AF Association

Anyone else?

Compared to many on here I consider myself lucky. Having said that, I have had to make considerable changes to my lifestyle as I have not been without my problems. One thing that I do is to take my blood pressure on a daily basis (occasionally missing the odd day through forgetfulness). Over the past couple of weeks, my BP has slightly increased to a bit higher than I would like 137/92 ish from what was in the 120s/80s varying. Anyway......

I have not had much of a problem with my Afib with the exception of the odd missed beat for around 2 weeks, having said that, one does not get away with being happy for too long.

Last night I had an Afib episode that bounced all over the place, with a number of trips to the bathroom to pass water, this was @ 4.50 am lasting for around 4.5 hours. Now what I then find is this; Whenever I have one of these episodes and I take my BP later in the day, (in this instance) @ 1.05 pm, it drops down an average of (today) of 116/82 - having done similar many times in the past, ( in many respects - happy days).

So....Would I be right in assuming that the elasticity of my arteries have been widened (albeit temporarily), due to the (haha) workout that my Afib gave my body? does anyone else experience the same?

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Hello John :-) I am afraid I can't answer your question posted in the last paragraph.

However , I have to keep a record of my BP and have found a similar thing . My blood pressure used to fluctuate wildly during episodes of AF rising to 220/105 then dropping to 160/90 which I think may be one of the reasons I felt so odd.

My BP has become more stable since I have been on medication at around 135/80 but when I have episodes of AF it still goes up around 160/90 then falls to 116/ 80 before returning to the usual levels some time later.

I certainly feel like I have had a work out...

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Yes. Happens to me, but does not drop as wildly as it used to.

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It's my understanding that home BP do not provide accurate readings for folks with AF. That is why the professionals use the old style bulb and glass tube jobbies

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You may be right, having said that mine is exactly the same as my doctor. The one thing that I have found; During a wild Afib session (some being worse than others), the "Omron" that I have, will on ocassions not take a reading ie coming up "Error".

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Hi John :-) mine is an Omron too and same as the Doctors. Occasionally I get the 'error' which I think is down to movement because I often get the shakes during bad AF episodes.

On the occasion I managed to get myself to the cottage hospital for an ECG during an episode the nurse got the same BP reading I had obtained at home so I think mine is pretty accurate.

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I do agree with Flapjack. I use an old-fashioned BP machine. Sometimes I thing these new 'digital' machines are too involved for their own good. Case in point. In my senior living bldg there is an old-style balance scale I use to keep track (mainly of my day-to-day water weight.) I have 4 specialists and a GP-all with fancy digital scales in their office. And none of my weights when I go match any of the others!!!Not the end of the world but some equipment is too convoluted!! Some things in life are best kept simple. Take care, Burma

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Old style one been banned due to dangers of mercury spills

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There is a couple of things regarding BP to consider John. It's not uncommon for some of us to get a bit obsessive about taking blood pressure and using Kardia's once we know we have a heart problem. This was certainly true of me when I was first diagnosed and I recall one of our esteemed volunteers (the tall ugly one who with glasses) suggested that I should get my wife to lock it in the garden shed and hide the key, pointing out that the readings were probably inaccurate anyway. It worked and I became much calmer and more relaxed. Probably, although I don't know, some of the more modern home machines may different as far as dealing with AF. Many detect irregular heart beat, but are still not accurate for AF blood pressure. I believe that as we age, the veins harden and reduce in diameter so blood pressure tends to increase to compensate for this.

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I'm not as such an obsessive person (not that you said that I was), having said that I guess that I am always looking to keep a lid on it. I like to think that the little tweaks that I have done and made, have helped to reduce my episodes.

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i'm sure you are familiar with all the dietary things that help BP, as well as the things that don't. I tried beetroot capsules for a while, but because I couldn't get hold of my monitor, I couldn't swear they worked!!

