AFib is an irregular heart rate that is often rapid with palpitations and causes insufficient blood flow. More than 6 million individuals in the United States have AFib. Hereditary heart disease usually causes the disorder, but other factors contributing to heart arrhythmias are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, heavy alcohol use, and more. A disruption to the top chamber of the heart, prompting the heart’s rhythm and rate to fluctuate, causes an arrhythmia.
The two sides of the heart work in opposition to each other. The right side of the heart takes in deoxygenated blood from the body and feeds them to the veins and lungs; the left side carries the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from the lungs and feeds it back to the body. Four chambers make up the heart. The top chambers are called the atria, and the lower are the ventricles. Without proper functioning, the heart will begin to cause damage to major organs, and without maintenance, your heart can cause adverse effects very quickly.
Most of us are very familiar with symptoms of coronary heart disease, but AFib symptoms often go overlooked and are not taken as seriously as they should be. Atrial Fibrillation takes over 130,000 lives each year.
The symptoms of an atrial heart arrhythmia are:
• Shortness of breath
• Racing heart
• Fluttering heart
• Uneven heartbeat
• Chest pain
If left untreated, AFib can cause blood clots to form in the heart. These clots are produced due to the restricted pumping of the chambers, which causes the blood to pool in the atria and form clots. If the blood clots break off, they can reach the brain and cause a stroke. Patients with AFIB are seven times more likely to have a stroke than those with normal heart rhythm.
Treatment for AFib
• Medications to regulate the heart’s rhythm (antiarrhythmic drugs)
• Blood-thinners to reduce the risk of stroke
• Surgery (i.e. Catheter ablation, MAZE procedure)
It’s critical to seek medical attention from a respected cardiologist if you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to atrial fibrillation. Do not wait, the heart muscle, rhythm, rate, and ability to pump correctly, is what is keeping you alive.
It’s your heart.
It should be personal.
And that’s how I treat it.
Dr. Thiruvallur Vallabhan is devoted to keeping your heart at its healthiest. Dr. Vallabhan is a Board Certified Cardiologist, and his mission is to provide The Villages and its surrounding communities with the highest quality cardiac care in a welcoming environment. He and his staff are dedicated to fulfilling the specific cardiac needs of each patient.
To find out more information on the Dr. Vallabhan, your local specialists in the diseases of the heart, veins, and arteries, please call (352) 750-2040 or visit them online at, Drvcardio.com
Rolling Oaks Professional Park
929 N US HWY 441, Suite 201
Lady Lake, FL 32159