Log in
AF Association
15,766 members18,767 posts

Husband diagnosed with AF

My husband is 40 years old and ended up in hospital this weekend after getting cramp and passing out. He was kept in hospital and has been told he has AF. He's being referred to a Cardiologist. I'm really worried as we have a 5 month old baby. What happens next?

36 Replies
oldestnewest

Seriously Take a look at him taking magnesium supplements. A decent daily dose, more than the rda.

Cardiologists and GPs don't advise on supplements so it's up to you to decide after researching it.

Cramp is a sign of low magnesium and so is AF!

Don't worry though. It will feel scary. It may not even happen again and he's not going to die from it.

He'll be walking your daughter down the aisle one day. 😉

Research all you can as knowledge is power.

Pat

8 likes
Reply

Pros and cons for magnesium:

healthline.com/health/food-...

1 like
Reply

I know this is a very long piece but it is worth a read:

westonaprice.org/health-top...

Reply

I notice that wheatgerm is a good source of magnesium. There was a product called Bemax when I was a child that my mother used to sprinkle on my porridge. I Googled it but it now off the market but a newspaper article said that Jordans Natural Wheatgerm is the best alternative.

2 likes
Reply

Excellent article,

thank you

Reply

check out the AF association info to research and understand this better. It is a lifetime of things to think about, but better to know sooner than later.

It's a journey for you both and treatment will best begin with seeing an electrophysiologist (who specialises in electrical matters of the heart) rather than a cardiologist.

Medication will usually be required either to try and control the AF speed or to try and get him back into a normal rhythm. Anticoagulants may be required when he is older to prevent stroke.

2 likes
Reply

Hi Stefwithanf

Yes it's very scary finding out someone has AF, we have all been there, so take a deep breath and let's start.

Firstly your husband needs to see an electrophysiologist (EP) not a cardiologist ideally, they are the specialists in our area.

You and he now need to learn all you can about AF, the AFA website is the best place to start

heartrhythmalliance.org/afa...

Loads and loads of information here you can trust, Google and you will find lots more but not all of it is accurate (as with many things on the web)

But mostly you need to KNOW really know one thing, Atrial Fibrillation seldom is fatal, it's a real pain in the butt, and can for some be dehabilitating, but it's not fatal. You husband will watch your child grow up.

Be well, ask questions, become an expert

Ian

9 likes
Reply

Thanx beancounter for your reassurance. I was Dx with AF 12/12 ago and despite all the input from the cardio folks, my cardiac neurosis still tends to runaway with itself.

My wife says I just need plenty of TLC ( Temazepam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam ). !!

Reply

IHi Steph,I have had AF For the past six years it's some thing we have to live with,but remember we are all different with medication and treatment but somewhere along the line they will sort him,it is frightening at first but when you listen to the ins and out of this complaint it is not as bad as you think it's more of a nuisance This site is most helpful and it amazed me how many people have AF.

My one recommendation to your husband steer clear of alcohol .I wish him well for the future.

1 like
Reply

I agree with lofty, alcohol makes a f much worse and it really should be avoided . Who needs a drink to be happy? Learn relaxation instead. Good luck and don't worry.

Ian C

Reply

Hi Steph and welcome. As my Forum colleagues have written, the diagnosis of AF is scary but it''s OK and the evidence of this large forum is that we have AF and we still here on this earth to write about it! It''s unlikely that your husband could have done anything to avoid AF even if he had done a lot of cardiovascular exercise like some of us here. He will need to see an Electrophysiological (EP) who may record his heart rate over two or more days with a small device whilst he does all the things that he normally does. The follow up may include a test on a treadmill. Treatment may include taking an anticoagulant. Don't worry. It''s been diagnosed and can be treated. Come back as often as you like and chat.

John

1 like
Reply

I was diagnosed 15 years ago and it is scary at first when you do not understand what is going on. My AF was very bad and I was hospitalised at first, but I'm still here, living a totally normal life and fit, age 67. You've already made one of the best moves by coming onto this forum and learning about it from others. Getting to see a Heart Rhythm Specliasist (an EP/Electrophysiologist) is a must. I went private initially which cost a bit but got me in there quickly.

One thing you could try in the meantime is reduce what might be things that can trigger or exacerbate AF. These vary from person to person, but the common ones are alcohol, caffeine, eating large meals especially late, sleeping on your left side, and stress. There are others but my mind's just gone blank.

Let us know how you get on.

Koll

3 likes
Reply

AF thrives on excesses. Too much alcohol, too much indulgent eating, too much strenuous exercise, too much caffeine, too much weight to carry round - all of these can encourage a wayward heart that has discovered the knack of electrical peculiarity.

