What is the biological purpose of irregularities?

I have often wondered, thinking out of the box. Since most people, even young people, have irregularities of rhythm, what is the biological purpose?

OR, what is good about them?

Any ideas??

This is not a leading question. I really do not know. I would like to. The answer could considerably affect my own day-to-day self-management.

44 Replies

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  • Some people have known triggers for AF. These include heavy meals, certain food types, alcohol, stress, exercise. There may also be something structurally wrong. So an irregular rhythm is the body's way of telling the sufferer that he/she is doing/has got something wrong. The "something wrong" could also be not maintaining the right nutritional balance. Not everyone has the same triggers and some have no known triggers at all.

    I'm not sure that irregularities have a purpose of their own. They would indicate that a number of things might need checking out, I.e. a warning. The irregularity is the heart making the best of functioning, I.e. beating.

  • Yes I agree - the message is 'there is something wrong' so it is an alert system.

  • Mmmm..... interesting questions you pose.

    As I am Gestalt trained, one I would embrace as I do think that everything we encounter in life has a purpose, whether or not we pay attention to it is another matter. That is what Mindfulness is all about.

    Speaking sole for myself - because I asked my body in some 2 chair work - it was about pacing - (well it would be wouldn't it?)

    I was an all or nothing person, energetic, fit, competitive in everything andhard working and hard playing and I have had to learn that I need to pace myself which also means taking time out for me, to put myself first sometimes, to learn to say NO to others, to rest when I feel tired instead of 'pushing through', to ensure that I pay attention to nutrition, good sleep patterns and exercise.

    To be response-ABLE instead of responsible. Those have been the lessons that AF taught me.

    Impatient and intolerant I have had to learn to slow down and pay attention and listen more to my body, to my thoughts and actions and to others.

    Unfortunately I obviously didn't learn them well enough as I am having to relearn them all over with the Mg, although the lessons are different........

    There is an excellent book called - 'How people heal and why some people don't' - Caroline Myss I think? Don't even look at the cover if you are just looking for curing your AF though through conventional means.....

    Spiritual traditions teach that illness is not just genetics and physical failings but can also be a message to look at your life as a whole and that every illness brings a message - whether or not you pay attention to it is a different story.

    That does NOT mean we wish illness on ourselves OR that we can 'think' ourselves well, although positive thinking has great benefits OR we get what we deserve which is a distortion of the original meaning.

    Wellbeing is more than physical prowess. I have read more than one story of AF starting out as a journey of illness, fear and misery and leading to health and enlightenment on this forum, not for everyone maybe but then it also depends upon your inherent personality as well as you character traits as to how you interpret and deal with your dis-ease.

    Be interesting to read other responders thoughts........

  • Whether or not my contribution will help anyone else is a matter of debate. However I am convinced that PAF is genetic.

    I have researched my family tree thoroughly.

    After I was diagnosed with PAF, I was aware that my mother and all three of her siblings had PAF and all four died of strokes. Two first cousins (males) also had PAF-one had a pacemaker fitted. They both died of strokes. I myself had a severe stroke in 2009 but thank God I survived. I have found the family line that seems to carry the gene and contacted a professor at Manchester Uni. Hospital who was conducting research into a genetic link., but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. I continue to be certain the condition is in our genes, but for the moment have warned my children to be aware and I am getting on with life in another body that doesn't work as well as the old one.

    I don't want you to worry but please be aware

    Annlynne

  • I agree that AF does run in families, my father had AF but we didn't know until after his death - at 87. I thought that has been acknowledged by many specialists? But although there maybe a gene which gives us a tendency toward any disease, it needs to be switched on and there are many factors involved.

    I was speaking of the meaning we attribute to the biological purpose rather than the mechanics because I believe that we are what we think and how we live, we have a choice as to whether or not we attend to early warning signs and changing our habits and our ways of living can help how we manage this troublesome condition.

    Best wishes CD

  • Irregularities have no design purpose if that is what you mean as they are a fault. Just as lots of conditions and illnesses are faults in say kidney function or another gland which starts misbehaving. It is not nature designing something it just happens.

