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New Member

Hi everybody, back in darkest February I picked up what I thought was a chest infection that would leave me breathless with bouts of dizziness. Eventually, when I realised this wasn't going to go away I went to my local surgery. It emerged that my heartbeat was 240 bpm, & I was promptly shipped of to hospital where PAF was diagnosed. Now I'm on beta blockers & Warfarin & have only had two bouts all year, both following a lapse in following the recommended alcohol intake. I work in the building industry & have since returned to work which I feel is better therapy than anything, although at 67 I do have to slow down a bit. I'd like to think that if my heart can beat at 240 bpm then it must be pretty tough, they say that it's getting the wrong signals so hopefully a cure shouldn't be too far down the road.


9 Replies

  • Hello John and welcome to the forum and the mad world of AF. Well done on your return to work and normal existence and yes, alcohol for many of us is a trigger for episodes of AF.

    There are many different aspects to living with AF and so much to learn about it and how we are all affected differently. It's good that you are anti-coagulated and have stroke protection.

    This is a very supportive forum and a source of advice and experience. There is also a wealth of information on the main AFA site at where you can download leaflets and find out about support groups and countless other things.

  • Hi John,

    Yeah my paroxysmal AF started in a similar fashion. I was diagnosed with this bloody thing in early January 2010 aged 65. At first I thought - a bit like you - I was going down with a bronchial issue or even flu. In those days I was being treated for high blood pressure and had a monitor at home. In those days prior to AF my BP was around 136/80 - during the day my BP monitor began to malfunction and churn out error messages, I managed to get a few readings and I realised my BP was dropping - it bottomed out at around 90/50. So off to my GP I went - next thing I was in A & E with a heart rate of 160 - end result 9 hours after onset I was diagnosed with pAF and I remain convinced were it not for such a speedy and accurate diagnosis I would be much worse than I am now. I am on Bisoprolol and Warfarin. Booze isn't a trigger for me - but food is and my digestive system too, so now I have to be very careful with my diet. All tied up with the vagal nerve, a major nerve in the central nervous system which controls both heart and digestive system. By calming the vagal nerve I've calmed my heart and my last recorded AF event was April 2015.

    Incidently, nowadays, my weight is a bit lower, I get a bit more exercise and my BP is around 125/70 -helped along with a bit of medication. Heart rate around 63 bpm.

    Keep up the good life.


  • I think mine is triggered by certain foods, just changed my diet and hope to get similar result, thanks for your input

  • Good to know you're on top of things by using diet, I'll have to check that out. When this all started first thing I did was pack in the fags, something I said I'd do when I got to 65, my weight went up from 17.1/2 stone to 19st. over the spring so I put myself on a diet 3 weeks ago, mostly rabbit food, meat & fruit. My INR which had stabilised at around 2.1 dropped to 1.8 and last test was 1.6. They put my dosage gradually up to 5mgs of Warfarin. I am aware of the foods to avoid ( printed off the top ten to avoid & keep it in the kitchen) but don't want to be overweight. I'm back down almost to my starting weight now. Did you lose weight by dieting & if so did you have similar changes to your INR?


  • I lost over 15kg (over 2st 5lb) just by cutting out things that are bad for AF or unhelpful to AF such as all processed foods; alcohol; crisps and similar; biscuits (still have a few per week); sweet things with added sugar.

  • Hi and welcome.

    Have you looked into possibility of ablation? That is the nearest thing to a 'cure'.

    Best wishes CD

  • Forgive this Newby's ignorance, I'm still learning the ropes here! Is ablation a surgical procedure, like an operation? Thing is, with the medication, I'm feeling pretty good lately, haven't had any bouts since April though still a bit short of breath. I live on a hill about a quarter of a mile long & walk down quite often but walking back up would take ages with several stops for breath. Would an ablation cure that?


  • Hello John and welcome to the world of AF. Sorry to say that "Cure" is not a word often heard in AF circles but ablation is as close as it comes. The whole thing is very new science and twenty years ago you would be told to get on with life with little or no support. Thankfully in the last ten years things have improved greatly thanks in no small part to Atrial Fibrillation Association and a few dedicated doctors called electrophysiologists (EPs). The electricians to the normal cardiologists plumber.

    For the most part treatment is about improving quality of life rather than trying to cure it as the problem is so individual and complex that there is no one size fits all solution.

    Read all you can of the fact sheets on the AF- A website as knowledge is power and then you can discuss things with your doctors from a position of knowing yourself.

    Right now the main thing is that you are anticoagulated to prevent stroke and have something to slow your heart when it happens.

    Ask any questions and we will try to help.

  • Hi

    I really don't think you can say "there is no cure " for AF given there are so many reasons for this problem could just be lifestyle and not any underlying heart disease.

    There are many many doctors who have stated that if you aggressively change your lifestyle and find the triggers you can prevent it coming back not everyone will progresses to AF

    Understanding your body is so important and having positive health care providers around you ,,,,also is a part of the healing process

    Look on the Internet for Doctor John Day he is a cardiologist and he makes interesting points

    It's not just black and white There are still many theories as to why AF happens

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