Dr. deGuzman talks about and describes the different symptoms of atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a little bit different than coronary disease for example, where the differences in symptoms are well known. In atrial fibrillation, because it has been an undertreated and underserved area, it is currently thought that the symptom patterns are similar in both men and women. However, each individual does have or may have a different set of symptoms.
Symptoms are most consistent with those of congestive heart failure, like shortness of breath, shortness of breath with exertion, fluid overload in the lungs, decrease in your right heart function; you can end up with liver congestion or swelling of your legs. Those are really the sort of the common symptoms that people get from atrial fibrillation, as well as the feeling of palpitations or abnormal heartbeats people also can have sort of low-grade symptoms like fatigue, malaise, lethargy, which they do not sometimes notice it at first, but if you ask them in detail: how do you feel now compared to how you felt six months ago? Oftentimes, people will say, "Well, I stopped exercising or stopped, you know, working in the garden," and doing things that they normally would do because they just feel more tired, which can ultimately, once it is uncovered, be a fairly significant symptom.
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