    As Mrspat mentions many people have no know triggers, in fact my EP ten years ago told me that looking for triggers was a great way to madness. You have a fault in the programme therefore you will get AF.

    What we do know is that everybody , young, old, fit or not get ectopic beats when the heart just gets it wrong and misses one out or puts one in the wrong place. The vast majority of the population don't notice them or may just think "oh something made me jump then" but of course we AF ers are so darned fixated on our hearts we notice every single one of them. Or not. I know from monitors that I get over 2000 a day yet only notice them when I am trying to go to sleep and already stressed over some other problem which life throws up all the time if you actually do anything interesting with your life. ( I would die of boredom in a week if I didn't rag it the whole time.)

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • "Irregularities have no design purpose ... they are a fault". That is what I am questioning. I like to turn questions on their head.

    Put it this way. If some forms of irregularity, or some amounts of them, are very common, could they actually have a biological purpose? If so, what they (plural) be?

    I hope someone with an engineering background can comment.

  • A few thoughts;

    The normal heart beat starts from the sa node which is the pacemaker setting the heart rate and initiates a coordinated contraction of the atria down to the av node and thence to the ventricles. All the cardiac muscle cells have the ability to initiate a contraction and so if the heart rate goes very slow, there is an increased likliehood of ectopics occurring either atrial or ventricular, which in theory would ensure an ongoing cardiac output when the rate is very slow.

    In af there are lots of atrial cardiac muscle cells acting as pacemakers resulting in the incoordinated atrial activity and reduced cardiac output. There is an association between left atrial enlargement and af but it is unclear whether this is cause or effect, but in athletes it maybe a cause as it is often associated with a low resting heart rate so allowing rogue pacemaker cells to fire and result in af

    But in sick sinus syndrome the sa node conduction slows and results in inadequate cardiac output and then Atrial ectopic, af or svt may occur, presumably as the hearts attempt to get an increased cardiac output

    Another factor is the effect of the vagus nerve which slows the heart on expiration, when cardiac filling would be reduced due to increased intrathoracic pressure and increase the rate on inspiration when the negative intrathoracic pressure would result in increased cardiac filling.

    However atrial fibrillation seems to be uncorcordinated anarchy amongst the cardiac cells, rejecting the imperial authority of the sa node, while they set off cardiac muscle contractions haphazardly.

  • Thanks. I understand. I should have known this by now. I appreciate your summary. Are we also seeing here a certain amount of redundancy, and compensation, so that if the main triggers weaken then Plan B step in? The problem then seems to be when plan B and plan A conflict or when Plan B gets out of hand.

    I am still wondering though, is there purpose or reason in a middle ground of irregularities? We are agreed that too many lead to trouble. One related question would be, that since minor irregularities are common, and since they could have a purpose, then could it be that treatment to oblige complete regularity would itself be a bad idea?

  • Well I suppose the ultimate after many ablations is the requirement for a pacemaker , which may need to be rate responsive and dual chamber and then there will be no point in underlying arhthmias occuring

  • My guess would be that a pacemaker needs to have some inbuilt randomness built in, to mimic the natural system, to be doing a good job.

  • thanks for that info. I am trying to take it in but trying not to let my health worries take over my life, time is too precious and I have a lot to do.

    Annlynne

  • That's strange that you should ask that question, because I was wondering about the same thing a few days ago. I wondered if it could be a form of evolution where our heart rates are changing to enable us to deal with a high rate of pollution in the air, or could our atmosphere be about to change. Yes, I know I'm mad and now you all know it!

    Then I thought to myself well you could ask the same question as to what biological use cancer has!! Which makes these thoughts a little odd.

    Was the start of AF a warning to make changes in our life. I do wonder if we'd all changed our diets and lifestyle at the onset of our AF whether we could have stopped it progressing.

    Will we ever know.

    Jean

  • I do not think it is comparable to cancer, because cancer is unstoppable inappropriate growth.

  • Jean, I so wish that when first diagnosed my cardiologist would have said that I could help to heal myself. After being rushed to the ER with a heart pounding at 168 beats I was immediately placed on drugs and took them without question because I was terrified that I would die! It took me ten years of depending on medicine to begin my journey of taking control. I've decreased my meds and I'm determined through lifestyle change to get off them. It's a roller coaster I know but it's all a learning experience, thanks for you thoughtful response, Gracey

  • I would be interested to know what you have done in taking control. Thx

  • Expences, I have been mainly watching what I eat. I started out last May doing a detox program designed by my Naturopath. I started drinking an organic protein shake for breakfast and then all the fruit and vegetables I wanted for 7 days. I ate a lot of salads and roasted vegetables plus used olive and coconut oil. After 7 days I added two 8 oz portions of meat or fish. I have continued this program and I've lost 18 lbs. basically it's eliminating bread, processed foods, dairy and alcohol. I was never a drinker but I do like an occasional glass of wine. I do treat myself everyday with a piece of dark chocolate and I also eat almonds everyday. I do believe that losing weight and not feeling stuffed after dinner has made all the difference. I've had no episodes of PAF since I started so I'm staying with it. It's not difficult instead it's been empowering to take good care of me. Any other help I can be please ask, it's important we all help eachother, Gracey

  • thanks Gracey, I will give that some consideration and mention it to my cardiologist when I see him tomorrow. It's true we are just given drugs by physicians and not information to help ourselves. since my stroke left me disabled with left side weakness I find it difficult to exercise and have put on weight because I have to eat what my carer (bless him) can prepare. I take that back - I will have to find a way to prepare meals myself and orderfood online.

    kind regards

    Annlynne

  • Thank you Gracie. I am quite convinced that nutritional balance is a very important part of health. I am trying a similar method.

  • yes Jean, my mind wanders over all these reasonings. I never smoked hardly drank alcohol. worked hard, exercised, and have always eaten my five a day. what a good little girl I was !!

    However I still got breast cancer aged 40, AF early fifties, stroke 62. I can only put it down to stress. Perhaps a bit of alcohol might have helped!

    all the very best Annlynne

  • When I went from being a busy active mum where I also swam at least twice a week and went horse riding every Tuesday, to having a desk job, I was plagued with the thought that it wasn't right to sit for such long periods. A warning bell was going off, but if I wanted to work that's what doing my job meant. I'm afraid I ignored my gut feeling and suspect I may be paying for that now having developed AF.

    Jean

  • These posts indicate all that this s good about this site. For me, AF. Is the bodies message to slow down, to eat less drink less snd rest more and exersize properly. As AF is so different for everyone there is no one size fits all.

  • Goldfish perhaps came the closest to a biological design, this is different to a purpose or a reason though. A design is an intellectual modification of a plan set down by reason with a purpose, and has no leaning towards biological matter. A random event, or as described by Goldfish as " uncoordinated anarchy" defies any reason or purpose other than that, which has been noted by others as a reason to give a warning that all is not well, but then this can be said for a cold which they can't cure either, is it because you catch a cold, or is it because you need a rest due to overdoing things.

    I agree with shifting the perspective to work out a commonality between individual patterns, we are at best the most complex of beings with our own biological make up, which can hopefully co-operate in the healing. If we were designed to have this heart disease, then people who get this later in life would need to be compared to the young Athletes who can also have this condition. This could be a useful study, regarding "Are we designed to have this condition".

    I personally think that if we are to dwell on this view, then it could make us complacent about working out knowledge of our own bodies and emotions, which gives us some clues as to how best adapt to the situation.

  • Very good way of describing things, love it!

  • Very interesting view points there and of course none are wrong if it is what one really thinks. I would argue with the rejection of the cancer suggestion though. There have been suggestions in the past that cancer could be to be a result of mental torment. After all . disease is dis- ease.

    My personal view point is that cancer aside (and I do subscribe to the thoughts above) any illness or condition is the result of either invasion of the body by another organism or some basic design parameters being exceeded. Big G did a fantastic job with homo sapiens but many examples seem hell bent on self destruction. For example excess exercise resulting in AF is as much self induced as alcoholism or drug abuse. In such circumstances listening to the messages that your body is giving could reverse the trend. Many conditions are largely self induced such as arthritis. I am sure it is the years bike racing as a youth, skiing in later life and fifty something years kneeling at the altar of motor sport which has caused the arthritis I now endure. I have simply exceeded the design parameters of the joints too many times and they have failed. . If some idiot decided to run one of my race engines on 95 octane fuel I would expect it to detonate to death so not at all surprised at myself. And no I wouldn't change a thing if I could start again. Far too much fun!

