Just an annoyance ?

My cardiologist has told me to stop being so concerned with my afib. He said that as I have no other symptoms with my heart I am at no greater risk of stroke than any person without afib and that I should just regard it as an annoyance and when I get an episode simply take 300 mg of flecanide get on with my life o and stop drinking alcohol !!

30 Replies

  • hi mate . sounds like your cardio was having a bad day . when i saw mine last . he was 2 and a half hours behind with his consults . so it was a waste of time me being there. he even took a phone call when i was there. so how much do you drink and where are you from ??

  • About 30 units a week spread over 4 days. K know it's too much and am trying to get it down

  • Easy say ;)

    Just the same as ER doctor last time who told me to live and manage my SVT without coming every time to ER , since my file includes long record in emergency

    I felt a shame!

    Don't know if such doctors just tried it once are they going to go to ER

    My dear cardiologist who is following up my case since 15 years told me in polite way that he doesn't blame me at all to be scared since himself had a palpitation once in the midnight then he came directly to his clinic and did EKG for himself

    By time and information I feel I can accept and live with 70 % of my symptoms and it is really achievement

    God with us all


  • My cardiologist said the same to me. I wasn't at risk of stroke as I was 58yrs old ,reasonably fit ,no other health problems ,don't drink much don't smoke etc. I was not offered warfarin. I then had a T.I.A. as a direct result of A.F followed 10 days later by a full stroke. Everyone with AF should be offered an anti-coagulant and the risks of stroke fully explained then it's up to you whether to take it or not.


  • What's a Tia ?

  • TIA = Transient ischaemic attack, commonly known as a mini-stroke. Transient means it goes away by itself. I think I might have had two of them, but the doctor just scoffed at the idea when I asked.

  • Wouldn't that have meant that possibly you had some form of underlying heart problem other than afib ?

  • No nothing at all except AF and atrial flutter which makes all of us with AF 5 times more likely to have a stroke than anyone else.


  • I had one episode of AF 3 monts ago treated with cardio version within 12 hours. I also have hypertension well controlledand anxiety/ panic disorder which is getting better

    For AF I take rivaroxaban and bisoprolol 1.25 mg.

    my cardio is talking about stopping the above AF medication as I probably had only one episode.

    What is the likelihood of me having another episode.? Should I stay on anticoagulant for the rest of my life ?

    I am 68 years old.

  • Hi sqirrel. I reckon your cardio is probably right. If you have an episode that was successfully stopped, then you are no longer in AF or at risk. This happened to me three times and the events were 5 and 15 years apart. It took another 22 years for my current (permanent) AF to start. Each time, I was taken off medication and carried on as normal. My current cardio also told me that if my cardioversion worked, I could come of the Warfarin and Bisop. Worth checking with your GP or cardio.

  • I got the same vibe from my GP in the UK, it wasn't dangerous just a pain in the ass, stop worrying and go away. Not very helpful or comforting at all I know. I'm in the same boat, I have PAF and no other hear problems or health worries.

    The attitude didn't give me any comfort when my heart was going 155bpm and I had to go to A&E in a taxi.

    I have to say your treated better in Japan as it's a private system, if the Doctor is not kind, considerate and attentive you'd go elsewhere. But you do pay. The visits are cheap as, prescriptions are expensive.

    Having said all that, all my docs and cardiologists warned me about alcohol. I'm now on 2-3 units a week. Some weeks it's nothing.

    Your not an annoyance, your a human being and make sure you get treated like one.

  • Up until my first ablation* last week I was experiencing episodes of AF EVERY single day for between 3 and 24 hours and had been for a whole year! I am 39 and healthy otherwise (apart from Addison's Disease) and have been told during the last year by 4 different cardiologists that there was no reason whatsoever for me to take blood thinners as I was at no greater risk of stroke than non AF sufferers.

    To be honest I have been happy to take their advice, and I trust them.

    *I am currently on Dabigatran blood thinner as had first ablation last week.

  • Just to be pedantic here. warfarin is not a blood thinner. Aspirin being an anti platelet may thin the blood but warfarin does not The viscosity of the blood remains the same, what changes is the speed at which it clots. i e it is an anticoagulant, it slows the rate of coagulation or clotting of the blood.

    As a fact we should understand that Britain has one of the lowest percentages of at risk patients actually taking anticoagulants in Europe and if we corrected that situation we could save at least 8000 strokes a year in our wonderful country. Unfortunately there are still far too many doctors and cardiologists who fail to realize this and act accordingly.


  • As I understand it from my reading of everything I can get my hands on, AF, regardless of whether it's related to an underlying heart complaint or whether it's permanent or paroxysmal, raises the risk of stroke. Yes, if you're under 65 the risks are significantly lower and the European Society of Cardiologists' 2012 advice is not to give an anti-coagulant, even if you're female, but there will always be exceptions sadly where TIAs and full strokes occur. My cousin, who also has AF and is my age, has had TIAs. I myself worry about it a lot, and I don't think doctors take that into account sufficiently - they like fast turn round, go away and stop moaning please type of patients.

  • Did a cardiologist truly say that you are at no higher risk than a non AF sufferer?

