How can AF get worse ?

This might sound stupid, but its been worrying me, wondering if any one knows. I'm very lucky, my Paryox AF is very stable and not causing me much trouble at all. So far only alcohol seems to set it off. I found out last week that in many cases the condition gets worse. Often turning into permanent AF. I'm just wondering how this can be? I'm stable and on Bisoprolol and Pradaxa, so my hearts in the right rhythm and my blood cant clot, so how can it get worse? I had one massive attack last Sept and am doing really well, just the odd blip after drinking more than 2 glasses of wine, so I don't do that anymore. What happens to our hearts even tho theyre protected with meds? Hope its not too silly to ask this. I'm just still in shock about it all.

15 Replies

  • Hello and welcome to the forum.

    That is not a stupid question, in fact I asked my EP the same thing last year. His answer was that progression of AF is poorly understood . . . then he talked about co-morbidities which in themselves often cause AF in the first place. He said that progression will vary, even amongst patients with similar health issues and that lifestyle changes seem to influence some individual's outlook. He said that, although my AF is controlled by Flecainide, my age is my risk for progression and that depends on how my body ages.

    I was also very shocked to learn that AF is usually progressive, but the rate of any progression is so varied and seems to be dependent on so many variables that the best one can do is follow lifestyle change guidelines and live every day to the full. Worry only gives rise to more worries.

    It's a very good question and I hope you get lots of answers, as it's something we all think about.

  • So really its a lottery. But we can help ourselves or at least try. I didn't know about meat tho. I assumed we just have to cut the things that trigger ourselves, like me its alcohol, though I don't have tea or coffee either. One drink of either guarantees a completely sleepless night, but not an AF attack. So far only alcohol has set me off, yet the night I had a mad attack (luckily my only one) I hadn't had a drink. Its a mystery condition. I feel for many on here, its awful.

  • Thankyou for answering.

  • The best advice I found was via the AFA and CareAF which recommended limiting red meat and eating more fish, vegs and fruit. I also cut out alcohol, artificial sweeteners, colourings and flavourings, all processed food and takeaways. It is recommended that we should lose weight, if we need to and deal with things such as high BP.

    Relaxation is important to combat stress and I honestly believe I'm a healthier person than I was 3 years ago at diagnosis!

  • I'm lucky, my blood pressure s perfect, and I,ve never eaten takeaways and very little processed food. I don't have artificial sweeteners either. My diet is good. Ive been into Yoga kinda for ever, and Ive taken up art recently. I think I'm on the right track, but always have been. I think that's why I'm in shock. What can I say, like anybody, Ive been brought down to earth with a bump. Good for you on your health and I hope I'm saying the same in 3 yrs. Thankyou.

  • There is an old saying.AF begets AF. The more you have it the more you will get it. This is because the AF causes changes in the atrium which make AF more likely.

    If your AF is controlled this progression may take many years if at all especially if you adopt life style changes to reduce events. Obviously this means no alcohol as well as reducing meat intake , reducing stress and all the other things we are told will help.

    The time frame is impossible to estimate as we are all so different and may well be affected by other health issues. As Dr Gupta didn't say (but might have,) it isn't the AF you need to worry about but the company it keeps.

  • meat? I didn't know about meat. The rest I think?? I learn something new everyday about this. Thankyou.

  • I found a very good EP after cardiologist wouldnt listen to my complaints re sotalol. This EP stopped sotalol and just gave me pip last spring and really encouraged me to make huge lifestyle changes and possibly my AFib would be " less aggressive". So far Ive only had one mild event since, and am following his advice. The funny part is, I went back to original cardiologist for one yr followup, he is the sotalol lover, non believer in pip and he was visibly suprised to see how well Im doing, wt loss etc. He parting remark was " thats really great Lou, your heart must be restructuring for the better ". I do realize a fib is unpredictible and it can hit me with a vengence any minute but Im trying to live my life thinking a fib will quit knocking on my door😉

  • My experience is very similar to Finvola. I use AF as a tool (or should that be threat!) to gain lots of extra positives in my life e.g. healthier, more focus on the important goals, more grateful for each AF free day, earlier action to reduce stress rather than when its too late...I could go on but I'm sure you get my drift.

  • May I add that it is important to know that you have sufficient levels of blood salts, especially Magnesium and Potassium. Good to follow levels time from time. Concerning negative effects of increasing age some of them is decreasing level of coQ10 as well as taurine. For my husband 76 years, we started using supplent by Magnesium taurat, and Ubiquinoll coQ10 and stopped slightly increasing afib. I hope. You can google on that. OBSERVE! Everything depends on health /metabolic condition of each individual person. Consult with your MD. Good luck.

  • Oh this afib 😳 many questions we all have and so little information . The truth is the Doctors them selves dont know

    But in truth much of the info are theories just theories no one is certain what this Afib is.

    Which is strangely jncreasing over the years in England and America not sure where else

    Very frustrating for us all because apart from this dame afib many of us are very healthy wih no other health problems

    or cardiac issues

    But it does seem that once we all experience the first attack of Afib it seems to be always there laying dormant

    I am sure over the years theories will change but for me i have to take my health into my own hands and do want i need to do

    Because theses are all theories

    still we have to be postive because as so much research has shown that the mind does effect the body and therefore i tell myself that this afib will go and not come back one day

    This is it itself a healing 🌺🌺

  • I agree

  • Sorry just to add for the reasons which I was pointing out above we cant say that all afib will get worse

  • i have paryox afib as well and mine is stable most of the time usally have a little episode at night when I relax but I do breathing exercises and it goes it doesn't mean you will go into permanent afib just that it is possible I take magnesium tablets twice a day as advised by dr sanjay gupta from York cardiology have a look on facebook he does you tube videos on afib and all heart matters don't panic just keep eating healthily and do some exercise each day good luck

  • Thankyou everyone.

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