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Atrial fibrillation AFib occurs when the normal rhythmic pumping of the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, breaks down. In addition to treatments like mediation, surgery, and other procedures, there are certain lifestyle changes, like your diet, that can help manage AFib. This article reviews what the current evidence suggests about your diet and AFib, including what guidelines to follow and which foods to avoid. Some foods can negatively affect your heart health and have been shown to increase the risk of heart complications, like AFib, as well as heart disease. Diets high in processed foods, such as fast food, and items high in added sugar, like soda and sugary baked goods, have been linked to increased heart disease risk 1, 2. They can also lead to other negative health outcomes like weight gain, diabetes, cognitive decline, and certain cancers 3. It may also trigger AFib episodes in people who already have AFib, especially if you have existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes 4. Alcohol consumption can contribute to hypertension, obesity, and sleep-disordered breathing SDB — all risk factors for AFib 5. More recent evidence suggests that individuals who stick to recommended limits — two drinks per day for men and one drink for women — are not at increased risk for AFib 7. But going cold turkey might be your safest bet. A study found that quitting alcohol significantly reduced arrhythmia recurrences in regular drinkers with AFib 8.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib for short, is a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. Certain foods, such as caffeine or alcohol, have the potential to trigger AFib. A diet that promotes heart health may help manage and reduce the symptoms of this condition. A suitable diet may also decrease the risk of developing other heart conditions alongside AFib, including heart disease. In this article, we explore what AFib is, foods to eat and avoid, exercise techniques, and other potential tips for managing this condition. AFib is a type of arrhythmia that affects the upper chambers of the heart. The electrical impulses that control these chambers fire in a disorganized way, which leads to an irregular heartbeat. AFib itself is not a life threatening condition. However, it can increase the risk of stroke, blood clots, and congestive heart failure. Several possible risk factors increase the chances that someone will develop AFib.
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