A procedure used to control atrial fibrillation by applying an electrical current through the heart’s upper chambers (atria). Electrodes placed on the skin can deliver the current directly to the heart. This is also known as an external cardiac defibrillator.


Ablation is an important part of treating atrial fibrillation. It is a procedure to burn off parts of the heart muscle. This helps slow down the fast electrical signals that cause your heartbeat to be irregular. There is no surgery involved. We use radiofrequency energy (RF) to heat up the area where we want to treat. If you do not get rid of the abnormal tissue it will keep causing problems. RF can be used to make the heart more efficient at pumping blood around the body. RF also can help prevent further problems from developing by helping keep the heart’s structure healthy.


Medications can help control your symptoms of atrial fibrillation. This is a type of irregular heartbeat where each beat is shorter than normal. Your doctor will talk to you about which medication works best for you. You may need several types of medications to get rid of the problem completely. Medications can be taken by mouth or injected under the skin.

If you already have atrial fibrillation, taking medicine for it may prevent other problems. People who take medicine can’t go back to their old way of life after treatment. For example, if you stop taking your medicines, you could suffer from severe side effects such as heart failure, stroke, or death. Medicines work best when combined with lifestyle changes, such as eating well and exercising regularly.

Medical procedures

A medical procedure is used to treat atrial fibrillation. It involves electrical stimulation of your heart to make it beat properly. This can be done by placing electrodes inside your chest cavity. Sometimes it can also use a catheter.

Convergent procedure

The atria contract in an orderly fashion to pump blood through the heart. This order is disrupted by atrial fibrillation (AF), which means “noisy hearts”. AF occurs when electrical signals fail to activate the atria in syncopation with the ventricles. AF can cause palpitations, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and death. The most common type of AF, known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, lasts only a few minutes. People who suffer from this condition tend to be older and obese. Those with more severe cases of paroxysmal AF will experience it often.

Convergent Procedure Treatment Atrial Fibrillation (CPAF) is a new and innovative technique used to restore normal sinus rhythm without having to use drugs to stop arrhythmia. CPAF uses direct current electricity to stimulate the atrium, thereby forcing it to beat normally rather than chaotically or intermittently. For patients suffering from persistent AF, CPAF uses low-energy cardioversion to convert their own heart back to a regular heartbeat. The procedure takes less than ten minutes and does not require anesthesia. Patients return home after one hour while recovering from any mild side effects such as muscle soreness caused by the electric shock.

How can I check for Afib at home?

If you have an episode of Afib (atrial fibrillation) it can be dangerous. It means your heart is beating too fast and irregularly. This increases your risk of stroke or other complications. You should seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms. There are several ways to check for afib at home. One way is by checking your pulse using your wrist. Another is listening to your heartbeat through a stethoscope placed over your chest. A third is looking for signs of swelling in your legs or ankles.

Causes of atrial fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is an abnormal heart rhythm that occurs when your heart beats faster than normal. It affects about 1% of all adults over 65 years old and can be fatal if untreated. There are many things that can cause AF to happen and it has different symptoms depending on which part of the heart becomes affected. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room.

Risk factors

  • Age. Age is one of the most important risk factors because it increases the chance of developing AFib. People who are older than 65 years old are more likely to develop AFib than younger adults.
  • Gender. Women seem to get AFib more often than men do.
  • Race/ethnicity. African Americans seem to develop AFib more often than Caucasians or Hispanics.
  • Heart Disease. This condition can damage the electrical system of your heart, making it difficult to maintain normal heart rhythms.
  • Diabetes. High levels of glucose in the blood can cause problems with how your heart works. Smoking. Research shows that smokers have higher rates of AFib than nonsmokers.
  • Family History. Having a first-degree relative with AFib makes you more likely to develop the disease yourself.
  • Other conditions. Certain medical conditions increase your risk of AFib, including mitral valve prolapse, hypertension, obesity, thyroid disorders, sleep apnea, rheumatic fever, and valvular heart diseases. Physical Activity. Regular exercise decreases the risk of AFib, especially after 40 years of age. Alcohol use. Heavy drinking greatly increases the risk of AFib. Mental Health. Depression and anxiety increase the risk of developing AFib.


What triggers atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat caused by electrical problems in your heart’s upper chambers (atria). Symptoms include palpitations (irregular heartbeat), shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, and other signs and symptoms. If left untreated, you can develop complications such as blood clots, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Your doctor will discuss treatment options.

Can you live a long life with atrial fibrillation?

Yes, it is possible to live a long life with atrial fibrillation. People with AFib who take medication to prevent clot formation have a lower risk of stroke than those who do not. However, only half of AFib sufferers currently take their medications regularly.

How can I correct my atrial fibrillation naturally?

Atrial Fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that does not allow enough blood to travel through the heart, causing it to beat out of rhythm. This can cause you to feel dizzy, tired, and short of breath. It also increases your risk of stroke. A study conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health shows that about one million Americans suffer from AF.

If left untreated the condition may lead to congestive heart failure, disability, and death. There are medications (also known as anticoagulants) that have been proven effective in treating AF. However, there are side effects associated with their use. One such medication is Warfarin. Other natural remedies include vitamin C supplements, garlic pills, flaxseed oil capsules, and ginger tea.