AFib and Emotional Health
Your body is a complex arrangement of interrelated systems and structures. Take your heart for example. Your heart pumps oxygenated blood through a long stretch of blood vessels, supplying your organs and muscles with fuel, and then returns the blood back to the heart to restart the process. Something that you take for granted sustains your life.
With the range of challenging tasks your body is responsible for, it is no surprise that some of these operations become disrupted. Your atrial fibrillation (AFib) signifies a slight break down of functioning. Your heart’s electrical signals become irregular and abnormal. These signals cause your heart to beat too quickly, too slowly or in a pattern without rhythm.
The results of AFib are both direct and indirect. You are directly affected by AFib in the form of increased risk of stroke, blood clots, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. The indirect impact comes in the form of the psychological and emotional distress as people with AFib are at risk for depression and anxiety.
To achieve the lifestyle that you seek, you must treat the physical and the emotional. You must treat the direct and the indirect. Deciding to treat only a single aspect of the illness will leave you incomplete.
Gaining education and awareness of AFib and AFib-related emotional health concerns will give you the information needed to seek out the appropriate level of prevention and intervention. This combination will give you the best opportunity for a happy life.
Triggers of AFib
Lessening the emotional influence of AFib is much easier when you are able to lessen the physical symptoms. Identifying and reducing your triggers of AFib is one of the best decisions that you can make. What triggers your AFib? Included here is a general list that covers a range of triggers, and perhaps, ones that you have not considered:
- Fatigue – Whenever your body is not performing to the best of its ability, it is at greater risk for AFib. Being tired, physically ill or recovering from a recent surgery are proven to increase the prevalence of AFib.
- Dehydration – Following in line with the above, anytime your body is not at optimal level, you are greater risk. When dehydrated, you are not performing at your best. Be aware and attentive to your water intake as well as your output. Certain foods and drinks can work to dehydrate you without your awareness. Reducing caffeine and alcohol will help you stay hydrated and healthy.
- Exercise – Exercise is always good, right? Well, not always. Some people report that exercise actually triggers an AFib event while other report that exercise is beneficial overall.
- Hormones – Woman have a normal changing and shifting in hormones with menstruation. The movement is natural but also problematic in terms of AFib. Woman report an increase of events in relation to their period.
- Medications – Have you been trying to beat a cold? Have you had nasal congestion without relief? Before you reach for an over-the-counter medication for treatment, check with your doctor about possible interactions with AFib. Cold medication and nasal sprays commonly trigger issues.
- Stress – You already know that any physical impairment will increase your AFib risk and the same is true with mental impairments. Stress imparts a large physical impact on your body, which can trigger an AFib event.
Next page: the link between AFib and anxiety, and how to manage it.