What tests to get from new cardiologist? - AF Association

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What tests to get from new cardiologist?

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim

I have a phone appointment with a new cardiologist in 2 days. Would like to make the most of it and see if I can get some him to order some tests of inflammatory markers, electrolytes, glucose, and other things that will help me as I try to sleuth out possible contributing factors and design my own best approach for managing (maybe ending) afib with diet, some supplements, etc.

Would welcome suggestions for my list.

I am thinking of requesting:

*hsCRP (any other inflammatory markers I should ask for?)

*red blood cell magnesium

*potassium (is serum potassium good enough, or does that require a better test?)

*glucose (does this need to be glucose fasting?)

*full thyroid panel

Can anyone think of other important tests? Or are these important? He will have seen an echo from back in January. Should I try to get a new echo done? Or do they not change much over the course of a year?

He will probably just want to talk about getting me on pills, since that (and ablation) are all cardiologists seem to want to do or discuss for AF. But I am going to try to get more out of this appointment - information and labs that could help me as I try to design my own plan.

kim

85 Replies
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I am assuming that those bloods would be more appropriate to be done prior to the appointment so that you might ask questions?

I don’t know where you live or the medical system but in the UK those sorts of tests wouldn’t normally be done for a cardiologist but be handled by a GP clinic or a Nutritionist or Lifestyle Doctor although the cardiologist may get copies of the results. Sometimes the hospital would arrange the normal blood tests prior to the appointment with the cardiologist.

Cardiologist, unless a dual trained Lifestyle Medicine Doctor, would normally be interested in FBC, Thyroid, Liver & Kidney function, ECG as routines and any other tests ordered thereafter. Echocardiograms may be annual but every doctor works differently so may ask for another.

I am sure there are lots of other tests which if they suspect something awry they can order, but they would be the usual suspects. Red cell tests for Magnesium are not catered for in most labs in the UK as they are not routine so relatively expensive.

If you are interested in nutritional stuff you may gain more information from a poo analysis as they can often reveal excellent information about inflammatory red flags and general information about the gut Microbiome which may inform your best way forward of adjusting your eating plan.

I’m somewhat confused as to your thinking as you seem to be expecting them to be solely focussed on drugs and ablation whereas you want to look at wider factors, in which case why are you going to see them in the first place and why not a Lifestyle Doctor?

Thank you! (I'm in BC, Canada, I meant to say in the post.) The referral was made to this cardiologist (actually a cardiac oncologist) but my cancer specialist. This cardiac oncologist deals with patients who have developed afib because of cancer or because of their treatment for the cancer. Anyway, he seemed like the logical one to assist me with tests that might shed light on other possible causes of afib that have not yet been identified - eg, diabetes, thyroid issues, electrolyte imbalance. We don't really have Lifestyle Doctors within the funded medical system. But I do have a functional medicine doctor I have used in past, on a private pay basis. I will just see how it goes with this cardiologist appointment on Friday. Take it from there.

Thank you for your reply.

Hope it goes well for you as I know from experience that it can be complex trying to balance treatments for more than one condition.

Do let us know how you get on.

Will do. Thanks! :)

My London (UK) Naturopath got me tested for Red Cell Mg and CoQ10 as the two main issues around AF

Good suggestion! Thanks. That is exactly what I think I will try. I have a doctor of integrative and functional medicine who could order those tests for me - for a price of course, which is why I have been trying to use the funded healthcare system first to get as much done that way. Visits to me integrative doctor are quite pricey.

What did you learn in your own case from those tests? Were you low in both, and are you now supplementing? And has it made any noticeable improvement for you? I am taking 200-400 mg magnesium bisglycinate daily and 100 mg CoQ10.

I learnt I was too low with Magnesium and even with oral and body oil supplements I haven't managed to lift the level over 5yrs...possibly due to the calcium (I read it can block the Mg) in the high quality dairy (organic/biodynamic) products I consume. I found I could lift my CoQ10; I take 200mgs/weekday and 100mgs/weekends to keep my level just over the top of the 'normal' range. As you will know it is difficult to pin any one action as the one that caused the improvement but I guess the answer is I am still taking both 6 years down the line.

Thanks for this info. Do you think it is useful to separate the magnesium supplement (or oil use) from calcium intake of dairy products? In theory it shouldn't be because we evolved with diets and many individual foods containing both at same time. But still, could be an issue for magnesium absorption I suppose.

No idea, I have gone back to my dairy as without it I was getting gut issues - shows how interconnected everything is and proves except in emergencies my mother was right when she said ' a little bit of everything does you good'. I am pretty resigned to not getting a higher Mg level and hope the body can adjust.

Ducky2003
Ducky2003 in reply to secondtry

Hi. May I ask how much these tests were and do you know if it can be done on the NHS? Many thanks.

secondtry
secondtry in reply to Ducky2003

biolab.co.uk/index.php/cmsi... from memory around £100 for Mg Red Cell & CoQ10, which includes the £25 I paid to my GP surgery to take the blood which I then posted to BioLab.... it is an easy process. Your GP is unlikely to be helpful and therefore you will need to be referred to BioLab by an Alternative Practitioner.

Ducky2003
Ducky2003 in reply to secondtry

Thank you for that. My actual GP is quite good but the other 2 at the surgery mantra is "speak to your cardiologist" 😁. Thanks again.

sotolol
sotolol in reply to Ducky2003

Hi

The reason I got mine all checked was because I had to go to A+E our local hospital is really good.

So the doctor is sending a report to my local GP who also is very helpful. X

You could probably get these tests, or most of them, done more quickly if you asked your GP surgery to conduct them. Also, it would be better to have the results before you see the cardiologist. Would it be worth putting back the appointment until you have this data?

That's a good suggestion. I think I will go ahead with the appointment as scheduled... because it's happening in an hour. haha! And I have really wanted it. Unfortunately I don't have a GP. This is part of the problem I have enountered in trying to sleuth out other possible contributing factors to my afib. We have a GP shortage in Canada, and hundreds of thousands of patients have no GP. 20,000 without GP (now called Family Physician here) in my area alone. We just use walk-in clinics, where we see doctors for only that one visit. So it is difficult to get or even ask for tests in that situation since there is no follow-up. It a big shortcoming right now in Canada's otherwise very good health care system.

I didn’t realise you were in Canada. Hopefully you are successful in arranging blood tests with the cardiologist-as well as an ECG and an echocardiogram if you haven’t already had them.

