AFib, short for Atrial fibrillation, is considered to be the most common type of heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. It disrupts the normal blood flow in the body. What happens is the upper heart chambers – the atria, beating irregularly instead of beating efficiently to move blood to the lower heart chambers and then to the rest of the body.
Because of the improper blood flow, AFib increases the risk of forming blood clots or pooling.
If a blood clot is to move to an artery in the brain, AFib can easily lead to stroke. Congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy are other common health issues that are caused due to AFib.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease and Prevention), between 2.7 and 6.1 million Americans are living with AFib. It has also been suggested that AFib affects around 0.4% of the general population. And even more 5-10% of the people above the age of 65.
7 Signs of AFib and Arrhythmia That You Should Never Ignore
It is worth mentioning that AFib does not always cause its characteristic signs.
Some people do not experience any signs of arrhythmia, and they are unaware of this existing problem.
Until it is being discovered during a routine check or by wearing a fitness tracker that tracks their heartbeat.
However, the majority of patients report on experiencing some rather unusual sensations. Here are the seven most common signs of AFib that you should never ignore.
1. A Racing Heartbeat
Whether it was due to excitement or fear, we all have felt our heart beating so fast as if it will jump out of the chest.
But if you experience a racing heartbeat for no particular reason, then you may want to call your doctor.
When your heart is in the state of fibrillation too many electrical signals are sent to the atria at once. All competing to get to the AV node to reach the lower ventricles. This is the reason that is causing your heart to beat at a fast rate, creating that familiar sensation.
2. Chronic Fatigue
From your biology lessons, you may remember one of the blood flow’s primary functions, and that is to supply every single cell, tissue, and organ with adequate amounts of oxygen.
When your body is not getting the oxygen to function properly and survive, chronic fatigue and weakness may occur.
If you are feeling fatigued and weak for no particular reason, despite the fact of getting enough sleep and resting in front of the TV with your favorite TV-show, then it is time to schedule a consult at the doctor’s and inspect the source of your ongoing fatigue and weakness.
3. Heart Palpitations
Like the racing heart sensation, many of us have also felt that hiccup in the heart rhythm. That hiccup in your heart is skipping a beat. It may be caused by a good scare, exercise, or excitement. But if you experience these heart hiccups more often, out of nowhere, they may be signs of AFib.
4. Chest Tightness
Many health issues can be the cause of chest tightness. Take acid reflux, for example – one of the most common causes for the characteristic feeling of constriction in the chest. In that case, antacid usually solves the problem. However, if you happen to experience that burning sensation even after taking the antacid, and this has now become a common part of your every day, it is time to check it out.
Feeling lightheaded and dizzy is the way that your body is telling you that your heart is in AFib. Again, these signs of arrhythmia are caused by the lack of oxygen in your tissues. If these sensations take place without any particular reason, such as anxiety or dehydration, call up your doctor and investigate.
6. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of reasons. The list would include bronchitis, pneumonia, anemia, anxiety, anaphylaxis, and many more. If you can eliminate all of these causes as the reason for your shortness of breath that occurs out of nowhere, it may be AFib that is behind it.
7. Intolerance to Exercise
Maybe you had the habit of starting your mornings in the long run. Or maybe you were fonder of doing a quick HIIT workout at home. But lately, you notice things have changed. It is not your lack of motivation or time in the morning that is keeping you bound to the bed. Rather it is your low energy levels and weakness that you have been battling lately.
AFib can alert your everyday routine by lowering your energy levels and your physical endurance. Making a 10-minute workout impossible.
Because exercise is such an important part of our life, we recommend talking to your doctor and finding out the root of the problem, which may as well be AFib.
AFib can be the cause of some rather challenging signs and symptoms. Feeling fatigued, out of breath, and dizzy all the time can prevent you from taking part in your usual daily activities. So much so, that it can turn you in a couch potato.
But that may not be the worst part of it all because AFib does potentially threaten to end your life if you do not get properly treated as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor about any of the characteristic signs of AFib that you may have been experiencing lately.
Take a step further and explore how you can monitor and control your heart health on your own with a personal electrocardiogram (ECG). This solution within a simple, fast, and effective heart measurements detects signs of existing or potential AFib risks. Thereby allowing you to act in order to prevent them before it is too late.