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AF Association
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AFib new and general questions

Hello community !

New here . I was diagnosed recently with afib and flutter always striking at rest . Heart rate up to 140-150. I have essentially reduced alcohol ( I was on too much !) by 90% and take bisiprolol 1.25mg twice per day . It’s still happening but less . Episodes are usually short about 20 minutes . I currently have this weird thing of skipped and extra beats always at rest when I finish at the end of the day and sit in front of the telly almost like my body doesn’t like being at a certain angle . Any help or tips would be appreciated , do I love with this and accept that it won’t kill me but I’ll have to take anticoagulants as I get older ( I’m 40 ) or do I embark on a quest to irradicate the symptoms from my life ?

#afib

Thanks all you wonderful people xxxx

Chris

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I see some of the folks in the British Heart Foundation forum have nudged you in our direction so welcome. The first and best thing you should do is scour the AF Association webpages because you will find a wealth of information about living with AF. I may be jumping to conclusions and apologies if I am wrong, but lifestyle issues will play a major part in the treatment process and this is generally even more important for younger patients. Alcohol is one of the main arch enemies of AF so the only advice here is to cut it out completely certainly until your treatment plan is established and longer if at all possible. Maintaining a Body Mass Index of less than 25 helps as does maintaining a sensible exercise regime.

There are many issues regarding AF, it is generally progressive, if untreated can cause serious heart problems and as you have mentioned, the risk of having a stroke is increased fivefold. However, it need not be all gloom and doom, but it will require huge amounts of will power.

The next thing is to set about seeking a treatment plan that is designed to meet the needs of your particular condition. The best person to do this is an Electrophysiologist (EP) a Cardiologist who specialises in arrhythmias. Referrals via the NHS is likely to involve a lengthy wait so if you are able to do this privately, so much the better, but if appropriate, make sure he/she is made aware that treatment is to be undertaken using the NHS. Hope this starts the ball rolling for starters, but to help keep things in perspective, in the U.K. alone, over 1 million have AF and the the vast majority go on to lead relatively normal lives.

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I agree with everything Flapjack has said and at your very young age I would be aggressively following every pathway open to getting the AF under control - don’t just live with it.

Those skipped beats are probably ectopics - harmless but awful pests. There is a breathing exercise which works for many of us. One of our members kindly linked to excellent videos by cardiologist Dr Sanjay Gupta who explains how to control them. There is a search box at the top right of the screen and if you type Gupta ectopics the links should appear.

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Many thanks to both of you . Spookily I have just sent an e mail enquiry toDr Gupta to see if I can get a private appointment with him in January. I have only heard excellent things about him . Thanks for the responses a bit of support does wonders and once I have learned a little more I hop I will be able to equally assist others in future

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Good choice! Do your research and learn as much as you can before your appointment. Best wishes and let us know how you get on.

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Hi Chesterghost like you I am very new to the world AF and I also liked to have a drink to unwind after a stressful week at work!? I have never touched a drop since August for fear of it triggering AF. My quality of life at the moment is really poor as it is now permanent and I also have flutter. I have been doing mindfulness and getting acupuncture for my anixety around it. I am going to get ablation in January. I am only 48 and I feel like I am in my 80's. I hope once I get my ablation I will be able to have an active life again. I wish you all the very best and like you I find this forum invaluable. Laura

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Hi Laura , that sounds tough ! Mike seems to happen about 4 times per month . But currently the really annoying thing is what I presume is ectopic beats at rest. After working hard it’s theblast thing you need. Keen to hear about your ablation from the description of your symptoms it’s a no brainer isn’t it ? Much support perhaps we can embark on this rather scary afib journey together ? Chris

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Yes Chris I was absolutely terrified at first and still am at times. I have been off work since beginning of Sept and I am keen to return as I love my job but it is a stressful job and I need to stay calm. I am going to get cardioversion done on the 20th of this month to see if that will tide me over till I get the ablation. I just want to get back to normal again!!! I have told my friends to have s big bottle of bubbly at the ready when I feel better lol. I will let you know how the ablation works out. Try mindfulness though it's excellent and has helped me a lot. Take care Laura

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I take from your tag line you are a lawyer like me ?

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No I am a service manager of a mental health service.

