Atrial fibrillation (AY-tree-uhl fih-bruh-LAY-shun), also called Afib or AF, is an irregular and often fast heartbeat.
If you have a fast heartbeat, you may feel lightheaded, dizzy, and weak. An irregular heartbeat can also increase your risk of heart failure or stroke. Afib is often the result of another heart condition, such as high blood pressure or coronary artery disease. Many people can live full and active lives with Afib.
Here are some helpful tips to help you to stay healthy and active:
- Follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. This may help reduce how often you have episodes of Afib.
- Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats.
- Be active. Talk to your doctor about what type and level of exercise is safe for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.
- Manage stress. Try yoga or meditation to help.
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Limit alcohol to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Avoid alcohol if it triggers your Afib symptoms.
- Take medicine properly and safely. Taking medicine can help you feel better and prevent future problems.
- Take your medicine exactly as prescribed.
- If you take a blood thinner, be sure you get instructions on how to take your medicine safely.
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicine. Some prescription and nonprescription medicines can interact with your heart medicines.
- Manage other health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring and feeling sleepy during the day. Many people with Afib also have sleep apnea.
- Manage symptoms.
- Work with your doctor to treat your Afib symptoms.
- Tell your doctor how Afib affects your life so they can help you to create an action plan to manage your Afib episodes.
For more information on Afib, email email@example.com or call 1-800-355-0885. We are available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Copyright 2023 Healthwise Inc. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.