You think you’re healthy, eat well, take good care of yourself (well, maybe you could get more exercise). Life is good. You don’t feel like you’re under stress. But every now and then your heart does flip-flops. You can feel it pounding, you can feel it throbbing in your neck.
Then, in the middle of the night, it’s racing. You feel anxious. You check your pulse—140 beats per minute, maybe more. You go to the emergency room. It’s 190 beats per minute now. They tell you, “You have atrial fibrillation.” Atrial fibwhat? They hook you up to an IV, give you some drugs and soon, gradually, you begin to feel almost normal again.
But now your mind starts racing: What is atrial fibrillation? What causes atrial fibrillation? Is there a cure for atrial fibrillation? What drugs were in that drip (and what are the side effects)? Just how serious is atrial fibrillation?
A Little History
I went to the emergency room with atrial fibrillation on February 15, 2008. I’d had a few mild episodes of rapid, erratic heartbeat several years before, sometime in 2002. I would feel my heart begin to race, feel anxious and weak, and have to lie down. Within an hour or so, I usually felt a bit better and went about my business.
I did ask my doctor about it and he hooked me up to an ECG (electrocardiograph) machine, examined the paper as the graphs sputtered out, and said everything looked normal. Probably stress, he said. If it really bothered me I could go to the emergency room when it was happening and they should be able to tell me more. I had a few more mild episodes after I saw him, but nothing that would make me want to go to the emergency room, and sometime later, without my really doing anything, the episodes went away.
Last fall, the episodes began again. They always started at night, either sometime before I went to bed (usually around 10:00 or 10:30 PM) or in the middle of the night. My heart would start to race, I would feel anxious and weak, maybe a little lightheaded. I would lie down and feel a bit better after a while, but I would toss and turn all night or be aware, even in my dreams, that my heart was leaping. Usually, after I got up in the morning, sometimes after breakfast, I would begin to feel normal again and wonder, What the heck was that all about?
I also noticed around that time that I had a chronic pain in my chest, a kind of dull ache. I had taken up archery in the fall and thought I must have pulled a muscle or strained something. It never seemed very serious—some days I would barely notice it—so I didn’t pay much attention to it.
The episodes began to come every month or so, then every few weeks. I wondered if it was something I’d eaten. I thought I was a pretty healthy eater—no sodas, no candy (well, a little chocolate and some Chunky Monkey ice cream), limited red meat—and I took a handful of miscellaneous supplements (whatever was touted in the latest Men’s Health magazine). But I began to wonder if I was low in calcium, or wasn’t eating enough salt, or maybe I was allergic to something? In other words, I didn’t have a clue. But I recognized, after the episodes continued to become more disconcerting, that I needed to see a doctor, something I am always reluctant to do.
It took me a long time to see a doctor. My old doctor had switched to a concierge plan, limiting his practice to those patients who would pay a yearly fee to be under his care, with an emphasis on prevention. A good idea, but I always thought of myself as too young (51) and too healthy. I had to do an intake interview with the nurse practitioner to be a new patient with my new doctor and because of various scheduling issues it took me a couple of months to get in. I finally saw the nurse and told him about my symptoms. He took copious notes and said he’d fix me up with a treadmill test, whatever that was, to rule out cardiovascular disease. I had little idea what he was talking about, but at least I was finally taking some steps to solve the mystery.
Emergency – Time to Head to the Hospital
I never made it to the treadmill test. At least, not to the test the nurse practitioner scheduled for me.
The evening after my appointment, I begin feeling anxious. My heart starts racing and I feel weak. It’s almost bedtime, so I think I’ll just go to bed and sleep it off as I have so many times in the past. But this night is different. I feel slightly better for a few minutes—and then it gets worse again.
My wife, Meg, hovers over me, checking in. Should she take me to the hospital? No, let’s wait a few minutes. I already have an appointment to have things checked out. It’s always passed before.
But it continues to get worse. Finally, I relent. We get dressed and get in the car. The hospital is only about five minutes away; no need for an ambulance. I’m ushered into the emergency room immediately. They hook me up to the ECG. They take a chest x-ray. They take a blood sample.
My heart rate is about 190. The doctor comes around—a slender, gentle woman with a soothing voice—and explains patiently (no pun intended) that I have atrial fibrillation. She gives me a simple explanation, very similar to the description on my discharge instructions:
“Atrial Fibrillation” is a condition where the heart beats in an irregular pattern. It is due to a disturbance in the electrical pathways of the heart. It is a sign of heart disease or other health problem affecting the heart.
The most common symptom is “palpitations”. This is the feeling that your heart is fluttering or beating fast or hard or irregular. When the heart beats too fast it does not pump blood very well. This can cause other symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness or fainting.
Atrial Fibrillation may come and go, lasting from a few hours to a couple of days. Or, it may become chronic, lasting for months at a time or longer.
I’m given a drip of Cardizem and “convert” (my heart returns to normal) a short time after. They keep me awhile to make sure I’m okay, then send me home with a prescription for Diltiazem (Cardizem) and the number of a cardiologist. I’m scolded for having Meg drive me to the hospital. I’m instructed to take one 120 mg tablet “if rapid palpitations recur”, wait and hour, then take another one. “IF LIGHTHEADEDNESS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, CHEST PAIN, NAUSEA, SWEATINESS, THEN CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.”
But I think I’ll be good for another month. A few weeks, at least.
Making the 911 Call
The next night, I wake up in the middle of the night to pee. When I crawl back into bed again, the race horse breaks out of the stable. I give Meg a little nudge and tell her my heart is at it again. Should we call 911? No, I’ll just pop one of these tablets.
A few minutes later, my heart is still galloping and I begin shivering. Should we call 911? No, let’s give it a few minutes to work.
Minutes later, I’m shaking. I can’t lie still. I feel nauseous and lightheaded. My chest hurts. What did they tell me in the hospital? “IF LIGHTHEADEDNESS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, CHEST PAIN, NAUSEA, SWEATINESS, THEN CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.”
Meg calls 911. Within a few minutes, the doorbell rings and five athletic guys walk in with a stretcher. I’m not sure why it takes five guys, but they’re young and buff and Meg isn’t complaining, and they hook me up the ECG and begin quizzing me about my symptoms. I don’t feel any worse, but I can’t stop shivering. I’m rattling the bed. They can’t get a read because the electric blanket is on, but they give me some nitro and cart me out to the ambulance.
I half expect the neighbors to be out, standing on their lawns in their pajamas and bathrobes, but it’s probably about two in the morning and the cul-de-sac is quiet. In the ambulance, they give me some more nitro for the chest pain. I’m still shaking, they don’t know why, but I’m beginning to relax.
At the hospital, my heart rate is only around 120. Why was I lightheaded and nauseous? Oh, that’s probably just a side effect of the medication. But since I’ve had episodes two nights in a row they decide to keep me for the day and overnight the next night. They have to move me from the emergency room, though, and most of the hospital is booked. I get an upgrade to a private room in Intensive Care. I think I may have the IC Unit to myself. They hook me up to the ECG and the blood pressure cuff and tuck me in.
Do I Hear an Echocardiogram?
It’s now Sunday afternoon. As I’m undergoing an echocardiogram, the cardiologist arrives. They have trouble getting a clear picture of my heart from every angle—something about my rib cage getting in the way—but one thing is clear: I have pericarditis, inflammation of the pericardium, the thin membrane that surrounds the heart. Oh, and pericardial effusion, fluid in the pericardium. This in itself, I discover later, can cause arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation.
On Monday morning, the cardiologist stops by again. He wants me to wear an event monitor, a device about the size of a beeper that records the heart’s rhythms for 30 days. In the meantime, I should also have a treadmill test. When that’s out of the way, I should see him in his office for a follow up appointment.
He prescribes Cardizem CD 180 mg once a day, plus an aspirin (81 mg once a day). I’m given my discharge papers.
- Atrial fibrillation in sinus rhythm.
