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Can Afib Cause Low Blood Pressure

What Are The Symptoms Of Atrial Fibrillation

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You may have atrial fibrillation without having any symptoms. If you have symptoms, they may include:

  • Heart palpitations – Sudden pounding, fluttering or racing sensation in the chest
  • Lack of energy or feeling over-tired
  • Dizziness – Feeling light-headed or faint
  • Chest discomfort – Pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest
  • Shortness of breath – Having difficulty breathing during normal activities and even at rest

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 Electrical Cardioversion

Electrical cardioversion is a procedure that helps correct the heart rhythm back to normal by delivering a shock.

The heart has a conduction system that generates an electrical impulse.

The electrical impulse travels through the entire conduction system to cause a well-coordinated contraction of heart muscles.

Any abnormality within the conduction system can give rhythm abnormalities & afib is one of them.

Cardioversion works by giving a high energy shock via the chest wall to the heart. In simple words, it resets the conduction system & restores the rhythm back to normal.

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The Hearts Normal Electrical Pattern:

  • The current travels from top to bottom. The heartbeat starts at the top of the heart and like an electrical wave the current travels to the lower parts of the heart, signaling the tissue to contract.
  • The sinoatrial node starts the contraction in the top of the heart. The right atrium houses a group of cells called the sino-atrial node. In healthy adults, the SA node fires off between 60-100 heartbeats per minute. The electrical wave moves through the atria to gatekeeper node.
  • The atrioventricular node regulates the timing for the lower portion of the heart. The AV node serves as a gatekeeper for all of the electrical pulses going through the atria to the ventricles .The electrical pulses are delayed at the AV node before they are allowed to move into the ventricles. The delay gives the ventricles extra time to finish filling with blood before contracting.
  • The ventricles contract and pump blood out to the lungs and the body.

What You Should Know About Atrial Flutter


While atrial fibrillation is one of the better-known heart rhythm disorders, it isnt the only one. Another common heart arrhythmia is called atrial flutter. Both arrhythmias can cause a rapid heart rate and increase risk for stroke. There are so many similarities that I frequently refer to atrial flutter as the cousin of atrial fibrillation.

While atrial flutter shares many similarities with AFib, there are a few key differences to discuss.

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Key Points About Atrial Fibrillation

  • AFib is an irregular heartbeat that occurs in the upper chambers of the heart.
  • Feeling tired, weak, confused, or dizzy are all symptoms of AFib, but the most common is a quivering or fluttering heartbeat.
  • To diagnose AFib, a doctor may look over your symptoms and medical history and conduct a physical examination.
  • Seek medical help if you experience symptoms of AFib.

How Does Afib Lead To Stroke

  • The heartbeat seems to quiver in an erratic way. The upper chambers of the heart do not produce an effective, regular contraction, but contract irregularly.
  • The contraction fails. Imagine wringing out a sponge. Without a good squeeze, water will still be left in the sponge. In the same way, when a heart contraction is either too fast or too uneven, it doesnt completely squeeze the blood from the atria into the next chamber.
  • Blood pools in the atria. Blood not completely pumped out of the atria can remain and may pool there.
  • Risks of clotting go up. When blood has the opportunity to pool, it also has the opportunity to clot.
  • Clots can travel and cause blockages. If a blood clot forms in the atria, it can be pumped out of the heart to the brain, blocking off the blood supply to an artery in the brain, causing a stroke. This type of stroke is called an embolic stroke or some doctors call it a cardioembolic stroke.

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Tips On Managing Multiple Drugs And Your Diet

Its important to keep blood pressure normal and follow a healthy lifestyle after an ablation to prevent a recurrence. Atrial fibrillation can develop in another area of the heart, Natale says.

To do that, people often take multiple medications to control atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure. But, certain foods and other drugs or supplements can make those medications less effective. Some common interactions include:

Blevins says the catheter ablations gave him a new lease on life. These days, he says, he rarely drinks, avoids over-the-counter medications, and has kicked his coffee habit. He also maintains a healthy weight and he avoids salt. Blevins regularly goes to a cardiac rehabilitation program, and monitors his heart rate and blood pressure. Now he travels, stays active in his church, and is eagerly awaiting his ninth grandchild.