Thanks! Yes, I should have put that in my post - that I am in Canada. Because many/most members in this forum are UK. I am not aware of another Afib forum on this HU health platform, so I joined this one. :) I had an echo in January. I gather those are only done yearly, if that? Have not had a recent ECG (except in ER in May with afib episode). My only holter goes back to January, which is probably too old to be relevant now. I couldn't get another holter done in time for today's appointment. There seems to be a 6 week wait on holter appointments due to Covid issues and not enough places doing it now.

Adasian
Adasian in reply to PlanetaryKim

From one Canuck to another. I am in Ontario and like you I know of no other forum like this in Canada. I find it very informative and helpful. Good luck with your search.

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to Adasian

Thanks Adasian. :)

Do hope whatever questions you ask you get understanding answers. Reading your post and the response from CDreamer made me realise/appreciate the only time I have had extra tests done and not pushed towards my doctor for advice is when I have ended up in A&E and they automatically do the extra tests you wouldn't normally get. I have had two ablations and am down for a third following my latest trip to A & E when my PIP of Flecainide didn't work, but I have the upmost confidence in my Cardiologist now which I didn't necessarily have we previous ones, so when he said about a third I didn't hesitate. My point really is trust, sometimes easy said than done, but something we all need. Good luck.

Thanks Rubymurray. And good luck to you on your next ablation.

Hidden
Hidden

Sorry, but I don't quite see how a phone visit with a new cardiologist will do much good.

My new cardiologist has my records dating back to 1986, yet he required an in person visit even in the time of Covid, so he could assess BP, Weight, Pulse Ox, and run a current EKG, listen to my heart himself and assess my overall condition including color, muscle tone etc.

We no longer have a GP either since ours retired and we have not found a decent one that will accept Medicare in our area. 55% of the doctors in our state do not accept Medicare and an even higher percentage refuse to accept Obamacare policies, due to the low reimbursements.

My original, very allopathic minded, cardiologist ordered a Thyroid Panel CRP, magnesium, 25OHD, glucose and insulin levels in additon to liver enzymes and an electrolyte panel.

Because of the glucose testing I had to fast, but did not have to for the other tests.

It is pretty common for cardiologist in the US to order these tests. GP's don't necessarily have the ability to correlate results with arrhythmia patients and would defer to a cardiologist anyway.

Thankfully, in the US there is no need for a referral to a cardiologist on original medicare or a private insurance plan that allows for physician choice. If you are in an HMO or on a Medicare Advantage plan, you usually need a gate keeper and, to keep costs down, they are loathe to give referrals to specialists. That is why standard medicare + a supplement is much more expensive than a Medicare Advantage Plan, and why an HMO policy is much cheaper than one that allows you to see whatever doctor who accepts the plan with a referral.

But, as usual you get what you pay for!

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to Hidden

Thanks for this info Mollybear - especially the list of tests your original cardiologist ordered. I am in Canada, so the set-up is a little different. I just had the phone appointment a couple hours ago. I did not get any further tests ordered from that appointment. And it was not a particularly productive convo. The doctor just said either manage with drugs or get an ablation. Which I now realize (after doing quite a bit of reading on forums and websites) is all any cardiologist anywhere is goign to say or recommend. So I am, for now, just going to continue pursuing this on my own.

Had an opportunity to try for first time a 'natural' rescue/conversion strategy with my most recent episode on August 1. I converted in 4 hours instead of my usual 4 days! I consumed a small can low-sodium V8, 400 mg magnesium and 2 cups water at the outset, then continued drinking water until I converted 4 hours later. I was thrilled. But it could of course be coincidence. Still... I think the solutions and strategies I am seeking at this will not be found in doctor's office.

Hidden
Hidden

I was just reading about hospitals using IV Magnesium to stop A Fib in emergency rooms, but they said it requires an enlightened doctor! Perhaps take an extra dose of Magnesium if you go into AFib.

This business of doctors only offering drugs or ablation was a big topic of conversation when I had my visit in June with my new cardiologist. That is why functional medicine is getting more popular. It gets to the root cause of the problem rather than just prescribing drugs to mask the symptoms.

We also discussed how the cardiac drugs actually can exacerbate the problem because they deplete the body of critical nutrients, including Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium and B Vitamins. The doctor said mother nature made us so that we need the correct balance and an imbalance in one can throw things out of whack. He also said in his recent email that the Digoxin/Qunidine combo I was on for years probably made things worse. They for sure did not reduce the number of episodes one bit!

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to Hidden

You are so lucky to have this new cardiologist Mollybear! He is a rare breed indeed. I do have an integrative and functional medicine doctor I have seen in the past, and I am sure he would be useful to me on this. But at a price. I will probably go to him though to get some testing done for CRP, red cell magnesium, 25OHD - the things I can't get an 'ordinary' doctor to order. Of course I will have to pay for some of those tests myself as well as the consult with the doctor.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to PlanetaryKim

I guess it is easier to get the tests in the US since it is not a government run health system. Sadly, while they may keep expenditures down in the short run, failures to order such tests and then implement simple treatments, actually costs a whole lot more in the long run. But, no one ever said politicians were smart!

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to Hidden

haha! true about politicians!

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

You are so right Molly about failures to order some tests and implement simple treatments in the US. But it's not easy to always get the tests you need. I'm in the U.S. and our Medicare system is by the government. Similar to your nhs we pay into Medicare during our working lives. But it's not totally no pay. And it's not one size fits all. Lots of insurance companies and lots of different plans based on what one can afford. The more you can afford the better the insurance. And ppo versus hmo. Ppo allows you to see whatever Dr you choose (costs more) and hmo you have to see certain Drs in that plan (called in -network). Costs less. Not all Drs accept Medicare either. They have to accept what Medicare pays them and it takes a lot of paperwork and time to muddle through all the different plans. Also there's Medicaid for the really poor. A lot of Drs won't accept that either. You can see Drs outside an hmo plan but you better be able to pay yourself. The medical system here in the US is insane and mostly profit over patient. I long for the days when Drs here actually cared for their patients. Oh some do but not like when I was young. (I'm 68). And you are also right about politicians. Here they do what benefits them. Not the people who voted for them. During this pandemic the true colors of a lot of politicians have come out and it's pretty disgusting. Take care.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

I'm in Texas, on Medicare (will be 68 next week) and I have not found it to be an impediment to getting anything the doctor wanted to order. As long as the doctor or facility accepts a Medicare assignment then between the Part B and my Plan G Supplement I am only responsible for the $198 Medicare deductible.

FYI, my name is Bill, Mollybear is my 10 year old yellow lab!

