Living With Atrial Fibrillation
Many people are able to live full and active lives with atrial fibrillation. Most people don't have to change their Reference daily activities.
Because atrial fibrillation is often the result of a heart condition, making changes to improve your heart condition will usually improve your overall health.
Make lifestyle changes
- Don't smoke. If you need help quitting, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
- Eat a Reference heart-healthy diet.
- Try an Reference exercise program. Talk to your doctor about what type and level of exercise is safe for you.
- Control your stress. Treatments like Reference yoga, Reference biofeedback, and Reference meditation may help.
- Don't use alcohol, caffeine, or stimulants, such as methamphetamines or cocaine.
- Control your weight. For more information, see the topic Reference Weight Management.
Prevent other health problems
- If needed, take medicines to control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicine. Some nonprescription medicines, especially cold and herbal remedies, contain stimulants that can trigger atrial fibrillation.
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Know the signs of Reference sleep apnea Opens New Window. Many people with atrial fibrillation also have this condition.
Take medicines safely
When you take an anticoagulant (also called a blood thinner), you need to take extra steps to avoid bleeding problems, such as preventing falls and injuries. If you take warfarin, you also get regular blood tests and watch how much vitamin K you eat or drink.
- Reference Reference Warfarin: Taking Your Medicine Safely
- Reference Reference Blood Thinners Other Than Warfarin: Taking Them Safely
For more information, see:
- Reference Atrial Fibrillation and Daily Life
- Reference Heart Rhythm Problems: How to Travel Safely
- Reference Arrhythmias and Sexual Activity
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 9, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology