Medicines To Control Atrial Fibrillation
Medicines called anti-arrhythmics can control atrial fibrillation by:
- restoring a normal heart rhythm
- controlling the rate at which the heart beats
The choice of anti-arrhythmic medicine depends on:
- the type of atrial fibrillation
- any other medical conditions you have
- side effects of the medicine chosen
- how well the atrial fibrillation responds.
Some people with atrial fibrillation may need more than one anti-arrhythmic medicine to control it.
What Is The Outlook With Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is generally not life threatening, many people live normal healthy lives with this condition, but it can be uncomfortable and often needs treatment.
This is because when the atria in the heart do not contract properly there is a risk of blood clot formation. Clots from the atria may break off and go to other parts of the body. A blood clot passing up to the arteries supplying the brain may cause a stroke.
For this reason, treatment may involve medication to control the heart rate or rhythm, and medication to prevent clots from forming in the blood.
Foods That Lower Resting Heart Rate
People in the Blue Zones, areas where people live longer than average, eat plenty of beans. One reason beans are so healthy is that they can help lower your pulse.
In one study, participants were given a cup a day of beans, chickpeas, or lentils. Participants lowered their resting heart rate from an average of 74.1 to 70.7, a 3.4 point drop. The change was similar to those who exercised for 250 hours!
Consider eating beans regularly to keep your resting heart rate in a healthy range. Beans are also an excellent source of vegan protein.
You May Like: How Many Types Of Heart Bypass Surgery
How To Improve Your Resting Heart Rate
You can lower your resting heart rate by improving your physical fitness and making some lifestyle changes.
Regular cardio exercise, like running, swimming, or biking, trains the heart to be more efficient over time. With each heartbeat, the “athletic heart” maintains its output of blood to the body at a lower heart rate.
In addition to exercise, other actions that may improve your resting heart rate include:
The Worst Jobs For Your Health
1. Dentists, dental surgeons, and dental assistants
Those whose resting heart rate was over 90 bmp were almost double as likely to die an early death.
When the heart beats over 90 or 100 bmp, it is considered an abnormally fast heart rate and is known as tachycardia.
This higher risk of an earlier death affects everyone with a higher resting heart rate, not just people who already suffer with heart problems, according to the research.
But the results showed that the risk of death from cardiovascular problems also increased by eight per cent with every 10 bmp in the resting heart rate.
The research was carried out by the Medical College of Quingdao University, in Shandong, China.
Data from 46 previous medical studied, involving 1.2 million people was used for the study.
Researchers looked at 78,349 deaths from all causes and 25,800 who died from heart disease.
Lead researcher, Dr Dongfeng Zhang said: There is no doubt that elevated resting heart rate serves as a marker of poor health status.
You May Like: What Causes Your Heart Rate To Be High
What Happens In Atrial Fibrillation
When the heart beats normally, its muscular walls contract to force blood out and around the body. They then relax, so the heart can fill with blood again. This process is repeated every time the heart beats.
Atrial fibrillation occurs when abnormal electrical impulses suddenly start firing in the atria .
These impulses override the heart’s natural pacemaker, which can no longer control the rhythm of the heart. The atria contract randomly and sometimes so fast that the heart muscle cannot relax properly between contractions. This reduces the heart’s efficiency and performance and causes a highly irregular pulse rate.
What Are The Best Places To Check Pulse
The best places to check your heart rate are the following:
- the side of your neck
- the inside of your elbow
- the top of your foot .
How to Check Your Pulse Video
Watch Emily Reeve, the Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, show how to check your pulse.
Heart Rate Monitors
You can track your heart rate with a wrist monitor like the popular LETSCOM Fitness Tracker .
Or, check out this detailed review of heart rate monitorsto help you find the right one for you.
Heart rate monitors make it easier to track your heart rate consistently and learn which activities raise or lower your pulse the most.
Recommended Reading: Symptoms Woman Having Heart Attack
Is 72 Bpm A Good Heart Rate
Yes, 72 beats per minute is a good heart rate. According to the American Heart Association, your risk of dying from a heart attack is lower if your heart rate is below 80 beats per minute.
A normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, it is healthier to have a heart rate that is at the lower end of the range.
