What causes afib? Unfortunately it’s not 100% clear what causes the disease. Sometimes it just happens without warning.
However, there are some risk factors for afib.
For some people, the big risk factor is genetics. If you have a relative with afib then you’re more likely to get afib yourself.
Existing heart problems are one of the biggest risk factors. Any heart problem can become a risk factor, but high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and mitral valve disease are all especially high-risk conditions.
Obesity also puts you at risk for afib, since obesity puts so much additional strain on your heart.
Diabetes is another risk factor.
Your emotional state can also play a role in afib. If you are under extreme emotional stress, if you’re tired all the time, or if you’re dealing with chronic pain you might be in danger of triggering the condition.
Nutritional imbalances can also create an afib risk. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium are all related to heart health. You’re at risk if your body has too much or too little of any of these vital nutrients.
Thyroid problems also play a role in afib. In fact, blood tests can help identify thyroid problems which may be serving as an underlying cause for your condition.
Breathing problems of any kind can have an impact on afib. In fact, if you’ve ever smoked, even in the past, you could be at risk.
Alcohol use or abuse can also trigger afib. In fact, hospital admissions for afib spike over weekends and holidays, when people are doing the most drinking! Other triggers could include antihistamines, bronchial inhalants, local anasthetics, medications, MSG, cold beverages, high altitude, chocolate, and caffeine.
Don’t stop living for fear of afib, obviously, but remember to take all things in moderation.
Sleep apnea is another big risk factor. It puts a lot of stress on your heart, and deprives you of oxygen. This is a “one two punch” that can easily trigger the condition.
Of course, you could live your whole life without any of these risk factors just to run headlong into the biggest risk factor of all – aging! By the time you’re over the age of 40 you have a one in four chance of getting the condition.
You see, there’s a reason why this is one of the most common heart conditions that doctors see patients for! The reality is that nobody really brings afib on themselves. It’s not your fault, and there are many risk factors that many people encounter during their every day lives that can trigger the condition.