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Kick Start Your Heart Health: The Ultimate 10 Step Guide to Treating Atrial Fibrillation

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What is AFib?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) plagues millions. It is a condition in which the top part of the heart quivers and shakes and the upper chambers beat out of coordination with the lower chambers. It presents with an irregular and often rapid heart rate. This condition can increase your risk of strokes, heart failure and other cardiovascular problems. The risk with AFib is developing clots in the upper chambers of the heart which can dislodge and travel to other organs, leading to blocked blood flow.

Symptoms of AFib:

Symptoms and episodes of AFib will come and go or may be constant:

  • Palpitations (racing or irregular heartbeat,  or a feeling of “flip-flopping”)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced ability to exercise

AFib is a common finding in my practice. It can have an extremely negative impact on people’s lives and cause conditions such as anxiety, depression, cognitive decline and dementia.

How Do We Prevent/Treat AFib?

We use many of the same steps to prevent AFib as we do to treat it.  We address the root cause of AFib, which can be any number of factors: pollution, poor sleep, lack of sunshine, inadequate diet, and stress to name a few.  Additionally, we most often avoid dangerous pharmaceuticals, some of which require hospitalization prior to administration!

Cardioversions and ablations are often offered as “treatment” for AFib, the latter of which only have, on average, a 50% success rate according to medical literature. Cardioversions’ track record is worse.

Natural Heart Doctor prevents and treats AFib by giving the body what it needs. Following is a review of the steps everyone needs to take to prevent/treat AFib:

  1. Paleo diet – Eat like our ancestors did.  Today, we call this ancestral way of eating the “Paleo diet”. These powerhouse foods are loaded with Omega 3’s, vitamins and minerals. The foundation of a healthy nutrition plan is vegetables, followed by meat and seafood. Researchers believe the human brain achieved its greatest size only after we started eating meat and seafood. See this resource guide for the recommended food and product sources.
  1. Organic foods – Eat organic foods high in fat such as seafood, avocado, nuts, and seeds. Quality fats are essential for the body to create cell membranes and for their proper functioning. The better your cells’ functioning, the better your health, with or without AFIB. Organic foods ensure limited pesticide and toxin exposure. This is key. For more information on what to eat for AFib see: “What In the Heart Health Do I Eat ? Top 10 Foods for Atrial Fibrillation”.
  1. Daily sunshine – Vitamin D, a critical hormone in the body, is anti-inflammatory. When we have a deficiency in Vitamin D, we have a pro-inflammatory state. Sunshine fuels the body and greatly benefits the mitochondria, which are the energy powerhouses of our cells. Low levels of this hormone are associated with just about every disease, including coronary disease, stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and cancer. As it relates to AFib, Vitamin D mediates oxidative stress.
  1. Quality sleep “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” – Irish Proverb. Sleep your way to resolving AFib. Sleep is the time when the body repairs from the mental and physical stress of the day. Poor sleep is associated with elevated markers of inflammation. The more inflammation, the higher the risk of Afib and stroke. Follow this rule the best you can: Go to bed consistently with the sun and rise with the sun. In supporting better sleep, consider replacing your mattress with one of these healthier options as well.
  1. Stress reduction Studies reveal that anxiety can promote AFib. Take time out of each day to reduce your stress: deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, forest bathing and more.
  1. Artificial lights and EMF’s –  Overexposure to blue light into the late hours of the night causes disease. Blue light from phones, computers, lights and tv’s are all problematic. (Avoid these as much as possible -the heart is electrical and afib is an electrical problem.)  These devices all suppress the production of melatonin and shift circadian rhythm. Avoid blue light at night by turning off your lights and using red lights in the house after dark or purchase blue light blocking glasses such as these.
  1. Chiropractic care –  “Medicine is the study of disease and what causes man to die. Chiropractic is the study of health and what causes man to live.“ – B. J. Palmer. Get adjusted by your chiropractor on a regular basis. They are uniquely skilled in using the spine to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system. Chiropractic care decreases inflammation,ncreases immune health, lowers blood pressure, improves heart rate variability and much more.
  1. Movement – Get outside and exercise. Our ancestors were not walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes while watching TV. They were constantly active from dawn to dusk. Exercise is crucial as it reduces blood pressure, improves lipids, lowers blood sugar and improves endothelial function. When you have AFib, take it at your own pace. These are some great suggestions to get you started: Yoga (can prevent AFib and if it is persistent Afib, it can slow the heart rate), walking, hiking in nature, riding a bike outside, and lifting weights.
  1. Omega 3’s – Although we touch on omega 3’s above, they deserve their own mention here. Omega 3’s are extremely effective at lowering inflammation. The more omega 3’s in your cells, the less likely a heart attack or stroke. The quality of the omega is critical and it must contain DHA and EPA. Additionally, studies have shown that higher doses may prevent AFib. We do know that it lowers inflammation and that inflammation leads to AFib.
  1. Toxins – We live in a toxic world. Environmental toxins, mold and heavy metals are pervasive.  Heavy metals increase oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and coagulation activity, induce endothelial dysfunction and are linked to increased oxidized LDL. Certain mycotoxins (from mold) can be stored for years in the DNA of cells, leading to possible hemorrhage and heart malformations. Studies indicate that environmental factors contribute to CVD risk, incidence and severity. Clean up your environment. A great place to begin is with toxic indoor air pollution with an Austin Air Purifier.

There are multiple ways to get to the root cause of your AFib. All of these steps will not only support heart health, they will also be great steps to overcoming/preventing AFib. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes or give us a call. Make an appointment with a health coach today to find out how we can help you prevent/treat AFib!

Supplements that help prevent/treat Afib

  • Magne 5 – magnesium and potassium stabilize the heart’s electrical system
  • Potassium
  • Omega DHA- improves cell membrane function \
  • Heart Beet and Vessel Support – beetroot powder and taurine powder boost nitric oxide levels.
  • Optilipid – This is a great detoxification supplement designed by Dr. Wolfson to support healthy lipids. It contains both Berberine and curcumin which lower inflammation and turn on necessary cellular enzymes to keep your heart in great shape.

See Dr. Wolfson on this Youtube video discussing AFib treatment.

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