A heart condition which causes irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate, atrial fibrillation affects about 10% of people aged over 75.
To put it into context, a normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute when you’re resting, but in atrial fibrillation, the heart rate may be as much – if not over – 140 beats per minute.
Depending on the degree to which it affects the sufferer, atrial fibrillation may be described in the following ways:
- Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation – this form of the illness comes and goes and usually stops within 48 hours without any treatment.
- Persistent atrial fibrillation – this lasts for longer than seven days (or less when it is treated).
- Longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation – this usually lasts for longer than 12 months.
- Permanent atrial fibrillation – this is present all the time and there are no more attempts to restore normal heart rhythm.
When the heart beats normally, its muscular walls contract (tighten and squeeze) to force blood out and around the body. They then relax and the heart fills with blood again – a process which is repeated every time the heart beats.
In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, contract randomly and sometimes at such a speed that the heart muscle cannot relax properly between contractions. This reduces the heart’s efficiency and performance, which in turn can lead to a number of problems, including shortness of breath. You may also be aware of a fast and irregular heartbeat (palpitations) and feel very tired.
The most obvious symptom of atrial fibrillation is a fast and irregular heartbeat, usually over 140 beats a minute. If you’re suffering from the condition you can determine your heart rate by feeling the pulse in your wrist or neck.
You may also experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pain (angina)
The way the heart beats in atrial fibrillation reduces the heart’s efficiency and performance, which can result in low blood pressure and heart failure.
The exact cause of atrial fibrillation is unknown, but it becomes more common with age and affects certain groups of people more than others.
The condition is most common in people with other heart conditions, including the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
It can also be associated with other medical conditions, such as:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Lung cancer
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
However, not everyone with atrial fibrillation falls into one of the above groups. For example, it can affect extremely athletic people.
Certain situations can trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation, including drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, being overweight, smoking, taking illegal drugs, and drinking lots of caffeine.
A heart-healthy diet can help reduce your atrial fibrillation risk factors; changes are easier than you may think and can have countless benefits.
An article from everydayhealth.com, states too much salt contributes to high blood pressure, which can make your symptoms harder to control. The article suggests limiting your salt intake to less than 2,400 milligrams a day. Be prepared to read food labels, and where possible cook your own meals from scratch so you know what’s in your food.
The piece also states that the unsaturated fats in fish can reduce your risk for heart disease, too, as well as protect your heart against abnormal heartbeats.
Limit the amount of dairy you eat too, as the saturated fats in animal-based foods like butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream and fatty meats will be no good for your health.
Make sure you’re counting cholesterol, and try to fill up on fruits and vegetables for a healthy heart.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok?affld=104400 The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
Everything from fish oil, green eta extract, niacin and red yeast rice can be beneficial for heart health. However, always check with your health practitioner before trying any supplements as some of them can interact with conventional medicine. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take supplements other than prenatal vitamins.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, and algae oil, provide significant reductions in triglyceride levels and increases in good HDL cholesterol. Omega-3 doesn’t affect “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and omega 3s have been shown to improve heart health in general.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/recommends/
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters/
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/squeaky-clean
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong www.naturalcures.com/Members/newsletters/pdfs/NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT www.naturalcures.com/Members/newsletters/pdfs/NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress www.naturalcures.com/Members/newsletters/pdfs/NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout www.naturalcures.com/Members/newsletters/pdfs/NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com
A natural remedy for the dizziness associated with atrial fibrillation www.homeveda.com/mental-and-neurological/natural-ayurvedic-home-remedies-for-dizziness.html
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Further Information (links and books)
Keeping Your Heart in Rhythm: The Seven Natural & Safe Ways to Protect Against Irregular Heartbeats… [Paperback] by Stuart Kalb
Herbs for atrial fibrillation www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=QandA/Medicinal/20040528-5.html
Homeopathic remedies for heart health www.onlymyhealth.com/homeopathic-remedies-heart-diseases-1298540860
Atrial fibrillation and Traditional Chinese Medicine www.wjgnet.com/1949-8462/full/v4/i3/60.htm
Ten diet tips for atrial fibrillation www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/atrial-fibrillation-and-stroke/diet-tips-for-afib.aspx
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Whole food supplement, Pure Synergy
www.thesynergycompany.com (800) 723-0277
E3 Live, Green Superfoods
Omega-3s, Cod Liver oil
www.drrons.com (877) 472-8701
St. John’s Wort
Sunlight Therapy, Solar Healing
EMF Chaos Elimination, Q-Link
www.toolsforwellness.com (800) 456-9887
Living Freedom, Emotional Release Work
www.totalintegrationinstitute.com (520) 615-9811
Callahan Technique, Thought Field Therapy
www.tftrx.com (760) 564-1008
Dianetics, Dianetics Technology
www.dianetics.com (800) 367-8788
Neuro Emotional Technique
www.netmindbody.com (800) 888-4638
Bowen, Find Practitioner
Rebounder, Evolution Health
www.evolutionhealth.com (888) 896-7790
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.