    Usual caveat. --purely personal opinions.

    PS I suspect my AF was the result of far too much Lambrusco in the 70s. Italian cars, Italian wine. Italian habits? No meal complete without a bottle. lol

  • BobD funny you should mention the Italian connection.

    I have nearly driven myself 'mad' researching which wines are NOT triggers and so far if I abstain from aIl Italian stuff, especially Prosecco and as long as I take my tablets I seem to avoid episodes of AG!

  • As a trained counsellor and social worker I have spent my life listening too and trying to help others. As a social worker, it is incredibly stressful and even as a counsellor listening to such sadness watching incompitence or cruelty by some people towards their children. Making decisions that have a huge impact upon others but the focus being protection of the most vulnerable. I know stress had a huge impact upon my well being and I know it is a contributer to my AF. However, the stress I really felt was watching my mother for 11years battle dementia without being able to make it better. So for me,although for 25 years I have dealt with stressful situations in my professional life ; it is attachment to those I love which has had the greatest impact on my stress levels. Being able to manage those feeling which instantly raises my blood pressure is key to my AF episodes. My mother always told me "keep a healthy mind and you will keep a healthy body". I belive and it is my opinion, that Af has forced me to look after myself rest when needed, pacing myself, not worrying about who is judging me if I am not flying around, being kind to myself and not feeling guilty if I can't meet everyones needs. I am still working was going to retire but decided now I am in control through being my mindful and believing that I can get on with my life albeit in a more relaxed way I will carry on trying to help those who need to make a difference Be kind to yourselves.

  • Exactly my sentiments.

  • Being married to an engineer, I think what you're seeing is the same thing you would see in a car when the electrics start to go wonky (in terms of causes). It's not that there's a 'good' reason for it (in that the car isn't thinking hey, maybe not having headlights is a really great idea!) but there are all sorts of potential 'bad' reasons.

    AF is a fault in the system, if you like, a weakness that starts up because we're getting older and our bodies are wearing out, or because we're over-taxing ourselves (hence the Olympic athletes), or because our manufacturer put a fuse in wrong, or because of any of a range of bad habits (like my overeating and a touch too much of the old vino).

    AF is good in the sense that it acts as a warning and can get you to think about more healthy ways of living. A lot better than the first warning being a giant heart attack, that is for sure! Sorry guys. I do believe there are mental elements to it as well, stress and strain are very real components (cortisol and all that) and some people do very well by embracing a spiritual path. I'm just a darned engineer's wife...

  • This is a fascinating question, I have often wondered if any purpose is being served by my paroxysmal bouts of AF? The regularity and time span being so predictable and apparently unconnected to any "triggers" other than chronology. Why does it start so regularly, and more interestingly why does it stop after a designated number of hours. I don't get the frequent urination that would indicate my body is trying to dump sodium or otherwise rebalance electrolytes, if I did then that would seem obvious, but after approximately 12 hours in AF something has changed or been achieved and my pulse goes back to being rock steady and there's no way I could provoke it back to being irregular. I find it fascinating, perhaps I'm just someone who likes cause and effect so that there's a possibility of control. All the comments here have been very valuable, thanks everyone!

  • I would say unlikely , nothing , and no. So taking all that into account I think the answer is 42 .

    Al I know is it keeps the medics busy searching for answers.

  • They appear to have no purpose as they give our genes no evolutionary advantage. My belief is that the tendency toward arrhythmias is genetic, either from an inherited faulty gene or from cell replication damage - which is probably also genetically inherited and usually shows itself more as we age.

    We are mechanical devices dependent on our genetic makeup to keep us functioning but our genes themselves have one aim - to reproduce themselves. As our arrhythmias do not interfere with reproduction and allow us to bring up the next generation, then evolution will not 'disfavour' them so in the genetic scheme of things, they are deemed to be irrelevant.

