WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I EXPERIENCE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION?

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) may cause you to feel one or more of these symptoms:

  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Thumping or pounding heartbeats
  • A feeling that the heart is racing
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fainting or light-headedness
  • Fatigue, shortness of breath or weakness

However, some people have no symptoms and discover that they have AFib at a doctor’s appointment. Even for people who have no symptoms, AFib is a serious medical condition that can lead to complications.

Risk factors

Some risk factors that contribute to AFib can be controlled or modified, like managing high blood pressure and reducing alcohol consumption. Controllable risk factors include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Excess weight
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Stress
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Lack of exercise
  • Some medications
  • Sleep apnea
  • Thyroid disorders

But there are several non-controllable risk factors:

  • Family history
  • Advancing age
  • Heart disorders from birth
  • Gender — males have a higher incidence of AFib