The two sides of the heart work in opposition to each other. The right side of the heart takes in deoxygenated blood from the body and feeds them to the veins and lungs; the left side carries the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from the lungs and feeds it back to the body. Four chambers make up the heart. The top chambers are called the atria and the lower are the ventricles. Without the proper functioning, the heart will begin to cause damage to major organs, and without maintenance, your heart can cause adverse effects very quickly.
Most of us are very familiar with symptoms of coronary heart disease, but what about the perilous condition that takes over 130,000 lives each year called Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)? More than 6 million individuals in the United States have AFib. Hereditary heart disease usually causes the disorder, but other factors that contribute to the heart arrhythmia are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, heavy alcohol use and more. A disruption to the top chamber of the heart, prompting the hearts rhythm and rate to fluctuate, causes an arrhythmia.
The symptoms of an atrial heart arrhythmia are:
- Shortness of breath
- Racing heart
- Fluttering heart
- Uneven heartbeat
- Chest pain
If left untreated, AFib can cause blood clots to form in the heart. These clots are produced due to a restricted pumping of the chambers, which causes the blood to pool in the atria and form clots. If the blood clots break off, they can reach the brain and cause a stroke. Patients with AFIB are 7 times more likely to have a stroke than those with normal heart rhythm.
Treatment for AFib
- Medications to regulate the heart’s rhythm (antiarrhythmic drugs)
- Blood-thinners to reduce the risk of stroke
- Surgery (i.e. Catheter ablation, MAZE procedure)
It’s critical to seek medical attention from a respected cardiologist if you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to atrial fibrillation. DO NOT wait, the heart muscle, rhythm, rate, and ability to pump correctly, is what is keeping you alive.
About Cardiac Care Group
At Cardiac Care Group, they take your symptoms seriously and are prepared to see you and to discuss your conditions. They specialize in providing a wide range of services that focus on the prevention, prompt diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Joseph Freedman, M.D.
Dr. Joseph Freedman is devoted to keeping your heart at its healthiest. Dr. Freedman is a Board Certified Cardiologist, and his mission is to provide the surrounding communities with the highest quality cardiac care in a welcoming environment. He and his staff are dedicated to fulfilling the specific cardiac needs of each patient.
To find out more information about Dr. Freedman, your local specialists in the diseases of the heart, veins, and arteries, please call (239) 574-8463 or visit them online at www.flccg.com
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.