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What I wonder is:

Do pills that slow down our hearts, slow down the function of other organs in our bodies e.g. the stomach contractions, or perhaps bowel etc?

Also do anticoagulants that help prevent the blood clotting, have an effect on other fluids in our bodies?

I feel that perhaps no one knows and if they do have an effect it's a well kept secret, but what are your thoughts?

Jean

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That is so you Jean! I had never even thought of thinking about such matters but since you have tickled my little grey cells here is what (little ) I know.

Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers work on the chemical composition of heart cells .to help control rate etc The same with anti arrhythmia drugs for rhythm. I recall at the first ever patients day hearing a doctor liken it to flushing a toilet. Once flushed it needs time for the water to refill the tank befor the next flush. The drugs slow down that "re-fill" so that the next flush can't happen so quickly. Does that make sense ?

We hear a lot of people complain about side effects so yes obviously these drugs are acting on other parts of our body as well. If we put anything into our bodies it has an affect, Some. like alcohol or so called "recreational drugs" more noticeable than others. Tobacco damages our lungs, forever! I never knew that and thought once I stopped smoking thirty five years ago I would get better. Poor fool!

Fat produces storage cells in our body which can never be removed I understand hence once we put on weight it becomes more diffuclt to lose it again. All we do is empty those storage cells a bit but never get rid of them completely.

I'm sure that anticoagulatants even though the DOACs are designer drugs produced to target one part of our blood can also affect other bits of us. Warfarin being a more natural product we do know can affect hair and nails etc. , but does it for example make us wee more easily? Does it make us salivate more? I doubt it.

I think that supplements like magnesium or even vit C probably have far more influence on our bodies than a lot of drugs but do we worry about them? Probabaly not because we think them "natural" and good for us. See what happens if you take too much magnesium! Just don't go far from a toilet!

Great subject for a thread, I think it will be fun.

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Super answer Bob.

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A good explanation Bob. Thank you.

Re the lungs and smoking, my sister gave it up years ago but still ended up with lung cancer recently. My brother in law was exactly the same but unfortunately died from the cancer. So glad I never took up smoking, but then I never run with the herd! Still a free thinker and always will be. We spent years at work having to watch what we say and curb our thoughts - now we have the freedom to say what we what. Lol.

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I stopped smoking in 1993. I later said to a consultant that I did not feel any better for it. He said a after seven years my risks for heart disea or lung cancer would be that of a person who had never smoked. Strange exactly seven years later I found I had hypertension. It had been checked about five months before and was said to be normal.

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Thanks for this, so just to ask why is it so much harder to lose weight on Beta Blockers? im currently on Bisraprol 2.5 mg and i watch my diet but i still have put on 2kg in 2 months really frustrating

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Its a simple equataion . Energy in (Ei) v energy consumed.Ec) if Ei is greater than Ec then you put on weight. Nobody got fat during WWll on rations. Beta blockers slow down the metabolism and make us sluggish. We are not expending energy so we should eat less but the very fact that we are not feeling so great often leads to comfort eating. It really is a vicious circle as the more weight we carry the less energy we seem to have .

Because my arthritis stopped me rambling I put on weight but once I realised what was going on I trimmed my meals a little and lost most of it. When I think of the size meals I used to eat years ago I am amazed how slim I was but I was doing two jobs and living 18 hours a day . Buying smaller plates helps!

In my head I can still do the walk from Rosthwaite to Watendlath or the Buttermere Round but sadly that doesn't burn fat. lol

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Thanks very much for that fully appreciate, you cant beat simple logic

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But maybe your head walks burn up excess psychological weight many of us carry around in our heads. LOL irina

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I don't know about people not getting fat during the war but I don't think that they lost weight. My father had a fat sister and a fat sister in law. His sister used to make the most marvellous doughnuts.

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You certainly are a brainbox!

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Interested in your comment about smoking - I gave up 38 years ago when I was 30. Last year when I was in hospital with pneumonia the doctor asked me if I had ever smoked and nodded knowingly when I replied yes. I stopped in the period when it was said it takes ten years to clear your lungs. Lies, all lies!

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My wife stopped in 1967 after having smoked for about 14 years. When asked she always says that she has never smoked.

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That's really interesting! I don't blame her, in the light of the reaction I got. I went through life in a glow of self-satisfaction as an ex-smoker that had returned her lungs to normal only to be told that was certainly not the case.

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Magnesium and vitamin C are found in food and ingestion of them in reasonable amounts are necessary for the proper functioning of our bodies. The molecules that make up most medicines are not found in nature and it seems logical that our bodies might have some difficulty processing them. The more of these we take the greater the strain on the eliminating organs like the liver. Probably a good idea not to drink alcohol if one takes lots of drugs even if there is no direct interaction! Some drugs are more poisonous than others. Statins and fluoroquinolones for example. What's more Pharma know this but they keep marketing them as long as they can. Every drug scandal that makes it to court shows that in their vaults they have had evidence right from the beginning of the damage their product will do but they have hidden it and lied about it. When Merck first brought out their statin they applied for a patent to include Co enzyme Q10 in the formulation. They knew that the statin reduced the production of this essential compound . But nobody else was doing it and it would have made their drug more expensive so it never got put in. Nor have doctors been advised to tell their patients to take it as a supplement to help offset the muscle pain statins can cause. Because well that would be admitting that statins have side effects and might make doctors question whether they were really necessary just because your total cholesterol has approached or gone over an arbitrarily arrived at figure.

Some people will be affected by side effects from a drug that others never feel. The difference in tolerance of beta blockers is enormous. As for weeing - I have always found that Paracetamol made it more dificult for me but have never come across this reaction in others. It is not unlikely that there are some people who have the issues you mention with warfarin.

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Interesting - for some time now I have been taking a daily supplement of Stat-Guard (Bioglan produce it) along side my statin. This helps replenish CoQ10, zinc, magnesium, Vit E & B1.

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Being hypothyroid slows the metabolism so every function in the body is affected, if you are having problems it's possibly the hypo causing it and possibly you aren't optimally dosed.

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Thanks for your reply bantam. I'm extremely well and full of life at the moment.

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What an interesting question - I’d never considered it.

My first reaction as a complete layman would be that metabolism controls food absorption, otherwise long term use of the drugs would make us all fat!

Perhaps the slowing effects are minimal in our overall picture?

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It's so difficult to know the answer isn't it. Would be nice if the 'experts' did some research on it, perhaps they have!