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Ha! Just saw this post. You probably have a ppo Medicare plan where you can choose your Drs? I can only afford an HMO and have to use their Drs. I think , at least here in Florida where I'm at, that the sub par Drs take the HMO. My insurance does pay out very well though. I have no complaints there. It's just the- and I'm just going to go ahead and say it (like you did when you told me how much you hate Drs and I agreed) Drs are so crappy. I've also learned from friends and other people how varied the Medicare plans are state to state and the costs. It's crazy. There's a good article about medical insurance and how it started and where it is now. It's titled "A Short History of American Medical Insurance" by John Steele Gordon. Hillsdale College I believe in Michigan prints a small publication and a friend of mine gets it and subscribed me to it. It did come quarterly but I just realized I haven't received anything lately. So I guess the pandemic stopped it. Too bad. It had some good articles by different people. Anyway Google this publication. It's very interesting how medical insurance started. It will probably make you hate Drs even more. Did me.

Oh love your dog's name. I take after my dad. Big animal lovers. Labradors are such sweet dogs. And I promise I won't call you Molly again.😌

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

We have Traditional Medicare Parts A and B along with a Cigna Plan G supplement that picks up everything after we meet the $198 Medicare deductible, but the catch is the supplement only kicks in if the doctor will accept a Medicare assignment. If we go to a doctor who does not accept a Medicare Assignment (takes what the government is willing to pay) and we pay out of pocket, we can apply for reimbursement from Medicare, but they only reimburse 80% less any items they disallow. Our Cigna plan will also pick up costs for emergency care out of the country at 80%.

The nice thing is that if they accept a Medicare assignment and do a procedure or test that is not covered, they cannot bill us for it. The doctor has to eat it. That happened when my wife had her eyes examined to check the progress of her cataract and high eye pressure and they ran a test supposedly not covered. They sent us a bill for $150 for the test. My wife called the doctor's billing dept. and they apologized and said not to pay it and that with her plans she would not be liable. Actually, it turned out that the test was covered with certain diagnoses, but the new billing clerk coded her reason for the visit as routine eye care instead of the correct reason.

We can see any doctor, got to any hospital or urgent care in the country that accepts a Medicare assignment and once we meet the $198 deductible we are covered at 100%.

We also have a Medicare Plan D prescription plan through Envision (owned by Rite Aid). It was the cheapest premium that had the cheapest cost for Flecainide. It is the 3rd drug plan we have had as the others changed the tier for Flecainide and made us subject to the $415 deductible. We will start checking the drug plans again during open enrollment.

The catch is you have to pick up a Plan G Supplement within 6 months of turning 65 so you do not have to provide evidence of insurability. That includes 6 months before turning 65 or 3 months before and the period within 3 months after. But, once you have a regular supplement plan you cannot change companies, nor plans (they all have alphabet letters) without providing evidence of insurability, even during open enrollment.

We could however switch from our supplement plan to a Medicare Part C Advantage plan during open enrollment (unless you have a certain stage of kidney failure) which essentially replaces, A, B, D and the supplement. Many of them have a zero premium and you no longer have to pay the Medicare Part B Premium on some plans, but would still be subject to the IRMAA penalty if you had a high income in retirement (above $174,000 for a married couple).

Thankfully, before signing up we got advice from a Medicare specialist, because even with both of us having a college degree, we found it very confusing. The advice was free and proved to be invaluable. Since I had pre-existing conditions that made me uninsurable from the get go, it was imperative to get my supplement within the 6 month period and I hang onto it for dear life. It has increased in price, from the $103 per month I started at to $133 starting this month.

If we move more than 50 miles, and our current plan is not available in that area, then we can get a Plan G from another company without evidence of insurability, but that is pretty much the only reason we can change it.

We were advised against a Medicare Advantage in our area because so few doctors are/were on them and even our local hospitals did not accept most of them. That situation has improved over time, but when we calculated out of pocket costs it was still cheaper for us to keep the plan we have.

Florida is considered an Advantage state and the plans there are better than they are here. My inlaws lived in Volusia County Florida and had an excellent Humana plan with low out of pocket costs and it was a PPO. They were able to pick and choose doctors and for important procedures like quadruple bypasses and hip replacements they went to Orlando to doctors who were considered among the best in the state.

Even with my father in law's last hospitalization for 11 days, 7 of which were in ICU, before he went to rehab, my wife only had to pay $1500. Right after he came out of rehab, which was a total of $500 for 10 days paid out of pocket, he went into a Memory Care Assisted Living Facility. Almost immediately he was put into Hospice care and because he had kidney failure he went back on traditional medicare. My wife was anticipating having to pay 20%, but when you are on hospice traditional Medicare picks up all of the drug costs for the life ending conditions, as well as things like diapers and they pay for the additional nursing care you get. She had prepaid several months of his care at the facility and since he died less than 3 weeks after arriving there, they returned all the money, except for the 3 weeks worth of fees. I highly recommend the Daytona branch of Vitas Hospice. They also provided grief counseling for 18 months for the family.

We did not sign up for our Medicare plans on our own. In fact, we used a company based in Boca Raton, Fl. They were so helpful in choosing a plan as well as helping us review the drug plan each year. The name of the company is Universal Insurance Agents and we have used Phillip Russell and Michelle Sobel there. uiaus.com Perhaps you need a different Medicare Advantage plan that would better suit your needs.

We love our 82 pound Molly. She rules the roost and our routine is based upon her needs. Only problem is she is very neurotic and has terrible separation anxiety. She is getting up there in age and I dread what I know will come eventually, but in the meantime she makes our lives so much better.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

