Dr. AFib Blog Articles
Many patients, when they have episodes of atrial fibrillation, they can feel chest pain and feel as if they are having a heart attack. So, can atrial fibrillation actually give you a heart attack?
The answer to that question is both yes and no. In this article I will explain why I answer it that way.
Today I will be discussing the keto diet and for anyone with atrial fibrillation- what you should be aware of if you are considering the keto diet.
The keto diet is an extremely popular and controversial diet right now, and it was actually one of the top Google search terms of 2018, so there are many, many people interested in the keto diet, and I've had several patients of mine ask me about the keto diet and whether I think it's safe for them to use since they have atrial fibrillation.
In this article, I will be discussing cardioversions, and how they can be helpful for patients who have atrial fibrillation.
So, first of all, what is a cardioversion? A cardioversion is an electrical shock to your heart to try to reset your heart, to get you out of Atrial Fibrillation, and back to Normal Sinus Rhythm. You may have seen on TV, or in a movie when somebody's heart stops, and they take the electrical paddles and give them the electrical shock to bring them back to life. Meanwhile, your favorite actor will yell usually -“Everyone Clear!”
Obesity is a worldwide problem with a significant presence in the United States. People with obesity are much more susceptible to developing health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea, as well as heart disease. Of these adverse health conditions, the risk of heart disease includes, but is not limited to, atrial fibrillation.
As Information and technology surrounding atrial fibrillation continue to improve, a question that I often get is, “can AFib be cured?”
To better answer that question, we first must identify what a cure means. My strict definition of a cure for atrial fibrillation is that through either a procedure, medication, or a lifestyle change a patient has zero episodes of AFib for the rest of their life with absolutely no symptoms. If we adhere to that definition, unfortunately, the answer is no; there is no cure for atrial fibrillation.
A cryptogenic stroke (CS) is technically defined as cerebral ischemia (stroke) of obscure or unknown origin. This is basically a fancy way of saying that a patient has had a stroke, yet doctors have not determined a cause. The cause of CS remains unknown because the event is transitory or reversible, medical tests have not been exhaustive, or because some causes truly remain unknown. One-third of the ischemic strokes is cryptogenic.
When you learn you have a heart condition, it’s likely you assume you’ll need to visit a cardiologist. However, not all cardiologists specialize in treating every issue related to the heart.
If you have heart arrhythmias or another heart rhythm disorder like atrial fibrillation, you actually should be visiting an electrophysiologist. As both a Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, patients often ask me what the difference is between the two.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, affects an estimated 6 million Americans. It is an arrhythmia characterized by an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke and other heart-related complications.
Although atrial fibrillation can have a range of causes, research reveals a strong link between AFib and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA.
A common question I get is whether cold weather and atrial fibrillation have any relation. We’re well into wintertime now in the United States and many of us are outside in frigid temperatures. So, the question is, does cold weather actually have an effect on atrial fibrillation? Do people get more frequent episodes of AFib during the wintertime?
With the Holidays and New Years right around the corner, it’s important to examine how your changing habits around these festivities can affect your AFib. How do the holidays actually affect a person's atrial fibrillation or potentially increase a person's risk for getting episodes of AFib? There are a variety of ways in which the holidays can affect a person's AFib and trigger episodes.
There are millions of patients throughout the United States living with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is the most common irregular heart rhythm, which can significantly increase a patient’s risk of stroke. A patient with atrial fibrillation is 5 times more likely to have a stroke then someone without atrial fibrillation. But why is someone with atrial fibrillation more likely to have a stroke?
Since being FDA approved in 2012, Eliquis has become an excellent option for the prevention of stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Eliquis was approved based on the results of the 2011 ARISTOTLE Trial. During this trial, over 18,000 patients were studied. Eliquis was compared to Warfarin over a mean period of 1.8 years. During this study Eliquis was shown to be superior to Warfarin in reducing risk of stroke. Patients taking Eliquis also showed significantly less risk for major bleeding compared to Warfarin.
After isolation from the digitalis plant, the medication digoxin was first used in the 1930’s to treat a variety of heart conditions in both pill and intravenous form. Digoxin remains one of the most frequently prescribed drugs in the management of atrial fibrillation.
When a patient goes online and searches about magnesium and AFib, they will find an abundance of information on its use. There are several web pages promoting magnesium use as a natural treatment for atrial fibrillation in addition to promoting several over the counter supplements for magnesium. But what does the data show? Is there any medical literature that says magnesium is beneficial for atrial fibrillation?
Over the last several years there has been an emergence of wearable devices and other at home technology aimed at monitoring people’s health. This includes the development of smart watches and activity sensors such as Fitbit and Apple Watch. With over 5 millions Americans being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, it’s no surprise many companies have started to offer at home monitoring for atrial fibrillation. These devices provide a unique opportunity for patients to monitor their AFib together with their doctor. Of the devices currently on the market, the most popular is the KardiaMobile and the KardiaBand, which are both made by AliveCor.
