Is it Possible to Reverse Afib Naturally?

May 20, 2024

Woman bending over slightly and grabbing chest with left hand

Atrial fibrillation, also known as Afib, affects millions worldwide, causing irregular and rapid heartbeats that can lead to serious complications like stroke and heart failure. While medications and procedures are commonly used to manage Afib, many individuals try natural approaches to alleviate symptoms and potentially reverse the condition.

What is Afib?

Afib occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, causing the atria (upper chambers) to quiver instead of beating normally. This irregular rhythm disrupts blood flow, potentially leading to symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. If left untreated, Afib can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications.

Managing Afib Naturally and Otherwise

Though it is not always possible to permanently eliminate Afib, many natural options exist for helping in its treatment.

For those who cannot manage their symptoms naturally, several medical treatment options, including medications and procedures, are available for the management and prevention of Afib episodes.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Maintaining a healthy heart is one of the best ways to prevent Afib. Committing to lifestyle changes can not only help your heart, but it will also improve your quality of life.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet. A heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support overall heart health and potentially reduce Afib symptoms. Focus on minimizing processed foods, sugary beverages, and salt intake.
  • Regular Exercise. Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health, which may benefit individuals with Afib. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week—that’s 30 minutes five days a week. (Research has shown that high-intensity exercise can cause rather than prevent Afib episodes in some, so take it easy!)
  • Reduce Stress. Chronic stress can make Afib symptoms worse. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness reduces stress levels.
  • Nutritional Supplements and Herbal Remedies: Certain nutritional supplements may benefit individuals with Afib and deficiencies in these compounds. These include:
    • Magnesium: Low levels have been associated with an increased risk of Afib.
    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce risk.
    • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This antioxidant compound plays a role in cellular energy production and may protect heart health.
    • Certain herbs have been traditionally used to support heart health and may offer potential benefits for individuals with Afib. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as the FDA does not regulate these and may interact with your medications.

Mind-Body Therapies

Mind-body therapies like acupuncture and tai chi have been studied for their potential to alleviate Afib symptoms and improve overall well-being. While more research is needed, some individuals find these practices beneficial in managing their condition.

While reversing Afib entirely is not guaranteed through natural means, focusing on heart health can improve symptoms and even prevent future episodes. By incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, regular exercise, stress reduction, and other natural remedies, individuals with Afib can take proactive steps toward managing their condition. Work closely with your healthcare team, including Dr. Banker, to develop a comprehensive Afib treatment plan that addresses individual needs.