That's my problem. Low income. Why I have the HMO.... As I said it pays well but the limitations. I hate the idea of assistance (Medicaid) because here you can't have hardly anything in assets. So it is what it is. As a friend of mine says. Question is why can't Drs just PRACTICE GOOD medicine anymore no matter what insurance you do or don't have. I had a good friend who passed away a few years ago. Worked hard all her life and raised two kids on her own. But at a young age developed Crohn's disease. It steadily got worse as she got older. Had surgery more than once to remove intestines and had mesh. She was a nurse at one time. She could tell some stories about crummy Drs here. Anyway she was working as a live in caregiver a few years ago and met a great guy who rented a house across the street from her client. They were serious about each other but never got married. She was leery having suffered abuse from her ex and he'd never been married. When her client died he said let's travel the country. He bought an airstream trailer and off they went. He had an inheritance so no money worries. They did that for a couple years. Once in awhile had to go to the ER wherever they were cause she'd get sick. But neither had insurance. ( later on he was angry with himself for not trying to get her insurance). So she just got pills and sent on her way. They finally went to Georgia as her mother was dying. My friend, sick as she was, stayed with her mother til she passed. Then a few months later she developed an abscess on her abdomen and tried to find a Dr to help her. But with no insurance none wanted to help her. She had also survived cancer and mrsa. She'd go to the ER where they were and get the bandaid treatment as I call it. She went several times and one Dr wouldn't even come close to her. Looked at her from the exam room door. Just gave her more pills. She had to keep it bandaged. And they didn't even offer to put a clean bandage on her. Well after seeing 7 different Drs none who were willing to help, someone in the church she was going to gave her a name of a Dr who would see her. She went and he asked her if she'd seen a Dr. She said yes- you are#7. And he said well, I'm going to help you. We talked on the phone a lot and I was so happy for her. Because two weeks before she'd told me she felt as if she was dying. She never made it back to see that Dr. Her sister came to pick her up and take her (her partner was at work) and found her on the floor. She ended up in the hospital where the ER didn't help her before. She was in a semi coma. They had to put an IV in her leg as she had teeny veins and apparently no one checked the IV closely and two days later discovered it had backed up. And her leg was dying. They cut off her lower leg. (Her son was with her and kept me informed). She died the next night. I still cry when I think of her. Because it could have been prevented. That is what happens to some of the uninsured. If this country can spend millions to care for the illegals in this country, why did she not get help? Hers is just one story and it happens more than we hear. Sometimes people fall on hard times. She was a nurse at one time. A police officer. Had a phlebotomy business (til her partner robbed her). She worked since she was 16. And died at 57. As far as I'm concerned the hospital killed her. For turning her away more than once. She always had to have an ultrasound to find a viable vein. But the Dr in Georgia was too full of himself and thought he was so good he didn't need to use ultrasound. Her son said he was arrogant as heck. He wanted to kill that Dr and everyone who failed to give his mother good care at that hospital. Her son was going to sue but didn't in the end. Said it wouldn't bring her back. He did let them and that Dr know exactly what he thought of them. She was like a sister to me. And they killed her..

She told me once too that she decided to go travel cause she didn't think she'd live too many more years.

Very sad story about your friend. All too common example of the health care system being run more as a business than an essential service.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

My inlaws in Florida were low income too. They only had their Social Security because my father in law lost almost everything they had in an investment scheme that went bad. Then, after my mother in law died he got scammed by a professional con artist (woman) with a rap sheet from Broward and Volusia Counties as long as your arm. She conned him out of what little he had left, including money from the sale of their house. My wife paid money to get her criminal record. It was 27 pages long.

In spite of reporting her to the Volusia County Sheriff, Port Orange Police, State's Attorney's office and Florida Adult Protective Services for financial abuse of an elderly person, nothing was done for a long time. That contributed greatly to my wife's development of stress induced illnesses. She hired a politically connected attorney in Daytona and the attorney flat out asked the Sheriff at one of his fundraisers if the reason they were not going after this woman was because the entire force was doing her? Boy, that got results and suddenly all the agencies started questioning the witnesses who's names, addresses and phone numbers my wife provided to them the year before. They waited until about a month before he died to start the investigations and of course ended them the minute he died.

Only after he died did my wife find out that the con artist (known in our house as THE BIMBO) filed a fraudulent 1040 Tax Return and took the refund her Dad would have received. My wife had to send every legal document under the sun to the IRS until they would accept that she was the rightful person to file returns when he was alive because she had his Power of Attorney and was the executor after he died. They finally opened an investigation of the fraudulent return, admitted it was illegal and returned the money to my wife, but it took 13 months and she had to hire a lawyer and an accountant. Thankfully, he father always used an accountant, so he filed affadavits on her behalf too, since he had the tax records from the previous 10 years.

After his death and notice of probate was published, creditors came out of the woodwork. The bimbo had run up all his credit cards, fraudulently signed checks etc. during the times he was hospitalized, in rehab and in hospice. The attorney objected to all of those claims and proved they were fraudulent, so the estate did not have to pay any of them. There were $80,000 worth of fraudulent credit card charges on Visa, MC, Discover and AMEX and the bank reimbursed my wife $5000 of the money she stole from his checking account from November - February.

There are many different Medicare Advantage Plans available in Florida. You may just not have the right one for your needs. I really think you should reach out for some help navigating the various plans. Florida probably has the highest number of plans available, definitely many more than Texas. And apparently, you can change Advantage Plans during open enrollment, but never cancel a plan until you are accepted by the new one.

I know we tried to get an Advantage plan because of the good experience with my in-law's plan. It would have been cheaper, but none of our doctors and several hospitals did not take any of the plans where you had to stay in network (HMO) and we really wanted the freedom to choose. As I said, my inlaws had a great Humana Medicare Advantage plan that was a PPO plan in Florida and their premiums were very low and total out of pocket expenses were also low. And FYI, all of our health insurance plans in the Houston area are much higher than plans in Florida, both for Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, and Obamacare. My wife put her parent's zip code into the find a plan site on Medicare.gov and was shocked at how much more we pay here than someone who lives in Volusia County.

It really pays to shop around and much easier if you have an expert doing it for you!

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

I may have to find help with a different plan.

Boy you guys really have been through the wringer. Terrible about your in laws. Florida is known as the scam capital of the country. Always someone getting scammed one way or another. So many older people live here and lots of them alone and easily duped. Your wife is a go getter. Sorry it all made her so sick. Lots of aholes in the world looking to take advantage.

I lost money. Had an inheritance years ago and did some bad investing. My fault. Learned it pays to get an expert sometimes. Didn't happen in Florida. I had moved back home to Kansas.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Yes. Our pets love us unconditionally.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Yes Molly you are lucky indeed. Too many Drs only learn to treat the symptoms and illness is so much more than that. Bless you and keep us up on your progress and tidbits of how you are treating your Afib.

I too am asking for labs to test my electrolytes, potassium, sodium, etc. And also want a test done to see if I'm lacking any vitamins or too much. I read vitamins are important too. I go in for treadmill test and another holter monitor test. Drs are test happy as I had the holter test done when I was first diagnosed. Talked to cardio Drs nurse today and asked her to let him know I want the other labs done. Don't know if she told him or not. He's one that goes right to-lets do an ablation. Well how about looking for a possible cause. I do not want an ablation. I also want to know about the vagus nerve that more or less connects the heart to the brain and rest of the body. I read that chiropractic adjustment could help the vagus nerve.( I used to get adjustments when I was younger. I'm a 68 yr old female and skinny so I'm not sure about doing that now. Exercise is important.) The vagus nerve can apparently go off kilter for lack of better words and an adjustment is supposed to help. I'm on Eliquis blood thinner which I'm pretty okay with but on real low dose of metoprolol (like 6.2 mg 2x a day) as I'm sensitive to most meds. Metoprolol has nasty side effects and I'm one of those who tends to get them. So I'm wanting to get off of it and try supplements. I'll be following your posts to see what you find concerning supplements. Has to be the right amount per individual. There are people who have gone the supplement route but still take the blood thinners. Good luck. Like someone said answering you, finding answers is consuming. Oh also read that accupuncture may help.

