AFib graphic

Atrial fibrillation can be prevented and treated.

Know the symptoms

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. The most common symptom: a quivering or fluttering heartbeat. Sometimes people with AFib have no symptoms and their condition is only detectable upon physical examination. Others may experience:

• General fatigue or when exercising

• Rapid and irregular heartbeat

• Fluttering or “thumping” in the chest

• Dizziness

• Shortness of breath and anxiety

• Weakness

• Faintness or confusion

• Sweating

• Chest pain or pressure — Chest pain or pressure is a medical emergency. You may be having a heart attack. Call 911 immediately.

Get the right treatment

The treatment goals of AFib start with a proper diagnosis. The exam usually includes questions about your history and often an EKG or ECG. Some patients may need a thorough electrophysiology study.

Treatment options may include one or more of the following: medications; nonsurgical procedures; surgical procedures.

Prevention strategies

To reduce risk for the onset of AFib, a heart-healthy lifestyle is always the best option.

• Get regular physical activity

• Eat a heart-healthy diet, low in salt, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol

• Manage high blood pressure

• Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine

• Don’t smoke

• Control cholesterol

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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