What is AFib?

About 2% of people under the age of 65, and 9% of people over the age of 65 have AFib…that’s millions of people in America. So what is AFib?

In Afib or Atrial Fibrillation, the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart do not beat the way they should. They beat irregularly and too fast, which disrupts blood flow to the lower chambers of the heart.

So how do you know if you have AFib? Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations (rapid, fluttering, or pounding)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

The risk for AFib does increase with age, but there are other risk facts as well:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  •  European ancestry
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Enlargement of the chambers on the left side of the heart

AFib may occur in episodes or it can be a permanent condition. You can live with AFib, but it can lead to other rhythm problems, fatigue, heart failure and stroke.

Luckily, there are many treatment options, including medications, surgery and lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor to see if you are at risk.

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