Atrial fibrillation (atrial fib) is the medical term used to describe the disorganized, irregular “flutter” of the atria, the small upper chambers of the heart. This condition, which is caused by disruptions in the heart’s electrical conduction system, is increasingly common with age. It often occurs in patients with a history of heart disease or problems with the heart valves, but is also associated with a handful of other conditions.
If you are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, the most important thing to know is that this arrhythmia is not life-threatening. Episodes often come and go, and many require no treatment at all.
Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
Patients who experience serious symptoms of atrial fibrillation (i.e., experiencing rapid, erratic heartbeat and fatigue) may benefit from electric shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm (cardioversion), and drugs such as digoxin or beta-blockers can be used to slow the heart rate down. However, massive drug intervention is rarely warranted, and, as is the case with most pharmaceuticals, can be dangerous.
The biggest worry with atrial fib is increased risk of stroke: blood pools in the atria where clots may form and travel to the brain. Aspirin, Coumadin, or other blood thinners are often prescribed to decrease this risk.
Fran's Atrial Fibrillation
But beware the conventional treatments for atrial fibrillation. When Fran was 68, she was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and referred to a cardiologist. After an unsuccessful cardioversion procedure, the doctored started her on the beta-blocker Betapace, observed her for two days, and sent Fran home.
Two days after release, Fran was a mess. She had trouble breathing and a crushing migraine headache. She contacted her cardiologist, who told her that her problems were not caused by the drug and to call another doctor because he was “not a headache doctor.” She then started vomiting and passed out in the bathroom. Lucky for her, her husband caught her before she hit the tile floor. She was rushed back to the hospital by ambulance. The Betapace was stopped, but it took two days in the hospital for her to stabilize.
Even though the Physicians’ Desk Reference clearly states Fran’s severe symptoms as side effects of Betapace, she was never warned or given any information at all about these dangerous and disabling possibilities.
A Safe, Natural Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
At the Whitaker Wellness Institute we don’t believe that drugs are the answer when it comes to treatment for atrial fibrillation. Instead, we use intravenous magnesium, which works wonders relaxing the smooth muscles in the heart, and the time-tested therapy acupuncture. We also utilize daily doses of oral magnesium (1,000 mg), fish oil (2–6 g), coenzyme Q10 (200–600 mg), hawthorn (300 mg) and aspirin.
Lifestyle changes can also be beneficial. Studies show that eating fish a few times a week reduces atrial fib risk and people who regularly practice yoga have a 50 percent reduction in episodes of irregular heartbeat.
For more information on the Whitaker Wellness Institute’s natural protocol in treatment for atrial fibrillation and other cardiovascular concerns, please call (800) 488-1500. You can also learn about receiving a complimentary consultation here.
Now it’s your turn: What natural treatments for atrial fibrillation have you tried?
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