Atrial Fibrillation advice needed - AF Association

AF Association

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Atrial Fibrillation advice needed

Poppy128
Poppy128

Hi I have just been diagnosed with AF which has come as a complete shock. I have been discharged from hospital with medication 5mg Bisoprolol, 60mg Edoxaban and 125 micro grams of Digoxin. I have been told i need to take the medication for 4-6 weeks until I get an appointment for Cardioversion. Can anyone give me any advice or information. I am a 58 year old woman with no other medical conditions. Thanks

27 Replies
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Hiya, there maybe some lifestyle changes that will help you depending on how you currently live of course.. I have always avoided the following:

Alcohol, Smoking, Caffine, stress, getting over tired, large meals especially at night. Try to keep your BMI within the recommendations (less than 25) eat a healthy diet and keep a documented record of all of your medical history starting now... Try not to be intimidated by AF as anxiety is its bedfellow and can end up being a contributing factor. Don't worry as the medical experts will get to the bottom of the problem and fingers crossed all will be resolved for you. This is a great forum and there's lots of great advice to be had 👍 take care.

I endorse your comment about anxiety being the bedfellow of AF as I have been feeling quite ashamed of myself for being so scared of it. Having a tribe of ferrets fighting inside your chest is enough to worry anyone, and now I have done my first 'conversion' on my own with only 2 metopropol, I know I can manage this thing until my July 17 appointment with the EP ...and then they will take over to its successful conclusion... ablation, but only when appropriate. Only plenty of good info can ease the fear of the unknown...

I totally agree with you, information is everything and if you can use good information to control the anxiety that will reduce the symptoms for sure. Good luck with your EP, I had a Cryoablation last September and after about 4 months of ups and downs the worst day I get now is a handful of single palpatations, some days zero symptoms. Take care 👍

Hi Poppy,

I agree with the ‘gate keeper’. Please, do not be unduly worried. Your cardiologist may be able to identify the causative factor and offer a solution. I had had AF for a few years. Now am happy to say, I have been free of the mongrel for over two years.

It is a well understood medical condition. So, I am sure, you will find a solution. From medication to a surgery. Not always simple, true. This forum is (generally) useful. After discussing my options with one forum member, I opted for a surgery, and it worked.

Another example is the controversial use of aspirin, recommended in some circles, rejected in others. Of course, taking aspirin is a relatively safe and effective prophylaxis. Alas not for all. A simple blood test will determine if you are an aspirin responder or not.

Please keep looking, be open minded, and ignore some of the negativity one invariably encounters.

Best wishes

J (-:

rosyG
rosyG in reply to Globe-J

Hi Asprin works on platelets only and is not used now for AF

Globe-J
Globe-J in reply to rosyG

Hi Rosy,

Yes you are right, and not all individuals respond. Can decreased platelet stickiness help? We all have our own opinions, don't we (-?

Best wishes

J

rosyG
rosyG in reply to Globe-J

We do but the NICE guidance is based on many opinions and stroke figures in studies so Asprin definitely out if one wants to minimise strike risk

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to Globe-J

Aspirin on top of the Edoxaban prescribed to Poppy would increase bleeding risk. From what I have read an anti aggregant such as aspirin would only be prescribed on top of an anticoagulant if there were other conditions involved like stenting for blocked arteries.

Globe-J
Globe-J in reply to Auriculaire

Hi,

Correct, yet irrelevant. I did not suggest a specific treatment/ overdosing, merely a wider exploration of the available possibilities. These also include (drug-less) options

J (-:

Auriculaire
Auriculaire in reply to Globe-J

I tend to favour drug less options myself! But after having a suspected TIA I succumbed to the necessity of an anticoagulant.

Globe-J
Globe-J in reply to Auriculaire

I understand. My best wishes

J

I cannot add anything to the above posts except to say yes - it is a shock. At any age.

I was 31 when it hit me, and having recently moved house and separated from my wife of 8 years. It was a lot of "why me" when other reasonably unhealthy people (by comparison) seemed to "get away with it".

You do come to terms with a lot of it - the diagnosis, the lifestyle, the restrictions, the adverse reactions to stress and situations.

This forum is invaluable with the information and support you can get not only for peace of mind, but the broad range of people's experience of good and bad. You must beat in mind that it is just that - a broad range of experiences. And every one of us is different in terms of treatment and side effect. But ultimately I still think it's worth knowing both sides of the coin and hopefully you do too.

As Globe-J says - be open minded and objective about things, and as djbgatekeeper has said try not to worry (easier said than done) as it's a vicious circle some times which we've all been in. Worry, fear, depression, anxiety, unstable AF, which breeds worry, fear, depression, anxiety etc.

As with other "invisible illnesses" there will be certain judgments made and negativity expressed but on the whole, and certainly here, people show compassion and empathy having been "starting out" just as you are now.

May the force be with you.

healthunlocked.com/afassoci...

This thread may also be useful when trying to decipher people's advice ;)

The usual route of treatment is to firstly try Cardioversion to put you in NSR, if it works then all well and good,if not an Ablation may be the answer. A tried and tested path so don't worry.

