Arrhythmias may be related to certain lifestyle factors. Here are some ways to change these arrhythmia risk factors:

  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
  • Limit or stop using caffeine. Some people are sensitive to caffeine and may notice more symptoms when using caffeinated products (such as tea, coffee, colas and some over-the-counter medications).
  • Avoid ingestion of stimulants. Beware of stimulants used in cough and cold medications and herbal or nutritional supplements. Some such medications contain ingredients that promote irregular heart rhythms. Read the label and ask your doctor or pharmacist what medication would be best for you.
  • Control high blood pressure.
  • If you are obese or overweight, achieve a desirable weight to decrease risk for arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation.
  • Control blood sugar levels.
  • Treat sleep apnea; treatment may decrease your risk for arrhythmia.
  • If you notice that your irregular heart rhythm occurs more often with certain activities, you should avoid them.
  • Your family may also want to be involved in your care by learning to recognize your symptoms and how to start CPR if needed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/23/2019.

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