Did you know that US Vice President Joe Biden has atrial fibrillation, a damage to his heart? It’s five times more likely to have a stroke, and it’s twice as likely to have a heart attack or dementia. Over 37.5 million people around the world have atrial fibrillation, but surprisingly many of them don’t know they have it.
People of all ages can have atrial fibrillation, which is a problem with the way the heart beats. It makes heartbeats go in and out, and they can be fast or slow. It happens more often as we get older, but some people get it in their 30s and 40s as well. This strange heart rhythm starts in the upper heart chambers and makes it harder for the heart to pump blood properly. This could cause problems like blood clots and other very bad health problems.
The signs of atrial fibrillation can be different for each person. When they have an episode, some people may feel heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or pain. These symptoms can make it hard for them to do normal things. Some people, though, may have no symptoms at all, which makes it hard to find atrial fibrillation.
If you have symptoms or think you might have this condition, you should talk to your doctor about any worries you have. They can check your heart’s electrical activity with tests like an electrocardiogram (ECG) and send you to a specialist if necessary.
If you have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, it is very important to lower your risk of complications, like having a stroke more often. Cutting down on alcohol, staying at a healthy weight, and working out regularly are all things that can help improve your health as a whole.
Depending on your risk factors, your doctor may give you blood-thinning drugs or suggest other treatments like drugs that control heart rhythm or ablation procedures. Ablation is a procedure that fixes the electrical cause of atrial fibrillation so the heart can beat normally again.
More than three out of five people who have atrial fibrillation also have high blood pressure. Strokes and heart attacks are often caused by high blood pressure. That’s why people with atrial fibrillation need to keep an eye on their blood pressure.
Medications, changes to your lifestyle, and regular checks can all help keep your blood pressure under control. To get good control of your blood pressure and lower your risk of stroke, you need to work closely with your doctor.
Early intervention is very important for people who are most likely to have a stroke, especially those who have both atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure. Strokes, heart attacks, and dementia are still the main reasons people die around the world. We can greatly improve our health and well-being by avoiding these problems in the first place, like keeping an eye on our blood pressure and seeing a doctor when we need to.
Always remember that it is better to avoid health problems than to treat them. If you think you might have atrial fibrillation or are worried about your heart health, you should talk to your doctor. They can give advice, do tests, and suggest the best ways to treat the problem. The more you take care of your heart today, the better it will be tomorrow.