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Atrial Fibrillation: A Fluttering Heart Rhythm


Experiencing unwanted bedside signs, including waking up drenched in night sweats, breathing heavily in sleep, or an odd sensation burdening the chest can all be upsetting and bothersome.


However, one must understand that stress and anxiety are some of the common factors capable of inducing intermittent heart-fluttering episodes associated with Afib. In such circumstances, it is essential to see a practitioner if palpitations persist for long periods. For additional care enrolling in Atrial Fibrillation Clinical Trials might help evolve patient care and break barriers to potential new treatment options.

Continue reading the blog to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and risk factors and much more about Afib.

Physiology of abnormal heart rate in Afib:

To understand the physiology of Afib, it may be helpful to know how the heartbeat distorts in Afib. Having said that, in atrial fibrillation, the signals in the upper chambers of the heart are chaotic. As a result, the heart rate ascends from 100 to 175 beats a minute. Conversely, the normal heart rate is recorded to be 60 to 100 beats a minute.


The pathogenesis of Afib is not brought about by a single factor; however, an obvious correlation prevails between biomarkers of inflammation and Afib patients. For example, C-reactive protein (CRP), a characteristic feature of systemic inflammation, has been reported to be significantly higher in patients with Afib. Currently, no specific guidelines are available to make specific recommendations on the treatment of infection-associated Afib but the use of beta blockers appear to be safe for both prevention and frequency control of Afib episodes.


In addition, watch out for potassium levels. According to research, having inadequate amounts of potassium in the blood elevates one’s risk of developing AFib.


Symptoms of Afib:

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a condition where the heart beats irregularly and often too quickly. According to the American heart association, a fluttering heartbeat is the most commonly reported symptom of Afib. It is important to note that some individuals might experience no symptoms at all in response to triggers. While others may experience intermittent episodes of a fluttering or pounding heartbeat, chest pain, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breathe in response to the same triggers. The onset of such symptoms is not normal and indicates Afib, anxiety, or something serious harboring inside.


The presence or absence of symptoms varies with every individual because every human body is different with different levels of enduring capacity.

Other characteristic features of Afib are:


  • Palpitations or a fluttering sensation in the chest
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Fainting or near-fainting spells
  • Anxiety or confusion


The fact that stress not only deteriorates the mental peace but also weakens a person’s heart muscles causing dysrhythmia associated with Afib is alarming.


Causes of Afib:

The shortcomings of not adopting a healthy lifestyle such as not getting enough sleep, and excessive stress are some of the factors to cause heart arrhythmia.


In addition, not having a good sleep at night doesn’t only impact productivity but also makes individuals look grumpy. Moreover, it affects heart rhythm causing a fluttering, irregular heart rhythm. These might be a few causes not under control but aggressively take a toll on one’s heart health.


For some people, a certain level of dehydration can elicit snippets of arithmetic heart conditions such as Afib. There are several medical and non-medical conditions that increase a person’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Medical risk factors for Afib

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Overactive Thyroid( Hyperthyroidism)
  • Infections( Chronic bacterial infection most likely initiates inflammatory events)
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular Conditions
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Valve Disease (Sick Sinus Syndrome)
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Prior Heart Attack or Heart surgery
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Heart Failure


In addition, Afib by far is the most common abnormal heart rhythm associated with infections (Viral and Bacterial). This doesn’t imply that every infectious disease instigates abnormal heart rhythm.


The risk of infection-induced Afib dysrhythmia depends on various factors:

  • General: Age, Structural heart disease
  • Infectious risk factor: Sepsis, Vasopressor treatment

Non-medical risk factors for Afib:

Only heart conditions don’t need to heighten your vulnerability to Afib. Some other non-medical factors bestow dysrhythmia associated with Afib.

  • Aging: Aging plays a vital role in increasing your risk of developing medical conditions, especially after 65 years of age. Although Afib is rarely reported in children, it does occur in children who have had heart surgery or are obese.


  • Family History and Genetics: Family history increases the risk of Afib by two folds. Research suggests that genetic mutations increase a person’s risk of atrial fibrillation.


  • Stress: Stress factors for example, emotional stress, and panic disorders might put people at a higher risk of atrial fibrillation. Talking to a healthcare provider about ways can help regulate stress.


  • Alcohol consumption (binge drinking): Alcohol consumption raises the risk of atrial fibrillation. For some people, even moderate amounts of alcohol can trigger Afib episodes. The reason is that alcohol acts as a diuretic, increasing the water loss from the body which might result in dehydration and therefore dysrhythmia.


  • Caffeine: Caffeine consumption is linked to an increase in heart rate, which might trigger Afib episodes.


  • Smoking: Exposure to secondhand smoke, even in the womb increases a child’s risk for atrial fibrillation.



To reduce the risk of complications, it is important to discuss the concerns and symptoms with a practitioner. Some of which can be serious or life-threatening. A blood clot is a dangerous complication of atrial fibrillation that can lead to stroke. Consequently, as an individual turns older, atrial fibrillation raises the risk of stroke. Other common complications of AFib include:


  • Stroke: AFib increases the risk of stroke by up to five times, as these blood clots can travel to the brain. High blood pressure and Diabetes increase the risk of stroke.


  • Heart failure: The rapid and irregular heartbeat associated with AFib weakens the heart muscle over time, leading to heart failure. In most cases, changes in the physical form of the heart are a consequence of anxiety and stress.


  • Cardiomyopathy: Long-term uncontrolled AFib episodes lead to changes in the structure and function of the heart, resulting in a condition called cardiomyopathy.


  • Blood clots: AFib increases the risk of blood clots, which can travel to other parts of the body and brain causing serious complications.


  • Pulmonary embolism: Blood clots that form in the legs can travel to the lungs and cause a blockage, leading to a condition called pulmonary embolism.



Feeling erratic, weak, or having heart palpitations are some of the signs of Afib. Therefore, list down the course of symptoms with their severity, duration, etc. This will help your practitioner identify other heart conditions sharing the same manifestations as Afib and provide them with the right treatment according to their condition. Moreover; clinical research in Cardiology at Prime Revival Research is committed to investigating potential new treatment options that might help individuals suffering from heart conditions.

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