Optum Care Network – Utah and Landmark Health bring care to you at home.
Optum Care Network – Utah has teamed up with Landmark to deliver in-home medical care to members with multiple chronic conditions.
In recognition of Heart Disease Awareness month, we present some basic information about atrial fibrillation and its symptoms.
The most common type of irregular heartbeat
Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib), is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. It occurs when one or both upper chambers of the heart―called the atria―don’t beat the way they should. This can cause blood to pool in the left atrium, where a blood clot can form. If the clot breaks away, it can travel to the brain. In the brain, the clot can cause a stroke that reduces blood flow and deprives the brain of oxygen and nutrients.
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation
Managing atrial fibrillation requires you to pay close attention to your symptoms. Recognizing symptoms early is the best way to prevent complications and stay well. Symptoms to watch out for can include:
Monitoring and managing symptoms
If you are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, your doctor may talk to you about blood thinning medications to help reduce the risk of stroke. Take all your medications as directed. Never change medications without a doctor’s direction. Do not skip doses.
If you do take blood thinning medications, watch for signs of bleeding in the stomach or digestive system such as black or tarry stools. Let your doctor know right away if you see any signs of this.
Keep your appointments with your doctors, even if you’re feeling healthy. Continued monitoring is very important.
Improving heart health
You can improve your heart health with good nutrition, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. Remain physically active. A good goal is to walk for 30 minutes a day, at least three times a week. Living a healthy lifestyle that includes managing stress can play a big role in maintaining heart health.
If you have questions about atrial fibrillation or would like to take steps to help prevent heart disease, talk to your doctor.
By: Chris Morris, MSPAS, PA-C, Behavioral Health Consultant
Home-based medical care may be the winning prescription for our growing senior population.