- Hypokalemia [low blood potassium], resolved.
- Normal lipid status, except low HDL.
- Borderline elevated blood sugar of 109.
- Mitral valve prolapse [a heart valve defect], anterior mitral leaflet mild.
- Small pericardiac effusion, probably due to pericarditis.
This is where Robert’s original story ended. He was always going to update it but he never got around to it. Robert would battle afib on and off over the years and would eventually have an ablation in 2016. Here is Robert’s catheter ablation experience.
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I just turned 40 and got intermittent AFib, heart doing the funky chicken dance for 2-5 seconds every two minutes, all day long. The 5 second bouts made me light headed, while the 2 second bouts just confirm I’m still unwell. I can feel exactly where it is and what size it is.
I did lots of research and concluded that catheter ablation is hit or miss and last resort and often needs multiple. 98% of people get AFib starting after 60, with 66 being average (why me at 40?). Most are low in magnesium or zink. Moderate cardio and all exercise helps improve AFib as long as you don’t try to be an athlete, so say the studies. Betablockers are hit or miss. Condition needs a cardiologist. I read fish oil at higher doses might help, but is moderate. Lower doses are hit or miss.
As for me, before it started: I recently started eating lots of garlic. I had acid reflux for years. Recently took zink losenges. I did have short bouts of AFib 10 years ago, but it stopped. Also been eating lots of microwave cheese pizza as almost half my calories, and lots of canned beans and canned vegitables and fresh fruit and natto. I don’t drink or smoke or use caffeine. I did start Ashwagandha 2 weeks ago, 2-3 pills per day, and stopped shortly before the AFib. Also tried two Kratom pills 4 weeks prior (hated them). Due to joint injuries, I don’t get much exercise. I’m 20 pounds overweight due to a few binges with icecream.
After reading and researching and looking at what might be causing this, I got on my exercise bike and did several 2 minute bouts of cardio to get my heart rate up. I need a better bike that won’t overheat so I can do 30 minutes. I also started taking magnesium pills and continued the zink. I’m cutting the garlic out for social reasons and may drop the pizza.
I saw a huge improvement and mostly credit the cardio and magnesium. However, it might just be that it comes and goes and may get me again in 5 years. Hopefully ablation and pills are more advanced by then, and I’m 20 pounds lighter.
Thank you for all your info. Google top results seem worthless on this one.
At 54, I pedaled my exercycle and noticed my pulse watch jumping all over the place. I went to Emergency and was diagnosed with AFIB.
It progressed, and I found myself in Emergency. At first, meds converted me. But, then they quit working, so they cardo padded me. I lost count of the times and the $1,000 bills after insurance.
I consulted a local EP. She diagnosed Atrial Flutter, which surprised me. An ablation procedure was performed correcting the easy-to-access R. Atrium. This seemed to do away with my attacks for a year or so …. but, then it came back.
The attacks became more severe. Three or 4 per month that needed hospital cardio conversion.
I decided to contact Dr. Hao in San Francisco, at a world-renown AFIB EP center.
I flew down there for a consultation. He diagnosed AFIB. I returned for the procedure a couple weeks later. It went well. Procedure on the first day, then laying still in bed for 24 hours. Released the next morning or noon.
I had a couple of flutters of AFIB in the first 2 month, but they faded and I was normal and overjoyed for 7 months. Then, while walking at lunch during work, it returned.
I was really demoralized, but then I discovered that 2 ablations are not unusual to quell AFIB.
I called Dr. Hao. A second ablation was performed.
Afterwards, the AFIB was gone, but I did have nuisance PVC’s and SVC’s that drove me crazy. I stumbled on Magnesium therapy. Took about 1,200mg/day of multiple types. Knocked heart into nearly normal sinus.
I’m going on 10 years without too much trouble. I do have the occasional AFIB. Usually triggered by ice cold drinking water …. or an occasional food trigger. Nothing more than 5 minutes.
By God’s grace, hopefully I can go more years AFIB free. I keep my weight down and walk 12+ miles most days. I had acute Generalized Anxiety Disorder 20 years ago. That certainly didn’t help AFIB (probably caused it). However, I got control of that and eliminated stimulants [coffee, chocolate, etc] and try to maintain calm and the peace that God brings.
As a side note, my only brother came down with AFIB. And recently my Brother-in-Law came down with it. So much for rarity.
Thanks for getting the word out, Travis. So many people need help. I don’t think many people know that magnesium eliminates or reduces ectopic heartbeats. Years ago, I used to read posts by many elderly people suffering from them. It appeared their doctors didn’t even mention magnesium to them.
I hope this site continues. It’s a great resource!
Thanks for sharing your story and experiences with afib. I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to successfully manage your afib over all these years. That gives us afibbers plenty of hope!! God Bless and I wish you many years of NSR.
Afib seems to be the disease of the new year. Years ago I suffered with feelings of dropping, as one would have in an elevator. I would experience rapid heart beats and feelings of panic. I went to many doctors, all of which treated my complaints as a problem of nervous anxiety.
In time a friend of mine led my to a WONDERFUL physician. He literally saved my life. After listening to my story, he proceeded to ask me questions with regard to pills both vitamin and otherwise that I was ingesting. I informed him that the only pill I was taking was an iron pill called Feosol. He told me to throw them out and come back to him in 3 weeks.
I did just that and very gradually the symptoms disappeared. He explained to me that the reason for its disappearance was that I suffered from a condition called hemochromatosis. It’s an allergy to iron. In allergic personalities the iron build up on your organs instead of the excess being eliminated like normal. A lot of the diagnoses for atrial fibrillation seem to fit this description. Anyway if I were you I would check into it. First, though, find a doctor who thinks and investigates on his own and isn’t tied quite so close to the medical industry!
I haven’t heard of hemochromatosis. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sure others will find is helpful!
I went to see my GP 3 years ago after feeling an impending sense of doom when my heart went crazy. She did an ECG and blood test and told me it was AF and it was quite common for people to live with it and not to worry.
Eighteen months later I started going out with a doctor who suggested that diagnosis was lazy and that I should get a second opinion. After 12 months of ECGs, blood tests, heart monitors and regular check ups I spoke to a Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist and learned that it is indeed common for people to live with AF, but not at all common for someone who is 40 and otherwise healthy.
My heart rate fluctuates constantly between 40 and 150 (neither of which facilitates an enjoyable lifestyle) with brief periods in a normal range and rhythm. Flecainide (100mg twice a day) and bisoprolol (2.5mg twice a day) helped for a while but don’t seem to have much impact now, so I’m booked in for a catheter ablation.
This is my first general anesthetic so fingers crossed it’s a wonderful sleep tomorrow with a positive outcome. I’m getting married in 2 months so it would be a great present to focus on enjoying the day rather than my condition.
Thanks for sharing your story! I assume you’ve had your ablation already. How did everything go? I hope well. Drop us an update when you can.
It went very well, although my heart resisted the ablation (some comment from the surgeon about the muscle being too strong and pig headed) and they had to increase to energy quite a lot. Thankfully this did not result in any esophageal perforation. Overnight in hospital, echocardiogram the next morning and then home in bed 24 hours post-op.
Went immediately onto apixaban after surgery so it took just over 2 days for the bleeding to fully stop from the incisions in the femoral artery. 48 hours post-op is when the pain set in. It felt like I’d been kicked in the chest and the groin by a very angry horse. But after about 5 days of patchy sleep and gentle walks I was feeling almost normal. Just over a week out of hospital now and I can put shoes and socks on without any discomfort, although the bruising is still a sight! No other complications.
Having a 48 hour cardiac event monitor fitted in 6 weeks and then a follow up with the surgeon 6 weeks after that to determine the success of the procedure. He’s 90% confident there will be no need for a 2nd ablation.
