Do you feel your heart beating irregularly sometimes? Perhaps you feel a really rapid heartbeat all of a sudden. Are you sometimes so short of breath when climbing up a set of stairs or walking up an incline that you’re practically gasping? You could have a condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib).
If your doctor suspects you have AFib, they order tests to get to a definitive diagnosis. Dr. Yogesh Paliwal, board-certified integrative cardiologist with Indus Cardiology, treats many patients with AFib.
Dr. Paliwal provides treatment that aligns with your overall health to control your AFib so you can enjoy life again.
You or your significant other may have noticed symptoms that are hard to ignore, while others with AFib may have more subtle symptoms. Some people have frequent attacks, while others might only have sporadic symptoms.
Common AFib symptoms
Symptoms of AFib may include:
Do you feel your heart sometimes fluttering like a bird flapping its wings quickly? Perhaps you feel your heart pounding heavily on occasion. Palpitations like these are common symptoms of AFib.
Do you know how many times your heart beats per minute? The normal range is 60-100 times per minute. If you’re diagnosed with AFib, you’re told to monitor your heartbeat.
When you’re running, exercising at the gym, or engaging in another strenuous physical activity, it’s natural for your heartbeat to rise temporarily. However, AFib can cause your heart to beat irregularly at a high speed (110-175 beats per minute) for no apparent reason.
Pressure or pain in the chest
Have you ever felt pressure or pain in your chest along with palpitations? The feeling might be subtle or intense, and your heart may be struggling to keep up with your body’s demands. Not everyone with AFib experiences chest pain, though.
Shortness of breath
If you’ve been short of breath lately, it’s time for a visit to the doctor. If you’re not able to do the type of exercise that you’ve normally engaged in previously because you can’t seem to catch your breath, you could have an arrhythmia.
Other common symptoms of AFib include:
- Sudden fatigue or exhaustion
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Dizziness and confusion
If a significant AFib episode has left you unable to breathe normally or you’ve had strong heart palpitations or chest pain, you may develop anxiety related to fear of another episode.
Why do I have AFib?
Afib signals a problem with your heart’s electrical system. There are several known causes and risk factors for AFib, including:
- Aging, with the condition being more common in those over 60
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
- Heart valve problems
- Thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
- Caffeine and other stimulants
- Excess weight
If you have none of the typical risk factors, AFib can be idiopathic, meaning there’s no discernible reason why it developed.
How we treat AFib
Although AFib can be frightening, it might not be life-threatening. However, it may lead to severe complications like stroke or heart failure if left untreated.
Dr. Paliwal develops a course of treatment based on your overall health and health history. He may prescribe medication, lifestyle changes, or treatments to manage an underlying condition such as hypothyroidism.
Alternatively, you may need a minimally invasive procedure called ablation or an implanted device to help regulate your heartbeat.
Call Indus Cardiology or send a message through our online portal today if you’re suffering symptoms that could be caused by atrial fibrillation. We have offices in Pomona, Montclair, and West Covina, California, and we’re eager to serve you.