Is AFib always progressive?: Hi all. This is... - AF Association

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Is AFib always progressive?

Eddie49
Eddie49
59 Replies

Hi all. This is my second post and as I received great advice from my previous questions I though I would ask for advice again.

I had a 'mild' heart attack fourteen years ago . I was fitted with a monitor for two weeks, had an Echo and stress test which showed no concerns and and was put on a Statin, BP tab and aspirin. No problems until two and a half years ago when I had my first (I think) AFib episode (heart racing/fluctuating for hours). I had further tests which resulted in me staying on the same meds as above. A couple of months ago I had a second AFib episode on my 70th birthday which resulted in me being put on Apixaban and I am now awaiting more tests as above. My question is, from what I have read I am confused whether my AFib is bound to become progressive, resulting in possible further drug treatment/ablation etc., or could I remain as I am i.e. on Apixaban for life and just getting on with it?

Thanks

59 Replies
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BobD
BobDVolunteer

We are all different. That said AF is almost always progressive because the more it happens the more pathways become established so the more you will have AF. AF begets AF is an old saying.

How long that takes is the question nobody can answer and of course any treatment to reduce the amount of AF and any lifestyle changes that can be made to limit impact will all work in your favour. Generally alcohol is very bad idea and weight is important. A BMIof less 25 or less is desirable. A diet more leanmgn to plant based foods, less meat and processed foods and reduction of stress all help lower the chances of AF events. Good hydration is always very important.

The anticoagaulant by the way will be for life whatever else may ensue.

12 likes
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Eddie49
Eddie49
in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob.

When I read posts where people say they are in and out of AF or have been in AF for a week or so etc. are they referring to a very high heart rate as an indicator? I ask because, apart from those two episodes above, my heart rate is not an issue, my BP is good, I can go on the cycle machine and treadmill for an hour and my heart rate doesn't get over 114, I don't feel dizzy or tired (apart from the Apixaban that is!), my weight and BM is good. Though I must admit that my alcohol intake and stress levels need working on/looking at. So how do you know you are in and out if you have no regular symptoms? Could I just stay as I am? Perhaps it is just an unknown.

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BobD
BobDVolunteer
in reply to Eddie49

If you are one of the few lucky people who feel little in the way of symptoms then provided that your rate is well controlled then carry on as before. Any and all treatment is only ever about improving quality of life by trying to control symptoms so you are already there by the sounds of it. Most sufferers are highly symptomatic and the switch from NSR to AF extremely distressing which is why you will read so many different stories.

3 likes
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Eddie49
Eddie49
in reply to BobD

Thank you Bob.

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7164
7164
in reply to BobD

Bob

Can you clear this up for me.

I was put on bisop when I had my first Afib attack 15 months ago. Up to then my heart never raced. Afib is about an irregular heart so why just a drug to slow the heart and not address the rhythm problem?

Rod

1 like
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Polski
Polski
in reply to 7164

Drugs that address the rhythm problem are altogether more heavy duty (ie have more serious side-effects) than drugs that address the rate problem eg beta blockers, and don't always do what is needed. Slowing the heart is in order to keep the heart rate below 100, even when in AF. That way the heart itself is kept as healthy as possible ie 'under control' so more serious long-term problems are minimised.

All treatment is about maintaining a good quality of life, so if you feel able to get on with your life, despite the AF, do so. AF tends to get worse overtime, so keep the stronger drugs until you really need them when your quality of life has deteriorated to a less than acceptable level.

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LaceyLady
LaceyLady
in reply to Polski

When is it decided to Use ablation then, rather than stronger and stronger drugs

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Polski
Polski
in reply to LaceyLady

This depends entirely on the decision which you and your EP make. Some people say do it as early as possible so the AF doesn't get worse. This is one extreme. Others prefer to wait until Quality of Life is less satisfactory. Ablation is not without risk, but nor is taking drugs. It can be left too late. Once the AF is permanent, ablation is less effective and likely to need to be repeated, or possibly ineffective, and may not be done at all. This is the other extreme. In the middle are those who prefer to tackle life style factors first: the more of these you deal with first, the more successful the ablation is likely to be.