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I believe we are the experts and this thread will probably help many of us more than our learned doctors. xx irina

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Nothing is seperate. The body and mind and emotions are one, not just chemically but in all energy matrices and patterns. I've just posted on giving up my meds and I feel great. Taking Apixaban was causing my body all over to become in a constant state of

'unhealing', with weeping sores and bruising and hair loss. Flecainide made my heart worse. Verapamil caused complete bowel stasis.

But I know my approach is not for everyone, most people are happier to take the meds and the side effects. I also put a lot of work into enlightening myself spiritually, I have done a lot of work into identifying stuck negative energy patterns and releasing them. Big emotional stuff, that I knew was holding me back from healing. I had support from an EFT practioner and Ithink it has helped. :o)

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I'm with you totally Wendy.

I discovered that Flecainide was keeping me in AF and that combined with a beta blocker was giving me very scary, vivid dreams (side effect of both). Since I stopped taking them all I feel a different person, have no more dreams, feel alive and extremely well.

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I am taking flecainide and metoprolol for afib. They started me on metropolol first when I had my first two episodes back in April, 2018. Upping the dose didn't stop the episodes so my cardiologist added flecainide, 50 mg. twice daily. I keep a record of every episode of Afib, when I return to sinus, and the number of days between episodes. Statistically, I found no significant difference in the number of days between episodes with no meds, on metoprolol alone, or even with the flecainide and metoprolol.

Jeanjeannie50, how did you go off the meds completely and what were you frequency of Afib episodes before and now? (I guess many people just live with the Afib and take a blood thinner which addresses the fear/threat of a stroke.) I'd never heard that flecainide kept someone IN Afib. Thank you.

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I had been in constant AF for about 3 months and just took myself off the Flec and Metoprolol, stopped taking them with no weaning off. My heart was a little wobbly for a few days, so I stopped health supplements too and then was fine. I have changed my diet considerably though and now have a mostly plant based diet and avoid all food with artificial additives or sweeteners. I eat mostly fish and chicken, with a little red meat perhaps once a week. Also never eat cake or biscuits, eating cake would always make me aware of my heartbeat.

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I have Svt and ectopics,I was taken off Bisoprolol by the EP pending an ablation, whilst I was taking it I felt so weak and awful it affected my life. I feel normal now but have bad days with ectopics now and again. It is quality of life not quantity, I,m 72 and watch my intake of food except I love sweet things, I indulge occasionally.

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Yes, sweet things have always been my downfall too, but I'm managing that now with a few lovely plump dates. I absolutely refuse to take any pills that make me worse than before I took them!

Did your ablation help?

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I am still on the list waiting to see if my attacks get worse. I,m worried it will affect my independence because I live alone and all my family work.

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Thank you for your reply. I am very happy that you are doing so well and your story makes me think about continuing with my medications. I haven't eaten red meat for 35 years, just chicken and fish. I also stay away from sugar/sweets, etc., don't drink, do drugs, smoke, etc. I realize that everyone is different.

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Oh yes, one more thing. Why did you start on the meds in the first place? If you felt the meds were causing the Afib (that went on for 3 months) and it stopped when you quit taking them, what was causing the Afib in the beginning before you started taking the meds? Thank you.

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I've had AF for 14 years and three ablations, but still had attacks of AF. Cardioversions work for me, so I've had a few of them too but the AF usually worms its way back into my life. I think the trigger for them at the very start was artificial sweeteners. I was overdosing on them really, had them in my tea, yogurts, lemonade and chewing gum. I found out it was that after eating crumble at work. Just couldn't understand why I had an attack every time I ate it and then discovered it had artificial sweeteners in the custard.

I also wear looser fitting clothes now.

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Hmmm…..Interesting detective work. I gave up diet sodas and gum as well as all sweets. The only thing left is the coffee mate I use now. Maybe I should look at that. Can you use stevia which is a plant-based product. Thanks!

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I once used Stevia and it was absolutely vile. I discussed this with my dentist and he felt there must have been something wrong with it. Really don't know much about it. I have half a teaspoon of sugar in a mug of tea now, but only have two of those a day. Have one decaf coffee without sugar otherwise I just drink water.

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I find increasing bisoprolol doesnt seem to reduce my af rate. Just slows rest of me down. Puffed on any exertion. So will not increase past 7 mg. Am wondering whats the point. I am on riva roxaban so am tempted to decrease bisoprolol and just ignore af, which is less uncomfortable since last ablation. Although running over 100bpm a lot.

I have Left my fitbit hr off for a while to try to detach emotionally.

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Makes a lot of sense to me. irina

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Your post caught my attention. How did you go off apixaban. Did you wean yourself or just stop? I’m on it and atenolol and I’m just sick of it. I’ve had maybe 4 af episodes since last September and think this is all overkill.

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I have noticed since going on Apixaban that the scratches I am getting on my arms this spring cutting back perennial stalks and pruning roses are far worse than normal. The scabs are much worse and take longer to heal up. They look awful.

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I certainly get a lot more infections than I used to,and they take longer to go even if I need antibiotics,and my hair is thinner.I am on Apixaban,with Flec and biso as PIP.

My brother is a biologist and says anticoagulants change the nature of our blood in more ways than the obvious!

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I'm sure your brother is correct, but what can we poor frightened people do. Some of us are afraid to take them and I'm one of the people afraid not to.

I stopped my Flec and Metoprolol earlier in the year and this is the first time in quite a few years that I've not had a Feb/March, cold or flu.

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I take n acetyl cysteine for immune support. Since taking it I have not had any flu or bad cold in 3 years. One episode this winter that I was hard put to distinguish whether it was a cood or dust allergy from cleaning! Having a good level of vit d helps too.

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I take vitamin D in liquid form, I wonder if that's helped me this year.

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Liquid d helped me when I had dermatitis all over my body, docs said I had to live with it, now only problem is hands.

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Isn't it odd how we have find these cures on our own! Fancy your doctor saying you had to live with it! If the truth be told I guess a lot of them have no ideas about more natural products that can help, only medicine.

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I think way to many antibiotics for about five years caused this, no gut bacteria, had severe stomach pain n gas now I know what caused a cascade of problems.

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Me too. My GP prescribes drops .

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You need to take vitamin k as well with vitamin D for absorbing it but if on a warfarin no

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What a good question! I look forward to reading the answers. The first part would explain a lot of lethargy.