Also monitor your medications for side effects as there are many alternatives and dosages to achieve a good quality of life in the interim

Poppy128
Poppy128 in reply to Mugster

Thanks Munster. Have got a really bad headache since taking the medication, quite like a sinus headache. Not sure if it is symptoms of the AF or the medication.

allserene
allserene in reply to Poppy128

I have had a bad neck-to-head ache since being in the hospital for conversion 3 weeks ago... I was blaming it on the beta blocker/anticoagulant but it just as likely be that steel framed hospital bed. Also I blamed freezing cold sports drink for shocking me into a flutter within1 minute of drinking it...but it could be a coincidence. Its natural to blame whatever we were doing just before something bad happens , but its mostly not connected.

Horse57
Horse57 in reply to allserene

When I drink anything cold above room temperature I go into a fib immediately so that part might not be a coincidence!

I would be interested to know where in the uk your located, I first went to the doctors beginning of April & got cardioverted on 12 July last year & very symptomatic with a heart rate of 140 plus,even thou I was taking 10mg bisop & 200mg amioderone!

Poppy128
Poppy128 in reply to Nugger

Hi Nugger, I am in Leicestershire. Really trying to get my head round everything at the moment. As I was taken in last week I feel as if I was rushed through the system to get me out for the bank holiday. On my discharge paperwork it says long term for the blood thinners. I have no other medical problems and am only 58 I think I need further advice but don’t know where to get it. I had no symptoms when I was admitted and now I am breathless and have this really bad sinus headache. I am sure it’s the medication but who do I talk to. Thanks

Nugger
Nugger in reply to Poppy128

No symptoms nice lol, I too was admitted same time last year on a Friday, tour de yorkshire was going on in my home town Barnsley, red hot weekend & got discharged on Monday! So how did your Afib get discovered ? how fast was your heart rate & how fast now your on meds, it’s all about quality of life & I personally self medicate by listening to my body, the doctors in general just treat everyone the same & hand out pills willy nilly, if I took notice of the cardiologist in I’m I would have been taking amioderone for a year now, look that drug up & see the dangers of taking that crap!

The best thing you can do is read as much as possible to educate yourself as you’ll find that the so called specialists aren’t as knowledgeable as they make out, have fun

Mugster
Mugster in reply to Poppy128

Make sure your GP refers you to a electrophysiologist consultant. They are the experts on arrthymia. They are also supported by arrthymia nurses who run regular clinics

Discuss the mediactions with your doctor. He will probably be reluctant to change them, but may be willing to suggest changes in dosage, as we all react differently. For example, less bisoprolol may make you feel better.

Also read the helpsheets on the AF Association website, and then ask questions here!

Highbur8
Highbur8 in reply to Polski

Hi ...I was diagnosed with AF over a month ago and just last week had a check up with the cardiologist...my biggest problem was dizziness from the beta blocker...cardiologist got me taking the b.blocker before i went to bed and now dizziness is gone...he suggestedi should have been told that when leaving the hospital by his team who had told me to take first thing n d morning...might be worth a try.

Hi Poppy. I was diagnosed with afib when I was 38. I took Cardizem and Rythmol off and on for 20 years. I finally got tired of having afib episodes, never knowing if or when it was going to happen. I finally had an ablation done when I was 58. My only regret is that I waited so long. I still take my medication at a lower dosage, just as a precaution. I’m 99% better. I have a little flutter once in a great while, but haven’t had a locked-in afib episode in over two years now. I’d do it again if need be. It’s been well worth it.

Hi Poppy128, yes it is a shock I was 57 when it happened to me so I totally get it. I take 120g Sotalol and xarelto each day and since my cardioversion when

I was diagnosed In Jan 2018 in emergency In France I have never had any symptoms again. Life goes on as before. I am vegetarian and exercise regularly but I do enjoy a cocktail every now and then. Don’t despair.

My first comment would be to get an EP doctor NOT a cardiologist. Second if afib comes back and would do it periodically then consider ablation. if you decide to go this route then DO NOT Allow to perform an ablation on you just by ANY EP.

If you are in USA then i really recommend contacting absolutely the best doctor ( probably in the world). His name is Andrea Natale and he works in Austin Texas cardiac arrhythmia St Davis Medical center. He is the procedure pioneer and virtually all the difficult cases go to him. He is up to date performed 13000+ procedures and more than 70% of which are difficult cases. I know people who had 4 -5 unsuccessful ablations before the "master" worked on them. it is ABSOLUTLEY worth every effort seeing him if you choose ablation.

My trouble with Afib began at 27 y/o. I had Ablation at 37 by Natale which held for 10 years. unfortunately some tissues "reconnected" and i had "touch" up by him in August 2018 which went very well. In fact i am flying to Texas today for follow up. In between those two ablations i had no issues with Afib except brief periods of frequent PAC. I highly recommend contacting this doctor he might get your life back for you.

Also he is a VERY busy doctor. do not expect him to talk a lot with you. he spends most of his time in EP lab working on patients like me and you and making sure that every "stone is turned". Very nice person. But i if you really need to talk to him you can request it. In fact just before my second procedure i had some doubt and ask to see him to discass it before i was rolled into the OR. So for detailed consultation and long discussions i would use my local EP. If ablation I would ONLY see the Natale. But it is just me

Hi Poppy, I felt the same way a year ago. don't worry, the shock treatment does not hurt a bit. The crioablation I had was very minor surgery , as far as stitches and recovery. Kind of amazing how much they did with such a little hole in my thigh. I still get episodes, like right now( ate too many spicy meat balls ?), but they are infrequent. Hopefully the drugs or cardioversion gets you back in rythm. I would by a stethiscope so you can hear the beats. Good luck :)

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