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Duration Of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

In some people, atrial fibrillation goes away on its own. In others, its a problem that lasts for years, and it may get worse over time.

Afib can be intermittent , coming and going in a way that seems random or only when you do certain activities.

An episode of this kind of afib usually lasts less than 24 hours, but may last as long as a week.

You may need treatment for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, or it may happen infrequently enough that your doctor recommends just monitoring your condition.

Afib can also be persistent, meaning that it lasts for longer than a week. This kind of afib usually requires treatment.

Long-term persistent atrial fibrillation is defined as an abnormal heart rhythm that lasts over a year without interruption.

If a normal heart rhythm cant be restored after multiple treatments, your afib may be considered permanent. In this case, you may need to take medication to prevent the heart rate from being too fast.

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When Is Blood Pressure High

If the value of your blood pressure is above 140/90 then you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, it is practical for every individual to see fluctuation in the value because of several factors. These include the intake of the food, the amount of stress experienced, the physical movement, and the number of hours of sleep. Therefore, it is necessary for you to check the blood pressure at different times in a single day before approaching the diagnosis center.

The top number is systolic pressure and defines the pressure in the arteries when the heart pumps blood. The bottom number is diastolic pressure and establishes the pressure between the beats, where the heart is at rest. If either number is abnormal, then the heart is functioning harder. Over a period, the abnormal functionality leads to the occurrence of paralysis.

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What Drugs Are Used To Treat And Manage Atrial Fibrillation

This article will introduce you to treatments for AFib. Other non-medical treatments for this heart disease include, for example, electrical cardioversion, catheter ablation therapy, pacemaker implantation, the Maze procedure, and others. Most treatment programs for atrial fibrillation begin with drugs. Usually, these drugs are grouped into three large categories:

  • Drugs that slow the heart rate
  • Heart rhythm medications called antiarrhythmic drugs
  • Blood thinners
  • Some of the drugs used to treat this condition have more than one effect on the heart, for example, sotalol can affect both rate of the heart and heart rhythm.

    Atrial Flutter Vs Atrial Fibrillation: Whats The Difference

    Intensive blood pressure control may reduce atrial ...

    Atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation are both types of arrhythmias . They are both caused when there are problems with the electrical impulses of the upper chambers of the heart that make your heart muscle contract. This causes the heart to beat more rapidly than normal.

    Many of the symptoms of atrial flutter are similar to symptoms of AFib. The symptoms of rapid atrial flutter are similar to AFib with RVR.

    There is also a risk of unwanted blood clots forming in the heart with both types of arrhythmias. These clots can travel to other parts of the body and get stuck in smaller blood vessels. Similar to AFib, these blood clots then lead to an increased risk for stroke. In addition, many patients with atrial flutter will also require blood thinning medications to reduce risk of stroke, similar to AFib.

    Patients with atrial flutter are also at increased risk to develop atrial fibrillation as well. In general, AFib is more common then atrial flutter.

    One major difference between the two arrhythmias is that your heartbeat is always irregular in atrial fibrillation, but may be regular or irregular with atrial flutter. For example, when someone has a regular form of atrial flutter, a patients heart rate may stay consistently at 150 beats per minute for hours or even days. Meanwhile, when in atrial fibrillation or an irregular atrial flutter, the heart rate will frequently fluctuate on a minute to minute bases.

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    Related Conditions Of Atrial Fibrillation

    Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm. Other arrythmias include:

    Atrial Flutter This condition is similar to afib, except the rhythm in the hearts upper chambers is somewhat more organized. Atrial flutter can become atrial fibrillation, and vice versa.

    Supraventricular Tachycardia This broad term refers to many arrhythmias that can develop above the hearts lower chambers, which may cause episodes of heart palpitations that start and end suddenly.

    Ventricular Fibrillation This condition is similar to afib, but affects the hearts lower chambers . Since these chambers pump blood to the entire body, its extremely serious and can be fatal if normal rhythm isnt restored within a few minutes.

