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AF Association
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Afib - 32 year old male

Hello,

Looking for advice, and am posting on my phone so I’ll try to keep short.

In December I went to the ER with what the doctor said was Afib. My heart rate wasn’t fast just beating irregularly. Since that time I’ve had PVC’s every night when I lay down to go to sleep. I was taking atenolol which wasn’t helping the PVC’s so I asked my doctor and she said I could stop. Last night I go into Afib again, heart rate in the 60’s. I take 25mg atenolol and wait 3 hours with no change. Decide to drive to the ER but enroute my heart returned to normal and went home. I’ve had echocardiogram, stress test, holt monitor. All results were pretty normal except for the holt showing the PVC’s and occasional tachycardia / bradycardia.

My question is...what does my future hold? Will this get worse? What can I do to prolong my life? I think I’ll just keep taking the atenolol and baby aspirin. My cholesterol is high...trying to lower it naturally.

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May I suggest that you visit the AFA website and download all their information packs.

AF is a chronic condition which for some people can be life long whilst others respond to life style changes or treatment, no-one can foresee the future but you can influence odds in your favour.

Lifestyle changes is probably the best way of improving your health and can have benefits beyond lowering cholesterol. The 4 Pillars of good health are sleep - 7-9 hours a day good quality; relaxation - spgood stress management and work/life balance; nutrition - most western diets do not contain essential vitamins and minerals - you can be over fed and under nourished so review your diet and eating plans and watch exposure to stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol etc; exercise daily - both over exercising and no exercising can exacerbate Arrythmias.

Once you have all of those in hand you will have done everything you humanly could have done to help yourself.

You have had all the tests but may be worth being tested for thyroid dysfunction,

May I ask why you are taking baby aspirin? There is no benefit for stroke risk and it carries a risk of internal bleeds. Some people may be prescribed anti-coagulants - dependent upon their CHADS score which your doctors can help you with or you can do it yourself on line.

Hope that helps CD,

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Thank you for the response. My primary care doctor told me to take baby aspirin

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They are out of date - your biggest risk is stroke - aspirin does nothing to alleviate stroke risk - anticoagulants do. Do your research.

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With you being in the US, I’m not sure what you mean by “doctor”. Are we talking family physician GP, cardiologist (cardio) or electrophysiologist EP

You have paroxysmal atrial fibrillation PAF, presumably premature atrial contractions, not ventricular, PAC not PVC, based on your Holter. You are not on an anticoagulant AC, but do take an antiplatelet drug which causes gastrointestinal bleeding.

In the U.K. you would be referred to an EP for discusssion of further monitoring to establish how much AF you are getting (AF burden). This influences choices around ablation.

In the States, you would have access to Medtronic Linq to determine AF burden and Watchman if the question of AC came up, and you were a mountaineer, ice hockey player or pursued any other activity where AC are potentially hazardous.

If you have primary AF, it is likely to progress, but it will not in itself affect your lifespan as long as it is properly managed.

As CDreamer suggested, knowledge is power, and reduces anxiety, a potent driver of AF.

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I am a 37 year old male. Up until a year ago, I was a model of health. Super strong, fit, healthy. The only thing I was taking was an antidepressant for my insomnia. But I made the mistake of stopping taking the antidepressant.

The next 2 weeks were the most terrible days of my life. I thought I was going to die. Began feeling pressure in my chest, pain in the heart, panic attacks, extreme anxiety, etc. After that I began to have palpitations, which eventually led to Afib.

They should make antidepressants illegal. They are very dangerous drugs that have caused harm to countless people around the world.

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I am similar to you. I'm 37 too. And one year ago I was like a model as well - had a great job with good pay, a pretty wife and three young and lovely kids, a big house and luxury cars, went to vacation once a while with the family and BMI of 25 and passionate and positive. Then one day I had panic attack when working in a client's office and was sent to ER. Was told my heart was fine but need to see cardiologist for palpitation. So I tried to get an appointment with cardiologist but the earliest date was in two months. Without getting ruled out of all heart disease, I started to worry about my heart and the anxiety level kept going up. I started to have PVC/PAC/skip beats, then one day in August I woke up at 2am in afib. I didn't realize until a few weeks later that my whole life had been changed and I can't get back to the old me anymore.

I think the constant panic/anxiety caused me afib, though cardiologist and EP didn't agree with me. Now I've had 5 afib episodes in merely 6 months and my anxiety/depression level kept rising. Tried antidepressant but that made me even worse.

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My advice - (a) make the lifestyle changes - you will enjoy being healthier; (b) as to see an EP (rather than a general cardiologist) as soon as possible, you may need to push for this and get having an ablation on the agenda.

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ASK not as

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Funny I just posted yesterday with about the exact same title and story. Did you have your blood levels tested throughout any of this? I am sure you did while at the ER. I am guessing nothing came back abnormal? My levels were all mostly inline as well but I started taking some Magnesium and Potassium supplements after my AFIB in February. These are very important for heart function but can take a while to build in your system so you generally wont notice effects right away.

I think in our age stress and anxiety are some of the main causes. Try not to worry about it. I have found that when I am worrying about it or even just thinking about it, that is when my heart starts skipping beats again.

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Yea my blood levels are normal. I was really stressed with this started and I used to pound energy drinks and coffee every day for years. I think that’s what did me in. Now we have the rest of our lives to look forward to Afib episodes. Good times

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Sigh, to us young people, afib is really a very nasty condition to have. You're right, we have the rest of our lives to deal with afib, what a thing!!!!!

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I take Attenolol after Catheter Ablation when my heart rate goes up at times. I took it before Ablation and it agreed with me better than other beta blockers I had irregular heart rate and upto 160 Bpm heart rate. So had Ablation over a year ago. My heart rate is between 60 & 70 Bpm most times now. But keep Attenolol handy if it goes high. If you have to have Ablation don’t be concerned as its almost painless. I had mine done at Stoke Royal in half a day was in at 8 and home by 3pm but did feel very tired at times for couple of months after having it done. That was over a year ago. Plus I am now 77 years old so not doing bad. Mike

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I am also on small dose of Warfarin as was told better than aspirin. As if you haveAF your heart chambers do not pump as well so more chance of blood clots. Been on 3mg Warfarin for over two years with no problems except blood test at hospital once a Month. Mike

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Can you have Afib with a normal heart rate? My Afib has never spiked high before.

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