Stress And Afib Can Stress Cause Arrhythmia And Other Heart Issues
Over the years, doctors and researchers have identified stress as a major cause of a number of health issues. These health issues are ranging from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and even personality disorders. To serious life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. But can stress cause AFib ?
In todays article, we will discuss the link between chronic stress and AFib. As it is the most common type of arrhythmia seen in patients today. We will also discuss chronic stress as the cause of other common heart issues as well.
Study Outcome And Comorbidities
The study outcome is atrial fibrillation and flutter, the ICD codes 427D and I48 , with both primary and secondary diagnosis. International Classification of Disease 9th and 10th codes were used to define study comorbidities coronary heart disease, admission for heart failure, valve disease, stroke, and cancer diagnosis before the first and baseline registration .
Diabetes Worsens Atrial Fibrillation
Diabetes not only increases your risk of developing atrial fibrillation, it also can worsen it. If you have diabetes and atrial fibrillation, your symptoms may be worse than someone who has atrial fibrillation without diabetes. The symptoms for atrial fibrillation include:
, a pounding feeling in your chestoften irregular and racing
and lower tolerance for exercise
, or feeling tired all the time
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Caffeinated Foods / Beverages
The research around caffeine is a little less definitive since a study released at the start of 2016 found no relationship between caffeine consumption and palpitations. However, those results dont change the fact that caffeine revs up your sympathetic nervous system and spikes your levels of stress hormones , raising your blood pressure and increasing your heart rate. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, which can wash away your potassium and magnesium stores, creating an electrolyte imbalance that disrupts the heart rhythm.
In my experience, placing extra stress on the heartas caffeine doescan aggravate existing arrhythmias or cause new ones. One of the reasons beta blockers are prescribed to heart attack patients is that they help control heart rate and prevent sudden changes in heart rate and rhythm by blunting the effect of the stress hormone adrenaline.
For those of you with healthy hearts, your daily dose of coffee, tea, or chocolate probably wont cause any harm. Beware, though, of caffeine-containing energy drinks, which are particularly popular with young people. These drinks, which combine caffeine with large amounts of sugar, have been linked with heart palpitations, arrhythmia, heart attack, and sudden cardiac death in adolescents and young adults.
Physical And Emotional Causes Of Afib
There is a wide variety of so-called risk factors that are considered to contribute to the development of AFib. We say a variety because many different factors can be blamed for the arrhythmias instead of one single cause.
The list of potential causes that can cause heart damage and lead to arrhythmia includes physical, but also emotional factors.
High blood pressure, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, an overactive thyroid, and alcoholism are only some examples of common physical causes for AFib.
AFib does not necessarily have to be a bad thing if we take some of the emotional factors into consideration. Many of us have experienced AFib at least once in their lifetime without even being aware of it.
AFib being a one-time occurrence is not a problem.
There is a problem when you experience AFib on a day-to-day basis or more or less common than that.
When we say that most of us have had an AFib, we are thinking of extreme happiness as the cause. Yes, sometimes, extreme happiness can cause your heart to skip a bit. However, that does not make it a medical emergency. Feeling frightened can also cause your heart to skip a bit. And even cause you to feel as if your heart is about to jump out of your chest.
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Vascular Disease In Dm
DM is associated with an accelerated development and increased risk of atherosclerosis. However, DM has been reported to be an independent risk factor for AF in most observational studies . Nevertheless, coronary microvascular dysfunction characterized by reduced coronary flow reserve and endothelial dysfunction are associated with DM and precede the development of overt cardiac disease . These abnormalities may develop as a consequence of metabolic, hormonal, hemodynamic, neural, and other factors associated with DM. Abnormalities of endothelial function may precede the development of AF . However, whether the presence of microvascular dysfunction directly influences the substrate for AF requires more experimental and clinical investigation.
What Causes High Blood Sugar
A high blood sugar emerges when there isnt enough insulin to manage it, or when the insulin is not effective enough because your body is insensitive to insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas and its needed to transport glucose and sugar from the blood to all the cells in your body. When cells receive the correct amount of sugar, they create energy.
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What Can I Do To Fix This And Get Healthy Again
With some minor life-style changes, you can see and feel big improvements quickly. Here are some things you should focus on:
- Lose Unwanted FatThis may not be fun, but its very important and its the first step in keeping your glucose in check.
- Eat Better Natural FoodsThis means lower glycemic foods, less carbohydrates, healthy proteins and fats. It also means to stay AWAY from processed, man-made foods. Also, make sure you eat often smaller meals throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar and have lots of fiber as well.
