Symptoms And Treatment Of Atrial Fibrillation

What is atrial fibrillation?

The atrium is a part of the heart. In the heart are four cavities. The two upper cavities are called atria (atria) and two lower cavities chambers (ventricles). Seated valves. Between the atria and ventricles The blood flows into the heart through the atria, then comes in the room and then pumped into the body.

Atrial fibrillation literally means' shaking of the atrium.

The heart beats in a certain rhythm: if you sit quietly usually with 60 to 90 beats per minute. When you exercise, your heart beats faster.

Sometimes the heart beats too fast or irregular. Then there may be a cardiac arrhythmia.
Atrial fibrillation is such a heart arrhythmia. In atrial fibrillation, the heart irregular and usually faster, knocks often more than 100 beats per minute, while you do not even effort.

Whether it really going to atrial fibrillation can be seen only on a heart film (ECG). It may be that you must wear a device with him. This measures the rhythm at the time that it is irregular.

How is atrial fibrillation ?

Certain nerve fibers ensure that your heart remains a signal (electrical stimulus) gets to beat. In atrial fibrillation, these signals properly so your heart beats irregularly. The exact cause remains unclear.

Sometimes atrial fibrillation is short, for example:

*with a disorder of the thyroid gland;
*with pneumonia;
*in anemia;
*immediately after a heart attack or heart surgery.

Once the disease is atrial fibrillation usually disappears by itself.

Atrial fibrillation is sometimes provoked by:

*strenuous exercise or stress;
*a hearty meal;
*much alcohol or coffee;
*drugs or certain medications (some thyroid or asthma drugs or prednisone).

When you stop it usually goes away.

The probability of atrial fibrillation is greater for:

*elderly (aged over 75)
*people with heart valve damage
*people with a heart disease,
*people with high blood pressure and
*people with diabetes mellitus.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation ?

Some people feel their heart beating irregularly or fast. This can lead to anxiety and even fear. You may be more tired or short of breath, for example during physical exertion. You may feel dizzy or you get light-headed. There are also people who do not notice that they have atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation will in more than half of the cases, self-limiting, often within two days.

When one-third of the people will take longer than two days, or atrial fibrillation, it is increasingly back. The blood in the heart can thus flow more slowly. There is a small chance that blood clots.
Such a clot from the heart can get into the brains in a blood vessel. The clot in the blood vessel is stuck and shut it off. Part of your brains is therefore no more blood and you will get a stroke.

 The two upper cavities are called atria  Symptoms And Treatment Of Atrial Fibrillation

Your risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation is greater in:

*heart failure (the heart pumps less);
*high blood pressure;
*age over 65 years;
*diabetes mellitus;
*have previously had a stroke;
*valvular heart disease;

A blood clot may also enter into a blood vessel in your leg or in your gut.

Advice for atrial fibrillation

In the case of the first atrial fibrillation within two days go away. Coffee, alcohol, drugs or heavy meals, you should not take because they can trigger atrial fibrillation.

Treatment of atrial fibrillation

Does atrial fibrillation many complaints, it takes a long time or is it getting back? Then you will receive medication to make your heart beats slower. Your heart rate can still be irregular. But because your heart beats more slowly, you will feel calmer. The medication can also endeavor better. Examples of resources include: beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and digoxin. These medications help to get your heart rate below 110 beats per minute.

In atrial fibrillation that lasts longer than two days or return, you also get blood thinners (also called anticoagulants). These are drugs that help prevent blood clots. The less fast your blood clots, the less likely that a clot formed. Is This also reduces the risk of stroke. Examples of blood thinners are: acenocoumarol and phenprocoumon.
Some people may not have these resources, for example because their liver or kidneys are not working properly. They get another blood thinner: acetylsalicylic acid.
Together with your doctor to discuss whether there is also need medication to protect your stomach.

There are also new means to prevent bloedstolses (NOAC's). Because there is less experience with these agents have acenocoumarol and phenprocoumon are preferred.

You do not need blood thinners if you:

*are male and
*younger than 75 years and
*does not have risk characteristics that increase the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation.

Sometimes has a different cause, for example, atrial fibrillation pneumonia. This cause should be treated. When you get pneumonia drugs against pneumonia. The heart rate usually also normal.

What happens next with atrial fibrillation ?

Younger than 65 years
If you are under 65 and you have atrial fibrillation for the first time? Then you go to the hospital within two days. Since the cardiologist examines what the cause is.
Prompt treatment at a young age can sometimes make is not reflected atrial fibrillation more or less quickly. That Treatment consists of medication or an electrical stimulus (under general anesthesia). Giving the electrical stimulus is called cardioversion.

In many people, but does not go atrial fibrillation. They must remain usually use blood thinners.

Older than 65 years
If you are over 65 years old and you have atrial fibrillation for the first time? Then you go within two days return to your doctor for review. The doctor asks how you are doing and check your heart rate. Sometimes an ECG (re) created.

Is atrial fibrillation disappeared, then further treatment or investigation is not necessary.
Is atrial fibrillation there yet or is it still back, then you probably get medication to make your heart beat. Quieter You also get blood thinners to reduce the risk of a clot.

*Are you older than 65 and
*you have less than two days and atrial fibrillation
*all the time many complaints? The cardiologist can try the heart to give an electrical stimulus to see if the heart is beating normally again. Giving the electrical stimulus is called cardioversion.

You get from your doctor medication, go every week for check to your doctor until:

*the symptoms are less,
*the blood is thin enough and
*good to you can go with the blood-thinning medications.

The doctor also checks if your heart continues to work well. He / she asks about breathlessness on exertion and view or moisture clings.

Are the drugs properly and the complaints or much less? Then contact each year remains important. Your doctor The annual audit you discuss with your doctor any problems or complaints. Look at your family doctor if your medications need to be adjusted.

When contact with atrial fibrillation ?

*If you are under 65 and you have palpitations? Call immediately to your doctor or GP to discuss. If you have atrial fibrillation, the doctor will direct you to a cardiologist for further investigation. At a young age early treatment (within 48 hours) can sometimes cause the atrial fibrillation remains away.
*Are you older than 65? Call your GP to discuss. This looks or research and treatment is needed. The complaints often within two days by itself.
*Please also contact your health care provider if you suddenly:
-difficult can talk,
-less see,
-or if your face skewed pulls.
*This phenomena can result from a blood clot in the brain (stroke). You should then straight to the hospital for treatment.
*At vomiting, diarrhea or infections (fever), you must call the doctor. Sometimes the medications than (temporarily) be adjusted.

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