"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Lifestyle changes are vital for managing atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a typical heart rhythm disorder by which the upper chambers of the guts (the atria) beat rapidly and irregularly. Afib normally causes recurrent symptoms, normally palpitations and shortness of breath, and might negatively affect quality of life. Afib also significantly increases the danger of stroke, and has been linked to heart failure, hypertension and diabetes. People with Afib require lifelong treatment with blood thinners, to stop blood clots that may result in stroke.

Doctors are only recently realizing the importance of lifestyle aspects in treating AFB. Modifiable lifestyle aspects are so vital and underrecognized that the American Heart Association (AHA) recently issued a Scientific statement A summary of the most recent research on this topic. The AHA wants each doctors and patients to know the connection between lifestyle and AFib, and work as a team to implement these lifestyle aspects. Below is a discussion of vital lifestyle aspects, how they will affect afib, and what you’ll be able to do.


One of the strongest aspects related to afib is body weight. Obesity (defined as body mass index [BMI] > 30) has been shown in several studies to be related to the event of afib. Obesity is related to changes in electrical signaling throughout the atria in addition to structural changes within the upper chambers of the guts. Overeating can even cause hormone changes and inflammation through cell signaling pathways within the atria. Several studies show that as we gain weight, fat accumulates in the guts (in addition to elsewhere throughout the body), and this will trigger arrhythmias, mostly afib.

Obesity can even cause latest or worsening hypertension (hypertension), which promotes more structural changes in the guts. Obesity can even cause sleep deprivation and diabetes, each of which independently increase the danger of AFib.

The excellent news is that for people who find themselves obese or obese, only a 10 percent weight reduction can improve Afib-related symptoms.


For many years, cardiologists have been encouraging people to exercise, because exercise reduces the danger of dying from cardiovascular causes. Not only is exercise good, but physical inactivity is definitely harmful. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to obesity and will actually be an independent predictor of the condition. The AHA recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, to enhance cardiovascular health. Regular exercise helps prevent atrial fibrillation and, should you have already got afib, reduces symptoms and improves afib-related quality of life.

If you're not already exercising, confer with your doctor about starting a low-intensity exercise program. Brisk walking is a wonderful type of moderate exercise and allows physical distance. Start with 20 minutes a day and steadily increase your pace and duration to realize at the very least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

Sleep disorder

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep problem by which people stop respiration for brief periods during sleep. It is essentially the most common type of sleep-disordered respiration and is strongly related to heart disease. There can be a high prevalence of OSA in individuals with afib, and reoccurrence of afib symptoms is more common in individuals with more severe OSA.

Cardiologists now routinely screen individuals with recurrent AFB symptoms for OSA. Treatment of OSA with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improves afib symptoms.

If you experience symptoms of afib, ask your doctor should you must have a sleep study to examine for OSA.


Alcohol is a known risk factor for atrial fibrillation, and there may be growing evidence that the old adage “less is more” for drinking could also be true if you have got AFib. A recent study in New England Journal of Medicine Less Afib occurs when patients reduce or avoid alcohol.

If you have got Afib, try to cut back alcohol consumption, or not drink in any respect. Talk to your doctor should you're having trouble cutting back in your alcohol consumption.


Patients with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for AFib. Although the mechanisms should not well understood, it is probably going that elevated blood sugar directly damages the guts and promotes structural, electrical, and autonomic changes inside cardiac tissue.

The excellent news is that higher blood sugar control improves each the severity and frequency of AFib symptoms. Lifestyle changes that promote exercise and limit inactivity can even help with weight reduction and blood sugar control.


Dietary changes can translate into weight reduction, and can even help control blood sugar if you have got diabetes. Changing your weight-reduction plan might be difficult, but eating less processed foods and more fresh vegetables and fruits is an excellent start. Target bad habits, equivalent to snacking or eating out of boredom. And consider switching to the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, which helps control weight, blood sugar and blood pressure.