I hope this analysis helps!

1 like
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LaceyLady
LaceyLady
in reply to Polski

I was over dosed when in ICU and one drug was wrong it seems. Saw my cardiologist who was gobsmacked at the dose and drug I was given. He lowered the bisoprolol to 2.5 and gave me Flecainaide. Now, considering as far as I know, this AF was the first I knew of. I’ve had SVT for a few years and had been on Verapamil till the side effects were too much. I’ve cut the bisoprolol to 1.25( yes cardio suggested it) as sleep too heavy, dream too much and have funny head in the mornings😳

I’ve always exercised, sadly overweight but find hard to lose it. I also build muscle easily 🙄 I think my AF is inherited as it seems my much younger sister has started with SVT now.

My BP this morning was 114/70 and pulse of 58. It go’s lower than this! HB can get to just over 50!

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7164
7164
in reply to Polski

Polski

Thanks for a good explanation

Rod

Reply
allserene
allserene
in reply to BobD

Re: Anti-coag for life... My Ep told to stop my anti coagulation last month. I had been apixaban since April when I had my first and only (as far as I know) 150 pulse flutter. I am in Wisconsin.

Reply
Jjda
Jjda
in reply to allserene

Were you diagnosed with Afib? And, if so, do you know what your Cha2ds2-Vasc score is? If you are younger and have no other risk factors, (and are male), EPs are more likely to take you off, or never put you on ACs. I am waiting to get into a clinical trial for those who have had ablations and no Afib for at least 3 months, it has been a year since my ablation, and I have had no episodes. The clinical trial is to determine the efficacy of continued ACs among this group. My Cha2ds2-Vasc score is 3 (2 points for being an old female :)), which puts me into the "AC's for life" category according to the current prevailing opinions, but I worry about long term effects of the ACs as well as the stroke risk without them. It also continues to aggravate me that being female automatically gives you a point, but I guess there is nothing I can do about that.

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allserene
allserene
in reply to Jjda

I was (am) a flutter case... 1st time with it.... Weirdly, my blood pressure is up at 150 but my pulse is always around 62 on the (only 25 mg) beta blocker. Before the episode, (April), my BP was 128/82 pulse 72 which I really liked....so how it goes up on beta I dont know.. My chads is 1 I think, and that's coz of my age (71). My other doc wanted me on betas 13 years ago ...because of my 'family history'... Asked him what he meant and he said "Your granddad died at age 33"...I said, "Yes that's coz the Germans shot him (1917)... My other granddad was born in 1862...jeez I am old...Anyway the Doc dropped that idea.. I am still here a month after stopping anti coag, but not happy about the systolic 150... I am googling around trying to associate betas with a RAISED systolic... so far no luck...

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Froggy

Hi Eddie - I’m afraid that Bob is ‘Bob on’ as usual. AF has it’s own individual patterns for different people. Not the best thing to hear, I know. I have had AF since around 2004, had a couple of cardio versions, a couple of ablations and now, at almost 68 years old, have permanent AF. I am permanent now and have got used to it (mostly) I was quite symptomatic.

What I would say is, go with the flow, notice and report changes as they happen and be sure to take your blood thinners.

Good luck - hoping that you don’t get too much grief from it x

6 likes
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Eddie49
Eddie49
in reply to Froggy

Thanks Froggy, much appreciated.

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sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to Froggy

You are young enough that this might work for you. Give it a try (it's free and healthful).

--------------------------------------

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

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Pam296

Hi Eddie. AF is still a bit of a mystery to me! I was diagnosed nearly 3 years ago but probably developed it a couple of years before that. With the agreement of my EP, I don't take any meds apart from Apixaban. I have an episode probably twice a month, never lasting more than 5 minutes. I'm hoping lifestyle changes will keep it at bay for as long as possible.