The heart is more erratic now than pre-op but I’ve been told that’s to be expected while the heart settles down. Ectopic beats are common and my heart rate is still fluctuating wildly (from as low as 48 to as much as 180, never for very long) but there are also periods of perfect sinus (which I haven’t had for years). When this happens, not being aware of my heart beat is suddenly disconcerting but I’m looking forward to getting used to it.
On the off chance they stumble across this site, it’s worth pointing out that the staff at St Thomas’s NHS in London were brilliant. Not perfect, but to get this level of treatment for free with the quality of care I received is truly a credit to the passionate doctors, nurses, ODPs, porters and everyone else who helped out.
Thanks for the update! I’m so happy to hear you had a successful ablation and that you’re enjoying NSR for the first time in a long time. It feels awesome, doesn’t it!
I wish you many years of NSR!
P.S. As you pointed out, the blanking period can be a little rocky so keep the faith if your heart jumps around from time-to-time. Your heart will eventually settle down. Just take it easy over the next few months as your heart heals. I wish you well!
I was diagnosed with AFIB ten years ago. I am now 73. A very kind, interested person suggested I not lay down, sit straight up (I prefer the floor), read a magazine, talk to someone – about anything but AFIB, get your mind free, calm yourself & reduce your mythic and be fine.
A doctor prescribed Xarelto. I would bruise very easy. I determined after research and reading personal life stories of same. I prefer managing my anxiety due to stress from fear of unknown – has helped me. One incident a year ago I drove myself to ER (5min) from home – upon check-in my sinus rhythm was reduced. I am not taking meds. I have normal blood pressure, heart test results good, cholesterol normal.
In closing – I do believe in my case of AFIB – heart, mind & soul do contribute when working together.
Thanks for sharing your story and the tips on how to manage atrial fibrillation. There is no doubt that learning to be calm and relaxed can help reduce the stress and anxiety of afib.
I wish you well!
Hello, my name is Allan I am 70 years young. Recently, I was prescribed Warfarin along with the routine of having to take blood test once a week, now it’s every other week. I understand the purpose of Warfarin (Coumadin) as an anticoagulant and I take it as prescribed. After I informed my doctor that the palpitations seem to continue when I go to bed, he also prescribed Diltiazem three times a day. I began taking only one as I personally believed that he was over medicating me without a good explanation. Well, the arrhythmia seemed to have gotten worse (heart pounding out of control) running haywire. It also obviously affected my sleep. I get up four to five times a night to urinate.
My question to you sir, as you mention earlier in your synopsis that you take Diltiazem. I stopped taking Diltiazem after five days and yes I told the doctor that I was only taking one. He insisted I take three. Have you studied this drug and are you still taking it? I also notice when I take deep breaths the palpitations appear to dissipate. Are you still taking Diltiazem and if so what is your experience?
The original owner of this blog wrote this “personal story.” I don’t believe he checks this blog anymore. I have never taken Diltiazem myself so I can’t help but hopefully someone else reading this can.
You might also want to check out the forum over at afibbers.org. I’m sure someone there can help!
I wish you well.
I have found all these comments extremely useful I am a 72 yr od female who has had AF for about 10 yrs. I started out having attacks quite rarely then they sped up until it seemed like one long attack.
At this stage my cardiologist put me on flecainide which almost instantly controlled the problem. I have been on this drug for over 4 yrs now and only get the an attack about every 8 months or so. Sometimes they resolve quite quickly at other times they can go on for 24 hrs. I try not to worry too much about it but when having an attack I get quite anxious which I expect is only natural.
What I found interesting were the comments about acid reflux as I have a Hiatus Hernia and have often thought that this could be a contributory factor. Would be very interested in any other information about this.
I have also heard there is a potential connection between acid reflux sufferers and afib. Regarding the hiatal hernia, you might want to look into active manuka honey. It is a known as a great natural treatment in acid reflux.
I wish you well.
Goats whey is an excellent food and treatment for GERD (acid reflux in all its forms). 2 tablespoons x 2 or 3 times daily will improve digestion and improve joint function.
It’s a “food” not a medication so there are no side effects.
I’ve found mtcapra.com to produce a good quality goats whey powder.
GERD is related to AFib due to the swelling of the stomach and GIT due to irritation and inflammation of the acid creating pressure on the heart. I have seen many emergency room cases where GERD and/or a very gassy bowel has caused such distress on the heart that only blood tests for specific enzymes can determine if it is actually a heart episode of GIT upset.
Thanks for the tip on goats whey protein, Shontel. I have never heard of it before. Thanks!
Just had my event on July 25, 2015. I started out for a Saturday bicycle ride, I planned a 20 mile ride. The night before I was up five times to pee, usually I only get up once. I felt fine otherwise. While I got my bike ready to go I pumped up the tires and felt more winded than usually but otherwise I felt fine. Keep in mind that I have a Cardiologist and had seen him on the Wednesday before and was told my heart was great and to keep up my work to lose weight.
The bike was ready so I drove to the park and started out on my ride at an easy rate. After just under .5 of a mile I looked at my heart monitor on my bike computer for the first time and saw my heart rate was at 163. It should have been around 115 – 120 at most. Since I felt fine I was sure the monitor was not working right so I kept going but did go slower than I usually did.
After about 2 miles I stopped and did some deep breathing to see if the heart rate would come down, it did but not to where I knew it should be so I reset my computer, still the rate was too high. By now I did feel like my head felt a little stuffy but everything else felt fine so I got back on the bike and kept going. Around 5 miles I was back at my truck at the end of my first lap I stopped and sat to pay attention to my heart. Still nothing wrong but I felt my head was stuffy but otherwise I still felt fine.
I decided to go home and check my blood pressure. On Wednesday at the doctors office it was 140/ 80 now it was 80 something over 50 something. My wife drove me to our insurance clinic still not showing any symptoms, they decided to hook me up to the EKG and then the doc said, “Your in A-Fib, your going to the ER.” The ER was next door they also put on the EKG and sent me to a room where I got the usually tests, x-rays, and exams. I left with RX’s for a beta blocker and a blood thinner and told to see my Cardiologist asap.
So the beta blockers were just too much I could not work but I am still on blood thinners and now I have aches and pains all over my body. I get that because I can no longer use nsaids that might be one reason I feel so much joint pain but I think the blood thinners have something to do with that as well. I have changed to a new thinner and have some reduction in the pain but I still have some.
I want to get off the thinners but since this could happen again I can’t.
Sorry to hear about your recent episode. I’m not familiar with blood thinners causing joint pain but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a potential side effect as all these drugs can be nasty at one point or another.
Keep us posted on how the appointment goes with the cardiologist. I wish you well!
I am a 47 year old women who has a lot of anxieties. I take Ativan 1mg in the morning 1/2 mg at dinner 1mg at bedtime I take Paxil 10mg at bedtime. I am diabetic and take 500mg of Metformin at breakfast and dinner, I have Gerd so i take 20mg of Pepcid before breakfast and dinner, I have high blood pressure and i take 2.5mg of Amlodipine and 100mg of Losartan, I also have low thyroid and take 88 mcg of levothyroxine, I also take vitamin d3 and a multivitamin.
What i am concern about in i am in menopause and my heart rate races above a 90 or 100 when ever i go to the dentist or the doctors. My heart races when i leave my house and then i have to go to the bathroom to urinate a lot at times my blood pressure will also rise too. This throws me into panic mode when my heart is racing at 90 or above 100 at times my heart rate is up at night around a 90 to where i feel restless and agitated to where i can not sleep and my stomach acts up and cramps too.
What is the best way to deal with this. Really need some advice because when they do the implants with my teeth i can not have my heart racing over 100 and i can not have my blood pressure up either
I need some good advice
Hi Dennis – just read your post . I have been taking a blood thinner since June and I too have joint pain that I never experienced before. I am also taking TIKOSYN – so perhaps that is also the culprit?
I was wondering if anyone was sent for a Stress Test after being diagnosed. I am not looking forward to the meds they give you to speed up your heart, and don’t know why it is necessary besides looking for coronary heart disease.
