When is ablation necessary: After many years... - AF Association

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When is ablation necessary

ronat2545
ronat2545

After many years of heavy drinking I developed AF about 12 years ago and am now on a daily dose of Metropolol 75mg am, 50mg pm and Eliquis 2.5 mg 1 tablet morning and evening and the only symptom I notice is breathlessness. Due to my heart rate dropping to 35 during the night my then Cardiologist put a pacemaker in prior to a hip replacement in 2012 . I am on the wrong side of 80, am not overweight, walk between 5000 and 8000 steps daily and have blood pressure varying between 120/80 and 110/60. I gave up smoking 25 years ago and have about 4 alcoholic drinks a week. As much as possible I restrict sugar and believe my GP when he says it is the new tobacco (in it's danger to health). Luckily for me I live a long way out of town so takeaway foods are not available. My current (for the last 3 years) highly rated Cardiologist hasn't said so, but I believe he thinks I should never have had a pacemaker put in. He only wants to see me yearly. Last meeting he noted several thousand measurements above my maximum allowed heart rate in the previous year, most for just a few minutes, but some up to an hour. When I asked him about ablation he said it wasn't always successful and I needed to have a very high heart rate pretty much permanently to warrant it. Is he correct in telling me that?

I'm certain many of you will say "what's he got to whinge about" and I understand that.- I'm not bragging, but in the last 5 or so years I have made every effort I can to make sure I am around as long as possible.

Lastly I note that Mindful Meditation (I took that up a few months ago) can drop my heart rate from 75-78 bpm down to around 60 although it only lasts for a few minutes. It is great f or calming me if I feel stressed.

Ronno

11 Replies
oldestnewest

unless you really would ve unhappy I would stop alcohol altogether otherwise you seem to be doing everything right!! Make sure you have enough potassium rich foods- that's essential for me or AF kicks in! Having the pacemaker is good for other reasons as you are being monitored so any problem can be headed off

ronat2545
ronat2545
in reply to rosyG

Thanks for the advice, Rosy and I'll take it----I like to call myself a recovered alcoholic, but the monster is only just a whisker away from anyone who has had a serious drinking problem.

Best Wishes

Ron

There is a cut- off age for ablation at my hospital. It's 80.

ronat2545
ronat2545
in reply to jennydog

Thanks, jennydog for your reply. I am not sure of the cut-off age here in Australia, but it may well be the same. My cardiologist appears not to be in favour of ablation although he has not said so. As he only requires me to see him once a year he can't be too worried.

I agree with many comments on this website---whilst it is easy to await the specialist's advice and treatment much can be done by ourselves via common sense eg not smoking, not drinking alcohol, losing weight (if necessary), eating sensibly, getting exercise etc. I am lucky--I live alone with 3 active dogs who need leash free runs every day so I can walk, shop, sleep and eat when I want.

However, I have never been able to conquer my chocolate addiction!!!

Best Wishes

Ron

Barb1
Barb1
in reply to ronat2545

I think that you are doing exceptionally well, especially if you really do stick to the amount of alcohol you say. For some alcohol is not a trigger and maybe you don't need to take all your pleasures away. You know your body best.

ronat2545
ronat2545
in reply to Barb1

Thanks Barb---I think you are correct in your advice. My drinking weakness was Bourbon and Coke and I know if I buy a bottle I would probably drink it in a couple of days. How I solved this was to have my evening meal at a friend's house ( he doesn't drink) every second day. I pay him to buy the alcohol and I have just the one drink. That way a bottle lasts me nearly six weeks.

Barb1
Barb1
in reply to ronat2545

That's very resourceful especially if your friend pours the drink. After the meal you are probably not bothered about a drink. Well done.

Hidden
Hidden

Years of drinking may have affected your metabolism and body chemistry, so the following might not work for you. But, what have you got to lose? And remember alcohol makes you dehydrated. Try this ...

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After 9 years of trying different foods and logging EVERYTHING I ate, I found sugar (and to a lesser degree, salt – i.e. dehydration) was triggering my Afib. Doctors don't want to hear this - there is no money in telling patients to eat less sugar. Each person has a different sugar threshold - and it changes as you get older, so you need to count every gram of sugar you eat every day (including natural sugars in fruits, etc.). My tolerance level was 190 grams of sugar per day 8 years ago, 85 grams a year and a half ago, and 60 grams today, so AFIB episodes are more frequent and last longer. If you keep your intake of sugar below your threshold level your AFIB will not happen again (easier said than done of course). It's not the food - it's the sugar (or salt - see below) IN the food that's causing your problems. Try it and you will see - should only take you 1 or 2 months of trial-and-error to find your threshold level. And for the record - ALL sugars are treated the same (honey, refined, agave, natural sugars in fruits, etc.). I successfully triggered AFIB by eating a bunch of plums and peaches one day just to test it out. In addition, I have noticed that moderate exercise (7-mile bike ride or 5-mile hike in the park) often puts my Afib heart back in to normal rhythm a couple hours later. Don’t know why – perhaps you burn off the excess sugars in your blood/muscles or sweat out excess salt??

Also, in addition to sugar, if you are dehydrated - this will trigger AFIB as well. It seems (but I have no proof of this) that a little uptick of salt in your blood is being treated the same as an uptick of sugar - both cause AFIB episodes. (I’m not a doctor – it may be the sugar in your muscles/organs and not in your blood, don’t know). In any case you have to keep hydrated, and not eat too much salt. The root problem is that our bodies are not processing sugar/salt properly and no doctor knows why, but the AFIB seems to be a symptom of this and not the primary problem, but medicine is not advanced enough to know the core reason that causes AFIB at this time. You can have a healthy heart and still have Afib – something inside us is triggering it when we eat too much sugar or get (even a little) dehydrated. Find out the core reason for this and you will be a millionaire and make the cover of Time Magazine! Good luck! - Rick Hyer

PS – there is a new study out backing up the above observations. You can see it at

cardiab.biomedcentral.com/a...

ronat2545
ronat2545
in reply to Hidden

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

You have obviously taken a great deal of time and effort to find your trigger point. I agree with everything you say about sugar and will now start looking at how much salt is in my diet.

I noted an item on a website yesterday saying that there now nearly 100 different names for added in sugar on different food product labels.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to ronat2545

Don't worry about the 100. Just use what's on labels plus what's in any fruit you eat. If this works for you make sure to get the word out to as many doctors, researchers, college professors, etc. you know. Good Luck!

- Rick Hyer.

ronat2545
ronat2545
in reply to Hidden

Thanks for your reply----I only mentioned the 'nearly 100 different names for added sugar ' to show how devious companies selling products with added sugar are and how they try to get round the Australian 5 health star rating we have here.

Recently a well known cereal company was fined heavily for putting a higher star rating on their famous breakfast food instead of the measured 1.5 stars---the trick was putting tiny writing right at the bottom of the packet saying 'if skim milk is used'---it turns out statistically only around 4% of the population does.

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