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It's something I started wondering about when a close friend, after tests, discovered that her stomach wasn't contracting properly to take her food down and I thought perhaps it could be caused by her medication. I really can't see how a pill that slows the heart doesn't have an effect on slowing other functions of the body, but who knows!

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Straight off the top of my head .If you are feeling 'well' for your age and circumstances and taking NOACs plus gut activity and energy is normal. i would not be worrying about any of it. It is purely hyperthetical .Enjoy life while it is good .

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Hmm, but what if that feeling well doesn't last and pills have caused damage? I'm not a worrier, never have been and am extremely well at the moment. Pills have caused long lasting side effects for me, so perhaps I'm more interested in this topic than some. I refuse to bury my head in the sand and not to ask questions.

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Oh, no disrespect intended Jeanjeanie .....and why should you not want to know?I do too.having said that when all is going well I try and enjoy life and forget to wonder why.

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I was enjoying life happily this morning until the motor on my vacuum cleaner poured out smoke and stopped working. Had a high quote for repair and as it was old I went out and bought a new one. Sorry if I was a bit stressed out replying to you earlier.

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You might have been more stressed if the power supply on your PC had started pouring smoke or your hard disk had started to rattle like a bag of nails. Power supplies give off a horrible rubbery fishy smell.

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My last GP said that he only knew one person who suffered more side effects from drugs and that was Margaret......his wife.

The consultant at the Hypertension referral centre said that the reason I suffered so many side effects was because I was not truly hypertensive and just had peaks. I gradually cut down on them and not take a 25mg Losartan about three times a month on a day that it peaks. This was one of those days for some reason. Last night it was 125/74 73 but this evening it went up to 190/106 64. After taking a Losarton it is now 143/85 65. I always feel better when it is 140 rather than much lower. The lowest this month was 117/68 62 but sometimes goes lower.

It was probably higher today as I have not been out.

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There's some brand new research from Australia which has just discovered that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not psychosomatic, but is caused by mitochondrial dysfunction due to impairment of the calcium ion channel.

Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker.

abc.net.au/triplej/programs...

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Very interesting, thank your for your reply.

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Interesting. I have fibromyalgia, much same as chronic fatigue. Supposedly poor sleep implicated. Which af causes. Been through the meds list for af. So many side effects.

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It has set me thinking as to whether once we are used to Afib do we need Bisoprolol/Nebivolol etc , I can see the advantages when we first have it as it calms us down, but do we need Bisoprolol/Nebivolol etc permanently as they do not actually stop Afib. My HR was always around 72 bpm, so why do I accept that 43 or 56 is now normal (when it's not) as it doesn't stop it. However, I do accept that an anticoagulant plays a necessary part

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You could be right John.

I found that Flecainide was actually causing my AF and Amiodarone damaged my thyroid function, so I'll now have to take more pills for life to counteract that! Some drugs are totally necessary I guess, but others I'm not so sure about.

Why on earth haven't you reduced your beta blocker if it's taking your heart rate down that low? It may be worth asking your GP that question.

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"Why on earth haven't you reduced your beta blocker if it's taking your heart rate down that low? It may be worth asking your GP that question."

Back some time ago I posted the following; I was on Bisoprolol and was concerned on two points! The 1st was that my HR was going as low as 43 bpm although averaging 46/48 whilst awake, it may have gone lower when I was asleep as many of my attacks started then. It was also contradictory to the medical acceptance of normal, normal being 60bpm to 100 bpm. I am also thinking that being too low is detrimental to lowering my BP which was borderline hypertension, this despite the medics telling us that we need to increase our HR re exercise to keep BP down! The 2nd point was that I always feel cold when the weather is a bit on the cool side.

I persuaded my GP to put me on Nebivolol - he did. My HR now averages 56 bpm (awake) and I have less Afib attacks when asleep also less Afib during the day + my BP dropped back into normal range as opposed to borderline Hypertension. The cold still affects me, which is probably due to both drugs Biso & Neb pushing/drawing my blood to other parts of my body (maybe I'm wrong on that one). However, neither drug has stopped or dropped my Afib attacks to the levels of some on here, whereby I get a reminder most days (sometimes on a small scale) that it is still around, as opposed to some have it 3/4 times a year.

It just crosses my mind as to whether I should be aiming to get back to my normal pulse of 72 bpm, instead of the medics keeping it subdued to the point of it causing other problems ie high BP or for that matter, more Afib attacks due to my heart labouring, instead of a nice firm beat.

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Yes, I can understand why you think that. My heart rhythm now, without pulse reducing medication (took myself off and have now been 3 months AF free), is always in the 70's and I feel well.

Doesn't Nebivol reduce BP like other beta blockers?

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"Doesn't Nebivol reduce BP like other beta blockers?"

It is supposed to do so, there again so was Bisoprolol - which never seemed to make a difference. It just seemed ironic that my BP reduced when my HB had increased slightly through taking Nebivolol. Perhaps it is Nebivolol doing the job Or is it the increased pulse rate keeping my arteries open longer? - Just my own thoughts - little else to go on lol.

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Are you still taking bisoprolol though ??

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No, I am now on Nebivolol.

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I guess they do. Oh to be meds free, who knows what unwanted mischief they cause.

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The thing I'd like to really know is do they do more good than harm. I guess there isn't enough money to research that and the big pharma's are making so much they want us not to question, so they can carry on raking it in.

Did you see the programme on t.v. a while ago where a doctor got a few people who were taking lots of pills, to do more exercise? So many ended up coming off medication that they'd been taking for years and felt a lot better for it!

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That's kind of what did chatterjees programme was saying. We would have a fit if we really knew what was what on the drug front I suspect.

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I'm happy being off all cardiac meds now. The best is having my trusty pacemaker and Watchman. I HATED taking anticoagulants. I don't want any more cardiac meds.

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Thanks for your reply. You have hit the nail on the head. I was going to mention to my g.p. that I find it hard to swallow food. I'm fine with liquids but anything with bulk seems to get stuck temporary though eventually goes down. I never had this problem before but it seems like my whole body is lethargic.

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You know I do wonder if your GP will just try and dismiss it, but I'd certainly ask. Let us know how you get on please.

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Will do.🤔

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I also have some swallowing difficulties. My friend has pushed me to see a specialist and I have an appt in early May. But here (US) as I have good insurance I know they will push me to have all kinds of invasive, expensive, tests and treatments. Not sure I'm up for all of this. I'm in 2 minds about keeping the appt. I do fine sipping water when I eat.

