September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

september-atrial-fibrillation-awareness-month

What is Atrial Fibrillation

September is national atrial fibrillation awareness month.  What is atrial fibrillation?  (Atrial fibrillation is often referred to as afib for short).  Simply put it is an irregular heartbeat.  The heart beats at a regular rhythm that is controlled by electrical signals in a specific part of the heart.  When the heart’s normal rhythm becomes irregular or disorganized the heart flutters and does not pump efficiently.  The heart is considered to be in atrial fibrillation.

Symptoms of Afib

Some people don’t have any symptoms of afib.  However others may experience a rapid heartbeat when they are not engaging in any activity or they may experience shortness of breath, dizziness or fatigue.

Why You Should Be Aware

Why is it important to be aware of afib?  According to the American Heart Association, atrial fibrillation could lead to a stroke or other heart related illnesses.  Some risk factors that may contribute to a person developing afib are high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, excessive drinking, and smoking.

What Can You Do

While afib may not always be prevented some steps you can take to lower your risk include eating a heart healthy diet, not smoking, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.

If you want to know more about afib watch the video below.  As with any medical condition, regular check-ups with your physician can help with early detection and management of any health related issue.

Northshore University Health System video:  Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms & Treatments

How to Prevent Afib:  National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

*The information in this post is for informational/entertainment purposes and should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition or symptoms.

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