I had a stress test in the early days of my afib journey (before I was officially diagnosed with atrial fibrillation) and it wasn’t a big deal at all. I’m not sure I understand your comment when you say you’re not looking forward to the meds they give you to speed up your heart. I’ve never heard of such a thing. When I had my stress test I just had to run on the treadmill. They gradually increased the speed and resistance until I reached my maximum heart rate – and then I had to maintain that for a minute or two (can’t honestly remember how long though). It was a totally benign experience.
They do a stress test to see how your heart functions during physical activity.
Thank you for responding so quickly.
They now do a chemical stress test where they inject a medication through an IV that speeds up your heart instead of the treadmill. I had the option of doing the treadmill or the chemical, but the Dr suggested the chemical stress test, and was wondering if anyone else had a bad experience with this.
I am allergic to so many medications and I have asthma. When I read about it the side effects can be really bad. Even cause the AFib or worse a heart attack. Of course it’s rare, but still frightening. The test takes over 3 hours. I am guessing the treadmill is less time than that.
I am going to call tomorrow and see if I can switch it to the treadmill stress test.
This is all new to me and the AFib is frightening enough. I had no prior episodes until last month when I got in bed and my heart started going crazy. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and admitted for three days. I was on a Cardizem drip that I had a bad reaction to as well. My heart was back in normal sinus rhythm after 12 hours. Which I am thankful for, but so afraid it’s going to happen again.
I am on one baby aspirin per day and no other meds at this time. He said it may never happen again and so it’s more of a wait and see. I have to wear a monitor for 30 days as well after the stress test.
I appreciate your explaining the treadmill stress test and I am calling tomorrow to switch it to that.
Normally a doctor would only recommend a chemical test if you’re unable to physically exercise for whatever reason (i.e. injury, arthritis, back problems, etc.). The treadmill stress test is usually the first choice of stress test so I’m wondering why your doctor recommended the chemical test.
If you don’t have any physical limitations and are capable of exercising, I’d definitely ask the doctor to switch it to a treadmill test. The treadmill test is a breeze and is actually quite interesting. I love learning as much as I can about my body so it was sort of fun finding out just how long it took for me to hit my maximum heart rate (and to see how my heart performed under physical stress). If you’re not in very good shape the test won’t take long because you’ll hit your maximum heart rate sooner.
Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!!
P.S. If for some reason your doctor insists on the chemical test I’d get a second opinion and even consider skipping the stress test all together. I’d opt for an echo and the 30-day monitor instead…but I say this not knowing anything about your specific situation or your past health history that only your doctor is privy to. An echo and a 30-day monitor should tell you everything you need to know about your heart and your afib at this point.
I had the Echo and it was fine. He said I am at risk for Coronary heart disease that is why he wants to do the stress test. I guess he can see blocked arteries from this test.
I am calling today and switching to the treadmill test. If they say no then I will go elsewhere.
Thanks for your help!
If he’s concerned about coronary heart disease then maybe there is a reason he’s suggesting the chemical test over the treadmill test. Maybe they can “see more” with a chemical test. I honestly don’t know. Either way, it’s at least worth discussing more with your doctor and perhaps getting a second opinion. Best of luck to you!
To the best of my knowledge they ONLY do the chemical stress test if a person is unable due to mobility issues – i.e. visual challenges or is so obese that they can’t do such a test. Otherwise just ask for the treadmill stress test. No point putting your heart in a chemically induced stress when you can take a walk that is super simple. Good Luck.
You are 100% correct. They usually reserve chemical stress tests for those who can’t do regular treadmill tests (usually because they are obese, handicapped, injured, etc.).
I wanted to comment on this because I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find anything I possibly can about AFIB because I am an otherwise healthy 28 yr old that was diagnosed with AFIB about a month ago after rushing to the ER resulting in an unexpected stay in the hospital.
Your story hits so close to home because it is almost exactly what happened to me, all the way down to me nudging my wife at night freaking out because I couldn’t breathe and my heart was pounding for some unexplained reason. Being so young and going through this has me TERRIFIED and had created an immense amount of anxiety, panic attacks, and fear.
After the EKG’s, the sonograms of my heart, and the endless blood tests, I was told (very shortly and not very reassuringly) that I had AFIB. At that moment I immediately realized how fragile life really is and thoughts of not being able to be there for my daughter or my wife started to cripple me emotionally.
I guess I’m writing this because I feel relieved that I’m not the only one out there with this scary condition and just to share these thoughts I have that I haven’t shared with anyone else. I’m just very scared about this whole new ordeal and even more scared that something bad will happen to me unexpectedly because of it.
The amount of anxiety, fear, and overall depression that this new diagnosis has created in me is the absolute worst part about all of it.
I totally understand where you’re coming from. Just know this…you will not die from afib. The biggest risk factor is stroke and even at this stage it’s very minimal (most likely).
You’re definitely not alone. There are lots of us dealing with atrial fibrillation. I got afib in my early 30’s and have been dealing with it for almost a decade now. I recently had an ablation. You can read about it here:
If there is anything I can help with, let me know. Feel free to continue the dialogue here or contact me directly via the Contact link in the upper right hand corner of this site.
Best of luck to you and keep your chin up. You’re not going to die and you have many many great years ahead of you.
I am so frustrated with this condition. Mine started after I started taking thyroid medication. It has persisted and, as of this year, has become more frequent. I have had 4 episodes in the last two months. Went to a cardiologist. Heart is fine. Ran every test in the book. I work out hard 4-6 times a week. Cut out caffeine but that didn’t seem to do anything. I guess I’m just venting. It’s just such a pain….
Sorry to hear about your situation. I know what you’re going through. This stuff sucks big time! If you have any specific questions or need my opinions on anything, feel free to reply here or contact me directly via the contact page on this website.
You’ll want to see the most experienced EP you can find in your area and given your age and the fact that you haven’t had afib for that long, I would seriously look at having an ablation. I waited 9 years to have mine and it was a big mistake. I should have had it done years ago.
Best of luck to you!
I am very tired of this. Are any of you people short of breath? I just got out of the hospital on July 17 2015 and this is the second time they used the paddles on me. They changed my medicine and I was in the hospital for 5 days and they said everything was o.k. I came home and my pulse rates are up to 149 and higher. The doctor wants to see me tomorrow (8/10/15). I’m scared about dying. I’m 74 but a healthy person. What’s the next step? Anybody know? Best of luck. Stay well. Loretta
I just discovered this site and it is a god send, I am having another sleepless night, I was doing okay with my afib, head wise, but last Friday I suffered a TIA(mini stroke) so now I am on eliquis, I have been in afib for a couple of days and I find myself starting to get anxious towards bedtime, my head is really playing with me, that is the hardest part about this, I’m going to try magnesium orotate, in the mean time, I need to take something for the anxiety and lack of sleep(which) I don’t want to but I have to get this under control, I also take multaq, beta blockers do you have any suggestions about my anxiety
So sorry to hear about your stroke. I see you’ve had afib for 8 years now. Do you have paroxysmal afib? I ask because it sounds like you weren’t on a blood thinner and a lot of people with paroxysmal afib don’t take blood thinners. It sounds like you recovered well from the stroke so that’s great.
For the anxiety, a lot of afibbers take Xanax or Ativan. There are also a myriad of natural supplements you can try. Check out this list (has user reviews for each supplement as well):
I wish you well.
I have had atrial fibrillation for over 25 years. During any given year sometimes it is worse and sometimes it is better. I take metoprolol and digoxin and warfarin. There has been no dosage change for the first two in that whole time. Over the 25 years it has not on average gotten worse. I’m now 64.
Strangely over the past three months it seems to have gotten better. Six months ago I decided I had long term Lymes disease. I decided to take Lauricidan monolauren to kill the Lymes. I herxed. I went to the doctor a month later and am on Doxy. A month later I decided to try Drs. Best curcumin with Peperin. I mention this only because according to Consumer Labs there are huge differences between availability of key components in herb supplements and some didn’t even deliver what they said.
