Atrial Fibrillation – Treatment, Prevention and Home Remedies for Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is a disease of the heart and is characterized by an irregular and rapid heart rate. The irregular rhythm results from abnormal electrical impulses in the heart. In this disorder, multiple impulses travel through the atria at the same time.This results in an irregular heart beat which causes an irregular pulse and sometimes a fluttering sensation in the chest. Complications can arise but if not treated properly can cause serious or life-threatening problems.
Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
The treatment option depends on the severity and the time period of the disease. This include:
Reset the heart rhythm
To treat atrial fibrillation, the rhythm and rate of the heart is set. Doctors may use a procedure called cardioversion, depending on the underlying cause of this disease. Cardioversion is of two types. They are:
- Cardioversion with drugs: Depending on the condition of the patient, the doctor may recommend medications like antiarrhythmics to help restore normal heart rhythm. These medications are administered in a hospital and the patient is put under constant observation by continuous monitoring of the heart.
- Electrical cardioversion: An electrical shock is delivered to the heart through patches or paddles placed in the chest. This shock stops the heart’s electrical activity momentarily and when the heart begins to beat again, it may resume its normal rhythm. These therapies are done under a doctor’s guidance.
Some times, atrial fibrillation is not cured by medications or cardioversion. Then a doctor may recommend different invasive procedures. The different surgical interventions include:
- Radio-frequency Catheter Ablation: In some cases, the abnormal heart rate is caused by certain triggers like hot spots which are like abnormal pacemakers that make the heart to quiver instead of beating in a rhythmic manner. In such cases, radio-frequency energy is passed to these hot spots, scarring the tissue so that the erratic electrical signals are normalized. This treats arrhythmia without the need of medications or implantable devices.
- Surgical Maze procedure: In this procedure, a doctor creates several incisions in the upper chamber of the heart which creates scar tissue kind of pattern. Radio-frequency or cryotherapy can be used to create the scars and these scar tissues do not carry electricity as it interferes with stray electrical impulses that cause this disorder. This procedure has a high success rate but usually requires an open heart surgery and this intervention is done to those people who do not respond to other treatments.
- Pacemakers: These are artificial pacemakers that are small battery operated devices implanted in the chest area that have electrodes running into the heart and which control the heart rate.
Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation
Lower the chances of getting this arrhythmia by reducing the risk factors by following certain tips. These include:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do not smoke.
- Eat nutritious and fat-free foods.
- Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes every day.
- If you suffer from any cardiac diseases, control your blood pressure.
- Maintain your cholesterol levels.
- Use caffeine moderately.
- Avoid other stimulants.
Home Remedies for Atrial Fibrillation
Some of the natural remedies for this disorder include:
- Onion juice: Drink 2 tablespoons of onion juice and honey daily, once a day for 2 weeks.
- Garlic: Eat two cloves of garlic early in the morning.
- Papaya: Eat papaya on an empty stomach daily for a month.
- Holy Basil: Eat 12 leaves of holy basil twice daily.
Ways to calm a Rapid Heart Beat
Here are some tips to calm a rapid heart beat:
- If you feel the rhythm of your heart rate is fast, stop what you are doing and chill out. Rest is the best mechanism to stop a rapid heart rate.
- Do deep breathing exercises every day.
- Massage gently the carotid artery which is present underneath the jaw.
- Stop consuming coffee and products like chocolates, diet pills, tea and cola.
- Gain control of your autonomic nervous system with proper diet, positive attitude and exercise.