Atrial fibrilationSometimes, people that suffer from this condition have no symptoms and they discover it after tests made for another disease. The most common symptom of atrial fibrillation is of course a fast irregular heartbeat (after 140 beats a minute). Every person can determine his own heartbeat by feeling the pulse in the wrist.
It is true that feeling your pulse may give you information about whether you have atrial fibrilation or not, but in order to have an accurate answer, a full medical investigation is necessary. For instance the rhythm of the heart should be recorded using an electrocardiogram. An electrocardiogram is not very hard to realizes. Electrodes are sticked to arms, legs, chest and the connected by wires to the electrocardiogram machine. At every heart beat electrical signals are produces and traced on paper. The hole procedure will last no longer than 5 minutes and it is painless.
The only problem in this type of diagnosis method is that is rather hard to take the test during an atrial fibrillation attack . That’s why the patient may need to wear a portable electrocardiogram record that he can switch on when an attack starts. Also an ultrasound scan called echocardiogram can be performed . It helps identify other heart problems too. If the cause of the atrial fibrillation are some problems in the lungs, this situation can be identified by an x-ray . Doctors use also blood test to discover anemia or hyperthyroidism that can bring complications.
Unfortunately when a person suffers from atrial fibrilation he or she is prone to complications that may be life threatening. One of the serious complications of atrial fibrilation is the risk of having a stroke. Because the atria is not pumping correctly blood clots are easy to form. The risk of having a stroke is double for persons that suffer from atrial fibrilation . This risk depends on the age, blood pressure, or embolism had in the past. Another possible complication is heart failure. If the atrial fibrilation is persistent, the heart can be affected and can become weaker . This situation may lead to a heart failure meaning that the blood is not pumped around the body as it should be .
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