Heart disease is a cause for concern to a huge number of individuals all over the world which brings to the table different types of problems to their bodies. One of these can be found directly with their heart beat. Atrial fibrillation is known as a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to a variety of problems including blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Let us consider what causes AFIB and why it is often associated with COPD.
AFIB and COPD
As mentioned earlier, AFIB is characterized by an irregular and often rapid heart rate. On the other hand, COPD or is also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is known as a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness. COPD progressive into various lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis if treatment is not administered in a timely and effective manner.
Difference and Similarities
The reason why AFIB and COPD are often linked together is because they share a few similar symptoms and cause. This include symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and chest pain. On the other hand, AFIB causes can develop or start with lung diseases which is fairly common trait found in COPD.
In addition, acute exacerbations of the disease and common causes for this are usually viral infections of the upper respiratory tract and infections of the tracheobronchial tree and this is what most COPD patients are prone to developing which is also relatively similar to AFIB. The only difference is that AFIB primarily revolves around the heart while COPD primarily affects the lungs.
It should be noted that heart problems and COPD are comorbidities and this means that it isn’t uncommon to have both. Smoking, airway inflammation, hypoxia, hypercapnia, pulmonary hypertension, β-adrenergic agonist and steroids all contribute to ultimately causing or worsening AF in COPD patients.
Lifestyle Changes with AFIB and COPD
Knowing COPD and AFIB causes is only the beginning as you need to take action in effectively managing the condition. Making the necessary changes to your lifestyle affects both COPD and AFIB. For instance, exercise is known aid in slowing heart rate as well as lower blood pressure which is great for AFIB. On other hand, COPD patients can benefit greatly from exercise as it can help improve circulation as well as help the body better use oxygen. Furthermore, patients will be able to build energy levels which allows them to do more activities without becoming tired or running out of breath very easily.
Dealing with both COPD and AFIB can be very troublesome. This is the reason why early detection is necessary to avoid making the condition much worse. It is also important that you discuss this with your doctors right away as you work hand in hand together in find appropriate treatment that is able to suit your needs.