3 likes
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sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to Pam296

Pam - give this a try. Works for a lot of folks:

-----------------------------------------

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

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Pam296
Pam296
in reply to sugarisit

Thank you. I will.

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Maggimunro

Hi Eddie

I have a question for you. Are you still taking your daily aspirin now that you are on Apixiban?

I ask because this actually happened to my mum and after a knee jerk reaction from the medical staff to stop ALL of her medication to prevent a gastric bleed, she stroked out.

Reply
Eddie49
Eddie49
in reply to Maggimunro

Hi, yes the aspirin has been stopped. Thanks.

1 like
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Tobw

Reading this forum down the years, I've come to the conclusion that my version of A fib is quite unusual in that, having first noticed it in 2007 and had it confirmed a year later, I'm largely symptom free and any progression of the condition is very slow. The trend with me is to have an episode something like every eight to twelve weeks which lasts a long time (usually at least a day and it has lasted as long as two and a half days).

My heart rate only rises to something in between sixty five and ninety bpm when I'm in fibrillation and I've been told by doctors on separate occasions that they'd have no issues with me being in A fib for months as long as it stayed at that rate and I took my daily dose of Warfarin

When in A fib, I suffer no symptoms except for a vague feeling that things aren't working quite as normal and the only time I have a noticeable symptom is when I sometimes feel quite dizzy for a few seconds after going back into NSR.

Indeed, although my episodes have got progressively longer over the past twelve years, their frequency has, if anything, declined slightly from a peak which was reached about five or six years ago. I've been on the same sized dose of Bisoprolol since 2008 and was told in 2014 that I could go on Flecainide if my condition worsened, but have never felt the need to discuss such a change with my doctor.

I only post this to show that while A fib is, probably, living up to the progressive condition description in my case, it is doing so very, very slowly so far.

1 like
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sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to Tobw

I bet this will stop your Afib:

--------------------------

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

Reply
wilsond

As BobD said,it's hard to generalise. My episodes have reduced massively to the extent that I now take flecanide and bisoprolol only as needed in response to episodes.,instead of 200mg and 5mg daily. I have also been taken off a planned double ablation as my QOL is now good,so would be little benefit to me. I am under no illusions though and am aware that AFib and Flutter are always lurking about and might come back with a vengeance one day. So I will continue with my lifestyle changes,my stress reduction focus and most important,hypertension control and Apixaban for life,to try to keep it at Bay.

So short answer,as in diabetes,it seems for some of us,AFib / flutter symptoms can be reversed but one will always be classed as an AF/Fl patient. Best wishes x

1 like
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Auriculaire

I had my first confirmed attack in 2015 though I think I also had an attack in 2014. Nothing in 2016. One attack in 2017 ,3 in 2018 and nothing so far this year. My BMI is around 30 and I can see no way of reducing it without starving myself. Exercise is difficult due to widespread tendonitis and joint pain . I have reduced alcohol to one very small glass of wine a day with my main meal and I take magnesium taurate 3 times a day. All my attacks except the one in 2017 have had discernable triggers -the first two Cipro , the first one last year major surgery and the other two last year stress/dehydration and an infection. I do get occasional ectopics especially after meals . I am hoping to keep AF at bay and my GP thinks there is a good chance I will. There are others here who also have seen a dwindling of their AF attacks rather than an increase.

2 likes
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sugarisit

This should stop your Afib problems:

------------------------

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

Reply
Auriculaire

This might have worked for you but will not necessarily work for everyone. My first 2 afib attacks were triggered after taking Cipro - an antibiotic well known to cause arrythmias. I eat the same amount of fruit/ dried fruit ( 2 apricots)/ chocolate (2squares) every day. Some days I even eat dessert yet I have only had 6 afib attacks in 5 years. If it were the sugar in my diet why not every day? Quite frankly you post this so often it seems a little obsessive. I have no desire to be a millionaire and even less to make the cover of any magazine. You are lucky to be able to exercise properly. My encounters with Cipro have left me with widespread musculoskeletal problems that make exercising difficult.

