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Your Guide to Understanding Atrial Fibrillation
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The common name that you will here for atrial fibrillation is Afib. The most likely symptoms that one encounters is palpitations. Other common symptoms of this condition are tiredness, shortness of breath, and one may also lose consciousness. It is also possible to find patients with atrial fibrillation but who do not have any symptoms. The reason why different people experience symptoms, and others do not is not clearly known. In a majority of the patients, there is a fast heartbeat related to the symptoms. Some patients will experience symptoms if their heart is beating too slowly during atrial fibrillation. The most common sign of Afib at a physical examination is an irregular pulse, which can be established by using a stethoscope.
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Patients who experience the symptoms of atrial fibrillation will be feeling unwell, especially those who have episodes of this condition that come and go. Any person who is suffering some or all of the mentioned symptoms should seek immediate help from health practitioners.
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Afib does not pose an immediate or direct threat of death, and you can find many patients living with the condition for many years. However, you can end up with severe complications as a result of the condition, such as stroke and heart failure.
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5% of patients with the condition get a stroke every year. A person with the condition has five times increased risk of experiencing a stroke compared to someone without it. Two ways in which strokes are experienced are if a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked or it begins bleeding. The common type of stroke experienced by people with atrial fibrillation is caused by a blockage. The blockage occurs since blood cells stick together and form clots, and once released into the bloodstream, and up blocking arteries. What causes the whole problem is uncoordinated electrical activity in the atria. A stroke results anytime the blockage is experienced in brain arteries.
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The extent of symptoms that you’re likely to face as a result of a stroke as well as the type of stroke that you suffer will depend on the part of the brain that is involved. The consequences of the stroke will be more significant when you have a bigger clot which has caused a significant blockage in the artery. You need to seek medical attention if you have any symptoms that point to the presence of a stroke.
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If one suffers Afib for long, they are likely to develop heart failure. One suffering heart failure as a result of other reasons may also end up with Afib.
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