Thank you belindalore! Yes, doing all this sleuthing to try to find the right path for oneself is very time-consuming and labor intensive. But will be worth it I believe! I too have been reading about vagus nerve and what connection it can have to afib. Am going slow with supplements because my body doesn't like it if I throw too much at it. For now I am taking: D3, K2, CoQ10 and Magnesium. And am trying to drink some low-sodium V8 every day for the potassium. Best of luck to you too!

Thanks. For now I do take some extra magnesium (it can lower blood pressure and has a calming effect) , fish oil, coq10. I drink a drink for electrolytes but am careful. Why I want those labs done. Not counting on the cardio Dr to do it so if he doesn't am hoping my primary Dr will. And like mollybear was also talking about insurance he. I'm one that can only afford an HMO plan and it's limiting. I think most Drs who accept HMO are what I call the flunkies. The less desirable Drs. But all I have to work with unfortunately. I'd love to be able to see a functional Dr but even if I could there aren't any close to where I live. So I'm plugging along. Done tonight. Take care.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

Yes, our Medicare and supplement plans are expensive. Just had a 13% increase in the Plan G Supplement this month. My wife and I are paying $291.00 each for Medicare, Cigna Plan G and Envision Medicare Part D drug plan combined. But, beyond that, we only have to pay the $198 Medicare deductible and $415 drug plan deductible, which does not apply to generics, only to name brand drugs. So my Flecainide was $6.42 for 30 pills.

We have been on Medicare for 3 years now and 2 out of 3 years I never even met the deductible and my wife never has.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Actually your insurance costs don't sound all that bad. Costs vary depending on where you live. I don't have much SS and that's pretty much my income and living in Florida insurances tend to be a little higher than other parts of the country. My HMO advantage has paid well on my claims. It's just lack of good Drs in the HMOs. Actually lack of good Drs in Florida period. I have friends who are snowbirds but get their major medical care in the states they come from because the Drs and care here are so sub par. There are good Drs here. But they are the ones who usually take patients with the better insurance. They don't like HMO or Medicaid. Gotta keep plugging along. Take care.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

If you can get one, a Spectracell test is the one to get. More and more mainstream doctors in my area are offering the test. When we had our first tests run 13 years ago, you had to go to an alternative practitioner to get one.

Ours were fully covered by the insurance and we had them run every 6 months for about 3 years. When certain things never got totally corrected, even with high dose supplements the doctor then ordered genetic testing. We chose to pay out of pocket just to keep that information out of the insurance databases. All of those items that remained out of range had a genetic component, so we were advised to keep up the supplements on those items for life. Testing every few years has always turned up the same results, so the doctor said they were no longer necessary to run regularly.

Here is a link to the site. It has the long list of what they test for in one blood draw! You can also look up providers on the site to see if a doctor near you offers it.

spectracell.com/micronutrie...

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Thanks Mollybear. I will check that out. I have a feeling that the cardio Dr I have probably has never heard of the test even though he's been practicing for almost 30 yrs. I was always told Drs study and keep up on new things but I've learned through the years a lot of them don't. In fact I was talking to the Drs nurse today and was telling her some of the side effects I'm having with the nasty metoprolol I'm on ( and want to get off of) and she had no idea that medicine caused such awful side effects. So it makes me wonder if the Dr even knows. So annoying. So many drugs have side effects not listed on printouts you get from a pharmacy.

Thanks again for the info. And the website. I try to write down good info I get from others. I was going to ask you and Kim if either of you know of hawthorn berry. An herbal supplement used to strengthen the heart. Helps with palpitations and rhythm both I believe. Some articles I've read it's not been proven for long term use but then I've read posts other places that say some people have taken it for years. These meds the cardio Drs do not help to strengthen the heart in my opinion.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

All I know about Hawthorn is that my new cardiologist told me to take it!

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Was just reading about hawthorn and it's supposed be good for heart. Helps keep blood pressure in check and helps with arrhythmia and can also be used for heart failure. Hate to be nosy but what do you take? There is a tincture, capsules, dried herb to make a tea. I really have to wean off this metoprolol. The symptoms get worse and I'm on a tiny dose as it is. Taurine, fish oil, coq10, magnesium are all good to take. I take magnesium and it does lower BP so have to be careful with the metoprolol. It also has a calming effect which is partly why I take it. Also read about Indian snakeroot. It is also used to lower BP and blocks norepinephrine in our bodies that causes the fight or flight. I have always been a tense person and get anxiety so that herb would be nice. Just have to pick the right ones. I think hawthorn may have a somewhat calming effect. Read a few things today and seems one site mentioned that. You would think that medicine would be a little further along than it is as far as treating the whole person and not just symptoms. Should be mandatory for all Drs to take courses on nutrition and alternative medicine.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

I take a product called Circulatory Support that I get from Vitacost. Two capsules contain 480 mg of Magnesium, 300 mg of Grapeseed extract and 50 mg of Hawthorn leaves and flowers.

My cardiologist also highly recommended Grapeseed Extract and Hibiscus tea for blood pressure. I know that Grapeseed Extract in combination with Hibiscus tea works for both my wife and son in keeping BP normal. They have been taking it for years on the recommendation of our nutritionist. However, because Hibiscus tea is a natural diuretic no more than 3 cups a day or you can get an electrolyte balance.

Celery seed extract is also good for BP. I take three 500 mg capsules daily.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Thanks. I'm glad you found something. Hope it's working for you. The cardio Dr put me on metoprolol for arrhythmia. Since the metoprolol is a blood pressure med It tends to keep my BP lower than it used to be. I would be curious to see how my BP would be getting off of it. So the hibiscus and grape seed may not be for me. I'm not going to to try the natural route until I see the cardio Dr. My gut keeps telling me he won't like it. Wish he had to take this poison and find out what it's like. So I continue my research and thank you and those like you for your help. I've used herbs for other ailments and I've had pretty good success. So I'm not concerned about alternative remedies. The only thing sometimes using herbs may take a little longer to do the job but that's okay. Take care.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

Over the years my previous cardiologists tried a diuretic, ACE Inhibitors, Calcium Channel blockers and Beta blockers to bring my BP down. None of them ever brought it down enough to satisfy the doctors, but every last one of them caused me to go into A Fib quite often.

