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6 Symptoms of atrial fibrillation that should not be ignored

6 Symptoms of atrial fibrillation that should not be ignored

The heart of those who have atrial fibrillation beats differently than normal. In the conventional way, the stimulus for the beats starts at the sinus node, passes to the atria and then to the ventricles. Instead of following the route, as explained by the cardiologist José Rocha Faria Neto, a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUC-PR), "the heartbeat of patients with this disease begins directly in the atria with multiple electrical stimuli."

This is therefore a cardiac arrhythmia - and, as such, may make pumping of blood to the body insufficient. This leads to symptoms related to both cardiac dysfunction and slower blood circulation. And neglecting these symptoms is dangerous. This is because the evolution of the disease without control and treatment results in a high risk of ischemic stroke, the popular stroke.

Slower blood circulation increases the possibility of clots forming in the heart. When released, these clots can stop in any part of the body and clog an artery. If this occurs in the brain, the result will be an ischemic stroke.

Next, José Rocha Faria Neto explains what are the signs of atrial fibrillation. Be aware of them and, if you notice them together and insistently, see a cardiologist as soon as possible.

1 - Palpitations in the chest

As the heartbeat stimulates at various locations in the atrium, the heart rate is unbalanced and the rhythm of the heart can be accelerated. It is felt, from one moment to another, palpitation out of the ordinary and for no apparent reason (the person is not playing sports or doing physical exertion, for example).

2 - Shortness of breath

The heart can be so that there may be a reduction in cardiac function, cardiac output. This can lead to shorter breaths and shortness of breath.

3 - Severe dizziness

As a consequence of reduced cardiac function, severe dizziness is an important symptom of atrial fibrillation. Depending on its intensity, it may even cause a fainting spell.

4 - Weakness

Slower circulation makes blood pumping for organ irrigation less effective and the body's function is poor.

5 - Fatigue

Like weakness, fatigue in people with atrial fibrillation is caused by ineffective irrigation of the organs due to slower circulation of blood in the body.

6 - Chest Pain

Also called angina, chest pain occurs in patients with atrial fibrillation because of reduced blood flow in the coronary arteries. This is a symptom that requires the immediate search for medical help, as it may signal a heart attack in progress.

Atrial fibrillation without symptoms

In some cases, the patient has no symptoms of atrial fibrillation. "It ends up being discovered at the routine check-up by means of an electrocardiogram or a 24-hour Holter," says the cardiologist.

Holter is especially important because some patients, with or without symptoms, have episodes of atrial fibrillation that do not occur exactly at the time of the electrocardiogram. "It is called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation," says the doctor, who says that because the test records the heart rhythm for 24 hours, the arrhythmia is more likely to be detected in this interval and the best treatment may be indicated. Treatment with anticoagulant

One of the measures for the treatment of atrial fibrillation may be to initiate heart rate control. Another focus of treatment may include the administration of anticoagulant drugs to prevent clots.

Some cardiologists are worried that anticoagulant medication may be a problem in medical emergencies because of the risk of more severe bleeding. However, in episodes such as the need for immediate surgery or significant loss of blood in an accident, for example, the anticoagulant effect of medications such as Dabigatran can be stopped within minutes with the administration of its reversible agent, Idarucizumab. "The latest novelties in cardiology promise to protect the patient against these risks: Dabigatrane, for example, indicated to prevent stroke in patients with heart failure. patients with atrial fibrillation, promotes effective and predictable anticoagulation, significantly reducing the risk of stroke and thrombosis, and may have its effect reversed immediately in case of strong bleeding by Idarucizumab, a reversing agent that disrupts the anticoagulant effect in minutes, "Rocha says.

It is noteworthy that the reversible agent Idarucizumab is specific for patients who are taking the anticoagulant Dabigatran. "Without a reversing agent, the effect of the anticoagulant drug can take up to 48 hours to pass," says the cardiologist.


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