1 like
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quanglewangle

Hello Eddie

Having experienced AF for some years now and watched this forum for a time I think that it is worth adding my two-pennyworth.

Lifestyle changes advocated are sensible measures for anyone but remember that we are all different.

My version of AF has progressed from intermittent to persistent to permanent, and virtually throughout have been unaware of it apart from feeling breathless and a bit slow at times - UNTIL I started having faints and blackouts.

Here is what may be relevant to you as I note that your normal HR and raised HR are like mine and quite low - unlike many on here that have high BP and periods of very high HRs.

What I was experiencing turned out to be Cardiac Induced Syncope when my heart stopped for 5 - 10 or more seconds and I fell to the floor. As soon as this was acknowledged (Friday) I was given a pacemaker (Tuesday) that cuts in when my HR falls below my normal resting HR of 60. At the last checkup I asked if this ever happened (as I was unaware of any change) and it tuned out that it is taking over 25% of the time!!

So adjust the lifestyle, keep taking the tablets and carry on....

1 like
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CCW66

What is it like having pacemaker? Think I may have a date with one in the future..

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Aufgeblassen

INDEED! After my 2nd ablation, I was 100% AF free for 18 mos. before it suddenly came back. Immediately got a cardioversion and was AF free for 4 weeks, then came back again, was again stopped, but for only 2 weeks, at which time I've AF free I had a 2nd ablation, which I've been 100% AF free for 17 months.

Reply
sugarisit

Try this, it should work for you:

-------------------------------

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

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Aufgeblassen

If it takes very little to trigger AF, you are "sitting on the fence" or a "time bomb waiting to explode" (use your own analogy), and it best to get it actually fixed with an ablation, and live your life worry free!

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sugarisit

Actually all 4 of my doctors told me that my Afib wasn't a time bomb and all suggested I just live with it, which I am. However, I am not on any meds (other than verapamil and daily aspirin) and am only 70 years old so that, plus other risk factors, make me a good candidate for just living with it. That being said, I would get an ablation if anyone could assure me that it would work, or even have a 50% chance of working, but nobody will commit to any chance of success. I had an ablation about 8 or 9 years ago and it did nothing. So, since I found out sugar and dehydration triggers Afib, I just cut down on those and get it a lot less. Plus, I am seeing a Nutritionist and so far she has balanced my nutritional needs such that my Afib is happening less and less. If she ends up curing it I will post it on this forum so others can try it also. I should know in a couple of months or so. (would be a nice Christmas present!!). In the mean time I am just sharing what I know that might help others. After careful watching and note taking over the last 11 years or so I am 99% sure that my heart is fine, but it is an organ or gland in my body that is mis-functioning and causing the heart to Afib. I'm quite sure Afib is a symptom of something else and not a disease/problem with the heart itself. Don't know if the gland/organ is just old and not working any more or is missing some nutritional need (which if fixable with a Nutritionist) but I am trying to fix it up with foods first before I try anything else. In any case, all my doctors have told me that my heart will not stop or cause any kind of heart attack even if I play soccer or anything else, so even they, in the back of their minds, think the heart is fine but just skipping beats for some unknown reason. Hope you find success with your Afib. Good Luck!

- Rick Hyer.

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Aufgeblassen

I would get a 2nd opinion! It is a time bomb, if it comes back. If it never comes back, it wasn't.

