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If you exhibit mild symptoms of atrial fibrillation, contact your WellStar physician for an examination. However, if you experience chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes, difficulty in breathing, or fainting, go immediately to the emergency room.
Atrial fibrillation will be newly diagnosed in 2.66 million Americans this year. About 12 million people will have the condition by 2050.
*Source: American Heart Association

Atrial Fibrillation Prevention

Atrial fibrillation is a syndrome that is rarely preventable.

Reduce Your Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

You can lower your chances of atrial fibrillation through several methods:

  • Control blood pressure
  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet
  • Control your cholesterol.
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol consumption (no more than two drinks daily for men, and one drink daily for women)
  • Limit caffeine consumption
  • Exercise as recommended by your WellStar Cardiac Network Physician.

Tests and Screenings for Atrial Fibrillation

Your WellStar physician will conduct a physical examination, using a stethoscope to check your heart rhythm. Your physician may also check your blood pressure, your blood sugar and may check your blood levels of thyroid hormone.

Based on the physical exam, your physician might order some of these tests:

  • Electrocardiogram: An ECG (or EKG) records the electrical activity of your heart to reveal if there are rhythmic issues or heart injury.
  • Echocardiogram: Images of the heart may reveal structural heart disease, such as an enlarged atrium or valvular heart disease, which may predispose a patient to atrial fibrillation.
  • Holter monitor: This portable electrocardiogram monitor is worn for 24 hours and tracks your heart rhythm during a day of your regular activities. This is often necessary in cases where atrial fibrillation starts and stops.
  • Event recorder: This monitor is worn for a longer period, sometimes as long as one month, to detect heart rhythm disturbances that occur at unpredictable times.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram: This test can reveal whether you have any blood clots in your heart.