Atrial fibrillation or AF is a condition associated with irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. It occurs due to a disturbance in the electric signals of your heart. It affects many people across the globe and underlying conditions are the main predisposing factors. Dr. Rishin Shah treats atrial fibrillation in Frisco using advanced procedures and techniques. Before seeking treatment, here is everything you need to know about atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation affects the top chambers of your heart, also known as the atria. There are some other types of arrhythmia known as ventricles that affect the lower chambers. However, these are more serious than atrial fibrillation.
The atria are the gateway to the heart and use electric signals to pump blood. The ventricles are the exits and where the blood passes for supply to the other body parts.
With Atrial fibrillation, the electric signals are disorganized, irregular, rapid, and affect your heart’s efficiency. Subsequently, your heart beats very fast, at approximately 150beats/second.
Failure to seek treatment can have devastating effects on your quality of life. However, with the right treatment, you can lead an active life.
Complications of atrial fibrillation
Lack of treatment for atrial fibrillation can increase your risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. Your risk increases threefold due to the rapid and chaotic contraction of the atria. Instead of your heart beating normally, the atrial becomes agitated and fails to circulate blood normally.
Blood collects in the small tissues surrounding the heart and clots can form from the stagnant blood. Eventually, the clot finds its way to the brain, interrupts blood circulation, and causes a stroke.
The risk of atrial fibrillation occurs more as you grow old, people above 40 years are likely to suffer from this condition. Also, if there is a history of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and diabetes, then there is an increased risk of developing this condition.
Studies reveal that the administration of blood thinners can significantly reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation can increase the risk of heart failure where the heart fails to circulate blood to the body as it should. With time the heart weakens and eventually fails to function.
Causes of atrial fibrillation
The main risk factor is arterial hypertension, heart failure, and coronary artery disease that causes a heart attack. Also, coronary bypass surgery complications can cause this condition. Others are cardiomyopathy, pericarditis, or the inflammation of the heart and damage to heart valves.
You can also get this condition through hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland, and pulmonary embolism. Some factors such as alcohol consumption, unhealthy weight, and sleep apnea are easy to manage.
Diagnostic and treatment
Your doctor examines your medical history and the risk factors before recommending treatment. Treatment involves managing the risk factor, your specialist may apply some interventions to control the irregular heartbeat. Dr. Rishin Shah may prescribe medication to slow down the heart rate and perform a catheter ablation to prevent a recurrence.
People with atrial fibrillation lead a normal life with treatment and control. Contact Dr. Rishin Shah at Prime Heart and Vascular for assessment and treatment.
What Interferes with Successful Breastfeeding?
While breastfeeding is ideal, it comes with many difficulties new parents might face.
After experiencing the intensity of labor and delivery, many new parents are left exhausted. Despite this fatigue and surviving pospartum, new parents soon learn the importance of managing the needs of an infant. Putting aside their own desires, parents learn to quickly adapt.
Exhaustion and recovery are not the only things that discourage parents from breastfeeding. There are a variety of other woes that can make it difficult for a lactating parent to continue to choose this option.
While 83 percent of women breastfeed at the beginning of postpartum, there is a drastic reduction by 6 months, resulting in only 56% of babies still being breastfed.
When a lactating woman’s milk comes in, she may experience intense pain and discomfort. The breasts typically become overly filled with milk because they have not yet regulated their supply. This engorgement can continue throughout the breastfeeding journey for a variety of reasons.
If the baby’s schedule changes, a woman’s breasts can become overly full. If the parent misses a feeding, breasts can experience discomfor which can lead to breastfeeding infection. If a woman becomes preoccupied at work and does not make time to pump, she can experience discomfort.
If breast engorgement is not treated properly, milk ducts can become blocked, and if a woman does not work to move the milk through her breasts (via feeding her baby, pumping, or expressing the milk), this engorgement can lead to further problems and may cause clogged milk ducts.
One of the biggest concerns beyond the pain a woman experiences with engorgement is infection. This is known as mastitis, and leads to a woman experiencing not only breast pain and warm breast tissue, but also flu-like symptoms that come with fever, chills, headache, and further exhaustion.
In order to help prevent infection, regular feedings are essential. Often, the best mastitis treatment, at least for early symptoms, is to massage the breast in a warm shower and express the extra milk.
Furthermore, by working with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), parents can have a great resource on how to best deal with, treat, and alleviate these problems.
Not only is an IBCLC a great resource in helping prevent breast infection, but a great source for your breastfeeding journey to encourage and educate you in best practices.
The best way to achieve breastfeeding success is to utilize the many tools that an IBCLC offers.
To exclusively breastfeed your baby can be quite overwhelming and exhausting. Between nightly feedings, cluster feedings, and pumping sessions for working mothers, breastfeeding is difficult to maintain. Unless a woman is properly supported by her family, friends, and workplace, the chances that a woman will continue to breastfeed are significantly impacted.
Culture also impacts the likelihood of a baby being breastfed beyond 6 months. The CDC discovered that parents in the Southeast United States are less likely to breastfeed their children past six months. This was in contrast to the Northwest, where business policies and the culture is more breastfeeding-friendly and supportive.
Despite the nutritional benefits afforded to a breastfed baby, there are many obstacles that can be discouraging for parents on their breastfeeding journey. From exhaustion to pain to lack of supoort, parents have many reasons to give up.
To increase your chances of success, surround yourself with supportive individuals, reach out to an IBCLC, also known as lactation consultants, and gain the necessary tools required to provide your child with the healthiest option available – you!
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