- Exercise Daily Aerobic & AnaerobicExercise utilizes the carbohydrates you eat, so it keeps your blood sugar stable. Having more muscle also improves insulin sensitivity, which means less insulin is needed.
- Proper SupplementationThere are specific natural herbs, vitamins and minerals that can help stabilize your blood sugar, while also improving insulin sensitivity.
Simply making some small adjustments in each of these categories will mean fast results for you. Which means more energy, less body fat, better cognition and you’ll simply look and feel YOUNGER!
Haemodynamic Parameters And Echocardiography
Systolic blood pressure and heart rate were measured using the tail-cuff method. Transthoracic echocardiography was then performed at the end of the sequential pattern of glucose fluctuations under anaesthesia by an intraperitoneal injection of a mixture of ketamine and xylazine which was confirmed not to decrease the blood pressure. Measurements included left atrial dimension , left ventricular end-diastolic dimension, LV end-systolic dimension, LV fractional shortening , LV ejection fraction , and LV end-diastolic posterior wall thickness . We also measured peak early and late transmitral flow velocities. The deceleration time of the mitral E-wave was measured from its peak to the time when the descent of the wave intercepted the baseline.
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Heart Palpitation Risk Depends On The Cause
The most important part of evaluating heart palpitations is determining whats causing them. I always liked to start by asking patients some questions about their lifestyle:
- Were they eating too much sugar, caffeine, or other foods that cause palpitations?
- How much stress and anxiety did they have in their lives?
- Were they feeling emotions that they didnt feel they could talk about?
- Did their palpitations tend to happen at a certain time?
- What medications are they on?
The answers to these questions helped me understand whether external issues could be causing the skips, jumps, or flutters. If, after I finished my work-up, all of a patients risk factors fell into this bucket, I didnt worry too much about their heart palpitations. Instead, Id start working with them on adopting new habits that could address the problem.
What concerned me was when I found internal issues with the heart that could be causing someones palpitations, or that could become dangerous if it was combined with palpitations. Here are six specific examples of when its right to worry
What Triggers Atrial Fibrillation
When we asked some afib patients about what triggered or brought on their afib episodes, most indicated that no one particular thing triggered them, but most mentioned stress as being a major factor.
One was under extreme stress at work, and was in the process of moving across the country when atrial fibrillation started. Doctors blamed it on marginal high blood pressure, which was probably related to the stress. Another said atrial fibrillation started during a very stressful personal situation while also working in a high-pressure industry, plus just happening to also be high-strung. Atrial fibrillation went away for a while but came back when the high stress returned. Chocolate and caffeine were also mentioned as possible additional triggers, which isnt surprising as we often consume them when under stress. Some also mentioned exercise as being a trigger.
A big challenge for those with atrial fibrillation is that they never seem to be able to anticipate when an afib episode will happen, so understanding some of the common triggers may give some clues.
The concept of triggers, however, is frequently controversial in the afib community. When taken to an extreme, tracking triggers could lead you to cut out things that you might think caused an episode only to find out that some of those triggers really werent issues at all. At the Atrial Fibrillation Blog you will find some interesting discussions about commonly-cited triggers, including:
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Dr John Day Cardiologist
|Dr. John DayDr. Day is a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm abnormalities at St. Mark Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completed his residency and fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Utah chapter of the American College of Cardiology.|
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Potential Role Of Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy
It is possible that an interaction between hypoglycemia-induced abnormalities of cardiac repolarization and autonomic neuropathy contributes to the risk of sudden death in individuals with diabetes. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is known to be associated with an increased mortality, and resting QT intervals are generally longer in patients with autonomic neuropathy than in patients without . The recent demonstration that brief periods of experimental hypoglycemia impair CV autonomic function for up to 16 h is additional evidence for a clinically relevant interaction .
However, not all data are supportive, since individuals with diabetic autonomic neuropathy actually have smaller increments in QT intervals during experimental hypoglycemia than individuals without . The apparent paradox relates to the diminished sympathoadrenal responses that are observed both in patients with neuropathy and after repeated episodes of hypoglycemia. Thus, on the one hand, a combination of autonomic neuropathy and then a severe episode leading to a powerful sympathoadrenal response might substantially increase the risk of arrhythmia-provoked sudden death, whereas on the other hand, repeated hypoglycemia in a person with impaired sympathoadrenal responses and longstanding diabetes might be protective. The way in which these different factors interact to confer risk is poorly understood and requires further experimental work.
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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and its also formed and stored inside the body. Its the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when were sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, its called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a common lung disease. There are two main forms of COPDemphysema and chronic bronchitis. The majority of individuals with the disease have a combination of both forms. Smoking is the primary cause of COPD. The disease makes it difficult to breathe and shortness of breath is one of the main symptoms. COPD is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time.