- If you are on certain medicines like decongestants
- If you indulge in binge drinking frequently
Health conditions that may increase your heart rate and could be improved upon by treatment
Some conditions like supraventricular tachycardia may cause a sudden increase in your heart rate at rest. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention. This condition may lead to sudden death.
Consuming heavy amounts of alcohol frequently can lead to a fast and irregular heart rate . This again is a medical emergency.
A persistent high heart rate can also mean that the heart muscle is weakened, which forces it to pump harder to deliver the same amount of blood.
You may have a lower resting heart rate due to
- Exercising regularly
- Low levels of thyroid hormones in the body
Which Factors Can Influence Heart Rate
Many things can affect your heart rate, including:
- physical activity if youve been moving around a lot, your heart rate will increase
- fitness level your resting heart rate may be lower if youre very fit
- air temperature on hot days, your heart needs to pump more quickly
- emotions such as feeling stressed or overly excited
- medicines some can decrease your resting heart rate , while others can increase it
- age with age, the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and can be a sign of a heart problem.
Slow Heart Rate: Is This Normal Or A Cause For Concern
For most adults, a heart rate of about 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. But like with many things that slow down as we age so can our hearts.
If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, its considered slower than normal and is called bradycardia. If youre an elite athlete or healthy young adult, a slower resting heart rate right might not be a big deal, but in older adults, it could indicate a problem with your heart.
Along with atrial fibrillation and tachycardia, bradycardia is one of the most common arrhythmias. If youre experiencing a lower-than-normal heart rate, read on to learn more about potential causes, symptoms and treatment options.
How To Lower Your Heart Rate With Exercise
High-Intensity Interval Training involves giving 100% effort in a quick, intense burst of exercise, followed by a short resting period. HIIT increases your maximum heart rate and lowers your RHR.
HIIT is as simple as doing one exercise, like sprinting, as fast as you can run for 30 seconds, then resting for 90 seconds.
Warm up first and start with one rep.
Rest for several days in between HIIT days. Build up slowly to a workout of several reps that takes about 15 minutes. Then try adding new exercises.
For the best results, dont set an arbitrary time. Instead, push yourself to your max. And then rest and recover until youre ready to give 100% again. For instance, give 100% effort for 15 seconds and rest for five minutes.
Learn more about the health benefits of HIIT and how to do it the right way in this short HIIT video from Thomas DeLauer.
Don’t Miss: Heart Hole Repair Surgery
How To Lower Resting Heart Rate
How Will You Spend Your Heartbeats
- Your resting heart rate appears to determine how long you live. And what lowers your resting heart rate is also good for your overall health.
- Theres at least one risk factor of having a very low RHR, but there seems to be a higher risk of overall disease at higher heart rates.
- Stress, physical or emotional, seems to be the most important factor in determining your heart rate.
- Exercise allows your body to adapt to stressful situations better. Additionally, it will enable your body to reach a deeper relaxed state as your heart muscle becomes stronger and your circulation becomes more efficient.
- How do you compare with your age group? I am in the athlete range, but I exercise regularly.
- If youre going to exercise, build up slowly so your body can adapt.
- The simplest exercises are the most effective. Theyre the ones you can do at home every day without going to the gym.
- High-intensity interval training is one of the quickest and most effective workouts for resting heart rate, HRV, muscle building, and weight loss. Why not give it a try?
- You have a maximum number of lifetime heartbeats, use them well.
Also Check: Congestive Heart Failure Icd10
What Are Heart Palpitations
A heart palpitation is when you suddenly become aware of your heart beating, usually in an irregular way. Sometimes you can feel it in your ears, neck or chest when youre lying down. Your heart beat may feel:
- too fast or slow
- like its fluttering
- like its thudding, or pounding.
It is not unusual to feel heart palpitations occasionally and mostly they are harmless. However if youre experiencing them on a regular basis, see your doctor.
What Is A Dangerous Resting Heart Rate
A resting heart rate can be dangerous if its too fast, tachycardia, or too slow, bradycardia. Tachycardia is generally over 100 bpm and bradycardia is generally below 60 bpm . A resting heart rate that is too fast or too slow could be the result of a serious health problem.
What Is Tachycardia?
Tachycardia is a resting heart rate that is too fast . It can be caused by congenital heart disease, poor circulation, anemia, hypertension, or injury to the heart, such as a heart attack . Tachycardia is also associated with a shorter life expectancy .