    I suspect our intervention with healthy living, drugs and medical procedures help us to live with the effects of arrhythmias but the solution will probably be found in genetics - one day.

  • Thankyou so much for all your comments. What an interesting helpful thoughtful courteous forum this is!

    I think we are agreed, AF is lack of coordination among the various rate mechanisms. But I was wondering about irregularities BEFORE they get so bad as to be labelled AF. Therefore, I am fascinated by the reply of countrygirl1 when talking about the usefulness of paroxysmal AF.

    I still wonder if a certain amount, or certain types of irregularity can be considered healthy, even desirable.

    My view of design includes the idea that turbulence, or chaos, or so called random events, can be normal. There is plenty of evidence for this in other parts of the body. Chaos, as in Chaos Theory, does NOT mean anarchy. I have very dim memories of studying the so called 'random' irregularities in nerves, which follow a seemingly chaotic pattern. It is this sort of thing I see happening in the heart, rather than car electrics going wonky.

    Last year at my Faculty I got the chance to teach a general studies module related to my hobby of medicine. I chose as the core text, James Le Fanu "The rise and fall of modern medicine". Time and time again, advances happened when people were willing to think in an original way, and dared to ask questions which went against the established view, and dared to look for and do the unthinkable. Nowadays, we, the informed thinking patients, have a role in daring to ask the questions that most doctors and researchers rarely ask.

    AF is clearly too much. Many of you here say it has turned into a blessing because it has given major encouragement to behave sensibly and take more care.

    But, irregularities? Could they have a biological function? If you do not ask think and look, you will never know. As I have thought about it, and I am way beyond the limits of my grasp of the physics and biology, I note:

    1. Irregularities function like a chaotic system. Therefore Chaos theory has something to say. There are patterns in the chaos. The tipping points are the problem. Note, I use the word chaos in its technical sense, which is a long way from anarchy.

    2. Many (all??) stable systems in the body are inherently chaotic. Therefore, progress in AF could come by comparisons with other chaotic systems.

    3. Could the irregularities have a role in creating desirable turbulence in the circulatory system? But this time, the turbulence keeps changing, so it does not leave backwater areas where clots can form?

    In the end, if we know their usefulness, then could total elimination of irregularities be undesirable?

    So, right now, the medical establishment views irregularities as undesirable. Most, but not all of the evidence certainly points this way. Taking the wider perspective though of how medicine advances etc, I think the question deserves more consideration.

  • I can certainly go along with the majority of what you describe but as soon as you go beyond the mechanical model you get into particle and wave quantum physics when things go way, way, weirder.

    I am totally with you that the question deserves more consideration - my Professor always used to say look to the mavericks for original thinkers, trouble is that path often leads to career suicide for researchers.

    Bruce Lipton was laughed out of his presentation of genetic research project when he observed and then suggested that DNA were not the all or nothing determinant of whether or not cells thrived or not and their environment was as, if not more, important.

    Have you looked at the HeartMath site and their work on Variable Heart Rate - the figure that used to be on the Kardia app that everyone got confused about so it was removed. Apart from atheletes, psychologists and counsellors, most people ignore but it can indicate a precursor to Arrythmias.

    This a good introductory article -

    journal.frontiersin.org/art...

  • Fascinating. I will pursue your links. Really helpful. And now I have a serious review article to give to any doctor.

    For another condition, (not heart) the consultant encouraged me to do my reading, then bring him the printouts of what I liked. He said, as an expert he could not read everything. Then I should come to the interview with my ideas based on the articles, and he would evaluate them and give me other reasons. He made me promise I would not take a major decision until we had done that. Wow. How I appreciated him.

    Researchers and medics frequently find it difficult, even dangerous, to even hint of a deviation from the prevailing views. But I am not bound by that. I will not suffer by expressing a different viewpoint.

    Sad state of affairs that the amateur, the patient, is free to think and innovate. This then is a new role for patient groups, forums etc.

