Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke if You Have Atrial Fibrillation

Being diagnosed with AFib (atrial fibrillation or AF) or any other health condition can be difficult. Currently, approximately 2.2 million Americans live with atrial fibrillation, and a third of them do not know they have it. Afib is a cardiac condition where the atria beat faster, and the beat is irregular, changing how your heart pumps blood. When diagnosed with AFib, the doctor’s first concern is to prevent stroke.

This is because AF is one of the most common causes of stroke, and the stroke associated with it tends to be fatal. It would be best if you did not live in fear of getting a mega stroke that leaves you disabled because you were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Here are tips and choices you can make to reduce your risks of stroke.

1. Prescription Medication

The first step is to treat or manage atrial fibrillation. The main goal when treating atrial fibrillation is to control the rhythm of the heart and reduce the possibility of blood clotting. This can be done using blood thinners or anticoagulants. These drugs do not make your blood thin but reduce the likelihood of it clotting. With AFib, the atria, which receives blood from the rest of the body, make a quivering motion rather than a contract. Therefore, the blood is static, increasing the likelihood of blood clots. If the heart pumps out a clot, it can cause a heart attack, stroke, and injuries to the organ it reaches.

Treating atrial fibrillation can be expensive, and it’s normal for people to look for ways to make their treatment more affordable. XARELTO is one of the prescription medications used to treat AFib. To save more on your prescription drugs, you could use eDrugSearch to compare prices among the top Canadian Pharmacies and get the lowest price. There are these coupons too that will help reduce your expenses further. According to eDrugSearch, the lowest price of Xarelto is $1.51 per pill, and the highest is $8.32. The best news is that eDrugSearch will mail your drugs to your location from anywhere in the world. Therefore, you don’t have to forego buying from the store with the best prices because of the distance.

2. Lose Weight

Obesity increases the risks of getting diabetes and high blood pressure, which increases the chances of getting a stroke. Therefore, you should start working towards achieving your Body Mass Index (BMI). Create a weight loss strategy with your doctor till you get the ideal weight for you. Overweight people can start by losing as little as 10 pounds to reduce their likelihood of getting a stroke. To lose weight, you should take no more than 2,000 calories in a day and exercise more.

Doing exercises not only help you lose weight but also lowers blood pressure. Here are mild activities you can do to lose weight:

  • Walk around the neighborhood
  • Take the stairs
  • When you are working out, ensure you reach a level where you are breathing hard, but can manage to talk

3. Quit Smoking and Drink Moderately

Studies suggest that drinking a little alcohol every day can decrease your risk of stroke. However, when you start drinking more, your chances go up. Here is how you can drink in moderation.

  • Change your preference to red wine because it contains resveratrol which protects the brain and the heart
  • Drink one glass per day
  • Watch your portions. Take 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 12-ounce beer, and 5-ounce wine

Smoking thickens your blood, increasing plaque buildup in the arteries. This could lead to high blood pressure, and eventually, a stroke. Therefore, it is advisable to quit smoking.

4. Maintain Low Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the leading contributors to stroke in both men and women. Monitoring blood pressure and treating it when it is high can mean a big difference for people with AFib. The ideal blood pressure for someone with atrial fibrillation is 120/80. This might not be possible with older adults due to other medications they could be taking. People living with atrial fibrillation can maintain low blood pressure by:

  • Reducing salt in their diet
  • Eating four to five cups of vegetables every day
  • Taking fish and whole grains
  • Increasing the intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats while avoiding saturated fats
  • If necessary, take blood pressure medication

Many people ignore the signs of a stroke and question whether it’s real. Doctors advise that you get professional help whenever you suspect to be having a stroke. To prevent the risks of a stroke, know the additional risk factors such as AFib and work on them.