What is AFib vs Other Heart Arrhythmias?

September is AFib Consciousness Month, and at Fitbit, we’re serving to you to be taught extra by way of content material that focuses on all issues coronary heart well being all through the month. Click here for extra weblog posts within the sequence.

An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. This occurs when electrical impulses that management the guts’s rhythm fireplace irregularly, inflicting the guts to beat too quick, too slowly or erratically. 

One explicit arrhythmia you will have heard of is atrial fibrillation (AFib). Hundreds of thousands of persons are residing with AFib. 

AFib is an irregular or quivering heartbeat that retains the guts’s higher chambers from emptying fully. This enables blood to pool and clot. If a blood clot enters the bloodstream and lodges in an artery serving the mind, this results in stroke. 

What ought to somebody do in the event that they get a constructive studying?

Search medical remedy should you suspect that you will have atrial fibrillation. Usually, individuals with AFib report feeling their coronary heart “skip a beat” or “bang towards their chest” throughout gentle exertion, comparable to carrying gadgets up a flight of stairs. Others with AFib recount feeling “nauseated, light-headed and weak,” with a “actually quick heartbeat.” 

However different individuals with AFib don’t have any signs. That’s why it’s necessary to have common bodily exams, so {that a} well being care supplier can test your coronary heart well being. A smartwatch or tracker can give you a glimpse into your coronary heart fee on a day-to-day foundation.

Should you’re identified with atrial fibrillation, work together with your well being care supplier to find out your remedy plan. Your well being care supplier might deal with the direct reason for your AFib (comparable to hyperthyroidism), or they might counsel methods to manage your coronary heart’s rhythm. Usually, well being care suppliers suggest medicines referred to as blood thinners to minimize stroke danger for AFib sufferers.

Who is liable to AFib?

Anybody can develop atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is an irregular heartbeat that may result in stroke. Nonetheless, a number of elements place some individuals at larger danger.

What might enhance that danger?

Superior age: The variety of adults creating AFib will increase considerably with age. 

Hypertension: Lengthy-standing, uncontrolled blood strain can enhance your danger for AFib.

Underlying coronary heart illness: Anybody with coronary heart illness or a historical past of coronary heart assault is at larger danger. AFib is additionally the commonest complication after coronary heart surgical procedure.

Extreme alcohol use: Binge consuming might put you at larger danger for AFib.

Household historical past: Having a member of the family with a historical past of AFib will increase your possibilities of being identified. 

Sleep apnea: Research present a robust hyperlink between obstructive sleep apnea and AFib.

Athletic conditioning: AFib can have an effect on athletes, notably endurance athletes who endure excessive coaching. This isn’t a priority for most individuals, who profit enormously from average train.

Other power situations: Others at larger danger for AFib embody these with thyroid issues, diabetes and bronchial asthma.


For these with AFib, durations of utmost stress or fatigue can set off episodes of atrial fibrillation. Power drinks, alcohol use or poor sleep will also be triggers.

What can customers do to minimize their danger?

Listed below are some issues you are able to do to assist stop AFib:

• Get common, average to vigorous bodily exercise

• Eat a heart-healthy weight loss program

• Handle hypertension

• Keep away from extreme alcohol and caffeine

• Don’t smoke

• Management ldl cholesterol

• Preserve a wholesome weight

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