    Long QT Syndrome This heart disorder carries a risk of fast, chaotic heartbeats, which may cause fainting and may be life-threatening, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    Detection Of Hypotension Therapy

    The ability of NIBP to detect a mean BP < 65 mm Hg or an intra-arterial systolic BP > 140 or < 90 mm Hg was similar in patients with arrhythmia and patients with regular rhythm . Fifty-nine patients with arrhythmia and 47 patients with regular rhythm underwent a cardiovascular intervention. For the detection of responders to therapy , the AUCROC was similar between patients with arrhythmia and patients with regular rhythm .

    Oscillometric detection of hypertension, hypotension, and response to urgent therapy. Response to therapy was defined by a > 10% increase in intra-arterial mean BP after a cardiovascular intervention. The analysis was based on the mean of three consecutive measurements with each technique . Data are presented as receiver operating characteristic curves. AUCROC: area under the ROC curve .

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    When To See A Gp

    See a GP or call 111 if:

    • you have chest pain that comes and goes
    • you have chest pain that goes away quickly but youâre still worried
    • you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat
    • your heart rate is consistently lower than 60 or above 100

    Itâs important to get medical advice to make sure itâs nothing serious.

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    High Blood Pressure Causes Atrial Fibrillation

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    Sophia Antipolis, 09 February 2021: The first evidence from genetic data that high blood pressure is causally associated with the most common heart rhythm disorder is published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology .1

    Study author Dr. Georgios Georgiopoulos of Kings College London, UK and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece said: Establishing that elevated blood pressure causes atrial fibrillation provides further impetus for public health strategies aimed at improving blood pressure control in the general population and for individual efforts to keep levels in check.

    Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 40 million individuals globally.2 People with the disorder have a five times greater risk of having a stroke. Previous studies have shown an association between high blood pressure and developing atrial fibrillation, but there was no strong evidence of direct causality.

    To investigate whether blood pressure has a direct impact on the risk of atrial fibrillation, the researchers conducted a naturally randomised controlled trial called Mendelian randomisation. They used data from the largest genome-wide association study on blood pressure and atrial fibrillation which included more than one million individuals of European ancestry of which 60,620 had atrial fibrillation and 970,216 did not.

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    The Atrial Flutter Ecg

    Although the symptoms of atrial flutter can be similar to atrial fibrillation, your doctor should be able to identify the different arrhythmias through an ecg performed at your doctors office.

    In the most typical type of atrial flutter, a short circuit begins in the right atrium and travels in a repititive counter-clockwise motion over and over again in the atrium. This gives a characteristic saw tooth pattern on an ECG. The bottom line, as seen in the example below, demonstrates the saw tooth pattern.

    Meanwhile, since atrial fibrillation represents rapid irregular misfires from multiple areas of the atrium, there is no consistent pattern noted on the ECG, so it basically looks like a squiggly line on the bottom of the tracing.

    In atrial flutter, the repetitive short circuit in the right atrium gives a characteristic saw tooth pattern on ECG.

    Restore Normal Heart Rhythm

    Some patients only experience occasional atrial flutter and might return to a normal heart rhythm on their own. If the flutter is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as an overactive thyroid or valve disorder, treating that underlying condition may restore a normal heart rhythm, but not always.

    When unable to be controlled with medications, some patients will need medical intervention in the form of antiarrhythmic medication, synchronized cardioversion , or a catheter ablation.

    Commonly used antiarrhythmic medications include drugs such as amiodarone, flecainide, procainamide, or sotalol. These drugs can be effective in 50-60% of patients. Many times these antiarrhythmic medications can help convert the patient out of atrial flutter, and also help control the heart rate during atrial flutter.

    Synchronized cardioversion can be effective for 75-90% of patients. This involves briefly sedating the patient and delivering an electric shock at a very specific point in the hearts electric activity to reset the normal sinus rhythm. Read my article here to learn more about the details of cardioversions.

    Another treatment option for atrial flutter is a catheter ablation, which I will discuss next.

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    List Of Drugs That Slow The Heart Rate

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Blood in your stools and/or urine
    • Bleeding into the brain

    You are encouraged to discuss any side effects with your doctor.

    For a list of common and less severe side effects of these drugs, please read our Beta-Blocker, Calcium Channel Blocker, digitalis, and antiplatelet articles.

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    Atrial Fibrillation

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    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

    Find out more abou the causes of atrial fibrillation and how itâs diagnosed


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