Hello everyone - new member

Hi all

Just joined the site after a reading a few posts.

My story: I'm a relatively fit and healthy 45 year old man - or at least I was until the Saturday before Christmas when I fainted at a party! A trip to the hospital in an ambulance and a stay overnight had me diagnosed with AF. Now, the day before I'd had a very boozy night and combined with lots of stress at work and home (father hospitalised with a stroke 3 months ago) and I put this episode down to that. I was released from hospital and given a note to take to my GP and that was that.

STUPIDLY, this Saturday I had more to drink than is sensible - had a normal hangover yesterday but last night I awoke in the night feeling very dizzy. Too dizzy to even get up for a pee.

This morning I'm still dizzy - too dizzy to attempt to drive but no palpitations. Will give it a few more hours to see if it abates, and if not, guess its the hospital again!

So, it looks like my drinking days are over and time to accept that I have a condition that needs to be respected.

Mark

18 Replies

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  • Hi Mark and welcome to the mad mad world of AF. First you must understand that this is a very mongrel condition and few people experience it the same way so your AF will be very personal. Triggers in general can be miss-leading but yes alcohol and binge drinking in particular are known factors in many people's AF sp probably best to stay off it at least for now.

    The next advice I give is to rad all the fact sheets available form AF Association website as knowledge is power. Few GPs are really qualified to treat AF properly and this also applies to many cardiologists who mainly are plumbers not electricians. Electrophysiologists are cardiologists who specialise in rhythm problems ad they are the experts in AF and other arrhythmias. You will doubtless be referred to a cardiologist in the first instance but I would advise that you eventually ask to see an EP.

    The last pieces of advice at this stage is to look carefully at your stroke risk. AF increases your risk of stoke by five times and there is a score system called CHADSVASC which can work out if you need to be on anti-coagulation to guard against stroke. You may not at this stage but look up AF-A website and scan for CHadsvasc where you can work out your risk factor. Many GPs are not up to doing this so best to be prepared and fight your corner if the chart says you are at risk.

    Ask any question here and we will do our best to help.

    AF is a very scary condition but life goes on. It's life Jim but not as well know it as Spock once said.

    Bob

  • Hey Weebag! Welcome to what I've found to be a fantastic website full of experience and really great advice from good folk like Bob.

    I too think that over indulging has "popped" me out of Sinus Rhythm in the past. I'm currently in Sinus, and am booked in for my second ablation at the Manchester cardio-centre middle of Jan to help I guess staying in longer.

    All the best to every one for 2015 !

    BigE :-)

  • Hi weebag! Welcome to this merry forum, full of sound advice, which will help you to get things in perspective.

    The plus side to AF is that it makes you live ever such a healthy lifestyle!

  • That is so true. I reckon my liver is dancing for joy. X

  • As suggested, learn everything that you can. You may be able to tolerate some alcohol but not a lot or maybe none at all. Real or artificial sugar are common triggers so it could be sugar in the alcohol that is the culprit. From my experience, it is better to avoid triggers, try taking appropriate supplements, and see if you can avoid Af, which you can detect by feeling your pulse, before trying drugs which could help or not help. Generally doctors only want to start with drugs which can have side effects and can actually make Af worse which they did for me. Once you are on drugs, it is more difficult to know if avoiding maybe only one trigger is a a solution for now. Af seems to be a for now problem. Once you start taking drugs, no one may be able to tell you how to stop taking them and it is likely doctors will not want you to stop; plus it takes maybe weeks to get the effect of the drugs out of your system so you can start what I suggested above. If you have not had Af previously on a regular basis, maybe a simple diet/supplement approach may be the best solution for now. I found a supplement that supposedly helps the body process sugar and it seems to help. I tried not taking it for a while and Af came back with a vengence. I don't take any drugs for now and if I avoid my triggers, I seem to be able to avoid Af. In my case, if I have Af, I return to sinus in four hours or less.

  • Hi Weebag. Welcome to the best resource on AF I have found on the Internet. I too am 45 and up until 9 months ago was relatively indestructible, or so I thought. It's been quite a roller coaster journey in 2014 and if I have learnt one thing about AF is that you shouldn't let it rule your life. Yes it's uncomfortable, yes it's frightening but lots of people on here offer such wonderful support and insight into the condition you will start to come to terms with it and understand what you can and cannot do.

