How to Treat Atrial Flutter?
- October 26, 2023
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What Is Atrial Flutter?
Atrial flutter is a heart rhythm disorder, also known as an arrhythmia, that affects the upper chambers (atria) of the heart. In a normal heart rhythm, the electrical impulses that regulate heartbeats originate in the sinus node, the heart's natural pacemaker. These electrical signals travel through the atria, causing them to contract and pump blood into the ventricles. However, in atrial flutter, abnormal electrical circuits or pathways within the atria disrupt this process, causing the atria to contract rapidly, resulting in a fast and irregular heartbeat.
Why Is Atrial Flutter a Concern?
Atrial flutter can lead to various health issues, including:
- Reduced Cardiac Output: The rapid and irregular heartbeat may reduce the heart's ability to pump blood effectively, potentially causing fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
- Increased Risk of Blood Clots: Blood may pool in the atria due to ineffective contractions, increasing the risk of blood clots. If a clot dislodges and travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke.
- Heart Failure: Prolonged atrial flutter can weaken the heart muscle, leading to heart failure.