    We know from history that one of the major reasons science took off in the middle ages was the independence of the universities. Independence in terms of finance, and, crucially, independence to re-evaluate the prevailing wisdom. I can reference this.

    Medicine will be in decline until these principles are re-established.

  • My view of design is either man made or a natural phenomena (as in nature) and you did ask for an engineers point of view, which is more practical and technical in its approach.

    We are humans with other factors included which has been mentioned in other replies such as the mental and emotional reactions to a stressful event, or a series of stressful events.

    If you need to refer to a more structured approach without the human factor, maybe we should be looking at the other random events like Lightening which is a natural phenomena and likens to energy. Do we think lightening is undesirable? mostly we do, but its also fascinating to look at and to contemplate what role this plays in our natural system of the universe.

    Whatever our view it certainly brought us out of our complacency and shows me that we are not wholly defined by our disease...Artist Designer.

  • Perhaps the analogy with lightening was unfortunate. My dim memories of studying this at school. Lightning is an essential phenomena for enriching the soil with nitrates. It is highly desirable.

  • Lightning is essential in Australia for igniting vegetation to create bush fires which with many plants cause them to explode, scatter their seeds and recreate life, especially in outback Australia. So you are quite right about enriching the land.

  • Now I remember, it also has something to do with the Nitrogen Cycle. The relevance though to our discussion is that it provides a useful comparison. It is violent, sometimes has fatal effects, and while you can predict the conditions that make it likely, we cannot, with our present knowledge, predict much more than that. So you are into studying patterns, which brings us back to Chaos theory.

    But if all you saw of lightning was destruction and danger, you would not look for the good effects. You are more likely to see something, if you are a trained observer, and, crucially, if you are open to seeing something.

  • Somebody mentioned the 'Engineering' approach to ILowe's original question. Perhaps we should be specific and say - an 'Electrical Engineering' approach to this matter.

    I can only be influenced by my own experience and a little thinking outside the box - I believe as BobD has written many times over the years that the lynch pin is all about predisposition to AF (in all its weird forms). Then again I'd like to say lets be specific ............. and say ........ a genetic predisposition to AF.

    Taking that one step further, there are many medical conditions that are dormant, some never to emerge in one family member, yet appear with other family members. Some even skip a whole generation while others follow generation after generation with boring regularity. Yet some do emerge - that is they change status from dormant to active .... why?

    Perhaps one key, but only one, to the change in status is an individuals response to electrical forces in the environment. Maybe all the population carries the AF gene, we all have a predisposition to AF but only a few experience the 'change in status'.

    Again I can only cite my own experience ........ for some 2 to 2 and half years before AF hit me I experienced massive palpitations, mostly occurring in the morning before 10.00 am but to a lesser degree at other times of day. These palpitations were like a mule kicking me in the chest, a bloody great thump. Then within micro seconds I would get an equally massive warm/hot sensation all over the top of my head accompanied by a feeling of airy fairyness, an out of this world sensation .......... whooooo off I go ! YET ..... there was no disturbance to my vision, no hot/cold sweatiness, no passing out, and I remained fully aware of my actions.

    Time and again I went to my GP, time and again I had an ECG and time and again everything showed normal . Then one day bang .......... "Hi there John, I'm Mr AF, we've just got together".

    Why?

    Perchance one day I was listening to the radio and there was a discussion about electro sensitivity. During this discussion the matter of mobile (cell) phones cropped up and suddenly it dawned on me that I carried my cell phone in my shirt pocket (top left, over the heart) ! From the programme discussion I can tell you I soon removed the cell phone ! So whenever I was working and for all the time I was having these massive palpitations ( and possibly since as far back as late 2006) my cell phone was in this position. My palpitations converted to AF in Jan 2010.

    So, we have electricity, electro magnetism, various forms of electro and/or radio wave emissions, Wifi etc a whole host of things that in this modern world we take for granted. Things that are riddled throughout our homes and offices and other places, like hospitals, shopping centres. It is a well known documented fact that for a good nights sleep it is recommended that one removes all electrical appliances from the bedroom.

    What we don't know is the "wave" impact of electricity on the body from all the various appliances we have in the home, and in particular on muscular system of the body, and indeed on the central nervous system.

