Sure Signs You Have Atrial Fibrillation, Say Physicians — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a common heart rhythm disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. While AFib can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of the condition so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the sure signs that you may have AFib, according to physicians. We’ll also provide some tips on how to eat right and manage your condition.

Sure Signs You Have Atrial Fibrillation, Say Physicians

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a common heart condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. While there are many potential causes of AFib, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so that you can seek medical attention if necessary.

What Are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation?

The most common symptom of AFib is an irregular heartbeat, which can feel like a fluttering or racing sensation in your chest. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, and palpitations. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

What Should I Eat to Help Manage Atrial Fibrillation?

Eating a healthy diet is important for managing AFib. Foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Additionally, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and walnuts, can help reduce the risk of arrhythmias. It is also important to limit your intake of processed foods, saturated fats, and sodium.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

It is important to avoid foods that can trigger or worsen AFib symptoms. These include foods that are high in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Additionally, it is important to limit your intake of processed meats, such as bacon and sausage, as well as fried foods. Finally, it is important to avoid foods that are high in sodium, such as canned soups and processed snacks.


Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so that you can seek medical attention if necessary. Additionally, it is important to eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that can trigger or worsen AFib symptoms.

Commonly referred to as AFib, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood clots and put a person at risk for other serious health issues.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 12 million Americans will have AFib by 2030 and “In 2019, AFib was mentioned on 183,321 death certificates and was the underlying cause of death in 26,535 of those deaths.” Treatment for AFib is an option and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who explained what to know about atrial fibrillation and signs you have it. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

Heart activity on monitor in intensive care unit

Dr. Shephal Doshi, MD, cardiac electrophysiologist and director of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA shares, “Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat or an electrical short circuit in the upper chamber of the heart called the atrium.  This causes the pulse to be irregular.”

Dr. Nikhil Warrier, MD, cardiac electrophysiologist and medical director of electrophysiology at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA adds, “Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia when the heart doesn’t beat in a steady or regular pattern. It is the most common type of heart rhythm disorder. In AFib, the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) fibrillate, or ‘quiver,’ which causes a rapid, irregular heart rhythm.”

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Dr. Warrier states, “The most common symptom related to AF is fatigue. Patients also complain of palpitations or rapid/irregular heartbeat. Shortness of breath can manifest with rapid heart rates or congestive heart failure which could also be related to AFib. Weakness, dizziness and lightheadedness can be associated with both rapid and slow heart rates in AFib.”  

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Athlete man having pain in the chest due to heart disease.

Dr. Doshi states, “Most patients who develop this irregular heartbeat feel some sort of symptoms whether it’s awareness of the heart beating, palpitation, shortness of breath or chest pain.  Nearly a third of the patient’s however are completely without symptoms and have no awareness that the heart is beating abnormally.”

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Health visitor and a senior man during home visit.

Dr. Doshi says, “Atrial fibrillation is usually associated with aging with nearly 10% of adults over 70 years old being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.  That being said, there are many who are much younger that develop this irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.  A common associated diagnosis is high blood pressure or hypertension which is present in many patients or diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.”

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CT scan of brain with red area for hemorrhagic stroke

According to Dr. Doshi, “One of the most important things to understand about atrial fibrillation is that it  increases one’s risk of stroke by over 5 times.  This is especially challenging in people who have no awareness of an abnormality in their heartbeats where often the first symptom is that of a stroke.  This is why strategies designed to reduce one’s risk for stroke are paramount to the management of atrial fibrillation. This typically involves the use of oral anticoagulants commonly known as blood thinners as a first-line strategy.  For patients who are intolerant or unable to take blood thinners there are minimally invasive strategies that can reduce one’s risk of stroke without the use of blood thinners.”

Dr. Warrier shares, “AFib is associated with an increased risk of stroke as it is a well-recognized cause of ischemic stroke. Fortunately, the risk of stroke in the presence of AF can be markedly reduced by up to 70% with anticoagulation. Given the often paroxysmal and asymptomatic nature of atrial fibrillation, it may not be detected with the use of traditional monitoring techniques and may require prolonged rhythm monitoring.”  

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Asian Businessman standing near the window and having chest pain.

​​”Heart failure and atrial fibrillation also frequently coexist,” says Dr. Warrier. “Up to 50% with a new diagnosis of heart failure have concomitant atrial fibrillation and approximately one third with new-onset Afib have congestive heart failure.”

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Senior man suffering heart attack while jogging with wife.

Dr. Warrier explains, “The risk for developing AFib increases with age. Estimates of the prevalence of AFib in the United States range from about 2.7 million to 6.1 million. According to the CDC, approximately 2 percent of people younger than 65 years old have AFib, while about 9 percent of people ages 65 and older have it. At the age of 80 years, the lifetime risk of developing AFib is quite substantial with a rate of approximately 22%. High blood pressure or hypertension also accounts for 20% of AFib cases. Additional risk factors or causes for AFib also include a family history of AFib, obesity, smoking, heavy alcohol/caffeine use, stress due to surgery or other illness, diabetes, heart failure and structural heart disease.”

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Dr. Warrier explains, “AFib treatment is tailored to each individual patient and usually depends on how long patients have had Afib, how bothersome symptoms are and the underlying cause of the AFib. Generally, the treatment goals for Afib threefold: 1) to address the risk of stroke to prevent blood clots with blood thinning medications; 2) to determine a rhythm or rate control strategy which can be addressed with medications or invasive options; 3) healthy lifestyle changes to manage AFib risk factors. Bottom line, Afib is a heart rhythm disorder that needs to be treated whether or not you are having any symptoms.”

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