Important Info on Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation can make it hard for the heart to pump enough blood to keep up with the body's demands.
The condition is often associated with existing heart problems. Other causes of atrial fibrillation may include:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Thyroid problems
- Lung problems
- Overuse of alcohol.
In order to make a definitive atrial fibrillation diagnosis, a healthcare provider considers a person's symptoms and performs a complete physical exam. He or she will likely also order certain tests. Tests used to make a diagnosis include an EKG (electrocardiogram), blood tests, and a Holter monitor test.
While atrial fibrillation is rarely cured, it can often be managed with the proper treatment, which is aimed at:
- Restoring the normal rhythm and rate of the heart
- Preventing the formation of unwanted blood clots
- Treating any underlying health problems.
You and your healthcare providers should work together to design an atrial fibrillation treatment plan that's right for you. Treatment may include a combination of one or more medications, changes to your diet and lifestyle, and possibly treatment with one of several procedures.
By following a proper treatment plan, many people can reduce their symptoms of atrial fibrillation and prevent this condition from interfering with their daily activities. However, because atrial fibrillation puts you at an increased risk for developing serious health problems, it usually requires lifelong monitoring and treatment by your healthcare professional.