Maybe let sleeping dogs lie.

My Afib is fine, stable and rolling along nicely. Not sure I want to bring any more medical care down on my head right now!

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I think you'd be wise to let sleeping dogs lie, but if it gets any worse then perhaps have a re-think. x

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That fits my thinking. Listen to suggested medical care but evaluate slowly and carefully and procede slowly if at all. xx

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Could be connected to vagus nerve?

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I never thought about why it was happening. I was so engrossed in keeping the heart going I'm just putting my head above the parapets!

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Diltiazem slows your gut contractions, it says so in the leaflet. When my dose was increased from 120mg to 180 I began to have the same sudden feelings of doom I had when on 240 so I have gone back to 120, that and the constipation made it just not worth it for me, cardiologist seems to have dumped me so I can do what I like! I am sure most drugs have effects on other body systems as well as the targeted ones, hence side effects.

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PS I think this is the sort of thing they test for in drug trials - does the harm outweigh the benefit? If not, an affective drug may not pass, or get a classification meaning 'drug of last resort' which I believe Amiodarone now has. This is one of the things that make drugs expensive and why it takes so long for a new drug to get approval. But sometimes (think Thalidomide) mistakes are made.

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That's interesting what you say about the Diltiazem. My cardiologist and EP have both dropped me too, so I'm now just under the care of my GP, but tend to do what I think is right and the answer isn't always loads of pills.

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I'm losing the little faith I once had in Big Pharma. I don't think Research and Development is all that altruistic. Greed! Greed! Greed!

Have an interesting book by Suzy Cohen: "DRUG MUGGERS." About all the side effects and Vitamin/Mineral deficiencies many drugs cause. '2 steps forward-3 steps backward.'

Sorry to be so cynical. xx irina

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That sounds an interesting book Irina. Will see if I can get a copy, but then I've just thought perhaps the content would make me more neurotic about taking drugs than I already am!

Yes, I'm afraid greed appears to govern the world now. So sad that it's all come to this and just glad that I'm not a newborn, wonder what they will see in their lifetime!

Jean

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It's actually not a scary book. More like a reference book that tells us what deficiencies various meds may cause and what supplements we might want to consider. Very matter of fact- no blame but useful supplementation info.

I believe Suzy Cohen is a pharmacist and she approaches her subject from that angle. It's not written in a narrative style but in an easy "look up your drug and see what supplements might benefit you" format.

Maybe check it out on amazon. It might be a book they let you 'peek inside'. I do this a lot when perusing books on amazon. Very helpful feature. xx irina

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Will do. The book certainly sounds interesting. x

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Hi there , I was put on diltiazem after an episode of svt , this was in a and e , by a cardio. He took me off my normal meds , ie Losartan and bisoprol, I agreed , worse drug I have ever taken ! Was on it for two weeks , and felt that life was not worth living! Went back to see cardio and told him , I wasn’t continuing with it , he agreed and said not many people tolerate diltiazem! I went back on my old meds and feel fine , now looking forward to arranging an ablation. Would love to come off the betablockers !they do slow you down and you do do have to eat less !

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When I was 25 I was given a kitten . A couple of years later I started to feel like I had a permanent cold -sneezing and runny nose. Eventually I went to my GP. He referred me for allergy testing. They found I was allergic to cat and dog fur, some pollens and dustmite. A course of 18 desensitising injections was proposed by the consultant. No mention of possible bad reactions. After the 1 2th and 13 th jab I had an asthmatic reaction. I had always had a "weak chest" as a child with a cough following colds every winter but I had never wheezed before. The jabs were stopped and asthma meds given. Some time later I had a relationship with a guy who was very highly placed with a major Pharma company. He told me that his company made these injections and that their efficacy was about 60-65% and that yes they knew that some poor sods developed asthma. Incensed I asked why the doctors had not told me so I could make an informed decision. After all a runny nose is a pest but asthma is life threatening. He laughed and said "Oh we don't tell them". This was more than 30 years ago . I doubt anything has changed. I still have a Ventolin spray. I still have a cat too !

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So true and so common. I hope these decision makers have to answer to someone higher than us down the line. I also had asthma as a child. It was called emotional asthma then ??? At any rate mine was always mild and I was never given meds until some well-meaning doctor decided I need the whole kit and kaboodle (inhalers/pills/steroids) about 20 years ago. I didn't understand why- my attacks were infrequent and mild and on the rare occasion when I went to the ER a breathing treatment usually fixed things and I went home.

Meanwhile I was getting older and in what I refer to as the "medication cascade" range meaning every doctor I saw thought of a new medication I should take forgetting to subtract ones I probably no longer needed.

That wouldn't happen today as I have a mouth like a foghorn when it comes to standing up to doctors but I hadn't yet polished my rebuttal skills.

Pretty soon I noticed I was on 15 medications (won't even list) and decided I needed to take control of this. Slowly I did things necessary to get off meds-the first being to start a strict plant based diet I had learned about on Public TV. The book that became my Bible was "The End of Diabetes" by Dr Joel Fuhrman. He is still writing and every so often I follow his plan short term when I get on a slippery slope. But he is very rigid and there is much info and ways to manage healthy eating nowadays. But this got me off ALL insulin in under 2 months (never took pills).

He also wrote a book "The End of Heart Disease" which I have and use as a reference sometimes.

But back to the asthma. About 6 years ago I was in the E. R. for something else and was talking to a doctor about all my meds and how I hated taking all these pills. As an aside he said something like "I'm not your doctor but have you ever tried giving up dairy to control your asthma?" No, I hadn't. So I did-don't eat dairy and in less than six months felt comfortable enough to stop refilling my asthma prescriptions.

BTW through all my adult asthma years my doctor kept telling me I shouldn't have pets. I knew I wasn't going to live my life without animals so just ignored him. And I also never did allergy testing or took shots. Sometimes this was a battle because as your friend revealed they are a money maker for everyone involved except the patient.

