New to afib

I've had Afib about 6 months following a tooth extraction. The first spell was a week of off and on days followed by a lull of about a month. Then I experienced it about twice a month until the last two weeks where it has been 2-3 times a week.

Any chance it will just go away? It happens either right after I lie down or have been asleep a couple of hours. It resolves on its own between 6:00 am and 10:00. I have seen an EP who has recommended either flecamide or ablation. I hate medicine and already take 50 mg metoprolol so am leaning towards ablation. Thoughts? Any natural cures or treatments out there?

14 Replies

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  • Supplements, diet and other natural lifestyle changes take time but start now, they can help substantially. It sounds like you might need Flecainide to stabilise it first. No quick answers to your question and a lot of information to sift through with your team (GP, Cardiologist ,EP Naturopath & yourself) before you reach the decision that is best for you.

    Ablation 'fix it in a day' is very tempting but didn't convince me in my circumstances.

    Good luck with your choice.

  • Welcome to this very helpful group. Everyone of us has a different experience of this complaint. There is a leaning towards the theory that if AF starts at night as you drop off to sleep it may be linked to the vagus nerve's activity. My episodes though few, have all started at night and I have not discovered any triggers apart from eating late at night though many people have. Certainly a healthy lifestyle is a help and AF can be a wake up call for making changes.

    Many of us have started mindful meditation and relaxation as part of daily routine.

    Even natural remedies which may help often involve taking pills I'm afraid. I have taken Flecainide for 5 years with only one episode since I started taking it. I have had very mild side effects, maybe less energy but that could also be anno domini.

    Read round the subject as much as you can and then you will be well placed to make a decision. It is unlikely it will just go away and your EP cannot be of that opinion if he is offering ablation.

    Best wishes WendyB

  • AF will never just go away I'm afraid. It is generally a progressive condition as you have already discovered. I won't go into the mechanics but there is an old saying AF begets AF.

    Life style changes, reduction in reliance on meat products, no alcohol, no smoking, no fun etc (only kidding with that last one) have been shown to reduce the burden of AF but there is no known cure. All treatment is about reducing the burden on quality of life (QOL) and that really includes ablation although early intervention by ablation has been shown to stand the best chance of a good outcome.

    I do hope that you have been assessed for stroke risk as you do not mention anticoagulants. AF makes us five time more at risk of stroke so please talk to your doctors about your risk factors and if or not you need them You will if you go the ablation route in any case so worth investigating. You must accept that you will need to take some medication for a period leading up to and following ablation whatever happens.

    As has been mentioned your timing suggests that your AF may be vagally mediated and there are different treatments which may be appropriate. In the mean time do avoid eating large meals and late at night.

    Read all you can from the very useful fact sheets etc on AF Association main website as knowledge is power.

    Bob.

  • Hi, I take flecainide as a pill in the pocket, ie I take it when I feel I need it to stop an AF attack. It works for me. I used to have long lasting vicious attacks but the Flecainide has reduced them by hours and the joy for me is knowing that they work. I do also take other medication like Warfarin for stroke prevention and also Verapramil which is a calcium channel blocker. I just believe that how ever much I hate taking all this medication - I feel better and able to live a life.

    I have also cut down on alcohol, just white wine and very little of that, (one glass at a time) I was already vegetarian so like to think my diet was reasonable. No processed food!!

  • fredsbam I've had a successful ablation. But it is necc to take warfarin and a low dose sotalol after. The drugs involved in your tooth extraction can trigger afib if you have the genetic tendency to afib: the novacaine the dentist uses contains epinephrine to help with excess bleeding. epinephrine is an afib trigger. Your dentist can use Carbocaine instead--this is like novacaine without epinephrine--it is shorter acting as to pain relief so the dentist has to keep giving some injections, but it is okay. The trick here is convincing the dentist that despite his excellent aspiration skills you cannot take epinephrine ( aspiration skill means he injects it so it does not get into a vein and therefore will not be systemoic and influence your afib -- he thinks this is true because he learned it in dental school!!however he is wrong about that )You also probably took some antibiotics after the extraction. Large macrolide antibiotics, (ex. biaxin and zithromax), and Quinolone antibiotics (ex. levaquin, cipro, avalox, and things ending in --floxin) are afib triggers. Even after the ablation and continued meds., I still need to avoid all the triggers. Other triggers are alcohoic beverages, salt, sugar, chocolate, caffeine, and processed foods, and anything you are allergic to. The afib situation is a lot more complex than you may realize. There are also other things that can trigger it: magnesium and potassium deficiency, folate deficiency, excess catacholamines (cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine). If you have the genetic polymorphyism 5MTHFR, then you do not metabolize folic acid normally and need to take a reduced form called quadrafolate, if you have the COMT gene ( for ex. +,+ meaning positive from both parents then you do not break down dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine at the normal rate--these are 3 excitatory neurotransmitters and , although you need them to be alive, in, excess will cause afib.