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sugarisit

Oh it comes back all the time - whenever I eat more than 65 grams of sugar a day (which is once or twice a week usually) then stays with me till I cut back on sugars (usually takes 1-2 days to clear out my system of sugars). And I did get a second opinion, and a 3rd. and a 4th. Nobody knows why it happens. Some doctors think it's the heart doing it on it's own, some think something else is causing it. But all the doctors I have seen agree that the Afib, itself is no biggie - only the possible blood clot it could generate (and resulting stroke). But since I am a "low risk" for developing a clot (not overweight, in shape, no meds, no diabetes etc.) they all say I'm better off just living with it - after all there is risk with surgery and taking meds that are sometimes riskier than the disease itself, sometimes. You need to check with your doctor and go over the 10 "risk" factors that you may have. Cutting back on sugars, although hard for me to do, is a lot safer and cheaper than surgery or taking harsh meds (2 meds mentioned to me were so harsh the doctor would want to put me in the hospital for 3 days to make sure I wouldn't die from them). That tells me they are experimenting, not sure what will happen. I can do that on my own.

- Rick Hyer.

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Aufgeblassen

AF is indeed a "biggie"! Especially is accompanied with rapid HR, which greatly reduces your life expectancy. I've had 8 or so AF episodes, and have NEVER had it with around DOUBLE the HR. If you have AF with less than 90 HR, and take a high quality anti-coagulant, you will be "OK", but why not be totally back to normal by having an ablation??? Makes no sense to me that don't.

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sugarisit

Only that an ablation isn't guaranteed to work. See what percentage of success your doctor gives you. Remember to ask him/her for a percentage of success for 6 months, 12 months and over 3 or 5 years.

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sugarisit

My doctor says it is always progressive - gets worse as we get older. But of course he doesn't know why, or even what causes it in the first place. However, my own research shows the following - you might want to try it:

--------------------------------------------

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

3 likes
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DGET1
DGET1
in reply to sugarisit

I've got PAF, and my trigger is definitely sugar ! I can drink alcohol in moderation and caffeinated coffee, but have to keep a careful eye on sugar intake.

Reply
sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to DGET1

Remember that alcohol makes you dehydrated. And dehydration is definitely an Afib trigger, in addition to sugar.

- Rick Hyer.

Reply
Aufgeblassen

If you go ahead and get an ablation, "triggers" are literally GONE. So what is holding you back? The peace of mind alone is worth it!

Reply
sugarisit

The underlying reason that triggers your Afib in the first place is still there. An ablation only addresses the heart circuitry (which is, I believe, only a symptom of an underlying problem). That's probably why ablations fix you up only temporary, if at all. Do some research and you will see that your first ablation's chance of success is around 30-40%. Your second ablation's success rate is around 70-80%. And then you have to see how your doctor defines "success". Would 6 months of no Afib define "success" to you, if the Afib came back after 6 months? Check it out - don't just take people's word for it on this forum.

- Rick Hyer.

Reply
Aufgeblassen

Incorrect! Ablation CURES AF FOR LIFE 60% of the time for 1st ablations, and 85% for 2nd ones. The underlining problem IS overactive electrical signals in the heart valves, and ablation calms them. If you are on the brink of going into AF, that is no way to live. One's life is like night & day, pre and post ablation.

Either you are rationalizing NOT getting actual cure performed because you were denied proper medical care or are too scared to get it done. Which is it?

Reply
sugarisit

Whatever the odds, they aren't 100%. Good luck to you. I hope it works and you live a great life.

- Rick Hyer.

Reply
Aufgeblassen

So if someone said they'd give you $100,000 if you stayed in a room for 1 1/2 days and they'd bring you food & drink & you can watch TV and be on your computer/phone, but the odds would be not quite 100% you'd get the money you would't jump at the chance?

That is basically what getting an ablation is like. To me, the difference between a pre & post ablation life is worth well OVER $100,000!!!