What Is Bradycardia?
Bradycardia is a slow resting heart rate . It can be caused by hypotension, congenital heart disease, damage to the heart , chronic inflammation, or myocarditis .
If you have a resting heart rate thats too high or too low for an extended period, it can cause dangerous health conditions such as heart failure, blood clots, fainting, and sudden cardiac arrest.
if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 bpm or below 60 bpm , you should see your doctor or medical provider. Additionally, you should watch for symptoms such as fainting, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy or light-headed, chest pain, or feeling discomfort or fluttering in your chest.
Read Also: What Caused Elvis Presley’s Heart Attack
How Do You Check Your Pulse
You can measure your heart rate manually by checking your pulse. Follow these three steps.
- Find your pulse in your wrist .
- Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
- Double the number of beats you counted. This is your heart rate or pulse, measured in beats per minute.
Also make a note of whether your heart beats at an even or uneven rhythm. A normal heart beats in a steady rhythm like a clock, tick tock tick tock.
Some people like to use a heart rate monitor to measure their heart rate. These monitors are often included in fitness trackers, which are now widely available in sports stores and other retail outlets. However, their accuracy depends on the quality of the device.
If you’ve been active, or recently had a stimulant like nicotine or caffeine, you’ll need to wait at least five minutes before taking your pulse.
Factors That Can Affect Resting Heart Rate
In addition to age, a few other factors can affect your resting heart rate.
- Temperature. Your heart rate may increase slightly when youre exposed to hot temperatures.
- Medication side effects. Medications, like beta-blockers, can lower your resting heart rate.
- Emotions. If youre anxious or excited, your heart rate may increase.
- Weight. People with obesity may have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood.
- Anemia. In anemia, low levels of red blood cells can cause the heart to beat faster in order to supply your body with oxygen-rich blood.
- Endocrine or hormonal abnormalities. Abnormal levels of some hormones can influence heart rate. For example, too much thyroid hormone can increase heart rate while too little thyroid hormone can decrease heart rate.
- Postural tachycardia syndrome . This syndrome produces an abnormal increase in heart rate after sitting up or standing. In addition to heart palpitations, some typical symptoms of PoTS include dizziness and fainting.
- Body positioning. Heart rate can increase temporarily when you move from a sitting to a standing position.
- Smoking. Smokers tend to have a higher resting heart rate. Quitting smoking can help bring it back down. This is often difficult, but a doctor can help build a cessation plan that works for you.
Your maximum heart rate is a calculation that helps you figure out what your ideal target heart rate is during exercise.
Target Heart Rates Chart
What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.
Target Heart Rate In Pregnancy
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy while you are pregnant. Exercising can:
- ease back pain and other soreness
- help you sleep better
- increase your energy level
- prevent excess weight gain
It has also been demonstrated that women who are in good physical shape experience shorter labor and an easier delivery.
Even if you did not exercise regularly before you became pregnant, it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about coming up with an exercise regimen. Healthy women are generally recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, jogging, or swimming each week.
Recommended Reading: Chronic Diastolic Congestive Heart Failure
Can Ventricular Tachycardia Be Cured
It depends on the underlying cause. For some people, radiofrequency catheter ablation completely cures the abnormal rhythm, and no other treatment is needed. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators , while not a cure, are highly effective at treating life-threatening ventricular tachycardia by delivering rapid pacing or a shock to restore normal rhythm.
Restoring A Normal Heart Rhythm
There are a number of drugs that can be used to try to restore a normal heart. The best option for you will be decided by your cardiologist and /or GP.
Commonly, these drugs include:
Dronedarone may also be used for certain people.
It is important you know what side effects to look out for if taking such medication and seek medical advice if you experience any of them.
To find out about side effects, read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for more details.
Why Does Atrial Fibrillation Happen And How Common Is It
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance and affects up to 800,000 people in the UK.
The cause of atrial fibrillation is not fully understood, but it tends to occur in certain groups of people and may be triggered by certain situations, such as drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or smoking.
The condition can affect adults of any age or gender but:
- is more common the older you get
- affects about 10% of people over 75
- more common in men than women
Atrial fibrillation is more likely to occur in people with other conditions, such as:
- high blood pressure