What happens next is that your husband will have to take care to look after his health and pay attention to lifestyle. AF is a great incentive to long term healthy living.

8 likes
Reply

Hi

He's quite young of course. I've had it 5 years and I'm 42 now. All the above is sound advice. Is he active? I got a letter just the other day from my EP saying there is a lot of data currently to suggest good, regular exercise can be preventitive. He also said do NOT do endurance running/cycling, watch the booze and manage the diet. Smoking was another big no no. Keep fit, keep calm and if he is told his heart is structurally normal he'll live a good life.

Cheers, JT

2 likes
Reply

Ditto all comments above, except the Magnesium one - not for everyone so do take advice on that.

I have had AF for about 11 years now and as long as there is no underlying condition, which will be checked I hope, it is a chronic condition which many, many people live with for a long, long time.

I think it is often much worse for families and friends who worry about loved ones than it can be for the sufferer.

Accept and adapt is the hardest part as has been said all extremes are to be avoided - some exercise is good, extreme exercise not recommended, the odd glass of wine, not binge drinking etc etc.

Known links of AF to underlying conditions are thyroid problems - which will show from a blood test, underlying structural changes in the heart - echocardiogram will show that, sleep apnea - questionnaire and sleep study, obesity, nutrient deficiency and a few more.

As others have said research, research, research but beware of miraculous cures and do ask for specialist i.e. EP advice.

Very best wishes CD

1 like
Reply

Thank you all so much. Now this might be a stupid question but how would get an appointment with an EP?

Reply

My Cardiologist referred me on to an EP. Essentially a Cardiologist is a plumber whereas an EP is an electrician who has qualified beyond the plumbing. AF is an electrical problem.

If you go the private route then the EP may need a referral from your GP. Have a look at the AFA website for EPs in your area.

1 like
Reply

Sorry for my ignorance, but what does EP stand for? Do you have the link for EP's in my area (Massachusetts)? I went there, but couldn't find the list of EP's. Thank you so much for your time. Bonnie

Reply

Redhead1949 An EP is an Electrophysiologist. It maybe that this term is not used in America. Your cardiologist may well be trained in heart electrics or could point you in the right direction.

I was in Boston 2 years ago when my son married a girl from Rhode Island. They live in London now.

Best wishes.

Reply

Thank you Jenny for getting back to me. I really don't have a regular heart doctor yet. Only saw one that worked with my GP and I didn't care for how he treated me. When I was in ER and ICU for 3 days, saw another heart doctor that was on call that weekend. He insisted I be on Digoxin and Warfarin, that I did not want to take. But after him yelling and telling me I must want to have a stroke, I took them. After 6 weeks I called my GP and told him I was no longer going to take Digoxin as it turned me into a zombie, couldn't eat, couldn't talk, it was horrible, so he told me to stop taking it and up my Atenolol pills from 50mg to 100mg. I still don't like taking Warfarin, as I have several side effects from that, but all blood thinners have side effects, and I do have permanent AFib, so I take it out of fear of having a stroke. I was born here in America, but my Mom was from Ipswich, Suffolk, England. I still have many relatives over there whom I have met on Facebook! Someday, if I ever get well, I would like to go over for a visit! Thanks again and God Bless!

1 like
Reply
Reply

Thank you so much! I am looking at it now! Thanks again!

Reply

Some areas your GP sends you to a cardiologist who can then refer you to EP. My GP referred me directly to an EP - so worth asking your GP to refer him.

Finally, if you want faster action you can go private for the first consultation and then back on the NHS for all subsequent appointments and treatment.

It's all a bit overwhelming at first but does calm down with experience and knowledge.

Good luck 🍀to you both

1 like
Reply

Thank you so much lallym! My sister's father-in-law had a wonderful heart doctor, so I think I am going to call him and see if he is an EP too. My GP is very knowledgeable, but I think I need to see a heart doctor. Yes, in time, I hope I can get my life back and get used to all these "Golden Years" problems. LOL! Thanks again!

Reply

I asked for a private referral from my GP direct to an EP (of my choice) and she gave me one straight away.

At the appointment which happened quite quickly (2 weeks???), the EP interviewed me, did an ECG, and arranged for a week-long monitor to be fitted (by the NHS). He then arranged another appointment to discuss the recording on the monitor. He confirmed what I had and arranged treatment (NHS). That whole process was about 6 weeks and most of that time was waiting for the NHS monitor to become available, so that maybe just a local problem round here.

If you want to choose an EP, there are lists available on the AFA website and you could ask for recommendations on here I guess.

Koll

Reply

Thanks Koll! Several years ago when my AFib started getting worse, they did have me wear a heart monitor for 3 days. The problem I had though, was where I live, it kept losing the signal. The only place it would work was on my outdoor porch! So stayed in the hospital one night so they could record it. I will check the AFA website. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. God bless!

1 like
Reply

There are no stupid questions. I was initially referred to an EP by my GP. Later on I was referred to another EP via a Cardiac Practioner Sister by a kind person in the Administration of this forum. You'll find from this forum that there is a wide variety of symptoms, triggers, and responses to medication. As an example, I can do an aerobic workout at 170 bpm without any ill effects although I'm 70, but that could be a real problem for some people. On the other hand I have a reaction to some medication that helps other people.

1 like
Reply

Thanks John-Boy! Good for you working out at 70!!! I do love this website. It has brought me much knowledge which has done alot to calm my anxiety. Here's to many more years of working out for you!

1 like
Reply

Hi Stef. I'm new to AF as well, I have now had two attacks. I had the appointment with a cardiologist and they went deep into ultrasound and followed up with a CAT scan and eventually, after a session on the treadmill, told me that my heart is sound. So for me, it is 'only' an electrical problem. The NHS seems to have simply left it there, so I've booked an appointment this week with my GP to ask for a referral to an EP. Whether that works, I've still to find out, but there is always the private medicine route open if all else fails.

You can research who the EPs are in your area on the AF association website somewhere. I found mine several weeks ago, but don't have the links open any more.

Reply

Thank you for your reply. I'm beginning to think my problem may be electrical too, so I definitely need to find an EP. Thanks and God Bless!

Reply

Go to AF Association website and under patient information there should be a list of specialists by area. Find one near you and ask your GP to refer you.

All of the above is very good advice (but as CDreamer mentioned be careful with magnesium ). What nobody has mentioned is the three things my EP told me. 1) AF is not fatal 2) AF won't kill you and 3) nobody dies from AF. OK it can be life changing and often for the better. There is some evidence to suggest that people with AF who change their life style by moving to a more plant based diet, cutting out those things mentioned above including stress and reduce processed foods etc actually live longer than their non AF peers.

As one leading Electrophysiologist and blogger said not long ago, it is not AF which is the health risk but the company it keep.

4 likes
Reply

Where do all you people live ?? I live in Vancouver Canada and we have some very good heart hospitals here ... ... 3 of them have A-afib clinics ...... my EP that did 2 of my ablations I saw the day of my procedure and then I don't see him till the 3 month healing period is done !!! It's so frustrating because I have tons of questions and I can't see him ..... during my healing I have lots of questions as well and his nurse that's supposed to answer them , you leave a message and she doesn't get back to you for 24-48 hours 😡

On this forum I read stories of people's EP's doing wayyyyy more and explaining more than mine does !!! Any suggestions from anyone would be very appreciated .....

Reply

Most of us on here are uk based so different systems.

Reply

I live in Vancouver, Canada too. The AF clinics here are the pits-- backward, understaffed, negligent and arrogant. I arrived at the clinic in persistent AF mainly due to my GP keeping me for a whole year until I got persistent AF (11 days) when he finally referred me.

Waiting to see an EP takes a 7 month journey only to be told that an ablation would require another 3 to 6 months wait and beyond. In other words, the system guarantees that a persistent patient becomes long-standing persistent before an ablation is done. That means that there will be 7 rotors that are developed during the "wait time" requiring VERY extensive ablation.

Also, the nurse practitioner at the Vancouver General Hospital is on a one year leave meaning a substandard, inadequate care, so you must be at St. Paul's.

Furthermore, Canada does not have the cardio-insight vest and some EP's erroneously downplay its significance.

So, the one suggestion that I have is to leave the country if a third ablation is required.

Reply

Most people, as evidenced by the comments above, do not explore chiropractic care but for me it has done wonders. I think it is best explored before taking drugs especially since your husband is so young. If you want more detailed information, send me a message.

Reply

Must admit, AF has and does play havoc with my mind. When I first had it I was working away, went to bed with it, woke up with it, didn't know what it was went to a-e, when I read the pamphlet whilst hooked up to machines thought I wasn't going to see my kids 3 and 1 at the time, as I had no idea what it was and didn't fully understand it. So one of my questions to the EP was should I have another child, to which he responded yes. That really helped, so as scary as it seems sometimes, enjoy your family and husband.

1 like
Reply

You may also like...