I recently shared info in a comment to Jean's post and she made the suggestion that I create my own post so others can find it more easily. A great idea, so here I am.
I'd like to tell you about my experience with Heart Calm, a supplement designed to help folks with arrhythmias.
My context is that I was diagnosed with AF 5 years ago, had an ablation 6 mos after diagnosis, went with no AF for 3 years. Then some stressful incidents started it all up again.
Had a second ablation in Dec 2017, which helped some, but didn't stop the episodes.
Acupuncture before and after the ablation helped me in some ways, but I can see how in other ways, it didn't. But that's another story!
In December, I found myself at a crossroads. My EP hadn't recommended a 3rd ablation since the 2nd only had a few spots that got. He said in Dec. that a 3rd would be up to me. If the episodes bugged me, go for it. If Flec PIP works, that's fine, too.
In my frustration with episodes, I was about to sign up for a January 30 ablation and just go for it, but this would have upended me financially for various reasons, I wasn't convinced it would help, and just seemed quite stressful.
So I set about researching what I could possibly do that might actually nurture my heart so as to prevent the episodes from happening, which would also lessen the frequency of taking Flecainide. I don't tolerate it well taken regularly.
I revisited afibbers.org, an American forum I'd visited, but left after not the greatest welcome. Certainly not warm and friendly like here!
But on second visit, I realized that there is quite a lot of good info to be had there. There are lots of folks (many are engineers, I believe) who have diligently researched and documented protocols they've discovered that have helped them to eliminate AF episodes.
So I dug into the research. A lot of it is way too technical, but the 12-point plan is helpful.
My take-away is the info on the role of micronutrients in nourishing the heart. Good stuff!!
I had actually discovered Heart Calm last year and tried it, but it was when I was taking Chinese herbs, too, and it seemed too much. This time, I was only taking the bare minimum of supplements and decided to experiment and track details of dosage.
In that process, I emailed customer support with questions about dosage. I ended up having an ongoing email conversation and learned that Donald is actually the founder of the company!
How's this for taking matters into one's own hands?
He experienced palpitations years ago, wasn't happy with his doc's response, did loads of research, created Heart Calm and the company that sells it. Thousands have benefitted as a result.
He pointed out that the capsules are designed to be easy to open so that you can customize dosage. This was a great tip! I've gotten to the point at which I can sense when I'm low on CoQ10, so I'll take 1/2 or 1/4 of a capsule and I feel better. Feels like a "hunger pang" in the heart, so to speak.
Heart Calm has low doses of magnesium, potassium, CoQ10, and taurine. (Note that the potassium dose is only 2% of the recommended amount; a banana has loads more than the daily dose of Heart Calm.)
The book, Metabolic Cardiology, goes into detail about the role these and other micronutrients play in cell biochemistry. They are particularly important to the heart because it uses so much energy, CoQ10 in particular. It gets depleted from AF and the medications, while stopping certain symptoms, actually mess with the normal metabolic processes in the cell. So the micronutrients are restoring what the cells need to do their job.
The book gets really technical, but at the end, Dr. Sinatra suggests protocols and doses. The doses are all way too high for me, I've learned.
At the risk of sounding like a lady on an infomercial, I've been really pleased by the results so far.
It feels like there's gas in the tank again. At the right dose, I feel calm, yet energized, but not overly so. I can think clearly again. The swings of anxiety and depression, partly out of worry about episodes, but also the physiological depletion from the episodes, have lifted.
The change has been dramatic.
I can sleep well again. I have more energy for my teaching again. My mood is better in general.
As I've experimented with dosage, I've had a few episodes mainly from taking too much too late, so ending up wide awake. Insomnia can land me in AF.
I still have to watch other physical stressors, too, like not getting too much exercise, even though I feel great.
It's so interesting to feel that my heart actually must somehow be getting stronger. I've had a few blips of episodes that convert themselves back quickly, like in 10 minutes; this was unheard of before. A couple of others have taken 2-4 hours. I've taken a dose of Heart Calm with my Flec PIP and it seems to lessen the side effects.
I take everything a day at a time with AF, but so far, so good. I've mentioned elsewhere that my system is highly sensitive; the downside is that medications tend to overpower me easily. The upside is that a little of the right supplement or medication tends to help me immediately in a great way. For others not built like this, it may take much higher doses and a longer timeframe to sense results.
My plan is to continue with this protocol for a few months and revisit the ablation question after my teaching semester ends in May.
I may add in some of the other recommended micronutrients, such as L-Carnitine and D-Ribose, but one at a time, after I feel like my Heart Calm dosage is stabilized. It's been about a month so far of experimenting and tracking.
Without digging deeply into the cell biochemistry info, it's reassuring to learn about it in general. It makes perfect sense to me how this approach can help us. I intend to get blood work done to check my levels, as suggested by Dr. Sinatra. My docs are slow to respond, but I'll get there.
Especially for folks who have trouble tolerating Flecainide, I encourage you to look into this approach and, of course, consult with your doc. Be forewarned though, that many do not know about metabolic cardiology, so may question the validity of using supplements.
Hope this is helpful for you.