Atrial Fibrillation Causes: The Facts You Should Know
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
What atrial fibrillation causes should you be aware of? Atrial fibrillation is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat. Most of the time Atrial Fibrillation causes a rapid heartbeat. This can cause poor circulation to the rest of your body.
What are the Risk Factors for Atrial Fibrillation?
It was found that for both men and women some of the strongest risk factors for atrial fibrillation were palpitations and hypertension.
- Dr. Audhild Nyrnes of the University of Tromso in Norway said hypertension was a well-known risk factor for atrial fibrillation, but the impact of self-reported palpitations had not been previously documented. Until his study confirmed these findings. Participants in the Tromso study were recruited in 1994 to 1995 and from a field that included all inhabitants in the region age 25 and older. After exclusions, 22,815 people ages 25-96 were studied and followed up for a mean time of 11.1 years. Mean age at baseline was 46 years. The study showed atrial fibrillation was recorded in 3 percent of women and 4.2 percent of men during the 11.1 years of follow-up. Age, self-reported palpitations and hypertension were the strongest risk factors for atrial fibrillation, the study found. The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found palpitations — which the investigators described as “frequent” in the total study group — increased the risk of atrial fibrillation in women by 62 percent and in men by 91 percent.
- So basically what the study said was people who have heart palpitations are more likely to experience atrial fibrillation, or there is a direct link between the two.
What are some of the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation?
Some of the Symptoms to Look for include:
- Chest pain
- Light headedness
- Shortness of breathe
- Heart palpation
- A drop in blood pressure.
Is Atrial Fibrillation life threatening?
In most cases no it’s not life threatening, but it is a real medical condition that needs to be treated and evaluated by your doctor. There are two types, chronic where your heartbeat is always abnormal and occasional were this only sometimes happens.
Atrial Fibrillation Treatment?
There are two main ways atrial fibrillation is treated through surgery and through medication.
Atrial Fibrillation Causes?
There are some of the known causes:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Abnormal heart valves
- Heart defects you’re born with (congenital)
- An overactive thyroid gland or other metabolic imbalance
- Exposure to stimulants such as medications, caffeine or tobacco, or to alcohol
- Sick sinus syndrome — improper functioning of the heart’s natural pacemaker
- Emphysema or other lung diseases
- Previous heart surgery
- Viral infections
- Stress due to pneumonia, surgery or other illnesses
- Sleep apnea
How the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response Can Affect the Heart
Can atrial fibrillation causes impact the NEM response? Well, heart rate and rhythm fluctuate in response to certain signals. The initiation of these signals can be from the NEM stress response, as we shall see now.
Certain types of imbalances are associated with atrial fibrillation, especially in relation to Adrenal Fatigue and the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM, including its metabolic, neuro-affective, cardionomic and hormonal circuits.
The neuroendocrine (NE) circuits involve the thyroid, heart, autonomic nervous system, the brain, the gastrointestinal tracts and the adrenals. They activate when the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis is triggered by stress.
When the NE system is activated, the metabolic circuit is also activated. It includes the liver, extra-cellular matrix, the immune system, the microbiome and the pancreas. When these hormonal and metabolic responses to stress are engaged, the central nervous system (CNS) also becomes involved. In fact, the CNS, the brain and the gut regulate much of the NEM’s neuro-affective stress response.
For example, norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that helps support brain alertness within the CNS. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) allows norepinephrine to create an effect outside of the CNS, such as on the heart and blood vessels. Over activity of it can induce heart pounding and anxiety.
Another circuit of the NEM stress response involved in preparing the body for “fight-or-flight” through adrenaline and norepinephrine release is the cardionomic. Disruptions in the cardionomic response can lead to heart palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, dizziness, high blood pressure, shortness of breath and breathlessness.
In a healthy individual, adrenaline transporters remove excess adrenaline released from the adrenal glands before they cause damage by staying in circulation.
But in those suffering from adrenal exhaustion and dysregulation of the NEM stress response, the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) is on overdrive and creates a set of symptoms known as the reactive sympathoadrenal response (RSR). RSR floods the body with adrenaline and norepinephrine, causing fast resting heart rate, palpitations, strong heart beat, anxiety and panic attacks, among other symptoms.
And these reactions are constant, without enough time in between to give the body a chance to recover and rest. This imbalance in the hormonal and metabolic circuits of the NEM stress response cause frequent adrenaline rushes, even during rest, giving rise to palpitations and heart pounding. Blood pressure, which is usually below normal for adrenal fatigue patients, can soar.
The consistently high levels of adrenaline and norepinephrine cause abnormal cardiac arrhythmias, like atrial fibrillation, whether vagally or sympathetically mediated.
Please see your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of atrial fibrillation or atrial fibrillation causes, including having chest pain please go to the emergency room. Chest pain is a sign of heart attack.
Source: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2012/05/29/Palpitations-a-risk-factor-for-atrial-fib/UPI-26611338345781/#ixzz1wNhLbyip – Palpitations a risk factor for atrial fib