So I don’t know which of these did it but one or all of them is having a very positive effect.
For those of you on blood thinners curcumin is the main natural component in turmeric and can cause blood thinning. Realizing this I had my INR level checked every two weeks. Amazingly it didn’t budge but do be careful. I use 500mg twice a day.
Two weeks ago I cut my digoxin from 6.25mg to 5mg. and had two short bouts of afib over 3 days. Now I am back to negligible bouts of a fib and at times when I think I should be having it it just doesn’t come.
I didn’t set out for these to help a-fib but they did and I am hoping to slowly get rid of my meds all together.
Twenty-five years with afib? Wow…I don’t know anybody that has had it that long. It’s good to hear it hasn’t gotten worse over the years. Everything I’ve read is that it just gets worse and worse. I’m glad that’s not the case for you. Have you ever had your heart looked at via an echo or something similar? I’d be curious to know if there has been any damage to your heart having afib for so long. Again everything I have read is that not only does it get worse but over time it takes its toll on the heart. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case for you.
Thanks for sharing your tips on the supplements. I take curcumin as well by Nutri Gold. I was considering taking Dr.’s Best as well but Nutri Gold looks like a solid product as well. It’s good to know that it didn’t have any impact on your INR levels. I’m on Eliquis temporarily so I was concerned about that as well. I take about the same amount as you.
If curcumin is making a difference with your atrial fibrillation it’s because it’s an anti-inflammatory. As I’m sure you know, there is a strong connection between inflammation and afib.
Take care and thanks for your comments.
I get echos every several years. No diminished heart function. Skiied the blacks and blues last Sunday in Maine. I try to stay active and afib rarely interferes. It is when I am not active that I feel it. It may also interfere with my hiking as I am pretty slow. I think it is because my heart can only beat so fast because of the metropopolol.
I am concerned about the long term affects of the drugs and am going to go very, very slowly reducing the digoxin and metropolol (not warfarin as I think it is too dangerous to drop below INR 2.0. )
I think I will try starting on low doses of taurine, arginine and magneseum citrate(some studies quoted by Consumer Labs indicate that doses of magnesium orelate above a level of 100 mg may be more detrimental than good). I will introduce them one at a time.
That’s inspirational – that you’ve had afib for so long and there has been no diminished heart function. It’s good to know that it’s possible to actually “live with afib” and not have your heart suffer any long term damage. It’s also inspirational that you continue to resume a perfectly normal life full of activity with your afib.
As for the supplements, I take a lot of magnesium – about 800 mg. a day. A lot of afibbers I’ve talked to take large doses like that.
Best of luck to you!
I am a 58 yr old female and I live in the uk
I have had atrial fibrillation for 29 yrs now
I had 5hrs ablation and a dual chamber set rate pacemaker put in in 1998
Over the past 8 mths I have been having afib on and off all day everyday
I struggle some days with the symptoms,eg breathless,nausea,lightheaded,sometimes feel I could pass out etc
Some days are better than others but it does restrict what I can and can’t do
Along with it comes anxiety,I am awaiting recent tests and see the cardiologist on Tuesday
280 BPM people! Not a typo – 280 :(
I am a middle aged endurance athlete who tries to continue long distance running, mountain biking, etc., while in permanent atrial fibrillation. I currently am taking Pradaxa as an anticoagulant. Running isn’t getting any easier but I keep trying.
I’m blogging about a fib and endurance sports at http://afibrunner.com/
I’d like to invite folks from this forum to drop by and have a look.
I have been trying without success to find out what hospital ER staff do when someone is rushed in and has excessive bleeding and is on Xarelto (rivoroxaban). I understand that there is no antidote for Xarelto like there is for Warafrin (Vit. K). So, exactly how do ER staff stop the bleeding or do they? I can’t believe that i have spent 3 hours reading various articles online and not one of them touch on this subject. I think a lot of people would be very interested in learning about this so if anyone out there can help, please do. Thanks. Ed
Here is a link to a site that gives a wee bit of info on this issue. It was written in December of 2011, so there may be more recent info out there. My mother who is nearing 95 is on Pradaxa, which is in the same catagory as Xarelto, has been to the ER many, many times. She forgets to fill the humidifier and gets dried out. My sister takes her to the ER and they are there pretty much the whole day because they have to “wait” until the drug is out of her system.
Best to you,
Always been healthy…more so as I got older until Congestive Heart Failure. With second bout of it my Cardiologist had surgeon put in a combo Pace Maker and Defibrillator. Good for almost three years when my first “shock” while in the shower. Regular “pacer” checks and last May they changed the battery. Good until this April when the second “shock” came – also after I got out of the shower. Medicines: Have been (still till I get what you recommend) Carvedilol, Coumadin,Furosimide, Digoxin, Diovan, Armour Thyroid. Also take many herbs like Hawtorne,
Curcumin, Medical Mushrooms, COQ10, Omega 3 and a number of others. In general, have felt
pretty good,, done gardening etc. This last shock pretty well put me under – was just recoop. from Gall Bladder removal but discouraged until I ran across your web-site “Flemeton for the Heart” and the wonderful info from all of you. My contribution: I go to a Chiropractor (woman)who only uses the Activator – does great job – she recommends Magnesium powder. I used to get it from her but Natural Calm (Natural Vitality) labeled the anti stress drink…is vegan – gluten free – best buy is in 16 oz size from 1–866-416-9216. ..now get it direct from company I’ve tried to get my doctor to put me on natural things but I’ve added the natural that I use – by myself. Will be trying your ideas. Also,
I used to take – and will now take again – Cayenne drops from naturopathic doctor Schulze of American Botanical Pharmacy in California 1-800HERBDOC. Thanks a million. Though my name is Ann – there’s already an Ann that contributes, so my first name that I will use, is, Phyllis
Hello Ann. This is the other Ann. Your chiropractor was spot on with the magnesium. I never miss a dose and have not had an episode for about 4 years. It is so long ago now that I can’t remember when I had the last one. I take magnesium orotate and as I have previously indicated, it is absorbed more easily. I rejected all other “cures” and opted for the magnesium. It was the best decision I ever made. Good luck.
Cheers, Ann W
Hi Ann Wyatt,
What dose of magnesium orotate do you use and how often? Doesn’t cause diarrhea?
Dr’s keep saying I’m a little dehydrated due to high hemoglobin/hematocrit.
I’be had 3 ablations, approx 10 cardioversions, 3-5 spontaneous conversions.
DID HE MAKE IT AND WHEN IS HE GOING TO FINISH THE STORY?
Wow! Reading some information about the vagus nerve connection and Roemheld’s Syndrome blew my mind. It instantly made sense to me. Most of the comments on this link relate to acid reflux, diaphragm pressure and the vagus nerve, etc.
A contributor named Bobin also posts some interesting stuff on page eight (3rd last and 2nd last posts) about Roemheld’s Syndrome, serotonin, alcohol, acetaldehyde and candida.
Happy New Year to all…how’s everyone doing???
Great! Thanks for asking. My husband actually had a bout, they cardioverted him, and now he’s off all the drugs and on the protocol that I use. I just came across an article on Natural News, you know the Health Ranger’s site, Mike Adams. I hope it’s ok to post the whole thing as it is excellent info.
Happy New Year to you all as well. Hard to believe we’re in another year.
Hey Dianne! Thanks for the contribution. I appreciate it. Instead of posting the entire article in a comment, I thought I would just link to the article instead. Thanks!!