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I'm willing to try anything legal, unfortunately whilst they (alternatives/supplements) seem to work for one - they do nothing for the next person. I asked recently on this forum what Magnesium did for those who take it - it was followed by a very poor response. I then looked into the reviews on the Dr Gupta advertised Magnesium product - basically it did not come out of it great in terms of quality. Having said that - if it works for you/anyone, albeit psychological, then I would say do it. As for spending silly money on some products - I need convincing.

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The first thing my doctor (not in the UK) told me about AF was that 'Everyone with AF is short of magnesium!' This may or may not be an exaggeration. The problem is that those of us who take it don't know how much worse we might be without it, and those who don't take it don't know how much better they could be. I started taking it and have slept better ever since, and don't have nearly such uncomfortable episodes of AF as many people here mention.

The problem with any vitamin etc, is that it will only help those people who are actually short of it, and so need more. Yet any 'research' seems to ask 'Will this help everyone with this problem?' If they started by identifying those people who were genuinely short, then they would probably come up with very different results. This causes problems with magnesium however, as the standard blood test which a normal doctor can use does not show how much magnesium is in the body - only how much is in the blood stream, and the body works very hard to make sure that amount is level. So doctors can't measure it, so they tend to ignore it. In some countries I believe some form of IV magnesium is a standard treatment in some cases.

This also means that if a blood test shows magnesium is short, then the person is usually very short, and it will take months to replace all they need.

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BTW john6, When I was first diagnosed with afib I went a little 'machine nuts! (my excuse was I was a nurse so should be on top of these things.) Before long I had an alivecor, the usual BP machine, 2 pulse oximeters-one for my purse, one for home (you can imagine my stress one day when I wa s shopping and realized the one that should have been in my purse was at home. LOL.) I mean who needs to check their pulse in Walmart, 2 thermometers-in case one broke, you get the picture,. Anyway'after making myself and my doc nuts with the phone calls, he threatened (kiddingly) to confiscate my toys. They have their uses But I think he suggested a glass of wine. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of anything-after all you never know when you might need something. But since I don't have a garden shed to lock most are in a drawer gathering dust-probably with a lot of dead batteries. I say you gotta have a sense of humor! Burma

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LOL! Great answer, Burma

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One small point from your post- if you think your BP has risen a little recently you could try walking more- that brings mine down well- and that might help to stop further AF???

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rosyG. You are more than right on that one - I should do more. Due to the weather (and where we live/hilly area) I do not do as much as I should.......but I will.

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Hi John6,

Back in the day, after my AF diagnosis I checked my BP regularly, nowadays hardly at all. But I have to say the erratic performance of my BP monitor (in those far off days an Omron M7) which then showed a significantly falling BP ( I think it bottomed out at 80/50 from my usual 136/80) was the first indicator of a heart problem. It was those readings that got me into A & E and a diagnosis of AF, and treatment started -within 9 hours of onset. And yes, in those distant days now, my Omron alternated regularly between giving these falling readings, and shedloads of error messages.

I now take Ramipril 10 mgs, and Felodopine 2.5mgs in the morning for BP control and the pattern they produce is BP about 135/80 ish first thing pre meds, it falls during the day to a normal of around 125/70, it is sometimes even lower by about 1 pm , stays around 125/70 in the afternoon and then starts to rise late afternoon /early evening to around 130/80 ish.

I now use a WatchBPHome BP monitor recognised and endorse by NICE to detect AF. (I believe there are other brands now on the market which also detect AF).

You don't say if you are on any BP medication but what I've described is my 'pattern'. If you are bothered why not discuss with your GP the subject of BP daily patterns/rhythms.

John

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Hi carneuny, I am on 5mg Bisoprolol once a day.I am given to understand that so long as my BP systolic is not regularly over 140 and my dystolic is not into the high 90s, then it is not too much of a danger. My general feeling is that my BP (might) be exceeding those guidelines whilst I'm asleep, as they seem pretty much higher if taken having just awoken, which in many ways seems strange, as one should imo probably be calmer then than say when you are awake with life going on about you.

