Living with and Maintaining AFIB
Tips for Living with AFIB
Making frequent doctors visits for atrial fibrillation (AFIB) is something nobody wants to be forced to deal with. AFIB is a serious medical condition that can lead to death if it is not properly managed. Anyone who has been diagnosed with AFIB needs to look for ways to manage the condition so that they can avoid heading to the hospital with a heart attack or stroke. Here are some tips you can use to live with AFIB.
Get a Flu Shot
The flu can become a life-threatening condition for people who suffer from AFIB. The flu virus can get into the heart, which will weaken it and increase the chances of atrial fibrillation. Getting a flu shot every year is a necessity for those who have AFIB.
Avoid Medications with Stimulants
When you have a heart condition, it is crucial that you avoid taxing your heart. This means that you need to always carefully read the labels of any medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs. Make sure to avoid medications that contain the stimulants pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, which are commonly found in cold medicines.
Keep an Eye on Your Cholesterol
Another important thing people with heart conditions like AFIB need to do is to manage their cholesterol levels. Try to avoid eating foods that are high in LDL cholesterol like red meat, egg yolks, bacon and lard. Try to increase your consumption of heart-healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Eating healthier foods is a good way to boost your heart health and avoid a heart attack.
You also may want to ask about a cholesterol-lowering medication during your doctors visits. There are a number of great medications available now that will help you to get your LDL cholesterol levels down to a safe level when they are combined with a healthy diet.
Skip the Salt
Salt consumption raises the blood pressure. When your blood pressure increases, it can make your atrial fibrillation worse. This means that you need to carefully monitor your salt intake. Whenever possible, make sure that you choose low-sodium options and salt substitutes.
Limit Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine is a stimulant that puts stress on the heart. Keep in mind that caffeine comes from many sources, including coffee, tea, cola and even chocolate. If you are a big coffee drinker, try to stick to decaf as much as you can.
Avoid Alcohol Binges
While there is evidence that a glass of wine every day can help improve heart health, anything more than that is bad for your heart. Binge drinking is particularly dangerous as it can lead to an attack of AFIB. Keeping your alcohol intake in check will help you to manage your AFIB.
If you are still smoking with an AFIB diagnosis, then you need to stop immediately. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart health. It isn’t easy to quit smoking, but there are many options to help make it easier like hypnosis, nicotine gum and nicotine patches.
Get in Shape
One of the best pieces of advice for improving your heart health is to get into shape. When your cardiovascular system is exposed to exercise, it has the effect of strengthening it. This will help to improve your AFIB and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
In addition, exercise will help you to lose weight. When you are overweight, it puts extra strain on your heart. This is obviously worrisome for those with AFIB. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can be combined to help you shed pounds and improve the health of your heart.