Article published by : Dr Tim Talbert on Friday, September 25, 2020

Category : Heart & Cardio

How To Keep Your Energy Up With Afib

Living with atrial fibrillation can cause fatigue and a feeling of physical weakness over time. If you suffer from AFib, Dr. Timothy Talbert is an experienced cardiologist in Chattanooga who can offer specialized advice on how to treat and control your irregular heart rate.

There are several ways to help keep your energy up when you have AFib, but before implementing these methods, it’s important to understand why this condition causes fatigue in the first place.
Why Does Atrial Fibrillation Cause Fatigue?
An irregular heartbeat causes atrial fibrillation: more specifically, a heartbeat that is “faster than normal for a long period.”╣ When this happens, you can feel like you’ve just run a marathon, or taken part in an intense workout, even if you’re just sitting on the couch or lying in bed. Because of this, you can continuously feel exhausted, no matter what you’re doing.

Another reason why AFib causes fatigue is that your heart often becomes unable to adequately pump a healthy amount of blood around your body. This means you don’t get the “steady supply of oxygen”▓ you need from your blood cells, affecting your ability to exercise effectively and tiring you out after minimal physical exertion.
How to Increase Your Energy While Living with Atrial Fibrillation
Once you’re aware of the reasons for your fatigue, it becomes easier to create an effective personal strategy for conserving and improving energy levels throughout the day. Try methods that help with the heart condition: the more you can treat AFib, the more you can treat personal fatigue.

Here are several proven methods that you should consider:

Eat Well
When it comes to any heart condition, it’s always good to start with your diet and determine what improvements you can make here.

Generally, a diet high in saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugar is unhealthy for your heart or body. Try reducing your salt intake and eat more lean protein, green vegetables, and good carbs like fruit, grains, and wholemeal bread. These contain a multitude of minerals and vitamins that can keep your heart healthy. Research suggests a helpful link│ between bananas and AFib. The high potassium levels in bananas can help minimize the risk of irregular heartbeats.

In particular, leafy foods like spinach and lettuce contain vitamin K.⁴ This vitamin helps to minimize blood clotting and is crucial to maintaining good heart health. If you take blood thinner medication, discuss whether to increase your vitamin K intake with your doctor.

Exercise Wisely
Exercise is an effective way to increase the health of your heart. Regular movement can decrease your overall heart rate and help with your sleeping schedule.

However, if you have AFib, it’s essential to do this wisely. Talk to your doctor and determine a personalized exercise regimen that helps you sustain a healthy energy level throughout workouts. An excellent way to ensure this is interval-type training,⁵ with regular rest periods to help your heart recover.

Avoid Stress Triggers
Research shows that stress can help to trigger AFib episodes, leading to more fatigue. There are several ways to help control stress, including deep, vagal breathing, yoga, mindfulness, journaling, and exercise.

It’s also useful to know the symptoms of an AFib episode so that you can act quickly should one occur. There’s a strong link between atrial fibrillation and urinary frequency: if you need to urinate two to three times an hour,⁶ you may be experiencing the beginnings of an episode.

Have a Proper Sleep Plan, and Stick to It
AFib sleep deprivation is a major cause of fatigue in those suffering from the condition. Nearly half of everyone with AFib experiences an insufficient amount of sleep due to apnea⁷ and being woken up by your irregular heartbeat.

You should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. A healthy sleep schedule helps to minimize stress and gives your body time to recover and rest. Talk to your doctor to get help with this. Dr. Tim Talbert is the best cardiologist in Chattanooga and can guide you on maintaining a good sleep hygiene schedule.
How Long Can You Live with Atrial Fibrillation?
If you have AFib and don’t seek treatment, you run a far higher risk of having a stroke⁸ than if you go and see your doctor.

You may have to make substantial lifestyle changes in your diet and your sleeping patterns or undergo longer-term medical treatment like ablation or electrical cardioversion. Conversely, you may only need to take a course of beta blocker meds or build some more exercise into your daily routine.

Get in touch with your doctor now to find out more about managing atrial fibrillation effectively.
The Last Word
It’s common to feel fatigued when you have AFib, but the good news is there are many things you can do to help treat it. It’s useful to eat healthily and exercise regularly and make an effort to sleep well and avoid stressful situations.

If you’re looking into longer-term medical treatment, Dr. Timothy Talbert is one of the top-rated cardiologists in Chattanooga and can provide expert advice on available options.


1, 5. Keeping Up Your Energy with AFib. AliveCor. Accessed on August 17th, 2020.

2. How can atrial fibrillation (AFib) cause fatigue? WebMD. Accessed on August 17th, 2020.

3. Park, Ymhee. (2014). What to Eat with Atrial Fibrillation. Health Central. Accessed on August 17th, 2020.

4. 15 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods. Healthline. Accessed on August 17th, 2020.

6. Ruan, Cheng-Huai. (2010). Instantly Converting Atrial Fibrillation into Sinus Rhythm by a Digital Rectal Exam on a 29-year-Old Male. Clin Med Insights Case Rep. 2010; 3: 51–54. Accessed on 17th August 2020.

7. Tips for Living With AFib. WedMD. Accessed on 17th August 2020.

8. Improving Your Atrial Fibrillation Prognosis. Healthline. Accessed on 17th August 2020.


Keywords: cardiologist in Chattanooga, faster than normal for a long period, steady supply of oxygen

By: Dr Tim Talbert

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