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Hi John. Re read your initial post and had a quick thought. You say sometimes your BP is higher on awakening. Has anyone tested you for sleep apnea? Just a thought. If it were me I would ask my doc. Like chicken soup, couldn't hurt! Take care. Burma

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I'll put that to the doctor on my next visit - thank you for your thoughts.

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I often re-read posts because I read too fast sometimes and miss things.

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Hi John6. It's hard to tell. Blood pressure can bounce around for reasons known only to someone in the Universe. Have you changed your diet? Eating more salt? Also when we take our BP my doc says"It's just a snapshot in time'It may be different a little while later. Food, exercise,stress etc. This isn't much of an answer-just a little question posing? What does your doc say? Take care. Burma

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Hi Burma, My diet has changed quite drastically as many foods seemed to set if off. Salt has never been high on my list, whereas my wife takes enough for 2/3 people. My biggest problem seem to be foods with saturated fats ie cheeses,sauces,pastries,cooking fats etc and anything that bulks my stomach up. By that I also mean; heavy meals or an overly large consumption of beer/both, are now off the (can do) list.

"What does your doc say?". Hmm, a bit of a wry smile tbh (from me that is). Just over two years ago I managed to get a 24 hour monitor from them, which was good as I could practically guarantee that an episode would happen. Apparently two of the doctors thought that the machine was broken, as the reading was showing over 200 +. A third doctor, (all from the same practice), was familiar with what was happening. I gather that they then confer amongst themselves and put me on 5mg of Bisoprolol. This was followed up with a hospital check, involving (I think) ultrasound - no damage was found. All of this happened within the first couple of months.

Since then I have had (one) call from the doctor, (he wants to see you), from what I could gather it was an annual, to see how you are etc. When I walked into his room, he wanted to know what I wanted! I had to point out that he had requested to see me -a rather blank look came over his face. I would guess that the reception admin and himself had a communication problem. The general thing coming from him is that if it gets any worse - check yourself into hospital. In many respects whilst that sounds bad, I guess that as a General Practitioner his knowledge is pretty much limited. As such - no real follow up.

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Hi John. "Check into the hospital' is probably the best advice you could get from that GP. Reading between the lines tells me maybe the message was 'You'll get better care there.' LOL but not really.Your thoughts on foods pretty much mirror mine. I find when I don' follow reasonably healthy eating-especially eating out where some foods may taste great but have so many ingredients you don't know what you're eating and secondly- eating too much volume at one time. I've learned when eating out usually more food is served that is good to eat at one sitting. So I 'doggy-bag' it home and finish if off in bits and pieces-even having some for breakfast. Then I don't get that stuffed feeling that seems to take 2 days to recover from. Take care. Burma

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John, the lower BP after AF is more than likely due to the vagus nerve and it’s antics. It reacts to AF by sending out a calming substance (?-need to look it up but too lazy) which lowers blood pressure.

I think you’re being unnecessarily scary there, on the magnesium front. I hope you haven’t put people off.

Excess magnesium is excreted out of the body, (just like many other vitamins and minerals) unless you already have failing kidneys.

I was once told by a consultant dealing with my late dad’s repeated UTIs, that if, (before you have a problem)you drink the equivalent of a cup of liquid for every waking hour you will be servicing your kidneys 🙂 and keep them in good health . Unless you have a prevailing condition I suppose.

Pat

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Hi Pat,Thank you for the explanation re my BP, it sounds as if the body has some regulating system - I'll try and find the article.

Re the Magnesium it is never my intention to scare anyone off, having said that; I am sure that no one is going to be daft enough to take anything outside of actual medicine, without doing their homework. In any event, there are plenty on here that will pass on their experience re recognised drugs/medicine, including the bad parts.

I know that you probably mean well, but if something is imo not right/kosher ie an inferior product etc, then I will pass that on, it leaves others to make up their own minds, or to seek further advice.

Thanks again - John.

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