I know there are good life-saving drugs out there and I've had my share but on the whole-Big Pharma stay away from me! Good for you for having a cat and letting go of the Pharma guy! 🐱

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I have to be careful with the cat like always washing my hands after stroking him or doing it with a glove on. France is pretty much a desert for vegetarians and I like fish and poultry and lamb so I eat small amounts of them. My husband would never go for vegetarian food and cooking separate meals is just too much work. Besides I just don't really trust all this plant based diet stuff. It smells to me like a trend just like low fat was 40 years ago. I was reading my old school magazine online lately and saw that my old head mistress had died at the age of 90. She ate like a horse at school dinners which were very stodgy with meat most days ,loads of spuds and horrid heavy puddings like jam roly poly and spotted dick with custard. The only veg in sight were overcooked . Most of her generation in the uk ate like that. What they did not eat was rubbish made in factories and they did not drink soda. Here in Central France they had a very high level of centenarians. 7 course meals for festive occasions ( fois gras compulsory and chips cooked in duck fat). That crook Ancel Keynes called it the French paradox because they had very low levels of heart disease.

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I don't strictly follow veg eating but am careful about animal fats. And now there is so much knowledge about how to make good food choices whatever our preferences.

At the time I happened on his program, sent for the gift package that came with my donation and was DESPERATE to get off all diabetic meds and get my A1c under control. So I did it. It's a hard diet and now I can maintain healthy blood sugars with a more liberal diet.

One reason I limit my meat etc here (US) is I only eat grass-fed or organic (chicken) and wild-caught fish. Believe me you don't want to eat fish from some of the fish farms. Animals and their products are so unhealthily processed here and the animals themselves are so badly treated by the big commercial food giants I won't support them. Grass fed is good but very expensive here. Overly so I believe because producers charge what the market will bear instead of a fair price.

Sometimes I think we need "GREED" as our national motto here. And plain foods that you wouldn't think were processed have additives not listed esp meat/ poultry. A lot of meat is brined? soaked in solutions to help keep it looking fresh and pink while it travels maybe 3000 miles to the store. It's hard t o eat healthy here unless you are spending the money.

I buy a lot of imported staples that haven't been adulturated and are from healthier animals. My friend likes cheese so I buy Gruyere from Switzerland because Europe has A-2 cows. Conditions can be so bad in US dairies animals are routinely treated with antibiotics. Mastitis is common with milking cows. I feel for the animals . And over the years quietly laws about labelling have changed in ways to allow manufacturers to hide certain ingredients.

If I lived in an area where there were small private farms I could buy healthy food. But I'm in a big city and getting to a farm to shop is not feasible. You know when we grew up food was cleaner, healthier without so much being done to it. We could eat what we wanted because there were no additives, and other chemicals that mess with metabolism now.

I do love lamb and in some stores it's easy to get lamb from New Zealand.

Very few people had weight problems and if someone did it was maybe just a few pounds.

Oh, for the good old days??? (Maybe not!) irina

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I don't eat farmed salmon uness it is antibiotic free. It costs nearly 3 times the price of the regular. Prawns too because the prawn farms in the East use fluoroquinolones. Other meat I buy organic. Beef round here is grass fed on the whole. We live in cattle country and you can see the cow in the fields - at the bottom of our garden !

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Wow as Bob said it has proved to be an interesting thread.

I have spent nearly 30 years taking my AF medication.

Much of the time I have had little or no monitoring of cause and effect.

I did however stopped Bisoprolol about 2 years ago as my heart rate was regularly lower than 40. That was following my 6 month meeting with my EP and the associated ECG.

Otherwise I am still taking:

Flecainide

Warfarin

Ramipril

Ranitidine

Atorvastatin

Cinnerizine

My GP seems to have no interest in me and any discussions are only those that I instigate.

All my care is just reactive I don’t think that Proactive is in their dictionary.

Trouble is I would be scared to stop particularly Flecainide after so many years but to be honest I have absolutely no idea what all these chemicals are doing to me.

I am sure your theory is sound and that medication for one purpose clearly has effects on other organs in the body.

Pete

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That's a lot of tablets Pete. What dose of Flecainide are you on?

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I take 100mg twice a day.

What with two tablets of this and Ramipril I take 5 tablets in the morning and 5 in the evening.

It was interesting recently when trying to deal with my terminally ill mother in law that because of her bad memory and the consequential double dosing, all medication has been withdrawn. She is not prepared to have any carers in each day to help so it was the only way the doctor could deal with the situation. So far there have been no consequences but sadly as the pain increases other measures than oral painkillers will be required.

Pete

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Sorry to hear about your mother in law, life can be so hard at times.

Do you still get any AF after all your ablations and are you feeling better now?

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Yes I still get AF but very rarely now. I had 2 episodes 2 weeks ago lasting less than 5 hours. I am significantly better than I was prior to the last ablation. Only problem is breathlessness when going upstairs or similar.

Pete

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Forgot to say that when I have had these short lived episodes of AF since my last ablation each time I have taken 200mg PIP within 15 minutes of onset.

Pete

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Been musing on your post all day and becoming convinced that the less drugs we can manage with the better. I have been given some antibiotics by GP today for a uti and to be honest I have sat looking at them and am loath to take them. Nasty little critters that I think those meds are. The side effects listed on meds generally are enough to scare us witless. Think there is a clue there for us. Ok we all need meds and procedures, operations on occasion but the virtual handing out of drugs at the drop of a hat can't be good for us.

Over this past three plus years I have been handed many and varied scans, blood tests, painkillers, stomach meds, injections and surgery, been prodded and poked and feel no better for any of them. I am beginning to think my old dad had the right idea, saw a GP when he was aged 21 and next saw one when age 74. He didn't take anything meds wise in all those years and had a happy fulfilling life. Lucky, well may be, but his philosophy of not medicating and eating healthy wholesome food seemed to work for him. No everyone is as lucky but we do seem overladen with drugs these days. Pop a pill for everything seems to be the motto we are expected to live by. Good on anyone who can manage their health in other more natural ways.

As grateful as I am for health care I for one am fed up to the back teeth of seeing the inside of GP surgeries, hospitals, scanners and medicines. Might take off into the wilds and take my chances with nature.

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Just read right after writing my post below. Maybe more people feel as I do. Nice to have company about my thoughts. irina

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Yes, my dad was exactly the same and never missed a days work.

I'll come with you to live in the wilds, it sounds a good idea. How about a cottage up in the Welsh mountains? On tv I remember seeing a Ben Fogle episode about a woman who had made herself a very rough earth house in the wilds, perhaps it was in Wales. She washed in the stream nearby (I'd have had to smell in the winter when it's icy).

Let me know when!

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Packing a bag so off we go whenever you are ready.

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Do you want the earth house or the cottage? I guess we could have a wood-burning stove in the cottage to run the central heating?