Have your thyroid checked. Thyroid affects A Fib and irregular heart beats…
I just read your post and I just experienced my thyroid throwing me into an Afib event. My TSH was way too low so I went from hypo to hyperthyroid. They have lowered my thyroid meds but still have me on Cardizem 180mg daily. I feel like I have side effects from this drug. Shortness of breath (I am asthmatic but was controlled), have muscle pain in chest area that doesn’t feel like heart at all (all my heart tests came back perfect, no damage done during Afib event), constipated, puffy eyes. All these things I didn’t have before taking Cardizem. I was wondering if you had Afib because of a thyroid issue and if you did, could you please share your thoughts with me? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for listening, Ann :)
Hi Ann, I am not a Doctor, but my advice or experience I would be happy to share. First let me ask some questions. We’re you diagnosed with AFib by wearing an event monitor? How did they diagnose you? Do you have any valve problems? Have they done echo cardiogram? Also, I have no thyroid tissue as I had RAI, so I am stuck on thyroid forever. It has been almost 25 years now. A Fib is awful and scary, no doubt about that. I cannot take magnesium due to IBS, so therefore I am always looking for different modalities in my treatment.
Yes, my AFib was directly caused from to much Synthroid. They kept me on high doses for so many years as I complained about a racing heart, the told me I was in normal TSH range. Normal us individual for everyone. In 2004 I went to a cardiologist as my heart beats and rates, symptoms etc pointed me towards a severe heart problem in my mind. They sent me home with a misdiagnosis of everything was fine.
I asked to wear an event monitor as I was in and out. The doctor said all was fine, so I got another doctor who promptly ordered me to wear an event monitor. Within 24 hours they had a diagnosis of paroxysmal AF. The rest I will have to write you later as I have to go, thus is a long post. Yes, cardizam is a drug I avoided. Don’t go off of anything abruptly it is dangerous. I don’t know what area of the country you live, but time to try another cardiologist and see if you were diagnosed properly and move forward perhaps. Zoe
Hi! Diane Miller,
As Im typing this to you my heart is in AFib. I for one do not think you’re nuts. Ive been doing Cayenne since 1996 for my Episodes when they hit. I take a cold ice pack & apply it to my face, neck, anywhere my intuition guides me. I also had a Catheter Ablation in January of 2010. I don’t suffer as much since the Ablation but I still have Episodes if I’m not careful about what I eat. I take Peppermint Oil Capsule sometimes when I’m having an Episode. I cough, take a small dose of Xanax on the onset. Sometime it stops soon after & sometimes it runs its course for 4 hrs., 9hrs. sometimes longer. There’s a Book Called “LEFT FOR DEAD” http://www.amazon.com/Left-Dead-Dick-Quinn/dp/0963283901
Dick Quinn talks about his experience with Cayenne for the Heart. I was taking it before I knew about this book for my episodes but was glad when I read this man’s experience because it let me know I was on one of many right paths to helping myself during these dreadful episodes. Theres so much information out here on the internet. I read forum & I agree with many people that something in poor digestion will cause the heart to fibrillate. The stomach causes the Heart to spasm through the valve that connects the stomach to the heart. Research that if you haven’t already. FEEL BETTER & STAY STRONG…Marina~ :)
I actually had forgotten that I had signed up at this site, but so glad that I did. I’ve had A-Fib going on four years now. I had an ablation three years ago, which may have worked the first month, but I have periodic episodes, which do frighten me. I didn’t want to stay on Coumadin and my doctor was willing to let me wean off. I use Nattokinase, Serrapeptase, and some Chinese herbs in a Cardio formula. I probably overdo, but I’d rather be safe than in the hospital. I also take Salvia by itself, which in Chinese is Dan Shen. You’re all going to think I’m nuts, but when I have the episodes, I use cayenne extract, a couple of droppers full, and also a homeopathich called Aconitum Nappelus, according the dirctions. In my vitamin/supplement regimen I also take hawthorne, and also when I think about it, since it’s in the fridge, not with my divvied out pills, I use the Dr. Christopher’s Heart Syrup.
I was glad to hear about the magnesium orotate. I do take magnesium, but malate, but did go on Swanson’s site and ordered theirs. How much do you take Susan?
I’ve probably overwhelmed you all with my diet of supplements and other goodies I take, but I feel safer than if on drugs.
I wish you all well.
I suffered from AF for about 10 years until a naturopath told me to take magnesium orotate. Gradually my AF became less frequent and I have not had an episode for 3 and a half years. My cardiologist wanted to put me on Warfarin but I refused. He has given in, since I don’t suffer any episodes any more. Try it. It worked for me. Also, stay away from any food or drink with sulphites (preservatives with the number 200+). Wine is the worst. It has preservative 220 which is deadly for AF. Good luck.
Started getting Afib symptoms about 3 months after knee repair surgery. Also during a time of high stress with family issues. Had it so severely one night it woke me up and I went to ER where they told me my potassium level was very low from the blood work they did and they gave me two potassium pills to suck on and an IV and a couple of blankets because I was shaking so bad from the chills. I warmed up and was fine within an hour. I was told to follow up with a general md they recommended within the week. She wanted me to start Bystolic because I have whitecoat at the Doctor’s office and my BP is off the chart whenever I go for a visit.. I researched Bystolic and it causes a loss of potassium, my very problem, so I am leery to start but now I have had more incidents since this one in August so I wonder if I should try it. The racing heart awakens me about 2 hours into sleep around 1-2 am in the morning, I wake up with a start, like I am wide awake, never sleepy and my heart races, legs feel like lead weights and don’t want to walk, my hands and feet go ice cold, and my heart just pounds harder and races faster. I self-medicate with a rush to the kitchen for 4 ounces of low sodium V-8 (990 mg potassium in 8 ounce serving!) and half of a potassium gluconate pill. Hard on the stomach but it brings the rate down. I usually have a large bowel movement within a few minutes after the pill which is when I start to warm up. So now I am searching for a highly recommended cardiologist in my area rather than a general md to help me.
Dear Susan…I think the BM may be more tied to anxiety. Interesting about the potasium…when I have a banana a day, it doesn’t seem to bother me as much…
Hi all you good people check out Taurine and Arginine,
on the same website a little higher up lots of people have given feedback of how they have come right with it,
type in Taurine and Atrial Fib.
Hi all….I just stopped to read some of the previous posts that I missed….
“F” the Doctors line was a riot Bryan!!! I think I missed that the first time! LOL! I am now on a major battle to loose weight….my a-fib is practically non-exsistant….I think I felt a little quiver in the middle of the night the other night….so I changed positions and concentrated on a regulat heartbeat and it kicked in…I know I was dehydrated, again because I just had to have that 3rd glass of wine! but it was red!!! It’s supposed to be good for you! So sometimes I do it to myself….I’ve lost 15 lbs…then I’ll do 10 more….and then the big push for 25 more for a total of 50! Now my goal is to stay off BP medicine…my BP was way out of wack this month and it really worried me….it’s amazing what a little scare will do….
wishing you all well….please keep us posted as to your progress….this site is wonderful and it’s been a big help to me….
Thanks so much for your post, I just fell into this site, great support from all, am just sitting here after another 7 hour marathon which incidently I won,this is my 4th episode .2 in emergency.and 2 that I rode out alone at home, am under a cardiologist but he does not impart too much info, also on meds for BP. And asprin..
I hate how it just comes from nowhere and its scary, my mum had it for many years and altho she lived to 92 had horrible strokes, and that is my real fear, I have to go and see my GP tomorrow to have him add it to the report, but I am going armed with questions now that I have read all your interesting posts..good
Luck to all in 2014
at I have read all the posts here. Will keep popping in , hope you all do well in 2014
I’m sorry to hear of your distress. I have been AF free now for nearly 4 years and the only thing I have done is to take magnesium orotate. It was recommended to me by a naturopath and while it took a couple of weeks to be absorbed into my body, I haven’t looked back. I have replied on this forum a number of times over the last four years and some people have tried the magnesium. It is readily available at most health food shops. My GP is now taking it. Remember, the sulphites which are in many foods and wine are known triggers.
It is very frightening so I know how you feel. Please try the magnesium. It will not harm you. Most people lack magnesium as they get older, so it’s worth taking anyway.