    I think you should get a 2nd opinion ASAP

  • Blooto, I certainly agree with you! I'm totally amazed to read, on this site, today, Oct 28th, that AF patients do not always get blood thinning medication!! Those docs must be very out of touch with relevant research. I'm lucky to live near one of the country's best heart hospitals and hope (!) I'm getting the correct medication! I'm 69, have had AF for a year or so and am on sotolol and warfarin. I only get short-ish AF attacks and *always* at night -- around "that time" of 03 in the "morning" !

  • The NHS's own recommendations are that only moderate or high risk patients receive anti-coagulants - nhs.uk/Conditions/Atrial-fi... - this is in line with the findings of current research. Quite a number of patients will not fall into that category - I don't know if Steve is one.

  • Thank you -- interesting! So I suppose I'm at higher risk due to: 1. Being female! 2. Being 69! Not a lot I can do about that ;-) I'm at "the higher end of low risk" I was told ... I have found that both Yoga and Pilates make me calmer and better able to cope with the concerns over AF. Take care, everybody!

  • I agree with Blooto! It's your body and you shouldn't let them brush you off.

  • Yep exactly that, said due to my not having high blood pressure, no history of diabetes, being under 60 and generally fit and healthy, there was no risk and unless this got progressively worse over time then nothing more than a low dose asprin a day was needed

  • Four different Cardios have all said there is absolutely no need for me to be on blood thinners (apart from pre & post ablation)

  • It does seem that if you are in a low risk category (i.e. CHADS2 score of 0) that you are no more likely to have increased your risk than someone with moderately high blood pressure (140/90) - which doubles your risk. So maybe not exactly no risk, but nothing special. Of course stress also raises blood pressure, so the doctor probably realises that the effect of anyone worrying actually increases the risk of a stroke, or other problem caused by high blood pressure, happening. But then it would be good if your doctor explained that to you.

  • After being diagnosed with non-stop AF 10 years ago (age 54), I was put on Propafenone which controlled the condition very well, but funny side effects though!! Anyhow, before discharge I overheard two cardios discussing whether I should be on aspirin or warfarin and they said warfarin was too expensive. They put me on aspirin and I didn't start taking warfarin till my 2nd ablation a couple of years ago.

    PS. Not saying I was put on aspirin for pure financial reasons, rather that I was probably borderline so they went for the cheaper option.

  • The issue is not whether AF is a stroke risk, but whether AF is a bigger stroke risk than the anticoagulants. Here are a few quotes from the latest guidelines published by the European Society of Cardiologists:

    "Antithrombotic therapy is not recommended in patients with AF (irrespective of gender) who are ‘aged ,65 and lone AF (i.e. truly ‘low-risk’), as the latter have very low absolute event rates."

    "the accumulated evidence shows that CHA2DS2-VASc is better at identifying ‘truly low-risk’ patients with AF, and is as good as, and possibly better than, scores such as CHADS2 in identifying patients who develop stroke and thromboembolism."

    "Decision-making for thromboprophylaxis needs to balance the risk of stroke against the risk of major bleeding, especially intracranial haemorrhage, which is the most feared complication of anticoagulation therapy and confers a high risk of death and disability."

    "The evidence for effective stroke prevention with aspirin in AF is weak, with a potential for harm, as data indicate that the risk of major bleeding or intracranial haemorrhage with aspirin is

    not significantly different to that of [oral anticoagulants such as Warfarin], especially in the elderly."

    "The novel oral anticoagulants so far tested in clinical trials have all shown noninferiority

    compared with [oral anticoagulants such as Warfarin], with better safety, consistently

    limiting the number of intracranial haemorrhages."


  • those consultants need the push or to live with AF for one day!!

  • From all the information I have read people who often get AF attacks have an increased chance of having a stroke due mainly that during an AF attack blood can accumulates in the top chambers (atrium) of the heart and sometimes forms a clot which can travel anywhere in the body including the brain.

    However I think if you thinks too much about what might happen it can spoil the pleasure of just living and worrying maybe increases the frequency of AF an attack.

    Anyway people with AF are not the only people who can have a stroke.

    Truth is our bodies are extraordinary tough and resilient,even when we are damaged by physical trauma or disease such as the damage to our brains by a blood clot.

    The brain eventually forms new circuits and we very often get completely better in time.

    So my philosophy is do as much as poss. to prevent a stroke by keeping my INF around 2.6, keep my weight down, eat healthy, little or no boose, exercise as much as possible ,

    Try to find what triggers an AF attack, love life and not let an occasional thumping heart rule my life.

    Sounds corny I know

  • "So my philosophy is do as much as poss. to prevent a stroke by keeping my INF around 2.6, keep my weight down, eat healthy, little or no booze, exercise as much as possible,Try to find what triggers an AF attack, love life and not let an occasional thumping heart rule my life. "

    Corny? not a bit, sounds absolutely perfect advice to anyone rosailor


  • Aspirin is not reommended in any situation for AF, unles you have another heart condition which needs it. NICE are at the moment updating their recommendations for the treatment of AF.

  • Yes I was told that once. Go home and try not to worry. Every time I had a check up things were reasonably ok. I was trying to carry on as usual but feeling faint regularly. After another heart monitor for a week I was rushed into hospital for a pacemaker. My heart was stopping for 7 to 8 seconds at a time especially at night. I am much better now and my Afib only occasional . I take only Rivaroxaban now.

You may also like...