I darn near had unnecessary surgery when the Lisinopril gave me lichen planus that was originally misdiagnosed as squamous cell cancer. Thankfully, my cancer surgeon went over my history and because of the Lisinopril recognized it could be a side effect, and demanded to see the pathology slides himself. He had other patients on Lisinopril misdiagnosed as well. 2 weeks on a strong steroid cream and it was gone!

I went into this visit with the new cardiologist telling him I was done with BP meds. Period. I said I didn't care if I died because of it because the side effects were so bad. That is when he said he would treat me naturally. He told me he had great success treating patients with Hawthorn, Grapeseed, Celery Seed, Hibiscus etc. Considering the success I have seen in my wife and oldest son, I anticipate a good result too.

He also recommended witch hazel wipes with aloe for the leg that has bad circulation. My wife measured my calf before I started using them and since the middle of June it is an inch smaller in diameter! Apparently, it improves circulation and reduces inflammation.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

That's what so scary about pharmaceuticals. The Drs really have no idea how any one patient is going to react to them. It's not one size fits all. They don't want to hear any side effects that they don't know. I always say if it's not in their textbooks when they go through med school then it must not exist. Why I believe too many Drs don't keep up with new ways and ideas and don't want to know about them. And who does all that hurt. The patient. But those Drs don't care. Long as they can pay for their fancy toys and play golf. 🙄 Gee growing up my mother used home remedies on me and my siblings. Unless we were really sick then off to our old country Dr. Times and medicine have changed and unfortunately not always for the better. I use witch hazel on my kitties. They get an occasional flea (I won't use the poison flea treatments for them, I have a natural powder I rub in their fur, but it slowly kills the flea so they may still get some aggravation from a flea once in awhile and they get combed every night-like taking care of kids😊). So they will lick their bellies from aggravation from the flea and cause skin irritation and I wash their bellies with diluted witch hazel and it really helps. If they get a sore I use coconut oil mixed with a few drops calendula tincture and rub it in and it heals. That would be good for us humans too. So many things we can use that won't poison us or our pets.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

I distinctly remember an incident with our son. He had undergone 18 months of unnecessary treatment with Plaquenil, Voltaren and Prednisone for systemic lupus (SLE) that he did not have. He had antibiotic induced drug induced lupus (DLE). All they needed to have done was stop the antibiotic.

Well, the prednisone and Voltaren caused liver damage so he had to see a gastroenterologist. When my wife explained what he had gone through, the gastro said that he never heard of that antibiotic causing DLE and basically called my wife a liar. She told him to contact the rheumatologist who had referred us to this guy if he didn't believe her.

Well, my wife printed off hundreds of pages of medical journal articles on it and took them to the gastro's office and dropped them off. When our son went for his next appointment the doctor apologized to my wife and handed her a couple of other studies that he found.

The only reason he was taken off all the meds in the first place was because my wife took the same articles to the rheumatologist and she agreed that his numbers were more in line with DLE than SLE. So, they stopped the antibiotic (for his acne) Plaquenil and Voltaren immediately and then started the long process of weaning him off the high dose steroids.

The gastro said there was nothing to be done for our son, but to rest and see what happened. Well, my wife took exception to that and started researching. She found articles from Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic that said an organic, low carb diet, alpha lipoic acid and milk thistle would help. She followed those recommendations.

When he went back again for another liver enzyme panel, all of the liver enzymes had dropped from dangerously high to the low end of normal. My wife told the doctor what she had done. He told her to keep doing it, but to not tell him about it because his malpractice insurance would not cover him if he recommended such treatment because it violated the AMA standard of care, which is dictated by big pharma.

Coupled with the flu shot that nearly killed him, but the rheumatologist insisted on, we came to the conclusion that we had to do our own research and that doctors are often dead wrong about things. It is hard to find someone you can trust who agrees to work in partnership with you instead of arrogantly demanding it is his way or the highway, which had happened often since.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Oh my goodness!! They could have killed your son! Drs laugh at us for doing our own research. Funny they all seem to carry malpractice insurance. My brother and his late wife had one child, a daughter who was born with severe defects all because the Dr didn't get to the hospital in a timely matter to deliver her. He had the nurses do whatever to keep the baby from coming til he got there. The whole time mother and baby were both in distress. When the baby was finally delivered they found the umbilical cord partially around her neck and she suffered irreversible damage. It caused her to have physical disabilities as she grew and mentally disabled. She had numerous surgeries. She could never talk only grunt. My brother and his wife tried to sue the Dr for 8 yrs. Never got anywhere. So finally gave up. The attorney they had did find files missing from her birth files but I guess it was covered up somehow by the Dr and the hospital. Very seldom does anyone win a case suing the medical system. My brother's wife had a good job with excellent health insurance that they needed for their daughter so the wife worked and my brother took care of their daughter. Got her in a good special needs class which he had to fight to keep her in since it was in another school district. But he always won that battle. He took her to the Dr. He cooked, did the laundry. Cut the grass. Maintained the vehicles. Everything but he hated to clean the house.😌 He did everything for their daughter. At 16 she died in her sleep in 2001. Her skull grew mis-shapened and somehow affected her breathing and she just quit breathing. Drs said most children born like her only live to be maybe 4. In 2005 her mother was killed in a car accident on her way home from work. Less than a mile from home. So she went to be with her daughter but my brother lost his family in 4 yrs.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

What happened to your brother's family is tragic. I am so very sorry your brother had to endure the loss of both his wife and daughter.

We nearly lost our eldest son at birth. He was 3 weeks late, she had pre-eclampsia and they should have induced him or done a C section 6 weeks earlier, according to the pediatrician.

He clearly was in respiratory distress after her 37 hour labor, and instead of doing a C Section, the doctor chose to do a high forceps delivery. At 3 weeks late he didn't even weigh 6 pounds, which we now know was due to her undiagnosed celiac disease. He is also celiac and was a tiny, tiny kid because of his failure to thrive due to undiagnosed celiac. She was 54 when they finally diagnosed her and he was in his late 20's.

The OB had also prescribed phenobarbitol for my wife due to her pre-eclampsia, instead of magnesium, which is now standard treatment. Our son not only was in respiratory distress, but he was born addicted and had to go through a miserable withdrawal. He was in the NICU for a week and they kept my wife in the hospital until the baby could be released. Talk about huge medical bills for a young couple in their mid-20's!

