How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?
The doctor will ask questions about your past health, do a physical exam, and order tests.
The best way to find out if you have atrial fibrillation is to have an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). An EKG is a test that checks for problems with the heart's electrical activity.
You might also have lab tests and an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram can show how well your heart is pumping and whether your heart valves are damaged.
How is it treated?
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your atrial fibrillation, your symptoms, and your risk for stroke.
Medicines are an important part of treatment. They may include:
use a procedure called cardioversion to try to get the heartbeat back to normal. This can be done using either medicine
or a low-voltage electrical shock (electrical cardioversion).
If symptoms keep bothering you, ablation may help. It destroys
small areas of the heart to create scar tissue. The scar tissue blocks or destroys
the areas that are causing the abnormal heart rhythm.
What can you do at home for atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is often the result of heart disease or damage. So
making changes that improve the condition of your heart may also improve your
- Don't smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke too.
- Eat a
heart-healthy diet with plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fiber
grains and breads, and olive oil.
- Get regular exercise on most,
preferably all, days of the week. Your doctor can suggest a safe level of
exercise for you.
- Manage other health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Manage your stress. Stress can damage your heart.
alcohol if it triggers symptoms.
- Avoid getting sick from the
flu. Get a flu shot every year.