Good luck. Ann
Got on this blog to check out AF .I had a heart ablation in May. 2014 after 3 months I was taken off Coumadin and put on a aspirin low dose of 81. This past month Jan. 2014 I have had several rapid heart beats and now my cardiologist wants to do another heart ablation since the Coreg is not helping with the heart rhythm too well, but I need to add this because I completely forgot what my cardiologist told me to take and because I hate to take pill I disregarded his advice and he said to take magnesium so before I go for another ablation I think I will start on the Magnesium as he’s suggested and I think the advice of Ann Wyatt is good. I hope this helps.
Thanks for asking Ginger. I’m still doing well, thank the Lord, with Sotalol. It’s been almost a year and my anxiety level is quite diminished. Hope everyone else is doing well as can be.
How’s everyone doing????
Ya know, The worst part of all of this was the 2+ years of “them” trying this and trying that but all for naught.
Once the cardiologist admitted the end of the line I was able to accept what is and was able to move on with my life as it is.
I have felt better ever since knowing it is now all up to me.
Diet and then exercise is the key I believe.
I haven’t been diagnosed with afib.I have had svt but the symptoms I’ve been having point to that. I’m on metoprolol(beta blocker) and my heart rate right now is like 62. I get intermittent symptoms.scares me.I have 2 young girls. What can I do? Docs want to tell me its anxiety. But I could just be watching TV and Boom! I’ve thought it might be what I eat but I’ve cut back to 1100 calories and drink 7 glasses of water and I can’t drop weight. I’m at my wits end and terrified
I still stick by magnesium orotate. I have been symptom free for nearly 4 years now. My cousin’s husband who has had a heart valve replacement was getting AFib and since I told him about the magnesium he hasn’t experienced AF again. It is safe to take. There’s no harm in giving it a try. When you go to hospital with AF they usually give you magnesium so there’s got to be something in it. The orotate version means it is more easily absorbed into the body.
What brand magnesium orotate do you take and where do you get it? And how much do you take?
This is what my doctor has his patients take.
He said it is the best you can get world wide.
Hi Travis. Sorry about the delay. This message just reached me. The brand is Eagle and it’s called Mag Oro. I am in Australia and it costs about $42 for 120 tablets. A bit pricey but worth every dollar.
I have afib and I found Dr. Carolyn Dean MD. She has afib and has an article on taking magnesium in liquid form. I have started this and seems to be working for me. She also sells the product. She says magnesium in pill form doesn’t get into your body like the liquid form.
Yes. I take her product as well. It’s called ReMag. I did a review of ReMag many months ago.
To Ann Wyatt. I am very interested in trying magnesium orotate for my afib. I have found information on-line regarding high doses, 3,000 mg daily used in studies. How much do you take? Is a recommended dose indicated on the label?
Unfortunately, like cardio conversion, Sotalol did not work for me either.
They waited too long so ablation is no longer an option either.
All I have left is control the heart rate and live with it. I am good with that.
Thanks for the link. I just might try that for my own sense of security.
Regarding sleep apnea concern, please look at a pulse oximeter to see if you are getting enough oxygen into your blood when you sleep. It will record this for simple playback into your PC. It seems to me that if you have enough blood oxygen you do not have sleep apnea but my pulmonary doctor poo poo’d this perhaps because it affects his job security. I wear the CPAP every night and it does not bother me. If I don’t wear it my blood oxygen goes too low.
This oximeter also records your heart rate. Look at:
Does the Sotalol help? It helped me tremendously. I went to several “experts” (with poor bedside manner) who wanted to do an ablation on me and also prescribed some dangerous drugs. When I finally went to my wife’s female dr. who is also a cardiologist, she immediately took me off the dangerous drugs, put me on Sotalol and plainly told me that ablation is not necessary, in a supportive and caring tone. I’ve been symptom free ever since, although I still get paroxysmal Afib, it is no where near as severe as it was before – most of the time I even forget I have it. Oh yes, and I think the CPAP, despite its awkwardness, helps a lot. Good luck!
I would guess you gained weight as a result of the ailment which led to diabetes, apnea and high BP.
I wish mine was only going up to 135 as it went to 170 most of the time and caused sweats. I gained weight got apnea and eventually type 2 diabetes. They even threw in a PSA of 4.0 (since then am down to 3.6).
I am in permanent A-Fib now for almost a year so the doctors kept trying different drugs to see if they could simply control the heart rate. It was during a 3 day stay in the hospital while they made a failed attempt to stop the A-Fib with Sotalol that they discovered my low Potassium and put me on a supplement amongst 5 other drugs that enabled a controlled heart rate. The doctor doesn’t believe it was the potassium but doesn’t know which drug made have caused a controlled heart rate. Still have A-Fib evidenced by no P-Wave but have a controlled heart rate so stay on the total of seven drugs daily (Urologist for PSA added another).
Since then I have been fighting back. Been using “myfitnesspal” app on my IPad Mini to track my calories and have lost 40 of the 50 pounds I had gained while worrying about dying from A-Fib over the last 2.5 years. I too got apnea but not so sure I do now that I have lost weight. I have no way to tell and tired of wearing the CPAP device but wear it every night cause I don’t want to die from A-Fib while sleeping.
I feel better and stronger. When I lose another 10 I will start going to the gym to lose some more weight and feel even better.
So, in summary…”F” the doctors who don’t know crap about A-Fib or how to cure or control it. Accept it, move on and fight back for your life’s well being cause the doctors aren’t going to give it to you. Do stay on the Xaralto (blood thinner) to avoid strokes.
Losing weight will help cure the diabetes, high blood pressure and likely cure the Apnea too.
Good luck and good health to you.
My story isa mix up of all things, for the past 3 years i have become diabetic and hypertensive. iam on 50/500 janumet once a day and on zestril 5 mg for BP and concor 2.5 OD for HHR.
My blood pressure ranges from good days to bad days like 100/60 to 170/100 . I have become a very weak person after these things happened to my life. my current concern is sudden shoot up of heart rate from 69 till 135.
It could happen while driving, or after an OAT meal or after having a biriyani.
Today morning after an oat meal i was sitting on the sofa and suddenly i noticed my heart rate shooting up, prior this i would always feel a bit nauseated.
other issues i have is shortness of breath , sleep apena, gastritis , spondylosis, cholestrol a bit on the higher side (on statin for that).
Thanks for the support. Last EKG
76 to 101 instead of a steady 120 bpm. I feel great
I think the chelation was the answer as well as the thyroid being regulated
Also try Cactus- takes Pulse rate down immediately as well as deep breathing– Breathing out lowers the pulse rate.
Wow Ernette….that is great. I believe the body is an incredible thing and natural things are always the best way to go….I am so happy for your improving condition!
I had regular acupuncture and it didn’t help at all.. I then had Japanese acupressure ( organic seed put on pressure points) as well as chelation. and when I went for my EKG I was normal;. 76 to 90 BNM from 120 BPM consistent. I didn’t have attacks I had it consistent. They wanted to do ablation but I found it only had a 50%success rate in my case and could result in a pacemaker because shocked too slow. My cardiologist is elated that I seem to be either cured or controlled. from the chelation and acupressure and oriental herbs. I am79 and feel like I did when I was forty.
Ralf, I never tried Accupuncture with Afib. Read Ginger’s entry on accupuncture dated Jan 9, 2013, if you still have questions about it.
Ginger, Thanks for your response re” accupunture. I will try it at some point, when the right price strikes! And Carl, I am sure the relief is great for you, having switched to the new meds. Just fyi and anyone else here,
I would be on about 6 pills right now, a defibrillator, ablations and shock therapy to the heart, had I done what all the cardio’s have pushed through the past 12 years. Instead, I continue to
watch what brings it on. I have written lists of suspicious and real triggers twice on this site and I think the last list which i wrote just days ago, did not list cinnamon as another real cause of tachycardia for me. Best wishes to all.
Thanks Chris for your post. But it created a family argument. Do you mean that accupuncture HAS helped with Afib?