I am just going to come out and say it - I hate doctors and what they have done to my family!

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

You have really been through heck and back dealing with Drs. I don't blame you for hating them. They are such arrogant s.o.b. s. I know 1) Drs do not know everything 2) They don't know how we feel no matter how we explain it 3) Unless they can crawl inside our bodies they don't know 4) I have yet to meet a Dr who has god at the end of his name instead of his medical credential. Unfortunately some think they are gods. More like the devil. I don't believe the Hippocratic oath means anything anymore. A Dr is supposed to do no harm and yet when one does he/she is protected. Oh once in a blue moon we might see a Dr who has lost a license or even sent to prison for wrong doing. But there are many out there who probably should be sitting in a jail cell. 😠 Instead they are allowed to continue to do harm.

What's the difference between God and a doctor? God doesn't think he's a doctor.

I wasn't referring to God. I said gods. Meaning I believe some Drs act like they are above everyone else (like some politicians😒) and they shouldn't dare be questioned by a patient. Just do whatever they tell us. Read Mollybear's posts about what Drs did to his family. Terrible.

No offense meant. I just recited a long-standing joke that's been around for many years. Your statement made me think of it.

I hope I did not offend you either. I get it now. Is the joke too long to post? Apparently I haven't heard it and if I did probably don't remember😞 I could use a good laugh. We aren't getting enough silly stuff with this pandemic.

That is the whole joke. ;) It has been around many years - and for good reason:

Q: What's the difference between God & a doctor?

A: God doesn't think he's a doctor.

Geez. Took me long enough to get it. I can't believe I've never heard that before. And it proves I need to get off this medicine. I've never been so scatter brained. I went to the grocery store yesterday. I used the self checkout. Bagged my few items paid and wheeled the cart out to my car. And didn't even realize that I didn't put the bags in the cart! I wheeled an empty cart to my car. I just shook my head and left the cart and went back in a got my bags. They were still there. People probably thought I was a nut case. But frankly that's what I feel like on this metoprolol. Anyhow Kim, thanks for the laugh. I really did need it.😊 Now it's time to get the 3 housecats and do their nightly check and clean their teeth. Night to all.

It's really nice to connect with other people going through similar experiences. It helps a lot.

I think a lot of us have had a grocery store experiences like that. lol!

Are you taking CoQ10? I only started a few months ago, and I am noticing improved mental performance.

Yes taking coq10 but a minimal dose as I'm still on this metoprolol and it messes with other supplements I take. (The metoprolol messes with your brain. Awful.) Something else I and a lot of us have to research ourselves as the Drs are no help. Okay off to find the cats. They are waiting for their check up. Not.😛

I noticed that during my brief trials of metoprolol. I did not like the way it affected me mentally. It suppresses dopamine and that affects both mood and mental clarity and abilities.

I meant to ask how long did you stay on metoprolol at one time? And did you wean yourself off. Everything I've read says you have to wean off of it over a few weeks. And it also causes insomnia.

I was never on metoprolol long enough that I had to wean off. I don't think I was ever on for more than aq week at a time. I kept stopping because I disliked it. and then would try it again for a very short while, usually because of an afib episode. But I have heard that too, that you have to wean off - more so with respect to its effect on lowering blood pressure... I have heard blood pressure can spike up if you stop it suddenly. i don't know if that's true.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

Oh heck, after our second son was born, my wife was going to her first outing to the pediatrician after I had gone back to work and did something even crazier. Our oldest son was at preschool.

My wife gathered up everything for the 3 week old baby, put him in his carrier, went out to the garage and headed down the street. She complimented the baby on being such a good, quiet, boy when she looked in the rear view mirror and saw he was not there. She immediately went home, pulled into the garage and there he was sound asleep in his carrier on top of the dryer!

She thought she was losing her mind, but her doctor reassured her it was still raging hormones from the birth a week before.

That incident made her more sympathetic to parents who leave their kids in the car on a hot day because they just forgot them. Those end tragically, especially in Florida and Texas, but she can see how it can happen.

My wife is a bright, honors graduate from college with a double major, she has additional higher education credits, yet she had raging hormones and alot on her mind so she could do what she needed to do before it was time to pick up our other son at preschool. She loved her boys and would have taken a bullet for them, so leaving him in the garage like that was totally out of character for her.

Thankfully, it was a cool November day and he was secure in our locked garage and strapped into his seat, so no news media, idiot taking video, police or report to children's protective services and having to deal with the court system, like happens to so many today.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

What concerns me is the huge number of people who blindly do whatever the doctor says. They undergo medical tests and surgery without researching thoroughly, and swallow boatloads of pharmaceuticals without checking to see the side effect each one has and of course many fail to bother to check the drug interactions for red flags. And then they wonder why they get in trouble.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

I am afraid I let my guard down when I had this bout of Afib. Scared the crap out of me and since I'm pretty much on my own I went along with what the Drs told me. I know they saw me as a vulnerable old woman and I'm so angry at myself for letting it happen. Now I have to try and turn it around. Whether the Dr likes it or not.

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

Are you doing well using hawthorn? Mollybear I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record and I blame the metoprolol. I pray every day I can get off of it soon. I've tried to read back through the posts but seems I just get more confused. Are you taking any anticoagulant for afib? I know you said you take flecainide. It's for heart rhythm?Which is why cardio put me on metoprolol. Am curious as I've read hawthorn can help with heart rhythm too. But what I've read too is not to take it with other heart ryhthm drugs. It also affects blood pressure as does the celery seed. So is it safe to take those with the flecainide? Do you take a blood thinner? God I hate this. This morning I feel so sick.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to belindalore

I have Flecainide as my pill in the pocket. I would only take it at the onset of an episode of A Fib. I have not had one in over 18 months, since I cleaned up my diet. I switched to a very low carb, anti-inflammatory diet that is also gluten and casein (dairy) free.

I have had no negative reaction to the hawthorn since I started taking it.

Are you on any other drugs beside the Metoprolol? If so, run a drug interaction checker that also checks vitamins, herbs and food.

I see that the list of effects is long and confusion is one of those for which you should contact your doctor right away. So as not to confuse you more with the link below, Toprol is the brand name, metoprolol is the generic name. Also, when you look at the side effects, make sure to look at those for professionals because they tend to sugar coat and downplay the side effects on the consumer list.

rxlist.com/toprol-xl-side-e...

belindalore
belindalore in reply to Hidden

I'm on Eliquis and metoprolol. I use drugs.com to check side effects. And there's many many more than any you get from the Drs (which they never really even bring up). And the pharmacy doesn't list but the more common ones. Sadly I don't have much faith in the Dr I'm seeing. And he's in an office with about 10 Drs total. I usually Google reviews for Drs but haven't done all of them yet. The entire practice rates 2.9 out of 5. Not the greatest. Then I would have to jump through hoops to see another Dr in the same office because of my insurance. Sometimes I just feel hopeless and I know I'm not alone, dealing with insurance.