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Although my daughter is thinking about going to uni to study law lol

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Magnesium for regulating heartbeats and vitamin b6 for anxiety works for me a

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I was 46 when first diagnosed with permanent Aflutter in 2006 but it had started a few years earlier as I had noticed while playing football but thought I was just getting to old. It use get me down I was very worried spending hours searching the net . No meds worked only CV but eventually had an ablation in 2008 this cured the flutter. Found out later I had prox Afib which I had an ablation for in 2010 but still get prox afib . I have tried all sorts of odd things to get me back to normal as pip flecanide makes me groggy and bisoprolol reduced my heart rate to much. I found going for a pacey walk reverted the afib but a couple of pints of lager was the only thing gave some respite from the permanent aflutter which I found out by accident on holiday. I treat it now like a headache and carry on as normal. I know it sounds a very quacky but when it works wow.

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Depending where you live? In Liverpool UK there is also a Dr Gupta who is a very good specialist with AF. I started pretty much like most people on here but I was a Ex soccer player never drank but when I did the AF came on me like a ton of bricks! It was and still is a nightmare ! My last ablation three weeks ago hopefully will sort it but still a few AF episodes with ectopic beats. They should calm down I hope! I was passed from pillar to post 15 years ago and seen so many doctors! Best advice is get on blood thinners now as you will get a clot on your heart which resulted in me having a TIA. Insist on this and try flecanide if doctors says ok? Most other tablets made me shake like a pig but they seemed ok for younger people but I am no doctor so I cannot say!

No alcohol I’m afraid as this is the main trigger! Sorry! Try to relax as anxiety comes on you so walks and baths and stay calm when it happens! I get up have a walk or be active as then it goes back into normal beats! Good luck! Steve

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Dr Gupta is very active on social media and now can communicate directly to you via Whatsapp. Simply email your mobile to yorkcardiology@gmail.com for latest video blogs. Good luck

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Yes I agree with Flapjack. I had an ablation last March and since then although it was a partial success in that I (touch wood) don't get the terrifically fast and uneven erratic heartbeats (240-250 bpm), I do get ectopics and palpitations which last a minute or so and also I now have a very slow heartbeat ranging from about 39-45 which makes me feel lethargic and as if I am walking through treacle. I have kept off alcohol (not that I drink much except when we see friends, but I do enjoy the occasional tipple especially special occasions). However because I was on anti-coagulants and they and the alcohol seem to rough up my kidney, I stopped it completely and seemed much better. However last Tuesday we had a special occasion and I had perhaps just over half a glass of white wine and all night (yes and like you it starts off specifically at rest) I had loads of palpitations and thought I was going to get the symptoms that I used to have. Luckily it didn't happen, but I still didn't feel great yesterday. So the moral of the story is I agree with Flapjack, until you know exactly what your new regime is stay away of anything that could speed up your heart in the way of food and drink, and IF you are a little overweight then try to lose it. Sorry this is a war and peace notation, but good luck you will learn to live with it. Best wishes

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Hi Laura

You may like to consider your exercise levels in that you probably get lots of stress and stop/start activity, but not much consistent cardio exercise to build and maintain your heart muscle tone. Between 30 to 60 minutes a day of walking at a steady pace will be enough to get you going. A fitbit or something similar for Xmas to get you going?

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Hi Ianc2 - Thanks for the tips I have horses and I clear a 3 1/2 acre field of poo?! Horses poo so much. Before I got as bad as I am just now I went for a daily walk as well as doing my horses but I have become very breathless with AF now. I am keen to get back to normal asap as I love my walking and riding but not at the moment.

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I take magnesium regulates heartbeats

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Hi Chesterghost, I have had a-fib for years but just occasionally. Recently had cryoablation (almost 4 weeks ago) and all seems to be well and I’m feeling great. Everyone has different triggers. For me a big one was not staying very hydrated. Drink lots of water. It helps. When I would go into a-fib, many times I could bring myself out of it by hydrating really well. Also for some of us certain foods are triggers. For me, caffeine and chocolate were really bothersome.

All good advice from everyone here. Good luck and stay positive!

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Re collecting manure - are there any gardening/allotment groups nearby that may be glad to help you out?

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check out sleep apnea, especially if problems at night

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