Reply
sugarisit

You said first-time ablations were 60% successful. For me it was 0%. Given that, a second ablation probably would be less than 50%. And even if it were successful, how long would it last before Afib returned? 3 months? 6 months? 2 years? Without correcting the underlying problem that causes Afib I would think it would come back pretty quickly. I'm more interested in finding the underlying problem - once that is fixed Afib is gone forever. Hopefully. I have been seeing a Nutrition Response Tester for the last 5 months and my Afib is happening a lot less, even when I go over my limit of sugar during the day, so with a little luck, perhaps this will lead to a more permanent cure. I should know in a few months. If it does stop Afib I will post it here, plus let as many doctors and researchers know as I can. Give me your email and I will add you to a distribution list of folks to email if my Nutritionist and I find a cure.

By the way, if you want to give me the $100,000 for watching TV for a couple days, I'm in!!

- Rick Hyer.

Reply
Aufgeblassen

Using stats on a sample size of one (1) is NOT scientific! It was not for me either. That is why when my AF suddenly, unexpectedly, out-of-the-blue came back after 17 months, I IMMEDIATELY scheduled another one w/o any hesitation, and got it a mere 2 weeks later. If it EVER comes back, I'd do exactly the same. Even if it meant my HR went too low and I needed a pacemaker. One's life w/o AF vs. with is like night & day vs. trying to somehow living with it.

Reply
Mollybear

For me it has definitely not been progressive. I have way fewer episodes now at age 67 than I when first diagnosed in 1986 at the age of 34. I have now gone 9 months with only 1 episode that I deliberately induced with a "carb fest." I still carry Flecainide as my pill in a pocket. Since 2003 it has never failed to convert me with just one dose within 3 hours.

Since I retired in 2016 and no longer have the stress of the job, and since I am on a strict gluten and casein free diet, and eat higher levels of fat and very low carb (Keto) I feel better than I did when I was a much younger man. I also take Vitamin D, Magnesium, Fish Oil and Occuvite daily. I also believe that being diagnosed with an MTHFR mutation helped me and my doctors understand why my reaction to most prescription drugs, including Warfarin, Xarelto, Lisinopril, Losartan, Valsartan and antibiotics included increased episodes of A Fib. For me diet, supplements and no prescription drugs, has been my ticket to making my A Fib regressive.

2 likes
Reply
sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to Mollybear

You should be able to also trigger an Afib episode with sugar. Give it a try and let me know if you were successful. (you might have to consume 100-200 grams of sugar for it to work. Start with a smaller amount and work up to see what your limit is). With Afib, ALL sugars are the same (refined, honey, agave, natural sugars in fruits and veggies, etc.). So . . . pick your favorite food and have a ball!!

- Rick Hyer.

Reply
Mollybear
Mollybear
in reply to sugarisit

You do understand that as soon as any carbs, be they bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or fruit hit your mouth they turn into sugar when they come into contact with the digestive enzymes in your mouth!

They have the same, and in some cases a worse impact than straight table sugar, and have a higher glycemic index than table sugar. That is why even on a technically no sugar, honey or agave I was able to trigger A Fib. Dr. Atkins was right when he said the problem was the potato itself, not the butter and sour cream on top.

health.harvard.edu/diseases...

1 like
Reply
sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to Mollybear

This is partially true. Carbs do turn into sugar, eventually, but not right away. Complex carbs take even longer, which is why Doctors recommend them and not the simple carbs. Eventually, even a steak turns into sugars. In my research and documentation, I could not (yet anyway) pin down carbs as the Afib trigger, but sugars always stick out like a sore thumb. You might try counting carbs AND sugar intake each day, but several Nutritionists have told me that different carbs create different amounts of sugars, so it's quite complex to count carbs in sugar processing inside your body. Plus, to make things even more complex, if you are on any meds, those may change your body's chemistry and sugar-processing and may make it different than if you were not on meds. I am not, yet, so I believe the sugar and/or dehydration is probably the same for most folks (that are not on any meds). I guess you have to try counting sugars/carbs and see if you can find your threshold. If you are on meds, could be something else is triggering your Afib. But documenting sugars is a good starting place. Beats doing nothing at all, and gets to be kind of fun after a while - to try to outguess your body's reaction to the sugars you ate over the last 2 or 3 days. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. I'm hoping, in all this documentation, I may find a cure, or what the root cause is. Perhaps you will find it!!