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Sounds like a 'Bunny Planet'destination. Is there room for me and my stuffed giraffe? LOL

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Of course

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Can you gather wood for the fire, or cook a nice dinner. Or perhaps you could play the piano to entertain us? If so you're in! x

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Happy to cook and play the piano (after you or meadfoot lights the fire!! LOL)

Never had wood piles in Florida but I've heard spiders and snakes hide in there. Could probably handle the snakes but spiders are against my religion.😢

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Cottage please.

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I've always had more side effects from drugs than others seem to have. Was told for years it was in my head. But I don't agree. Have begun to see literature supporting my theory that some of us are more susceptible to side effects. Seems it might be related to differences in dopamine levels??

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Many drugs affect women differently . They were tested on male lab animals and then on male volunteers. It is only recently that drugs have been routinely tested on women. Female physiology is different but the norm is still considered male.

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Interesting. I didn't know that. This could be a hot topic for debate- and an interesting thread with lots of thoughts.

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I know I do. I have had problems with:. Slo zem, digoxin, dronedarone, flecainide, tambocor, propanolol, pregabalin, naproxen, statins, amitryptilin, fentanyl, tried cnabinoids cbd recently and they made af worse. 🤪🤨 hospitalized twice on warfarin. (Nose bleeds).

I think fibromyalgia indicative too.

Just sticking to bisoprolol but am going to reduce to 1.5 and see what happens.

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Hope they are not a fluoroquinolone! These are poison and the EMA has recently advised they should not be prescribed for UTI.

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That's interesting, thank you for the information. No not been given those but I have decided to try natural methods before trying them as I really don't like antibiotics and given I have gastro issues already seems a step too far. May regret it but time will tell. Cheers.

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I have successfully treated a UTI with oil of oregano and d mannose. The oregano is a natural antibioic and if taken for a long time ( more than a week) will affect the gut bacteria but probably not as much as a regular antibiotic. I think this happened with me as about a week after stopping taking it I had an attack of afib and my afib attacks always seem to be connected to microbiome upset.

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My first confirmed ( hospitalised ) episode of afib was after taking Cipro for a suspected UTI that was not confirmed by the urine analysis. But I am sure I had an episode after being on it before . I have been floxed probably 4 times in the last 30 years and as a result have bad tendonitis and muscle problems , cartilage degeneration in my ribcage ,a detatched vitreous in my right eye and some neuropathy. Cipro the evil gift that keeps on giving. For only one of the times I was given this was it at all warranted and then the job could have been done by Augmentin. I was over 60 and no attempt was made to find out if I had any history of tendon problems.

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O, that is interesting! I had a UTI and this triggered a nasty long episode of AF. I had been put on that antibiotic. AF persisted and I was in coronary care that day. The doctor there immediately took me off that drug and changed it to Doxycycline. He said no one over 60 should be put on it....It is all so confusing. Nothing worse than conflicting information for exacerbating AF.

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See my reply above that I mistakenly sent to myself!

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I have gone that too!

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Oops m ant I have done that too!

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Finally found a cure for my uti’s, take d-mannose a simple sugar powdered form, in emergency take several x’s daily.

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Thank you will try it.

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For me at least Jean, all my meds do the job they are prescribed for and do not unduly affect other organs. I can keep my lifestyle and after 9 and half years on Warfarin that too has not given me issues.

I did have an initial issue or so with Bisoprolol but not any more. Warfarin and Bisoprolol are my best mates ever.

For the record, prior to AF being diagnosed I was on Ramipril and Simvastatin. Post AF I am still on Ramipril and Simvastatin but the party bag of stuff now additionally includes Warfarin, Felodopine and Bisoprolol.

As you know, I do follow a food plan, but that is not to deal with the side effects of drugs but to calm the vagal nerve and thereby calm the heart. End result - one AF event since 15 April 2015.

Job done.

John

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Sounds like you've got it right John. I've taken a lot of notice of your posts re diet. When you said you couldn't tolerate oats I gave them up too and started using rolled buckwheat instead. Buckwheat is not a wheat, despite the name, it's the seed from a plant. Am really better stomach wise for using it as part of my breakfast muesli, along with dates, sultannas and pumpkin seeds.

The only pills I take are Warfarin and Levothyroxine (for my thryoid).

Am impressed with your having just one AF attack since 2015!

Jean

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Thanks Jean, must say though its taken a great deal of effort but feel it has been worth it. OMG, you are so lucky at being able to take dates and sultannas with your breakfast cereal - would love them, they don't love my digestive system .... booo hoooo ! :-)

I have a feeling my osteoarthritis is gonna be much more difficult to get on top of than my AF, sadly, but my next project is to look at food/diet as a chemistry that affects the OA.

John

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Would love to know what foods work to calm the heart, maybe I should post it as a separate question. We can learn so much from one another, so I'm with JeanJeannie on her posting the question 're effect of drugs on overall health. That's why so many now opt for ablation.

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My 'pace and ablate almost 4 years ago got me off all my cardiac meds-esp diltiazem. POISON for me!!!!! Best thing I've done medically in along time.

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Hi F-M-C-MM,

Firstly, let me say that my food plan does not replace my meds. No Way !

Nor is my food plan designed for me to loose weight.

It is purely designed to calm my vagal nerve and thereby calming my heart. Since April 15 2015 I have only had one AF event and that was around 2 am in mid February 2018 when I was sleeping lying on my left side. Mind you that does not preclude my previous evenings meal playing a part in this episode.

Also, this food plan can really successfully be applied to persons with AF which is vagal in origin, that is, stems from a dysfunctional vagal nerve impacting on the heart.

It is probably easier to give a food snapshot on the foods that I can't tolerate. I am now wheat, oats and gluten free for starters - which includes anything with a smattering of those as ingredients like real ales (if you are in UK), or oatmeal biscuits. Further cannots are ..... yoghurts, soft cheeses ( but hard cheeses are fine), runner beans, peas, baked beans, raspberries ( but strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants are fine), pork with crackling, duck, granary bread, white and brown supermarket sliced bread but sour dough bread is fine. Anything hot and spicy. Dried fruit out of a packet ( but as an ingredient in a cake is fine). Tomatoes and eggs are doubtful. Lettuce and onions ( but shallots/spring onions are fine) are out. Oh. yes - I have no added sugar or salt in my diet.

Anyhow, that'll give you a snapshot of what doesn't work for me. Hope that's of interest.

