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Atrial Fibrillation – The nutrition and lifestyle connection
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Atrial Fibrillation – The Nutrition and Lifestyle Connection
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).
Your heart has four chambers that beat in a rhythm; two atria and two ventricles. The atria are the upper chambers. AF happens when the atria beat too fast and irregularly. They “quiver” instead of pumping properly.
AF is the most common arrhythmia worldwide. In fact, in the US, you have a 25% risk of getting it in your lifetime. The number of people with AF is increasing and is expected to increase further as the population ages.
Symptoms of AF include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and reduced ability to exercise. Sometimes you may not experience any symptoms.
Who is most likely to get AF? About 70% of people with AF are between 65-85 years old. AF is more common in men than women.
Why should we be concerned with AF? People with AF have a steep increase in risk of blood clots, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and death. These are because the blood is not being pumped around the body properly.
Having AF also triples the risk for dementia.
AF is a serious condition that requires medical advice. Treatment involves medications; but, can also involve pacemakers or implantable defibrillators.
Subsections of the article:
- How do you get AF
- 1 – Managing Conditions
There are several medical, diet, and lifestyle approaches to managing medical conditions.
NOTE: None of these are a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly.
- 1a – Manage blood sugar and type 2 diabetes
- 1b – Manage blood lipids
- 1c – Manage high blood pressure
- 1d – Manage sleep apnea
- 1e – Manage hyperthyroidism
- 1f – Reduce obesity
- 2 – Diet and Lifestyle
- 2a – Stop smoking
- 2b – Reduce alcohol
- 2c – Caffeine – Some is good, too much is not
- 2d – Eat fish, but don’t supplement fish oil
- 2e – Vitamin D: Don’t overdo it
- 2f – Niacin (vitamin B3): Don’t overdo it
- 2g – Get enough moderate exercise
- 2h – Consider acupuncture
Click to view references
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