In this article, I discuss the common causes of Afib, and why it’s critical if you have Afib to know if you have a cause that you have control over.
The underlying cause
Afib is a complex problem with many different potential causes. And not everyone has an underlying cause. For some people, it’s a genetic thing or “just the way they are made.” Or they have a cause that is not changeable, like they have a heart problem or other health issue that makes them more likely to have Afib.
However, many people with Afib have a cause, that if not addressed, is going to make them much more likely to have more Afib in the future.
And that’s the main point of this article. To identify any causes that you have that you can reverse or treat, that will lead to less Afib for you.
Article continues after this video
Here are the 6 most common treatable drivers of atrial fibrillation:
The most common treatable cause for Afib and the one that research shows can be very powerful in lowering the risk of recurrent Afib. In fact, research shows that if you are overweight, you can increase your chances of being free of Afib by up to 10 times, that’s 1,000 percent, by losing weight and getting more fit. Not to mention all the other benefits of improving your health.
Poorly controlled blood pressure
Nationwide, less than ½ of people with high blood pressure have it controlled. This is unacceptable because we know exactly what works in lowering blood pressure. And getting your blood pressure controlled not only improves your Afib, it also lowers your risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.
Untreated sleep apnea
Experts estimate that 80% of people with sleep apnea don’t know it. Sleep apnea is a common “hidden” cause of Afib in my practice. If you snore or your partner says you quit breathing during sleep or you wake up feeling tired and unrested, talk to your doctor about being screened for sleep apnea.
Along with healthy weight loss, regular exercise and improved fitness is a powerful tool to lower your risk for recurrent Afib although there is a level of exercise that can actually increase your Afib. Endurance level athletes that participate in triathlons and marathons are at increased risk for Afib, but for most of us, exercise is a powerful treatment for Afib.
Excess alcohol consumption
We have long known that excess alcohol can cause Afib. “Holiday Heart” is a phrase doctors sometimes use in reference to people who develop Afib over the holidays due to excess alcohol. More recent research suggests that the optimal amount of alcohol for those with Afib maybe none. Even two drinks a day has been shown to increase the risk for Afib.
High thyroid levels
It is a standard of care to check thyroid function in people with new-onset Afib.
If you have one or more of these common drivers of Afib, you have an excellent opportunity to improve – and maybe even eliminate – your Afib. And if you want to improve your Afib through improving your health and weight loss, Afib Solution has an evidence-based program that can help you achieve lasting weight loss and better health.