John

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Hi Carneuny,

Thanks for your reply. That's quite a list you have there. I have had an an ablation nearly 2 years ago and now no A Fib. However I have considered seeing a gastroenterologist or nutritionist as I want to prevent a recurrence. I noticed A Fib started after eating mature cheeses, large meals, hot food followed by cold drinks, I avoided adding ice to drinks. Eating directly after exercising was generally a trigger. These factors have been explained on this site as a shift between activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic system. Its so complicated and various medical disciplines may need further interdisciplinary research to study what we are discussing.

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Personally, initially, I would favour approaching a Nutritionist and see how it goes. Your approach does seem to be placing you on the right track and I do hope that you have the success that I have had with diet/food plans. Yes, I too now eat small and my big meal of the day (evening) I try and eat as early as possible in the evening. Good luck.

John

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I started experiencing constipation once I got on AF meds (which I no longer take post-ablations and now I do PiP). The pharmacist said the pills that regulate smooth muscle can't tell the difference between the heart and bowel so ... yes - they do affect other organs. PS the pharmacist prescribed senna which worked.

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Ah now that proves exactly what I suspected. I just don't know why things like this aren't talked about more. I feel that GP's put us on pills, send us off with a repeat prescription and we're just expected to take that medication forever. A neighbour of mine doesn't know what some of the pills he's taking are for, he's been on them for years.

I'm glad to hear that you're better after your ablations.

Jean

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I’ve learnt over the years that self-advocacy is the best approach to managing health. Docs are not incentivised to educate patients but rather to treat as quickly as possible and despatch. So the patirnts’ job is to research and ask questions and objectively record and evaluate their health to guide treatment. That was so much harder before Dr Google! And forums like this that help fill the cracks between docs and life.

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And senna is more natural-not a big moneymaker for Big P. Interesting. irina

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What a brilliant question and one that has got us all thinking. I take 13 tablets a day and when they restart my anti coagulants it will go up to 15 !

I take 5 diuretics which not only make me pee for England, they dry out every other part of me too. Hair, skin, nose, mouth and eyes.

Like you Jean Jeannie the side effects of Amiodarone will haunt me forever.

I do ask questions regarding these drugs but usually we decide that I am better off taking them because they are keeping me alive.

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Gosh that's a lot of tablets you take! It's difficult to know what to do for the best isn't it! Fortunately I only take two pills Warfarin and then Levothyroxine for my under-active thyroid.

Really feel for you having to take all those diuretics!

Jean

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When I first started taking flecainide in 2011, I found that episodes of gippy tummy, bloat and indigestion improved a great deal without any dietary changes. Any anxiety/excitement always, for want of a better description goes staight to my stomach!!

When I asked my lovely very approachable and pragmatic cardiologist about this, he said he had no idea as not his area of expertise.

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That was an interesting response from your cardiologist, you would think they would be aware of the knock on effects of all pills they prescribe, whether good or bad. Perhaps Flecainide has a calming influence on us? I guess one day we might know.

Jean

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Why do cardiologist seem so reluctant to answer questions about side effect of drugs they put us on?

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I think I am a bit more constipated as a result of amiodarone use- but I also have hypothyroid and that might contribute to that.

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Try using 3 dessertspoons of rolled buckwheat flakes as a muesli base, instead of oats. I add dates, sultanas and pumpkin seeds, lots of milk, microwave for 2 mins, stir and then microwave for another minute.

Jean

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Good morning Jean.

What a synchronistic moment for me seeing your post. It's 3 AM here in Atlanta (East Coast US) and I just woke up with a bunch of my 'early morning thoughts' tumbling out of my head. These are my jotted down thoughts right now. I am so tired of chasing down good health with such a vengeance it's wearing me out.

-Simplify? Not sure what right now.

-Eat clean and simply.

-Stop watching and obsessing over so much news. And the world's messes in general.

-Embrace silence?

-Practice gratitude more.

-Stop being such an information junkie.

-Accept more; change less.

-Stop trying to control everything.

-Are all my supplements and Vitamins really helping me so much when most of the fillers seem to be so inflammatory and harmful?(Soybean oil comes to mind.)

"Be kind. Everyone is fighting a hard battle." --PLATO

Just scribbled the above in my journal. Have many thoughts in my head as I read your post-very thought provoking. Will write better-more complete post later.

I've learned my 'early morning thoughts' are messages I should heed; always better off when I do.

Maybe all this 'head stuff' is because I started revising my advance directive for my health care. What is my quality of life? Not sure! My definitions are changing.

Why am I afraid of death? Maybe it's the American way of slowly killing us with fancy, expensive healthcare esp as we age. It makes me fear the natural process. Sometimes hospitals seem medieval to me. POPE FRANCIS says: "Go Without Fear."

Have more questions than answers right now.

Going back to bed now before I wake up too much.

A thought provoking post for me. Thank you.

3:40 AM Goodnight.

Later. xx irina

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Irina, your reply is truly thought provoking and would be a good post on it's own for everyone to mull over. I agree with all you have written and by the way I've stopped listening to the news each day. I just need peace and calm in my life now and the daily news certainly doesn't create that!

Sleep well. x

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I meant to go back to sleep but got caught up in this post.

Yesterday I got a book from our senior living library: A new book by Bob Woodward: "FEAR: Trump in the White House." (2018) The Orange Toddler makes me so crazy.

I've decided not to read the book and will bring it back down to the library today.

Better for my mental health! 🐱

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Sounds like the right thing to do. Lol. x

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5:40AM. Really goodnight. LOL

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Count your blessings.........you could have had Killary😨😉

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A hard call either way. The 2 worst choices I've ever seen since I've been old enough to vote.😡

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I did say at the time....America could not have picked two worse candidates if they tried. Anyway you're not on your own - we have our own pantomime going on over here😢

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I know. And it seems in today's world every country's political hiccups can affect so many others. Often same music, different key.

It's a scary world now for all of us, IMO. I worry we are headed down the dictator path over here.

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No matter where you look, there seems to be problems. The one thing America will not end up with is a dictatorship, primarily because you have so many guns available. In fact I'm sure that I read somewhere, that the gun ownership constitution had a similar reference included. As for us.........democracy is fading very fast - very worrying.

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PS I'm thinking of taking a break from my supplements. It's become a full time job-what to take? how much? am I separating the thyroid from food enough hours? Am I taking this Vitamin too close to that one??? and on and on!. It's exhausting!

