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Doctor insights on: Vagally Mediated Atrial Fibrillation

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What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation?

Irregular rhythm: Af is an irregular heart rhythm caused by uncoordinated electrical activity in the atria, or top chambers of the heart. Sometimes it is fast, other times it isn't. ...Read more

Dr. John Garner
1,834 Doctors shared insights

Atrial Fibrillation (Definition)

A heart condition, in which the electrical activity of the heart is abnormal. This abnormal electrical signal causes the heart muscle to contract when it is not supposed to and thus blood is ...Read more


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What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation?

Arrhythmias: Atrial fibrillation (afib) is the most common sustained rhythm abnormality. It's characterized by an irregular heart rate. The upper chambers of the heart (atrium) do not beat but quiver. Many people don't notice it. But many do. It can lead to strokes in some patients so blood thinners are important. It can be treated with medications, ablation thru iv's in the groin or surgery. See a cardiologis. ...Read more

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Is atrial fibrillation inherited?

Is atrial fibrillation inherited?

Sometimes: There is a gene that makes the tendency to get it more likely, but most a fib is due to environmental and aquired factors such as age, valvular heart disease and alcohol. ...Read more

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Can atrial fibrillation cause ed?

Can atrial fibrillation cause ed?

No: Afib cannot directly cause ed. Medicines used to treat afib can impair erections and conditions associated with afib such as heart failure, coronary disease also can cause ed. ...Read more

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Can atrial fibrillation affect ed?

Can atrial fibrillation affect ed?

Maybe: Afib can be a symptom of multiple medical problems that can affect sexual function. Metoprolol and other beta-blockers are common medications for afib that have negative impact on erections. ...Read more

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Is atrial fibrillation hereditary?

No: Congenital heart problems can be inherited and this can lead to afib. But afib itself is not. ...Read more

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How is atrial fibrillation treated?

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

Medications: There are a variety of medications which can either control the heart rate or convert the rhythm back to normal. Sometimes cardioversion is used to correct the heart rhythm. Also in some cases ablation can be done which will correct the abnormal rhythm. ...Read more

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What can cause atrial fibrillation?

What can cause atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation: Atrial fibrillation, or afib, is a very common rhythm disturbance, the most common in this country. It is most often associated with hypertension, but can also be associated with valvular disease specifically mitral valve disease. It can be treated with either rate control or converting back to the normal sinus rhythm. Patient are often placed on blood thinners to prevent complications. ...Read more

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What does atrial fibrillation means?

What does atrial fibrillation means?

Irregular heart beat: Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heart beat that results in a fluttering (fibrillating) of the top portion of the heart. ...Read more

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Is atrial fibrillation a disability?

It can be: If afib is difficult to treat ie unable to convert patient to normal rythm or unable to slow rate down with medicines, or perhapse the patient can't tolerate the medications to treat the problem, a person can be disabled. Pts with pre existing heart problems may not tolerate afib as well. Ablation therapy is not always effective and some patients may need a pacemaker. Just depends on pt ...Read more

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Why is atrial fibrillation dangerous?

Why is atrial fibrillation dangerous?

Causes strokes: Atrial fibrillation causes stagnation of blood in the atrium contributing to the formation of clots there which may travel to the brain causing a stroke or cva or sudden death. ...Read more

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Can an atrial fibrillation be lethal?

Only if…: Only if the atrial rate is conducted in a very rapid fashion to the lower chamber. Your heart has built-in protection to keep this from happening. However, patients with a condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White sometimes lack this protection and under the right circumstances can die as a result of atrial fibrillation. ...Read more

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How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

EKG /Physical exam: Different ways. Listening to the heart there is obvious irregular rhythm with irregular rate. The electrocardiogram is diagnostic. Some times atrial fibrillation may appeared transiently or paroxystically. A holter monitor or cardiac monitor could show the characteristic features of the EKG changes. ...Read more

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Who is at risk for atrial fibrillation?

Read...: As per epocrates: CAD (coronary disease) hypertension, heart failure, valvular disease, pericardial and pleural diseases, diabetes, thyroid disorders, disorders of the lung, and advanced age are known risk factors for the development of acute af. However, af may occur in the absence of any underlying cardiac or noncardiac diseases, for example, as a result of heavy alcohol intake. ...Read more

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Can atrial fibrillation resolve itself?

Can atrial fibrillation resolve itself?

Sometimes: Sometimes it may resolve on it's own. This is especially true if it was caused by some single event, like an operation, illness, caffeine or alcohol. ...Read more

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Does atrial fibrillation cause fainting?

Afib cause faint?: It is unlikely but I guess possible. The most common cause of faint is "vaso vagel syncope ". This is like after standing a long time, at the sight of blood, etc. ...Read more

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How can food affect atrial fibrillation?

How can food affect atrial fibrillation?

