What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a form of cardiac arrhythmia. The heart has four cavities: the left and right atria, and the left and right ventricles. In a healthy person, the atria beat in the same rhythm as the chambers. 

Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial Fibrillation

The regular heart rate allows the heart to continuously pump blood through the body and provide the organs with oxygen and nutrients. In the case of atrial fibrillation, the heart and thus also its vital pumping function get out of step.

Electrical interference fields, which form the normal beat of the heart, prevent the regular sinus rhythm. The atria beat unchecked – they start to flicker. Many patients with atrial fibrillation feel the tachycardia as a very fast, uneven pulse and feel exhausted under load.

Other patients, on the other hand, do not notice anything about their illness, here the cardiac arrhythmias usually occur like an attack or in series of episodes. If the regular heart rhythm cannot be restored, the patient can suffer from permanent atrial fibrillation.  

Since the blood flows irregularly, it can accumulate in the atria and lead to blood clots. The big danger is when a clot dissolves and migrates with the bloodstream to the brain. This is called a “stroke”. The blood vessels are closed off and choke the brain of needed oxygen.

Very few diseases change the life of a person as drastically as a stroke. Atrial fibrillation is a widespread health issue and is the most common permanent cardiac arrhythmia in adults worldwide.

Cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation are a common cause of doctor visits and hospitalization.   Nevertheless, many sufferers know nothing about their disease, but complain of heart racing or fatigue.

According to experts, the number of patients is expected to double by 2050. A gender comparison shows that as many men as women suffer from the permanent arrhythmia. The risk increases with age. About one in four people over the age of 40 will be affected by atrial fibrillation during their lifetime.

Already about 10 percent of the over 80s suffer from it. In children, atrial fibrillation is very rare. Among other things, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease or heart valve and heart muscle diseases are the reason for arrhythmias. 

Can You Protect Yourself? 

We are confident about the future of treatment for atrial fibrillation.  Thanks to effective therapies for stroke prevention it is recommended that everyone pay close attention to their heart rhythms as they get older.  Go to the doctor as soon as something seems to be wrong.

Today, sufferers and treating physicians have good options to treat atrial fibrillation and reduce the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation. A first step is to detect atrial fibrillation. Because many sufferers have long time no complaints.

If a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is made, the physician is an important source of information about therapy. An open and trusting conversation with the doctor or the specialist for dealing with the disease and the treatment options for reducing the risk of stroke are therefore essential.

A huge part of our focus on this website is in prevention and in the return of the body to its natural state.  To that end, we highly recommend that you read the series of articles about “Benefits of Grounding” that can be found on this site.

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About the Author: Nick Walsh

Nick began blogging about heart palpitations in 2002, after suffering multiple afib events that landed him in the ER with heart rates in excess of 210 BPM! Nick studied medical sciences in University and spent 7 years researching the risk factors for palpitations before discovering his own mechanisms to control or eliminate his palpitations. He shares that experience with you here.