For many people with atrial fibrillation, the triggers go beyond caffeine and cold medication. You are probably aware of the common triggers for AF like alcohol, smoking and exercise, but knowing the unexpected triggers for atrial fibrillation will help you to avoid things that could cause you to have an Afib event and be just as harmful to your heart.
When you travel, you can expose yourself to potential triggers for Afib. Some of these include becoming overtired, the stress of travel and a drastic change in sleeping patterns which can trigger a fight or flight response. Make sure that you get enough sleep, stay hydrated and don’t skip meals when you are traveling.
Getting overly stressed can be like a shot of adrenaline to your heart. Identifying your personal stresses and taking steps to avoid them can help you to recuse your risk of an afib event. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help with reducing stress.
“Holiday Heart” is well documented as a trigger for Afib. This is because the holidays open up a plethora of potential triggers such as stress, fatigue and increased alcohol consumption. Alcohol is especially irritating to the heart and over doing it during the holidays can trigger atrial fibrillation. It’s important to know your limits when it comes to alcohol but for some people any amount of alcohol, no matter how small, is too much.
Recreational Drug Use
Whilst over-the-counter medications can trigger Afib because they stimulate your heart, they aren’t the only drug culprits. Recreational drugs like cocaine and marijuana can have the same effect, sometimes even raising your heart rate by 20 to 100 percent for several hours. Avoiding non-essential drugs can help you to reduce your risk of an Afib event.
There are many surprising atrial fibrillation triggers. Even seemingly positive events like a holiday or birthday celebration can trigger an attack. A good rule of thumb to stay heart-healthy with atrial fibrillation is to keep everything in moderation.