Millions of Americans contend with atrial fibrillation, and their doctors often suggest that the only way forward involves medication or risky surgical procedures. Yet, the truth is far from this notion—neither pharmaceuticals nor surgeries can guarantee a foolproof remedy for AFib. Sadly, these well-intentioned interventions often make things worse.
The hard truth is that many of our lifestyle choices contribute to inflammation, which in turn triggers arrhythmias such as AFib. The key to overcoming these arrhythmias is using a holistic approach to treat atrial fibrillation naturally. Only by addressing the root cause of AFib can we restore the heart’s natural rhythm and resilience.
What is atrial fibrillation?
The human heart consists of four chambers. The upper pair, the atria, work in tandem with the lower pair, the ventricles. Nestled within the upper right chamber lies the sinus (SA) node, the heart’s natural pacemaker. When the SA node fires, it tells the atria when and how frequently to contract.
The electrical signal leaves the SA node and travels down the heart, where it encounters another impulse generator called the atrioventricular (AV) node. Once stimulated, this node sends electrical signals to the heart’s base, directing the ventricles to contract through the bundle of His.
Blood flows rhythmically from the atria to the ventricles in a properly functioning system. However, those with AFib experience disordered SA node signals, leading to rapid and irregular atrial contractions. Fortunately, the AV node serves as an electrical sentinel, preventing some impulses from reaching the ventricles. Still, AFib results in poor coordination between the atria and the ventricles.
The symptoms of atrial fibrillation vary from patient to patient. While some individuals barely notice AFib, most people experience a heartbeat that is irregular and fast, as well as a sensation of fluttering in their ribcage.
Untreated, these symptoms may result in chest discomfort, cardiac palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or weakness. In addition, the severity and length of AFib episodes can differ greatly, with some people only experiencing fleeting bouts while others deal with persistent problems.
9 ways to treat atrial fibrillation naturally
Although medications and procedures may be necessary for certain individuals with AFib, they carry the risk of undesirable and sometimes fatal side effects. Furthermore, they often provide temporary relief, merely masking the symptoms. The good news is that a variety of effective natural treatments for atrial fibrillation exist, such as the nine options discussed here.
1. Eat like our ancient ancestors
Emulating the dietary habits of our ancient predecessors can offer a natural and powerful approach to managing AFib. By focusing on consuming whole, unprocessed foods abundant during ancestral times, we can foster a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet that supports optimal heart health. Key components of this eating pattern include wild-caught seafood, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, all of which deliver essential nutrients and antioxidants.
Back in the day, our ancestors made sure no food went to waste, savoring every bit of an animal from head to tail. You might be surprised to learn that grass-fed organ meat is a nutritional goldmine just waiting to be added to your meals. While some folks happily dig into organs, others can’t stomach the idea. Thankfully, there are many excellent ways to add this powerhouse to your diet. Force of Nature has developed an ancestral blend that makes organ meat practically undetectable.
In addition to adding nutritious food, it’s crucial to keep unhealthy food out. Removing processed foods, pesticide-laden produce, sugar, refined vegetable oils, and gluten help reduce inflammation and ward off heart problems such as atrial fibrillation.
2. Steer clear of spirits
You might be familiar with the notion that a daily glass of wine reduces cardiovascular risk. This “heart-healthy” message is quite appealing. After all, enjoying a beer with friends or mixing a cocktail after a tiring day has become a widely accepted means of socializing and unwinding.
Updated studies challenge the laid-back attitude towards alcohol consumption, particularly for individuals with irregular heartbeats. For example, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that even a single alcoholic beverage considerably raises the likelihood of triggering AFib.
This research isn’t unique in highlighting the influence of alcohol on AFib. A study in the January 2020 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that avoiding alcohol altogether lowered the chance of AFib recurrence in individuals diagnosed with arrhythmia.
While not everyone with AFib will respond negatively to alcohol, avoiding or significantly limiting consumption is best if you have a history of arrhythmias.
3. Embrace an active lifestyle
Exercise is one of the best things we can do for a healthy heart. Not only does exercise strengthen the heart directly, but it also reduces or eliminates some risk factors that can lead to heart disease. But what if you have a history of AFib? Will exercise throw your heart back into an abnormal rhythm?
In most cases, engaging in physical activity is safe and beneficial for those with AFib. Exercise can help reduce the occurrence of further episodes. For instance, a recent study from Norway tracked 51 AFib patients; half participated in running or walking thrice weekly for 43 minutes, while the other half remained inactive. The exercising participants experienced remarkable improvements in their AFib symptoms, reducing their time in AFib by 50%.