I once read a story about a woman named Peace Pilgrim who walked across the US with just a comb spreading her peace/love message. She relied on the kindness of people she met and accepted what they offered re food/shelter.

An inspiring story.

Sometimes I fanticize (sp?) about being able to travel this unencumbered. But by the time I packed all the stuff I think I need-incl C-PAP machine, supplements, etc. I'd need a steamer trunk!!!

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You made me laugh with this post, thank you! Best to stick to fantasy I think, then you'll have more control.

I know exactly what you mean about juggling when to take what pill with regard to food and other pills. The thyroid aspect of it really adds to the complication and I've started taking mine on an empty stomach an hour before my evening meal. If I take it at night before bed and drink a whole glass of water as advised by experts I'm up all night going to the toilet!

Who'd have ever thought we'd end up stressing about when to take pills! Never in a million years did I think this would be me! x

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Jean, Ive recently found out that Gabapentin (usually taken for Fibromyalgia) causes thyroid troubles. Another example of how meds can unknowingly cause other problems.

Sadie

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Its dreadful isn't it! Irina has said on this post that she has a book that tells you all the side effects of medication and what vitamins to take to help improve, it's by Suzy Cohen: DRUG MUGGERS

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Ugh , though Gabapentin is effective , is a hideous pain killer and, far too often prescribed, it is highly addictive. I think there are many court cases in the US where people are suing the makers of it. In the UK we “sue” less .

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Hi Jean. You gave me an idea. Am going to start a thread right now about 'end of life' plans.

May not seem relevant but as we are all headed in the same direction I think it's a pertinent subject. Will post it on the AF site as that's where we are. Watch for "Taking control of our end of life decisions."

xx irina

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I will. x

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New thread posted.

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Thank you Irina. Looking forward to your post. Just this past Tuesday, my primary care Dr handed me a "Advanced Directive" to fill out. Which means End of Life decisions. This happened after we had gone over my current heart situation. Shocked and scared me..

Sadie

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Don't be scared. You have a doctor who is looking out for your interests. I'm happy you have such a caregiver. xx It's common for patients to be given these forms.

1) I have gotten several over time and never worried about completing them before and, 2) the doctor is, rightly, protecting himself by trying to stay away from having to make these decisions because his patient didn't.

xx irina

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I am interested in your comment about being afraid of death. Me too. My Mum, who died at 97 late last year had great faith and wasn't at all afraid of death. But she was afraid of the journey. She was so infirm and relied so much on others that at the end she couldn't do anything to help herself. My sisters and I used to say wouldn't it be lovely if she just slipped away in her sleep; she would have loved (and wanted) that too.

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You know, I should also have said 'the journey'. Once I get to the moment of death it is my journey alone. But prior to that there are too many situations and people involved in my process who can make this trip harder that it has to be. And that's what I want more control over if possible with legal paperwork. xx irina

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You know I sometimes use the term 'a good death'-that's what I wish for.

I mentioned this before. In 1990 my aunt and uncle were visiting-I was at work and they were at my daughter's having dinner. It's a funny story now because it was so long ago but my aunt died of sudden cardiac arrest at the dinner table. No pain, just sitting there with a Margarita in one hand and a cheese cracker in the other. Never spilled the drink or dropped the cracker.

She only fell out of the chair when my uncle tapped her shoulder when she didn't answer him.

Now THAT was a good death!

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That really made me smile. It must have been a huge shock for those around her but what a lovely way to go. The same thing happened to my great-aunt. She snoozed off with her head on her husband's shoulder (as she often did) whilst watching television and he gave a little shrug to wake her and she didn't. She had died without a murmur.

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Not many of us get to go like that. xx irina

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It was a shock. My daughter said she would never make chili again.LOL

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Sorry - laughing again!

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Mmm. I take bisoprolol, rivaroxaban , magnesium. Multi vit Vit d. and painkillers for arthritis. My bowels are reasonable if i limit codamol. But do need furosemide diuretic now. My weight is on a constant upward trend which I blame on Bisoprolol. I try to limit ibuprofen due to blood thinners and read it may induce af. But too much pain if i dont have any.

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I've just started a thread on End of life Decisions..."

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I agree Jean with the 'slow down' theory. I have had to adapt by eating thinks that require less digesting (soups, fish, beans) and now my gastric function/bowels have improved but still slow compared to pre-Flecainide. I don't think I could eat a large steak. Thanks for your interest and time, helps a lot of us.

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Thank you Jean! You have stirred up such an interesting discussion with so many points of view. Who thought this was just an AFib forum!

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Look up Blood type Diet for your Blood type. It helps avoid foods that aglutinate the blood. Foods have if lectins different blood types don't do well on. Tells the preferable foods your blood likes. Also example here is say type O is more acidic than A. O type have more acidic stomachs. They can digest meats ok. O was first blood type and oldest. Hunter type O. Agriculture is when type A came along and veg ester more than meat. Meat was scarce. Read it and see what you think. I followed it when had stomach issues and also the leaky gut diet. Must admit I feel a lot better. I can cheat on blood type like tomatoes are a big no for me. Bananas cause mucus so I eat avacodos instead to get my pottisium. I'm pretty healthy considering. I'm fighting copd (I stay away from dairy and sweets as they cause mucus. I eat them occasionally and have to get the mucus out later that night ,clearing my throat. Stay away from these foods and no clearing throat. Afib I'm in exercise zone 21 hours a day. Cardio two and 3 hours . I do walk treadmill to build up but mainly for circulation and edema. I do water pill and potassium pill for edema if I weigh 2lbs more a day. Walking helps. Slow but I move. Then thyroid is hypo. Know iodine and iron needed for thyroid. Take that 4 hours from the pill. I been reducing my thyroid med to 112 now from 175. The heart doc had me on afib med Pacerone and the inbred caused havoc on thyroid med. It has 37% iodine in it. Had stopped the afib med, it slowed heart way down. If I didn't have thyroid prob I'd like to take it. It calmed heart down. It's still calm compared to the beta blockers I got off. Only meds I do now are, synthroid, symbicort (both cause afib, prolongated a t wave on ecg) , Eliquist ,and valsartan for blood psi and thinner. (They just had call back on valsartan.)then water pill and potassium pill as needed. I have increased water pill because of edema which two of the meds cause too. Working on getting on something else. Right now I feel ok.

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Stupid spell check. Correction for last post. It said inbred bla bla. That supposed to be Pacersone. Don't know how it got inbred.lol

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