Atrial fibrillation and flutter are irregular heart rhythms that frequently lead to a heart rate that is too fast. They can result in an increased risk for stroke and/or heart failure. Atrial fibrillation and flutter can occur due to multiple causes including but not limited to drugs, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, sleep apnea, thyroid problems, coronary artery disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and heart failure.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation and flutter?
The symptoms of atrial fibrillation and flutter may include chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, and fainting. In some cases, there may be no symptoms experienced with atrial fibrillation and flutter.
How are atrial fibrillation and flutter diagnosed?
Atrial fibrillation and flutter are diagnosed based on the history, physical exam, ECG/EKG, and the results of heart monitoring.
How are atrial fibrillation and flutter treated?
The symptoms of atrial fibrillation and flutter are treated using medications (including anti-arrhythmic medicines), electrical cardioversion, and/or catheter ablation. Because atrial fibrillation and flutter may be associated with an increased risk of stroke, you may be prescribed a blood thinner to minimize this risk. For patients who are unable to tolerate blood thinners, alternative treatment options may be discussed with your cardiac electrophysiologist. Lifestyle changes may also be recommended.
To make an appointment with our Hannibal Regional cardiac electrophysiologist, please call (573) 629-3500.
Our Cardiac Electrophysiologist
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