The contribution of COPD to the development of atrial fibrillation is thought to be a consequence of atrial remodeling. Smoking, low levels of oxygen, and inflammation all contribute to this phenomenon. COPD is an independent risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation, which means it can be a direct cause of this arrhythmia. A review article published in the January 2016 edition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Open Access highlights the association between the two diseases.
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What About Medications
Statins are the most well-researched medications for lowering cholesterol. They can lower your risk for heart disease if youre already at high risk.
However, there are a few important things to note about statins and cholesterol medications:
While many medications can lower cholesterol levels, only some, such as statins, have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whether or not you would benefit from a cholesterol medication depends on your overall risk for heart disease. Healthcare providers estimate this risk based on your cholesterol levels as well as other factors mentioned above .
If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, you are at high risk for a second heart attack or stroke. Many people with this risk should be on statins. But talk to your healthcare provider about whether a statin is right for you.
Some other cholesterol-lowering medications that your provider may recommend in addition to statins are listed below.
Your provider may also recommend other medications to help with high cholesterol, such as the following:
Fibrates, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels.
Bile acid sequestrants cause your body to get rid of bile acids. Your liver then uses up cholesterol from your bloodstream to replace the lost acids.
- Give you a physical exam
- Take down your medical history
- Want to know about your current medications, diet, and lifestyle
- Ask for specifics about when, how often, and under what circumstances your palpitations occur
Why You Feel Tired
When you feel tired, its because you either
Does this make sense?
If your pancreas is unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin, or if you are not reacting properly to insulin, your cells wont receive the right amount of glucose that they need to produce energy.
The result is that you feel tired all the time, you become forgetful, you cant think clearly and many people become moody.
So no sugar rush, but the exact opposite and many times, a sugar crash.
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Association Between Dm And Af: Clinical Studies
A potential association between DM and incidence of AF has long been postulated based on epidemiologic studies. The original Framingham Heart Study consisted of 5,209 patients , age 3062 years of age. This study initiated in 1948 represented a random sample of two thirds of the population of Framingham, Massachusetts and has conducted pivotal research defining cardiovascular risk factors . This study reported that hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure and valvular heart disease were independent risk factors for AF in both men and women . The odds ratio of risk of developing AF in the association with DM was 1.4 and 1.6 for men and women, respectively. However, in the absence of valvular heart disease, diabetes was no longer a significant risk predictor for the development of AF. The Framingham Heart Study did not include body mass index or a history of obstructive sleep apnea in this initial analysis.
The Manitoba Follow-Up Study which also commenced in 1948 prospectively followed 3,983 healthy male air crew recruits for 44 years. The goal of this study was to examine the role that abnormalities on the resting electrocardiogram might play in the prediction of future cardiovascular disease. In this cohort, obesity but not DM was reported to be an independent risk factor for AF .
Table 1. Characteristics of Clinical Studies Examining the Relationship Between Diabetes Mellitus and Atrial Fibrillation.
How Diabetes May Increase Your Risk For Afib
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin, the hormone that helps get sugar out of your blood and into your cells. The causes of afib are not as well known. High blood pressure and other types of heart disease are thought to be possible causes. Type 2 diabetes may be another cause.
Diabetes seems to cause thickening of the heart muscle, called hypertrophy, and changes in the hearts electrical system in ways that we dont completely understand, said Dr. Denier.
One theory is that inflammation swelling and irritation caused by diabetes may also cause afib. Another theory is that high levels of blood sugar cause hypertrophy of the left side of the heart. We have more theories than facts, but we know that diabetes causes a remodeling of the heart. We also know that poorly controlled blood sugar makes symptoms harder to control in people who have afib, said Dr. Le.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol typically doesnt cause any symptoms. In most cases it only causes emergency events. For instance, a heart attack or stroke can result from the damage caused by high cholesterol.
These events typically dont occur until high cholesterol leads to the formation of plaque in your arteries. Plaque can narrow arteries so less blood can pass through. The formation of plaque changes the makeup of your arterial lining. This could lead to serious complications.
A blood test is the only way to know if your cholesterol is too high. This means having a total blood cholesterol level above 240 milligrams per deciliter . Ask your doctor to give you a cholesterol test after you turn 20 years old. Then get your cholesterol rechecked every 4 to 6 years.
Your doctor may also suggest you have your cholesterol checked more frequently if you have a family history of high cholesterol. Or if you demonstrate the following risk factors:
- have high blood pressure