Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm disorder that can disrupt your heart’s ability to circulate blood. AFib symptoms include dizziness, fainting, and the formation of blood clots in your heart chambers.
Blood clots can circulate to different parts of your body and cause life-threatening complications, such as stroke (brain) or pulmonary embolism (lungs). Atrial fibrillation treatments aim to restore your regular heart rhythm and prevent blood clots.
Concerned your symptoms may be related to AFib? Find a Doctor at Dignity Health North State to discuss your best approach to prevention and atrial fibrillation treatment in Northern California.
Treating AFib at Dignity Health North State
Atrial fibrillation can be caused by many conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, hypertension, a previous heart attack or heart surgery. Sometimes, however, the cause of AFib can’t be found.
AFib treatment options are as diverse as the causes. For example, if you have heart disease, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and medication to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. If your AFib is caused by valve disease or a structural heart defect, surgery may be the most appropriate treatment.
At least a part of your treatment plan will focus on restoring your heart rhythm and lowering your chances of developing blood clots.
Atrial fibrillation treatment options include:
- Catheter ablation — to destroy abnormal heart cells causing an abnormal heartbeat
- Cardioversion (electrical and chemical) — therapy to reset your heart’s rhythm
- Heart medications — to slow the heart’s contractions and correct an irregular heartbeat
- Blood-thinning medications — to help prevent blood clots
- Maze surgery — to disrupt your heart’s irregular electrical signals
Choosing the Best Treatment Option for You
In considering your best treatment option, your Dignity Health North State doctor will take into account your overall health, the severity of your symptoms, and how effective the recommended treatment will be in your specific case.
You should discuss with your doctor the risk, benefits, likely outcomes, and side effects of your recommended treatment. Be sure to ask why the selected treatment is your best option.
How Can You Prevent Atrial Fibrillation?
Prevention is not always possible, because in most cases, AFib is caused by an underlying heart or heart-related condition. Your risk for atrial fibrillation also increases with age.
You can take the following steps to lower your risk of heart-related causes of AFib:
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Limit your use of salt (especially if you have high blood pressure).
- Maintain recommended blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The doctors at Dignity Health North State believe that caring for the whole person involves providing for the physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs of the patient. Learn more about our holistic approach to medicine.
Dignity Health North State provides advanced cardiac care, including atrial fibrillation treatment, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.
Find a Doctor at Mercy Mount Shasta, Mercy Medical Center Redding, or St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.