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When should you call a doctor about atrial fibrillation (AFib)?

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  • Call your doctor if your heart doesn't go back into a normal rhythm within a few minutes, or your symptoms get worse. Call 911 right away if you have these symptoms, which could be signs of a heart attack or stroke: Pain or pressure in the middle of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Pain that spreads to your jaw, neck, arms, back, or stomach
  • Nausea
  • Cold sweat
  • Drooping face
  • Arm weakness
  • Trouble speaking Your doctor will do tests to check your heartbeat and the electrical impulses in your heart. These and other tests can show whether you have atrial fibrillation (AFib). If you do have an irregular heartbeat, you can get treatments to bring it back into a normal rhythm. You may also need treatments to lower your heart rate, or you may not need anything done at all. Your doctor may also recommend medication to lower your chance of stroke.

SOURCES:

NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is Atrial Fibrillation?”

American Heart Association: "What are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?" "What is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?"

Heart Rhythm Society: "Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)."

National Health Service: "Atrial Fibrillation -- Symptoms."

StopAfib.org: "How to Know It's Atrial Fibrillation."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 2, 2018

SOURCES:

NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is Atrial Fibrillation?”

American Heart Association: "What are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?" "What is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?"

Heart Rhythm Society: "Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)."

National Health Service: "Atrial Fibrillation -- Symptoms."

StopAfib.org: "How to Know It's Atrial Fibrillation."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 2, 2018

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