Hello everyone and welcome to a post from my new series about the book I am writing! This excerpt is from the section I’m currently working on about describing what Atrial Fibrillation is in terms of a medical condition. To learn more, read on.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or skipped heart beats that can lead to a whole host of terrifying health concerns such as: blood clots, stroke or even heart failure. In the United States alone there are at least 2.7 million people living with this health condition.
Medically speaking, during an atrial fibrillation episode, the upper chambers of the heart beat at an irregular rhythm instead of beating in a normal rhythmic patten to move blood into the lower chambers of the heart. Think of it as electrical misfires.
How do you know if you have AFib? Some people, myself included, describe the experience as skipped heart beats or a sudden racing heart rate that leaves them gasping for air or feeling like they were having a heart attack. That’s what happened during my first AFib episode. My heart rate reached 190 beats per minute (an average heart rate is around 60-90 beats a minute), then it started randomly skipping beats. The tension in my chest was so unbearable it became difficult to breathe and I honestly thought it was a heart attack.
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