What it means when your doctor says…"You have atrial fibrillation"

Published: May, 2013

Perhaps you told your doctor you could feel your heart pounding in your chest, were short of breath, or felt very tired. Maybe you didn't have any symptoms at all. Either way, your doctor ordered tests that determined you have atrial fibrillation.

In atrial fibrillation the two upper chambers of the heart, the atria, start quivering instead of pumping efficiently and regularly. The heartbeat becomes irregular and faster. Some people find this arrhythmia frightening or otherwise distressing; others do not feel it at all. Either way, untreated atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke.

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