AFib diagnosis changed local doctor's life

September is Afib Awareness Month (Pic: Danner Evans).

Lynchburg, Va. (WSET) - It's one of the most common heart rhythm issues diagnosed in our area. But Atrial Fibrillation -- or AFib -- can be treated.

September is AFib Awareness Month, a good time to think about the tools to spot it early.

AFib is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure.

For that reason, it's really important to diagnose, according to physician assistant Judy Taylor with Stroobants Cardiovascular.

"Some patients will have symptoms. Some will not,” Taylor said. “The patients who have symptoms will complain of generally palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath."

Dr. Gary St. Clair explained his diagnosis changed his life.

"I was a salt freak. I would put salt on country ham. That's really bad,” St Clair said. “So yeah, I had to go on a low sodium diet. I had some weight loss too."

Taylor said typically patients are in their 80s, but they've treated people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s too.

They can treat AFib with medication and procedures -- so be sure to talk your doctor if you suspect you're having problems.

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