    As a bit of a background, I was initially diagnosed via A&E in March and I immediately booked to see a cardiologist who did all the usual checks via ECG and a Echocardiograms and could not find any underlying cause, which was great as it meant my hearts plumbing was good but I was prescribed Sotalol which has subsequently been removed from the NICE list as a recommended drug for the treatment of AF. Having read lots of data on this website I convinced my doctor to then refer me to an EP who immediately took me off Sotalol and put me on Bisoprolol. We have discussed various drug regimes and the possibility of ablation and at the minute, last month, I have come off all medication and use Bisoprolol and Flecainade as a pill in the pocket, this was my choice as I want to stay away from a daily drug as long as possible but know that there is a strong possibility that I will need to do so sometime in the future, if and when my AF becomes more aggressive.

    Be well, enjoy the new year celebrations and feel free in joining me in kicking AF's arse in 2015.

  • Strange user name, calling someone "wee bag" is almost as bad as calling them BUM FACE! Ah well, I echo what everyone says, we are the same age and life doesn't end just because you have AF.

    Chin up chap, you found this site and on here is everything you need to know.

    That's a start

  • We've all had to push our triggers a bit to believe they are triggers. You know now! Best wishes going forward!

  • Thanks all. Got bought into hospital in an ambulance yesterday afternoon, am and still here.

    Awaiting on a cardiologist. At least I'm a little more knowledgable now!

    Weebag (mark)

  • keep us posted

    everyone hear will be waiting to hear how you get on. take care Mark

  • Good luck Mark.

    let us know how you get on.

    Christo.

  • Yeah all the best Mark :-)

  • Yeah same, think I'd rather call you Mark too lol! Take heart, my daughter called me a ridiculous old bird last week!,

  • Seems odd to actually welcome someone to this forum ...I'm sure you would rather be somewhere else...but welcome anyway, Weebag! Good place to start!

    I also thought I was indestructable in my thirties, with loads of stress and a taste for the odd drink or two but AF got me in the end. Plenty of good advice precedes my post so get sorted, take care and let us know how you get on.

    David

  • Hi Weebag (Mark) and welcome. I think we've all been there, thought we were indestructible and AF taught us differently... Some great advice here from others, I would just add, this forum is a fantastic resource - so many wonderful people prepared to give advice and support. Alcohol is a major trigger. I hate my liver now, it's so darn smug, sitting there being lightly washed by the occasional glass of Buck's Fizz at Christmas!

    LIs

  • Hi Mark. Your story much the same as mine, similar age. The key advice is get to see an EP, that's where your journey starts in my humble opinion.

    PS. I've gone tee-total and feel much better for it generally, not just AF etc. And very little caffeine, and smaller meals, more often.

    Good luck

    Koll :-)

  • I also discovered my AF the day after boozy sessions. Also fainted and taken to A+E. That was a few years ago. It is a tough call when you realise you should give up the booze. I gradually reduced over a couple of years and have now been teetotal for 2 years. Most of us have adapted our lifestyles and feel much better for it. You can also claim the moral high ground with your boozy pals. I have bought a new titanium bike with the money I am saving and very rarely go into a pub now. The only downside is that there is less of a range of soft drinks/juices than beers and wines. You see the other side of your mates when they are pissed and you are sober.

    Hope all goes well for you. It is also good to keep active.

  • Since you are in the hospital, ask about possible triggers and I suspect this question will be met with reproach. If triggers are the problem, you could be getting them in the hospital and thus the EKG results will show AF and substantiate the need for drugs or maybe ablation. Ask for tests for magnesium and potassium levels. If triggers are the cause, eliminating the impact of a trigger takes time - days, weeks or maybe longer. The impact of taking supplements takes time as well. Chemical based drugs affect the operation of the heart and if you pay close attention, you may discover that anything you injest does also. Often AF causes frequent urinaton. I wonder if this is the body's attempt to get rid of something it does not find beneficial. I find if I drink extra water when in AF, the episode ends in a shorter time. When we are sick we throw up or have diarrhea. Is this also the body's way of trying to fix itself? Use a notebook to record pertinent events while in the hospital. take your pulse often to see if you are in AF, and ask what every drug is supposed to do if drugs are recommended. Otherwise you are at the mercy of what doctors say which could or could not be true. I did not know to do this the first time I was admitted and I was amazed at how many times doctors did not know my specific situation and thus were suggesting incorrect solutions. I hope this does not happen to you. You must be in control of your situation. If you have access to the internet, research the drugs you may be taking and ask about concerns you may have. This is the time to get answers which will be much harder to get after you leave the hospital. Good luck!

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