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Atrial Fibrillation (cont.)

Prevention

A healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, treatment for high blood pressure, and other measures can prevent atrial fibrillation by protecting you from heart disease. Manage your stress, exercise regularly, control your blood pressure, and do not smoke.

For tips on starting a walking program, see:

Click here to view an Actionset.Heart Disease: Walking for a Healthy Heart.

Eat a heart-healthy diet. This includes eating at least two servings of fish each week, particularly oily fish such as salmon, trout, and tuna. For more information, see Click here to view an Actionset.Heart Disease: Eating a Heart-Healthy Diet.

Avoid medicines, alcohol, and stimulants—such as caffeine or nicotine—that may contribute to the development of atrial fibrillation.

Take antibiotics when directed to do so by your doctor to lower your chance of getting a heart infection (endocarditis). Infection in the heart may lead to atrial fibrillation. For more information, see the topic Endocarditis.

Check your heartbeat regularly. To learn how to check your pulse, see taking your pulseClick here to see an illustration.. If you notice that your heartbeat does not have a regular rhythm, talk to your doctor. Checking your heartbeat is important, because many people do not have symptoms of atrial fibrillation. Ask your doctor how often you should check your heartbeat. Once a month might be right for you.

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