    What I'm trying to say is - going back to my school days on a galaxy far away, I recall scattering iron filings on a sheet of paper and doing something with a bar magnet and creating patterns with the iron filings - something like that anyway. Same thing with this "wave" thingy I've just referred to. We are simply never, ever free from these electro influences.

    So for me, personally, I just cannot exclude the possibility that my cell phone, carried in that position in my pocket, over my heart for so long converted my dormant AF gene to active by directly impacting on the heart and even the vagal nerve. Three generations of my family (paternal side) have had either strokes or AF.

    My solution has been to treat and calm the vagal nerve by ( I won't call it a diet, because its not really true), adopting a specific food intake programme (FIP) and so far my last recorded AF event was in April 2015.

    iLowe, that's my contribution to the exercise which I hope you'll find a little interest. Thus electrosensitivity maybe an area for you to explore if you haven't already done so.

    John

  • Thanks. Very interesting. I particularly liked the reminder that irregularities could be viewed at different levels. As you rightly say, there is a major electrical element to them, which can be influenced by anything electrical.

  • The reference given by CDreamer comes close to what I was speculating. Thanks.

    One quote. "For example, we now know that the normal resting sinus rhythm of the heart is highly irregular during steady-state conditions rather than being monotonously regular, which was the widespread notion for many years. A healthy heart is not a metronome."

    I now feel I have more support for my question. But the question still exists, Why? Here is the limited answer that article gives.

    Quote. "An optimal level of variability within an organism's key regulatory systems is critical to the inherent flexibility and adaptability or resilience that epitomizes healthy function and well-being. "

    So. Irregularities are NOT a mistake. They are not inherently a fault. They are not just to be tolerated, they are essential. Thankyou. That is good news. The immediate implication for those of us who use Flecainide is to keep the dosage small enough to limit extremes but permit usual irregularities.

    I wish I could remember. I think it was artificial legs. It was found that people found it easier to balance when there was some amount of irregularity in the movement of the joints. Introducing irregularities improved functioning, and that is an oft repeated principle in nature.

    But, functioning at different levels. For instance, irregularities create turbulence in the circulation. Regular turbulence creates areas of zero movement, which means clots. That is the slight risk when you have an electrical conversion! But, could it be that random turbulence created by a wide variety of irregular beats has a function in avoiding build up of atherosclerosis?

  • Thanks ILowe and its great to hear John again, I don't think its unfortunate for me to claim an analogy of lightening, I was just stressing the difference between the internal workings of the body and mind, between the outside external factors in our world. I do know for sure my dog hates lightening, and I love the whole deal of storms and lightening and winds,etc.,

  • Summary so far

    With long threads it is sometimes useful when the discussion initiator gives a personal summary and restatement. Permit me to do that now. May I suggest that if anyone is able to lead a focussed discussion on one of these points, that they start a separate thread.

    1. Doctors and researchers are mostly bound to their dominant viewpoints. This is a well documented and patients sometimes suffer the consequences. It is the opposite of quality science.

    2. Therefore, the main innovative thinkers are likely to be the non-experts. Forums like this have an important role in asking the unthinkable or taboo questions.

    3. The standard view is that irregularities are a 'fault'. There is plenty of evidence that this view is false.

    4. We see irregularities all over nature, and at various levels, from the emotional, down through the physiology and electrochemistry to the physics of turbulence.

    5. In many areas of science and medicine, irregularities are known to be useful for optimum functioning, and possibly even essential.

    6. Therefore this is unlikely to be any different with heart irregularities.

    7. To study irregularities further requires limitation to one area at a time.

    8. I hypothesise that irregularities:

    a. improve heart muscle tone

    b. improve the coordination and synchronisation needed for Normal Sinus Rhythm

    c. test and maintain compensation mechanisms

    d. create random turbulence which keeps arteries clean

    e. create variation in blood pressure which keep artery walls flexible

    Any other hypotheses?

    8. Treatment of irregularities should therefore seek to work with nature, and seek to understand and manage the excessive, and NOT to dampen or eliminate them.

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