Mental stress can exacerbate atrial fibrillation. Taking steps to reduce stress in your life may help calm your nerves — and your heart. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, which can overstimulate the heart and trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation, may also be beneficial.
To pump blood, your heart muscles must contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm. Contraction and relaxation are controlled by electrical signals that travel through your heart muscles.
Your heart consists of four chambers — two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles). Within the upper right chamber of your heart (right atrium) is a group of cells called the sinus node. This is your heart's pacemaker. The sinus node produces the impulse that starts each heartbeat.
During a normal rhythm, the impulse travels first through the atria, then through a connecting pathway between the upper and lower chambers of your heart called the atrioventricular (AV) node. As the signal passes through the atria, they contract, pumping blood from your atria into the ventricles below. A split-second later, as the signal passes through the AV node to the ventricles, the ventricles contract, pumping blood out to your body. Each contraction is a heartbeat.
In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of your heart (atria) experience chaotic electrical signals. As a result, they quiver. The AV node — the electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles — is overloaded with impulses trying to get through to the ventricles. The ventricles also beat rapidly, but not as rapidly as the atria. The reason is because the AV node is like a highway on-ramp — only so many cars can get on at one time. The result is an irregular and fast heart rhythm. The heart rate in atrial fibrillation may range from 100 to 175 beats a minute. The normal range for a heart rate is 60 to 100 beats a minute.
Is it possible that first your bloodpressure was higher then normal for you, and then start the AF?
What kind of cardioversoin does your cardiologist suggest?
• Cardioversion with drugs. This uses medications called anti-arrhythmics, which are designed to stop the atria's quivering and restore normal sinus rhythm. Commonly used medications include amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), propafenone (Rythmol), procainamide (Procanbid), sotalol (Betapace) and dofetilide (Tikosyn). Although these drugs can effectively restore sinus rhythm in many people, they can cause side effects, such as nausea, dizziness and fatigue. In rare instances, they may actually cause an increase in heart rate. These medications may be needed indefinitely.
• Electrical cardioversion. In this brief procedure an electrical shock is delivered to your heart through paddles or patches placed on your chest. The shock stops your heart's electrical activity for a split second. When it begins again, it may resume normal rhythm. The procedure is performed under light anesthesia. Beforehand, doctors occasionally prescribe ibutilide (Corvert). This anti-arrhythmic medication can improve the procedure's success rate, especially if electrical cardioversion alone hasn't achieved sinus rhythm.
Before undergoing cardioversion, you may be given a blood-thinning medication for several weeks to reduce the risk of blood clots in the atria and the risk of stroke. Alternatively, you may undergo transesophageal echocardiography — a test to exclude the presence of a blood clot — just before cardioversion. In transesophageal echocardiography, a tube is passed down your esophagus and detailed ultrasound images are made of your heart.
After electrical cardioversion, anti-arrhythmics are often prescribed to help prevent future episodes of atrial fibrillation. Unfortunately, even with medications, the chance of another episode of atrial fibrillation is high.
Exercising each day consistently is important because it takes only a short period without activity to weaken your muscles and your cardiovascular system.It is also a part of the heartfailure protocol.
Regular exercise also helps reduce:
Chest pain (angina) and symptoms of heart failure.
Cholesterol, especially when combined with lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet, not smoking, and reducing stress.
Blood pressure. When combined with other lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet and learning to handle stress, regular exercise can decrease your risk for coronary artery disease.
Your weight or helps control your weight, which can decrease your risk for coronary artery disease and diabetes.
Blood sugar levels, which can lower your risk for diabetes.
Stress. It also helps lift your mood and decreases depression and anxiety.
Those who do not have enough time for good health,
will not have good health for enough time.