Reducing AFib Episodes
Atrial fibrillation may be partially or completely controlled with the use of medication, but there are also some actions which you can take to prevent recurrent episodes.
- Take medications as ordered.
- Keep recommended appointments for tests, such as EKGs and blood work.
- Manage stress.
- Limit your intake of caffeine.
Adopt a Heart Healthy Lifestyle
Living a lifestyle that is healthy for your heart is key to preventing complications like cardiac damage and stroke. A heart healthy lifestyle offers benefits for your entire body – you will feel better while you are decreasing your risk of serious complications of atrial fibrillation. A heart healthy lifestyle includes the following:
- If you smoke or use tobacco, stop. If you cannot stop completely, cut down. Take advantage of the many smoking cessation supports available today. If you are considering using medication to stop smoking, consult with your health care provider for his or her advice.
- Eat a diet that is primarily plant based. If you eat meat, choose meat from animals that are raised organically or grass fed. Meat from wild animals is healthy too. A portion of meat should be no larger than a deck of playing cards. Consume at least thirty five grams of fiber each day. Avoid saturated fats. Consult with a dietitian for specific advice.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Check with your health care provider to see if alcohol is contraindicated with your medications.
- Get daily exercise. Check with your health care provider before beginning an exercise program.
- Monitor your blood pressure as recommended by your health care provider.
- Evaluate what causes stress and your response to it. Take appropriate actions to prevent and limit stress.
- Pay attention to your social and spiritual needs.
You have the ability to reduce the likelihood of minor and serious complications associated with AFib. In time, you may discover that an AFib diagnosis starts you on a new and healthier lifestyle path, which allows you to feel better and enjoy life more.