Between caring for thousands of patients at Vital Heart and Vein and supporting my online audience, I have noticed that there are several questions that seem to get asked more frequently than others. It’s for this reason that I wanted to compile some of these commonly asked questions, especially for those recently diagnosed with #AFib who may be feeling these same questions bubbling in their minds. As always, this information is educational in nature, please discuss with your own doctor before making any medical decisions regarding your health.
AFib and coronary artery disease are two very common heart conditions. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common cardiovascular disease, while atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. Still, there’s a great deal of misunderstanding on how coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation relate to each other and how to manage patients that may have both conditions.
Considering overall heart health, there are often other heart issues that go along with atrial fibrillation. A common condition those living with AFib often face is congestive heart failure, commonly known as CHF. CHF often refers to a weak heart but can also signify a stiff heart, meaning it doesn’t pump blood efficiently throughout the body.
This can lead to back-flow, causing fluid buildup in the lungs or swelling of the legs, which are the most common symptoms of congestive heart failure.
If you are the caregiver or loved one of someone dealing with a complicated medical condition, such as atrial fibrillation, this post is for you.
First, I would like to begin by saying, “Thank you”. I understand that navigating this condition as a caregiver can often be stressful and demanding.
Now, I’d like to offer you some tips for caring for someone with atrial fibrillation, so you can better understand the condition and what you may need to do if complications arise.
Upon first meeting with a new patient, I frequently explain that we will have both short-term goals and long-term goals in the course of their care. Many patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation will need a strategy they can utilize for decades, but the management of atrial fibrillation requires a two-pronged strategy and it is necessary to address both immediate and future goals to achieve the best possible outcomes.
The month of September marks atrial fibrillation awareness month.
Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AFib, is the most common heart rhythm disease. It affects millions of people in the US but it is often less understood compared to other heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease. My goal is to increase awareness about this very serious heart disease.
As an Electrophysiologist, I specialize in AFib. I practice in Houston, Texas and have treated thousands of patients with atrial fibrillation, with more patients being diagnosed every day in our hospitals nationwide.
When someone gets diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a question that is often overlooked in the beginning days is, “How much will living with and managing atrial fibrillation actually cost me?”
Often the out-of-pocket costs can be surprising to my patients, and unfortunately one of the most common conversations I have during appointments is about limiting the financial burden as much as possible.
In terms of expenses- there are two sides to the equation; How much atrial fibrillation costs from a healthcare standpoint, and how much atrial fibrillation costs individual patients.
Going to the doctor once you’ve received any kind of diagnosis can be scary, confusing and completely overwhelming. Many patients are afraid to voice their confusion or simply don’t know what to ask their doctor in the first place.
If you’re living with AFib, it’s likely that you’re constantly on the lookout for treatments that may provide relief. If your Atrial Fibrillation is causing you to have a slow heartbeat, a treatment you may be currently considering is a pacemaker.
Did you know eating certain foods could trigger an AFib episode? It’s true. Especially if you are sensitive to spices and preservatives, you might want to know what foods to avoid that can cause atrial fibrillation. Patients respond differently to foods and toher triggers, so it is important to keep track of what may cause your episodes of atrial fibrillation. For this reason, it may be helpful to create your very own AFib diet plan.
Imagine being at the start of an AFib attack. Sure… you don’t have to imagine it. You are living with AFIb. Commonly, you have palpitations, rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and simultaneously may also feel extreme anxiety. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know what to do during an AFib attack? Well, that’s what my patients have said to me. So, I’ve decided to think about some simple things you can do to help work through it.
How does stress affect atrial fibrillation? We live in a very stressful world these days. When patients are first diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, they sometimes blame the stress in their lives for actually causing the AFib.
Let’s face it. Some people enjoy drinking alcohol. There are some pretty tasty wines out there that really complete a meal. But if you have AFib, you may be wondering if atrial fibrillation and alcohol mix. Getting more of the facts can help you make a decision about including alcoholic beverages in your diet.
A cardiologist is a medical professional that studies and treats the heart. Within the cardiology profession, different heart doctors practice subspecialties of cardiology. For example, some cardiac subspecialists solely perform surgical procedures on the heart. Others specialize in diagnosing various heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease or heart murmurs. Still some cardiologists specialize in doing research about the heart. When people experience heart rhythm problems, it calls for a specialist who can perform certain treatments to restore the heart’s natural rhythm. An electrophysiologist, sometimes referred to as an “EP”, performs these procedures that help manage or correct irregular heart rhythms.
People everywhere are learning about and using wearable technology to monitor their heart rate while exercising. Even if you don’t yet know about using heart rate monitoring wearable technology, keep moving to stay fit and extend your life. Those with AFib still need to keep moving as a part of living the highest quality of life. What about exercise induced AFib? Doesn’t AFib mean you need to stop exercising because your body’s blood pump no longer functions correctly? Fortunately, no, it doesn’t. Exercising is still an important part of your life’s routine.