The most effective exercise for AFib is one you enjoy, increasing the likelihood of maintaining it. Walking, tennis, yoga, biking, open-water swimming, golf, or hiking are great options.
In terms of exercise, aim to emulate the movements of our ancestors, who engaged in “burst” activities that temporarily raised their heart rates. For instance, walking can be an excellent activity for AFib. Try alternating brisk walks with leisurely strolls, one minute each.
Outdoor exercise is ideal. Gyms can be unhealthy environments due to fluorescent lighting, harmful cleaning chemicals, and electromagnetic frequencies from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. In contrast, nature offers a healing atmosphere, making outdoor exercise the preferred choice whenever possible.
4. Find your calm
Finding your personal calm is essential for managing AFib, as stress can often trigger episodes. When you alleviate tension, you stimulate the vagus nerve, a key player in regulating your heart’s rhythm. This powerful nerve wanders from your brain to your heart and other vital organs, acting as a mediator between the body and mind.
Nurture a relaxed state of being by engaging in stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. Even if you cannot eliminate AFib completely, you’ll find yourself better equipped to handle AFib episodes and enjoy a healthier, more vibrant life.
5. Sleep soundly
A good night’s sleep is critical for keeping the heart’s electricity flowing smoothly. Individuals experiencing sleep difficulties have a higher risk of developing heart arrhythmias, including AFib. Recent research has identified poor sleep as a significant risk factor for AFib, with frequent night-time awakenings and reduced REM sleep contributing to its development.
Unfortunately, getting adequate rest may prove challenging for AFib sufferers. Studies show that nearly two-thirds of those with AFib suffer from breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This common condition blocks a person’s airway during sleep, lowering circulating oxygen throughout the body.
If you have AFib, consider a sleep study test such as the WatchPAT One sleep test, which can be done right in the comfort of your home. Be sure to create a conducive sleep environment by shutting off electronics in the evening, keeping your bedroom slightly cooler, and creating a consistent bedtime routine.
6. Get your daily dose of sunshine
Sunshine plays a vital role in managing AFib naturally. When bare skin is exposed to sunlight, it triggers the production of vitamin D, a nutrient essential for heart health. Moreover, sunlight improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure by increasing the creation of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax and widen blood vessels.
Spend as much time as safely possible in the sunlight each day. If possible, expose your bare chest to the healing rays, allowing your heart to heal naturally.
7. Ditch toxins and chemicals
One of the biggest causes of atrial fibrillation is environmental toxins and chemicals, which trigger free radical damage and inflammation. Studies show that air pollution exposes individuals to harmful chemicals and particulate matter that can trigger atrial fibrillation.
Indoor air pollution is also a serious issue because of the chemicals released by furniture, cleaning products, and other everyday household objects. And if you think that your drinking water is safe, think again. Heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful substances live there.
By minimizing exposure to these toxins, such as using natural cleaning products, installing air filters and water purifiers, and avoiding plastic containers and other products made with harmful chemicals, AFib patients can help protect their hearts and overall health.
8. Get chiropractic care
Chiropractic treatment can provide numerous advantages for AFib patients by focusing on the nervous system, which regulates heart rate and rhythm. Chiropractic adjustments enhance vagus nerve function and circulation, possibly reducing the frequency and severity of AFib episodes.
Moreover, chiropractic care helps to alleviate stress and tension in the body, which are frequent AFib triggers. Most individuals leave a chiropractic adjustment feeling calm and in the flow of life.
9. Consider evidence-based supplements
Nature provides some of the best healing tools available. Unfortunately, much of our food is depleted of these heart-healthy nutrients. As a result, many people with AFib benefit from supplements. For example, magnesium is well known for helping to regulate heart rhythm. Other helpful vitamins and minerals for AFib include:
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
NHD has created an AFib Complete Support Protocol bundle that includes these supplements and more.
Natural treatments for AFib can offer hope and relief for those seeking alternatives to medications and surgeries. While conventional doctors may rely on drugs or procedures to treat AFib, these interventions often fail to address the condition’s root cause and may even worsen symptoms.
If you are on medications for AFib, consider seeking a virtual second opinion from a highly-qualified NHD practitioner. We can help you make informed choices about your treatment options, improving your chances of reaching your 100 year heart.