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Atrial Fibrillation – AFib

AFib is an unorganized, chaotic rhythm that originates from the pulmonary veins in the left atrium (the heart’s top left chamber). The cells in the pulmonary veins ordinarily do not have any electrical activity. Still, those with atrial fibrillation gain electrical activity and start firing in a rapid, irregular pattern. A-fib is an irregularly irregular rhythm in which the heart beats without a regular pattern.

A-Fib Lifestyle Modifications

In this video, Daniel M. Alyesh, MD, covers AFib Lifestyle Modification: including what causes AFib, what does the diagnosis mean, and how it will impact your daily life.


Why Do People Get Atrial Fibrillation? 

Sometimes it is unknown why people get A-fib.  Sometimes A-fib is caused by damage to the heart’s electrical system from conditions including:   

AFib is a progressive disease.  Unless there is an underlying cause that can be corrected, it always gets worse over time.  It initially starts as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation when it comes and goes.  Over time, the episodes start increasing in length and severity.  Patients start having more and more events to the point that they are now in it all the time.  That’s when it progresses and is called persistent atrial fibrillation.  Inside the heart, that usually means it has spread beyond the pulmonary veins. The success of the treatment is lower the longer a patient has A-fib and the more it progresses.

Is it Dangerous?
A-fib can feel very scary, but it is not deadly.  If A-fib is not treated properly, it can cause health complications including:  

Signs & Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation 
Some people do not have any symptoms when they are in a-fib.  Other people have bothersome symptoms.  Signs and symptoms of A-fib include: 

What should I do for an A-fib Episode?
If the episode feels like past ones and you feel okay, you can do your usual activities. Listen to your body: rest if you need to. You can try relaxation exercises, such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing. Please remember how long your symptoms last, how you felt during the episode(s), any identifiable triggers or relievers, and whether you are experiencing a change in episode frequency or duration. Your provider will want to discuss these things on your next visit. 

Heart rhythm symptoms to call your provider about:  

Heart rhythm symptoms to go to the ER for:  

How is it Diagnosed?


Afib Treatment

Treatment for AFib is divided into Four quadrants of AFib Care



1)Rate Control  

2)Rhythm Control  

3)Stroke/Embolic Event Prevention 

Atrial fibrillation, treatment and new game changing surgical technologies

Dr. Sundaram discusses treatments in A-fib with Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure and new Pacemaker technology

Learn more about the treatment of LAA closure here on our Structural Heart Clinic page.

4) Risk Factor Management: exercise, weight loss, moderating/quitting alcohol, quitting drugs, treating sleep apnea, and controlling chronic diseases such as hypertension, coronary disease, diabetes, heart failure, thyroid disease, and lung disease can greatly impact how much A-fib you have.    

Helpful Patient Resources About Atrial Fibrillation Management:  

A-Fib Resources

10 Steps you can take to manage A-Fib


A decision aid for stroke prevention medications

View PDF

Simplifying your a-Fib Treatment Plan

View PDF

Partnering in Your Treatment: Note-taking sheet for your appointment

View PDF

South Denver Cardiology is a leader in the treatment of Afib and we may be able to help you or a loved one who has A-fib. If you would like to schedule an appointment with any of our Afib specialists click here, or feel free to call us at 303-744-1065