    In the United States, genetic tests for 5MTHFR (677 and 1298) and for COMT are done by quest labs and are covered by insurance including Medicare, because they are clinically significant, and knowing you have these polymorphisms can direct your treatment and avoid further illness. This saves your life, your health , and the government plan , private insurance, and/or your out of pocket expense great amount of money.The trick is to convince a doctor to give a prescription for these 2 tests.

    Have fun digesting all this info,. I hope it is helpful. good luck and be well.

  • Thank you for your very thorough answer. My last weeks of increased activity has followed after getting a flu shot.

  • fredsbam by the way quinolone antibiotics raise your dopamine levels.

  • Thank you! I am doing a little more research and asking that some of these tests be administered before committing to the ablation. I honestly feel my a fib is triggered through something in my gut as it acts weird before I have an attack. It feels like flips and electrical like spasms. It starts low and moves up. I wish our area had some wholistic practitioners as I feel the pharmacy industry has a conflicted interest with sustaining me on these chemicals. My first problems with irregular beats started a year after being on lisinopril for a slightly elevated blood pressure. After slowly weaning off, BAM--irregular heart rhythm. Then placed on metoprolol and two years on that, now a fib.

  • fredesbam The longest nerve in your body is the vagus nerve. It goes from your gut to the hypothalamus (involuntary functions like heart rate, breathing, digestion) of your brain. Anything that irritates the vagus nerve can cause afib. When I had an adverse reaction to avalox ( a quinolone antibiotic for a sinus infection), I felt the activity you describe-- it went on to be an overstimulation of the nervose system., but because of the COMT polymorphism and because the med increases dopamine--but even without this situation that nerve can still cause afib if it is irritated.

  • fredsbam- no doctor, allop0athic or otherwise told me and my husband to take any of these tests. We researched it ourselvesw by reading a lot of material done by scientists and doctors.

  • fredsbam flu shots cause you to make antibodies, obviously. If your immune system is really strong and you REAL

    LY make ANTIBODIES!!! then the process produces extreme amounts of inflammation (normal for this process), BUT inflammation is an afib trigger.

  • Traveler, you are well studied on medicine and particularly AFib. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I'm in the US and no one has mentioned genetic testing to me. I have had all the genetic testing for breast Cancer as my sister and other relatives had it. I will for sure be looking into this and speaking to my Drs. I'm scheduled on October 19 for Cryoablation and want to have as much information that I can to stay AFib free. The ablation is only one piece to the puzzle ! Gracey

  • Gracey23 Hi I am not a person who studied medicine. My husband and I took these tests because of the number of cancer deaths in my family and because of a number of people we knew who were alledgedly healthy but who died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart disease. The CT heart scan showed plaque in a bad place for my husband although he is perfectly otherwise healthy and physically fit with no symptoms of anything. The polymorphisms for cardiovascuolar, cancer risk and detox panel and immjune system revealed things which trigger afib and hypertension etc. and also plaque depositing on arteries. By using this testing we were able to upregulate good genetics and downregulate the bad ones and avoid and/or ameliorqte some health problems.

  • Gracey23 I just thought of something. Genova diagnostics in the USA does this. It is genetic polymmorphism test for the P450 detoxification system in the liver. (genetic polymorphism is a single nucleotide - 1 letter- error that creates a genetic tendency)there are many pathways in the liver through which prescription drugs and other substances leave your body . Most adverse drug reactions are caused by an underfunctioning of 1 or more of these pathways. For ex. Warfarin is detoxified by 3 specific pathways in your liver and if these underfunction you need to start on a lower dose, usually 1 or 1.5 andwork up to 2.5 or a tad more. I have these glitches and only need 2.5 mg warfarin on 5 days and 3.75 mg on Sat. and Wed. This averages out to 2.85 mg per day. If more is taken, due to the slower detox , the warfarin stays in the body a longer time and builds up to a much greater amount than the dose given--causing bleeding. I showed these tests to the 1st cardiologist I saw and she looked at them as though she was reading and taking them into consideration. This was an act. She started me on the usuall starting dose of 5 mg. and within 3 days I was bleeding profusly from the nose and other areas and feeling very ill, with headache and breathing difficulty. She also could have caused me to have a bleeding stroke. So--she should have looked at my tests. There is ample evidence (pages) --see uptodate.com (you have to pay for a subscription to read, but very useful)--- they describe that people with my polymorphisms should start with 1 mg and usually work up to about 2.5 for a tiny it more. All doctors know about the P450 system and that certain drugs will interact with it unfavorably. Also, note that sotalol is detoxified through the kidneys, which avoids this whole problem--and is the reason my ep is giving me sotalol---also I need hctz for bp and sotalol can be taken with hctz.

    If you have afib and therefore require certain drugs and during an ablation various drugs are used, this is a medically necessary reason to take the genetic polymorphism test for the P450 system ( to get insurance to pay)

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