AFib (AF), Atrial fibrillation, Healthcare, Heart Diseases, Heart Failure, Heart Health

What Can Trigger Atrial Fibrillation? 5 Common Suspects

5 Common AFib Triggers and Tips

Atrial fibrillation or AFib, for short, is one of the most widespread heart problems on the globe. It’s so common that over 2.7 million people in the U.S. are living with the condition. The question is, what are AFib triggers? Is there a way you can prevent this life-threatening problem?

AFib recognized by the quick and irregular heart rate can increase the risk of experiencing heart failure, stroke, or other cardiovascular complications.

Don’t worry; we have all the answers you need! We compiled all the statistical analysis on the AFib triggers that will definitely come in handy. So, let’s get right to it. 

5 AFib Triggers You Should Know About

Certain triggers can result in an AFib episode. When an episode happens, the heart rate could range from 100-175 beats a min. While a normal heart rate is 60-100 beats a min.

But, once you figure out the triggers, you will be more than capable of keeping your condition under control. Here are the most impactful AFib triggers.  

1. Stress and Emotional Instability

According to the National Institutes of Health, stress and psychological burdens are a red flag for AFib. 

They can:

  • Affect the heart rhythm
  • Topple your appetite
  • Tighten the muscles
  • Trigger an episode

A typical problem is stress at work. Clinical reports show that job-related stress can increase the possibility of an AFib episode by a staggering 50%. 

If you want to keep your bodily functions under control, it’s a good idea to start with your mental health.

Try to overcome anxiety and replace negative emotions with positive experiences. In situations when you are too stressed, you can come back to these positive feelings. 

2. Exhaustion and Disease as AFib Trigger

Whenever the system isn’t functioning at 100%, you are very likely to experience an AFib episode. In the case of insomnia, disease, or bacteria, the heart rate tends to fluctuate and put stress on the heart. 

To avoid this trigger, sleep and eat well.

Highly nutritious foods and beverages can keep the trigger in check, while sleeping will accelerate the body’s natural rejuvenation process and aid it heals quicker. 

3. Polluted Air, Smog, and Contaminants

Studies show that the longer people are exposed to pollutants, the higher their chance of visiting the hospital for an AFib emergency. Experts believe these triggers can:

  • Damage to the walls of the blood vessels
  • Restrict the blood movement 
  • Raise blood pressure 
  • Put a lot of pressure on the heart

If there are too many contaminants present in the air, try to stay indoors as much as possible. But if you really want to make a change, it’s a good idea to go out of the city and relax in the countryside from time to time.

This will clear the lungs and help the heart recuperate. 

4. Alcohol and Heavy Drinking

Many people ask what can trigger atrial fibrillation, but very few actually pay attention to their alcohol intake. It’s true that not a lot of people consider alcohol to be a trigger.

Anything from wine to beer can be a serious issue for patients with this condition. 

These beverages can affect the vagal tone, which is the function of the vagus nerve. The alcohol can increase vagal activity and result in an AFib episode. 

So, to be in complete control of your cardiovascular health, start monitoring your alcohol intake. Heavy drinking is out of the question. The ideal recommended amounts are:

  • One drink a day for women 
  • Two drinks a day for men

If you think you can go out without a drink, then, by all means, go for it. It’s better to drop the habit completely rather than expose the system to unnecessary risks. 

5. Wrong Physical Activities

Excessive workouts can put a lot of strain on your cardiovascular health. Patients with this condition can still exercise, but whatever they pick has to be easy on the heart. 

Anything that is too vigorous is not a good idea, like high-impact exercises, heavy lifting, long-distance hiking, and running. 

Instead, you should opt for low-to-moderate exercises, like light lifting, jogging, short-distance hiking, and walking. 

After getting diagnosed with the condition, it’s a good idea to start with short period of activities from 5 to 10 min. Any activity will do as long as it doesn’t make you faint, weak, or lightheaded. Once the body gets comfortable, you can slowly increase the length of the activity by 5 to 10 min. 

Final Thoughts

Living with this condition is not an easy feat. However, if you get the hang of the triggers, you will finally feel more comfortable in your own body and learn to control the episodes. Great helpers to do that are personal, portable health devices, and apps like electrocardiogram (ECG) devices. These solutions within simple, fast, and effective measurements detect signs of existing or potential AFib risks that can be caused by mentioned triggers.

All the triggers we listed here can be useful when making an AFib coping strategy. Just follow our tips, and you will figure out how to control the condition in no time. 

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