Just taking the pills your doctor hands to you is, in my opinion, a cop-out, quitting, giving in to it. I'm going down fighting!!

- Rick Hyer.

Reply
T8746

I think that is the million dollar question.

It seems that it can be very different for different people.

I haven’t had en episode for eight months and things seem to be getting more stable with time.

I was exercising a lot, thinking that I couldn’t exercise too much.

When I would eat after exercising, I would eat very fast.

I wasn’t a big drinker, but at dinners or events where wine was available, I found myself sipping throughout.

I started to notice that my esophagus felt “swollen” a lot.

I stopped drinking alcohol, cut back on my exercise, started eating smaller portions with lighter foods.

Things seem to be getting better and better with time. I feel very grateful and lucky.

Who knows what the future holds.

I am encouraged though.

I’m a little bit upset at how little advice I got from doctors.

I never had an ablation, and am not taking any meds.

There was a video that was helpful to me that someone shared on this forum:

One thing that I understand is that little is known about this condition.

I look at my situation as a science project.

So far, so good.

Good luck !!

1 like
Reply
sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to T8746

Your diet is probably the reason you are controlling your Afib. However, I think the cut-and-paste below will keep it simpler for you. Give it a try. See if you can trigger an Afib episode with sugars, and let me know if it worked for you.

---------------------------------------

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

Reply
CNWozz

I agree with those who have said that everyone is different. I certainly wouldn't take the view that AF is always progressive. I have been in AF since heart failure (from an infection) 11 years ago. The degree of AF has reduced every year so I don't see how that could be construed as progressive. Warfarin for life obviously.

1 like
Reply
Aufgeblassen
Aufgeblassen
in reply to CNWozz

It matters not if it is or isn't. If you have it, get it FIXED with an ablation. If you don't have it you don't. It is nothing to dilly dick around with.

Reply
bennie06

According to the "ORBIT-AF" study, which analysed the progression of over 6000 patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF, nearly 25% would progress over 24 months. A similar Canadian study resulted in 25% over 5years, although different exclusion criteria were used. "ORBIT-AF" did mention that heart rate and age were associated with progression.

Another study by the European Society of Cardiology on Autonomic trigger patterns concluded that Vagal - AF does not usually progress. However this is dependent upon the correct medication being prescribed!! Exercise and Emotions (stress) were cited as the major triggers of non-vagal AF. (note exercise can also trigger Vagal-AF but only after a minimum of a 30 minute rest period).

So if England reach the final make sure you control your emotions!!

Good Luck.

Reply
sugarisit
sugarisit
in reply to bennie06

It progresses if you don't watch your sugars. And it gets better if you do, and keep them under your personal "sugar threshold". Give it a try - I bet you can trigger an Afib episode by eating your favorite food that contains a lot of sugar (ice cream and chocolate is my favorites). Let me know if it works for you. Here is the info:

-------------------------------------------

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

Reply
Eddie49

Hi all. Thanks for all your comments which I have just picked up as I am in Japan for the next three weeks to visit our son and to support WALES to WIN the rugby world cup. (Sorry Bennie!) The weather is hot and humid and I am feeling good apart from jet lag. Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will be studying them more fully when we return. Diolch yn fawr. Altogether now - COME ON WALES.

Reply
Jamila123

Hi

The answer is NO it’s not

I treated mine with nutrition and supplements

However I did not have any heart problem s

Mine started 2016 had episodes for

8 months 1/2 months he up to 170 at times lasting for 6-8 hours awful

I changed my lifestyle dramatically

And treated my self with supplements

I have not had an episode of afib since 2017

But in my opinion using the orthodox over use of medicine

Don’t help the heart they block vital energy for a healthy heart

Therefore yes afib will get worse

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