Chris…when I worked the the operating room back in the 80’s, a friend of mine was an anesthesiologist…I had acupuncture for many things from a heel spur, my first experience with it, and within 20 minutes it was gone and never came back…then over the past 30 yrs I have had other health situations arise and have always used acupuncture for treatment…most things were like pinched nerves, pulled muscles, IBS was cured, and stress related muscle spasms in the chest wall…one of the things my friend Dr John Lee told me was that everything is controlled by the brain….and he is absolutely correct. I figure its my life energy that’s out of whack, and the acupuncture corrects the life flow to proper balance….It does not work like a pill does…you don’t take it and within an hour you get relief…it sometimes takes a number of treatments, depending on how out of balance I am…I have not had acupuncture now for at least 6-8 months now…I should go back for a tune up ….LOL. I kind of know my body and I also know what acupuncture is good for and what it isn’t…like I would never go for acupuncture when it’s an infection…that’s really the only time I take medicine..when I need an antibiotic….acupuncture helps me de-stress…and even if it didn’t help for a-fib…for me I couldn’t live without it….btw, I have heard that nitrites can trigger an episode, but it’s not typically the nitrites that do it for me…it’s when I have more than 3….I’m not the party girl I used to be….oh well!
I would like to share two things that have mitigated my Afib significantly in the past few months: 1, I found a new cardiologist – I visited a couple of so called “experts” in Afib and ablation who both prescribed drugs which only made my condition worse (Flecainide and Multaq, respectively). Of course, they ultimately wanted me to come back to them for an ablation. I kept on searching for more opinions and in so, found my 4th cardiologist in the one and a half years since being diagnosed with Afib. She told me that ablation is not necessary unless I felt it would improve the quality of my life – and she took me off Multaq and Toprol and put me on Sotalol. The Sotalol has worked like a charm. 2. I continued and increased use of my CPAP machine, which I believe is taking a lot of stress off my heart at night. Bottom line – My recurrent Afib is now greatly diminished both in frequency and intensity (high heart rate of 80 – 90 vs. 120 – 130 previously) and I can no longer feel palpitations/angina. I think a lot of the quality of life issues were mental and now I am even sleeping better thanks to this brave doctor and lots of praying. So yes, there is hope – I think this should help some people out there who may have given up … keep searching!
Ginger, if you are still experiencing the arrhythmia, you may look into
not having the wine. That used to bother me…perhaps the sulfites in it.
I hope you are still feeling well. I tried all that you mentioned during those
many years that I had a-fib. The only thing I had not tried, but thought about many times, was to try acupuncture. Do you have any info on how
that might have helped you?
Wow!!! That’s great news Chris…who knows, if it works for you, it may inspire others to try that route. So happy for you! Keep us in the loop…
Hi! I read Ginger’s question and felt the need to respond. I have experienced major improvement, YES!, after dealing with this condition for years!!! I do not go to the doctors and have not taken any of their meds for years. Refused defibrillator, too. What I have done: cut back on chocolates, sulfites, food additives that resemble MSG, (ie yeast extract, torula yeast, etc), sugarless gum( contains aspartame), no antibiotics for years, (made a big difference for me!),dairy, pork(hard to digest for me), corn(mostly in the form of tortillas), definitely wine and beer are out….and excessive sugar does not help the body at all! i hope this helps as I feel it is a miracle of sorts that i can write this and not be feeling the arrhythmia. there seems to be a connection to the digestion process and if it is going well, the arrhythmia seems to improve…and I now forget that I suffered with it for many years! I hope this may help some of you! I definitely question the antibiotics and overconsumption of all those food additives that are in everything processed.
where did everyone go???
Hello all….had a chance to read all the post on this blog. I have had episodes of a-fib from time to time….caused by “holiday heart” and stress….my treatment and just about cure is hydration, excersise (walking daily, and acupuncture….I found that when I had more than 2 drinks, I would a-fib in the middle of the night…so now I super hydrate before, if I’m going to have a glass or two of wine….I also have acupucture to keep my body in balance…I couldn’t live without it! And also staying hydrated. Since I have been doing this, I have not had any major problems at all…I also do recommend daily walking, a banana, and sleeping on my right side….that all works for me….wishing you all the best!
Hi everone….I just happen to stumble upon this site….there is another site that I have been active on where there is also alot of info….it was also started by Mr. Ellis I believe….I haven’t had a chance to read all the posts here….but I found this one on a link on the top right of this other posts were it says recent comments….click on that where you see my name and it will bring you to the other site….there is alot of other opinions and very helpful information….
4 years ago stumbled onto AFib with a stress test–didn’t know I had it. wore a holter monitor and was diagnosed AFib with 10% of the time. Since then went to NorthWestern Memorial Hosp in Chicago. Have been put on Flecanide, Multaq (twice), Propafanone, Amiodarone (twice), had 2 ablations, ~10 cardioversions. $350,000 later (thanks CIGNA) I now have persistant AFIB 100% of the time. Yes Pradaxa is expensive but no constant blood chex with coumadin anymore. Also tried accupuncture a dozen times. Is this thing curable??
Sorry to hear nothing worked.
My Afib stays between 90 and 120BPM –I found an article in the International Journal of Cardiology re the Chinese Herb Den Seng–took to doctor and he said OK to go on it. I refused Coumadin, Pradaxa and all other rat poisons so was on Aspirin. Den Sheng is better than all of those prescriptions as it is not only an anticoagulant but also breaks up clots if found. I bought from Chinese acupuncturist. Also Nattokinase is 4 times better than aspirin.
Just wanted you to know in case yu have side effects from Xarello
I’ve decided to oxygen therapy to try and get rhythym down first before chelation. Ernette
Just got back from my follow up visit.
They have taken me off of Sotalol and restarting the Ditiazem.
So, nothing has worked effectively in the 2 years of trying.
It is the goal now to get the heart rate the under 130, live with AFib and with the help of the new blood thinner Xarelto (about the same as Warafin or Coumadin but does not require checking weekly) to avoid stroke which of course, is the major concern.
Last week I felt younger (only 57 but felt 50) and is too bad I am back into AFib.
I will post again with anything of value when and if it occurs.
Your story sounds alot like mine. however I was overdosed with Syntroid that caused the Afib. Had to get thyroid regulated but they did cardioversion,lasted 3 days and back to persistent Afib & thyroid still not regulated. Found to have iodine deficiency also. They want me to have
ablation but I found only 50% success on persistant Afib, so I have decided
to try chelation and natural rhythym control. like Cactus & Hawthorne
I too am on diltiazem and pottassium chloride. Had a bad reaction to dioxgis–my heart stopped for 3 secs.
, most of the time I can keep pulse rate to 90 to 100,and sometimes even goes down to 80,but always 120 when i wake up in am.\I would be most
interested if any of your treatments work.”Ernette
My last post was 12Feb12 and there hasn’t been many since and boy have things changed for me.
I was off meds from Dec 11 thru Mar 12 adn A-Fib was running as out of A-Fib for 9-11 days versus 3-4 while on meds until a couple of days before the end of the no meds experiment where I went into A-Fib in 3 days then 4 then 3 and then had my next Cardiologist appointment and less than a week later I now have persistent A-Fib where it remained for 30 days and taking Diltiazem and then Digozin before cardio conversion that lasted for two days out of A-Fib for another 30 days of A-Fib then went for Sotalol where you have to stay in the hospital for 3 days to make sure the anti-arythmic drug doesn’t knock the heart out of rythym. On the third day I was still in A-Fib so they did another cardio conversion (shock) and that was last Wednesday 11Jul12.
My heart rate runs around 53-65 at rest and no A-Fib until 1:33pm this afternoon when I felt it kick in.
I have a follow up appointment tomorrow. The cardiologist will likely discuss ablation.
It was nice being out of A-Fib for 8 days. I felt younger.
HAS ANYONE USED FLEMETON FOR A/FIB, AND IF SO DOES IT WORK