Food can affect meds: Afib is a rythm that can be very fast and can cause a stroke from blod clots going to the brain. Many patients are on Coumadin (warfarin) a blood thinner that works through vitamin k. So if the patient eats green leafy veges and other foods high in vitamin k, it can reverse the Coumadin (warfarin) and make pt suseptable to stroke. Foods and items high in caffiene like coffee chocolate etc can stimulate the heart rate. ...Read more

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What does atrial fibrillation feel like?

It depends on: A number of factors. Most people will feel an irregular and skipping or racing sensation in their chest. If the heart rate is too fast or the heart is very weak, you may feel short of breath, weak or even chest pressure. Many people have atrial fibrillation with no obvious symptoms. ...Read more

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Is atrial fibrillation dangerous to have?

It can be: Increased stroke risk is the major consideration here. Talk to your cardiologist about what yours is & whether you should be on blood thinners or just Aspirin (for lower risk patients). ...Read more

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What is atrial fibrillation a symptom of?

What is atrial fibrillation a symptom of?

It depends: Atrial fibrillation is an irregular rhythm in which the atria beat at nearly 400 beats/min. It is common in older patients as a reflection of aging of the conduction system. In younger patients it can be caused by alcohol and drug abuse. It can also occur when the heart dilates as in congestive heart failure. The abnormal contractions put patients at risk for blood clots which may cause strokes. ...Read more

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Can young adults get atrial fibrillation?

Can young adults get atrial fibrillation?

Yes: I have seen af in 20 year olds. Most likely genetic when it afflicts young people. ...Read more

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How can someone stop atrial fibrillation?

Depends: New onset atrial fibrillation is often self limited, going away by itself. But the cause dictates the subsequent course. Thus treating things like high blood pressure, heart valve disease, heart failure, over active thyroid hormones, coronary disease, and avoiding alcohol may be important. Some drugs are useful to maintain rate and rhythm. If needed, electric shock (cardioversion) is effective. ...Read more

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What is the effect of atrial fibrillation?

What is the effect of atrial fibrillation?

Heart rate / stroke: Two issues with afib. The first is stroke. Afib is a risk for stroke, and thus all patients with afib need some sort of blood thinner. Whether that is an Aspirin or full anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin) depends on your risks and your doctor will let you know that. The second is heart rate. If the afib is too fast or too slow, the rate will need to be treated also. ...Read more

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Can someone work with atrial fibrillation?

Yes: As long as the heart rate is not to fast and the risk of strike is appropriately dealt with, people work with af. Some people might feel better if they are in normal rhythm. Specific questions regarding rhythm vs. Rate control should be directed to your doctor. ...Read more

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How is atrial fibrillation usually treated?

How is atrial fibrillation usually treated?

Slow down the heart: Beta blockers and digoxin are often used first to slow down the heart when there is rapid heart rate of af. In some patients, electric shocks can be utilized to convert the irregular rate of af to normal. In most all cases, blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) and new drugs like Pradaxa are utilized to reduce the risk of blood clots forming inside the heart and causing complications such as strokes. ...Read more

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What are the tests for atrial fibrillation?

Electrocardiogram: If the atrial fibrillation is ongoing then an electrocardiogram will show it. If it only occurs from time to time, then there are different types of monitors that a patient can use at home to record the heart rhythm; this is another type of electrocardiogram sometimes referred to as an event recorder. ...Read more

Dr. Irv Loh Dr. Loh
2 doctors agreed:
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What is atrial fibrillation? Is it serious?

Dr. Irv Loh Dr. Loh
2 doctors agreed:

Depends: Atrial fibrillation is a very common arrhythmia, often unclear in origin, but usually due to enlarged upper heart chambers (atria). High blood pressure, heart valve problems, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, coronary disease, alcohol, or even spontaneous in normal people. Some drop in energy may be noted, but one can live normally with it. Blood thinners to minimize strokes important if persists. ...Read more

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What sort of problem is atrial fibrillation?

Irregular: Atrial fibrillation occurs when the atria, which deliver blood to the ventricles, receive an abnormal electrical signal and then beat erratically instead of in a coordinated, strong beat. The danger of atrial fibrillation is that the blood in the atria tends to stay there instead of getting pumped fully into the ventricles. This slow moving blood in the atria can then form blood clots. ...Read more

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What are the effects of atrial fibrillation?

What are the effects of atrial fibrillation?

See below.: The most important effect of atrial fibrillation is the risk of clots arising in the atrium and causing a stroke when the clot leaves the atrium and lands in the brain. Patients with atrial fib may have decreased exercise tolerance and shortness of breath due exaggerated heart rate response. Patients may have fatigue due to decreased cardiac output. The feeling of palpitations may cause anxiety. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Maybe: Atrial fib presents differently in everybody. Sometimes it can be completely asymptomatic. Other times it can be flutters in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, to name a few. ...Read more

Fibrillation (Definition)

Fibrillation is the rapid, irregular, and unsynchronized contraction of muscle fibers. An important occurrence is with ...Read more