Nice to see you've not had any occurrences in over a year. I try to eat well and no junk food. I take probiotics which I think help. Eat some bread. Not much. Using non dairy milk. Still eat yogurt as I read somewhere it's not bad and it's also good for probiotics. Eat low carb. I need to gain weight but hard to do. Not like I can stuff my face with doughnuts. 😏 Not a lot of calories in vegetables and fruit. I do eat meat but not a lot. Less beef. It's a crapshoot for sure. I have Afib rvr. I think it's a little worse? Primary describes it as irregular irregular heartbeat. All I want to do (get off the metoprolol at least) depends on what my treadmill test and holter monitor test show Aug 18. Have to wait til Aug 31 for results. That will be the 2nd and 3rd visits to the cardio Dr. And my insurance only approved 4 visits til the end of Dec. Ridiculous.

Before I turn in for the night. I just asked Mollybear if she knew anything about the herbal supplement hawthorn berry. It's used some in the medical field. It's supposed to help strengthen the heart. Stop palpitations and help rhythm. Even used for heart failure. Do you know anything about it or the Drs you see?

I don't know much about hawthorn berry and have not had it recommended by doctors. i have seen it mentioned quite a bit with other heart health supplements. so i was going to look into it. Let me know what you find out.

Okay.

Read some about hawthorn. Mollybear posted above that her new cardio Dr has her taking it. You can read more about it in her post and a couple other things I mentioned. Hawthorn sounds like a good herb for the heart. Have to know which form is best to take and how much.

I also live in B.C. Canada. Like you, my GP retired so I no longer have a family doctor and must rely on walk-in clinics. Unlike you, I have had three ablations, not in B.C. but in Bordeaux, France due to the inferior system in treating AF in this province.

Since you do have bouts of 4 day episodes of AF, I would be concerned that I would be soon on the road to persistent AF. Once you become persistent, and have not had a scheduled appointment for an ablation, the waiting time first to see an electrophysiologist and then to book an ablation may be well over a year by which time tremendous damage has been done to your heart. On the other hand, you may be dangled only with drugs and be told that it is too soon to see an electrophysiologist even while in persistent (that's what happened to a friend of mine). Then the progression is to permanent.

My experience is that B.C. handles AF substandardly with a huge number of patients kept living in AF. The older patients are more vulnerable for treatment due to the allocation of costs.

Because you are in B.C. please feel free to contact me, and I can relay to you more about my B.C. experience.

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to cuore

Thank you for this information from your own experience in BC, cuore. Appreciated. For now, I am following a different path with this. I don't think a cardiologist or EP is particularly useful to me at this point (and that was further confirmed by last week's phone consult with a new one).

I am working on various strategies to reduce and perhaps eliminate the AF episodes. So far seeing progress, but time will tell. Many people with "Lone AF" (AF in absence of structural heart disease) have in fact reduced or eliminated their AF using non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical strategies. I am exploring those avenues right now. Afib is different in everyone. What works for one person may not be right for another. That includes ablations and drugs.

I do agree that BC seems to handle AF substandardly. Great that you were able to have your ablations in France! Good luck to you. :)

Hello

Yes any blood test going ask I rang GP as my last blood test cancelled pc was down. Asked her for a full blood test not just sodium. Also I was offered a urine test as inflammation can get anywhere as I’m sure you know.

My urine was normal but UTI is not nice but can be worse as we age.

Oh deep joy eh!!!

My brother used to say ‘ getting old isn’t for wimps’ bless him he was right.

Let me know how you get on with your telephone chat

Good wishes.

Jo

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to sotolol

Telephone chat with new cardiologist Aug 7th was not particularly productive. We talked for 40 minutes. But in the end, all she had to say was take drugs or get an ablation. I am not walking either of those paths at this time. I believe I can reduce/eliminate this afib/arrhythmia issue with some non-pharma strategies, and I have made some modest progress already. So I am, at the moment, content with path I am on.

sotolol
sotolol in reply to PlanetaryKim

I would be interested in your plan. Good luck.

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to sotolol

I am making it up as I go along, based on lots of reading - scientific and also great anecdotal info and tips from forums like this one. So far, I basically have a much better understanding of connection between eating/digestion and afib (which plays big role in my case). So am eating smaller portions and trying to find ways to control bloating. But the big victory for me (unless it was just coincidence) is the rescue/conversion remedy I used in my last episode: low-sodium V8 (for the potassium) + 400 mg magnesium + 2 cups water, consumed right at the outset. I converted in 4 hours instead of my usual 4 days. Other items that could be added to that, which may be helpful in converting are : Vitamin C & antihistamine. I have not had another episode since then. And of course would rather not! lol! But am going to keep refining this rescue remedy as needed.

sotolol
sotolol in reply to PlanetaryKim

Mornin Planetarykim

It sounds like it’s working for you. That can only be positive. It seems you know what to take and when to take it. Well done.

All the best and hope your naughty heart behaves.

PlanetaryKim
PlanetaryKim in reply to sotolol

Thank you sotolol! Best to you too! :)

Hi Kim,

Are you aware of this article? I know you are up to date on things, but just in case you missed it.

It's by Bill Sardi. He is very knowledgeable and been around for years. Printed 2013.

knowledgeofhealth.com/contr...

What are your thoughts on this? I'm would consider switching over if I get the courage to drop all these drugs. Know anyone who did switch over?

Have a great day.

MrHermyl (Sam )

Hi Sam. That's a great article! I had not seen it before. Thank you for sharing it. It certainly reinforces in my mind that the path I am taking is correct. I am sure there are people who have switched over. I am more aware of people who rejected drugs from the get-go and went the 'natural' route instead. So I don't know if there are some extra considerations when switching over from pharmaceuticals to natural.

If it were me, I would taper off the drugs, and add the supplements one by one. Because I often have strange reactions to supplements and need to know which one is causing the issue.

I have found 2 books by Hans Larsen very helpful. They are both on Amazon Canada. Hans is the founder of the "afibbers" forum. Each of these books includes good discussion and information about non-pharmaceutical approaches and what has actually worked for different people. (Although the books are not exclusively about natural approach. There is also much reference to the various drugs and surgical approaches for afib.)

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