Remission - anyone put their AF into remiss... - AF Association

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Remission - anyone put their AF into remission with lifestyle changes?

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley

I’ve just gone 9 weeks without an episode having done 3 months of episodes every 2 weeks ssshhhhh 🤫. Interested to know how others have achieved remission. What I have done in last 6 months which I believe are helping: achieved BMI of 24.5, cut wine, cut white bread & pasta, cut beef (apart occasional quality cut), increased vit C through fruit intake, doubled water consumption, started taking magnesium taurate, started taking HRT, improved anaemia (was borderline). Having acupuncture & meditate. I’m hoping that my efforts are not a fluke. Still have a good way to go to learn about my body & optimise my lifestyle stuff. 👍

81 Replies
BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

That backs up everything we already know. Well done.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob I agree. I’ve not embraced as much plant as I would like but I have an appointment booked with a nutritional therapist to help me go further. 😊

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to Pigleywigley

My wife turned veggie about 30 years ago so I also eat plant based meals at least as often as I eat meat. Our ancestors only ate meat when they were able to kill a monkey or similar small animal so we are not designed to eat so much meat. (only exception being bacon. lol )

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to BobD

Ooooh bacon the hardest thing to give up!

The occasional bit in a salad does no harm in my opinion!

You have done so well but I would like everyone to remember that Nutrition is only 1/4 Pillars of Lifestyle - Managing Stress, Sleep and Exercise are just as important.

Your nutrition may be perfect but equally important to address the other components.

Agree CD. I’ve just been for 5k run. I do 20k per week. Walk an hour with the pigley wigleys every day & swim 2 x mile per week. I also have good sleep hygiene, same time to bed & up. No blue light etc. 👍

Your HRT is probably a huge key to this. Well done for starting it. It's normal to need a dose increase around the 3 month mark after starting it. So keep your eye on returning symptoms.

Make sure you regularly check your vitamin B12 levels if you are cutting down red meat. You need them to be optimal, not just in range. The range is way too wide. Must be over 500, nearer the top of the range the better.

Personally, having seen it in various chronic illness categories, I'm wholly skeptical about the diet change thing. But if you feel it helps, keep doing it. My money is on the oestrogen replacement.

cxrider profile image
cxrider in reply to Pigleywigley

AND you meditate!

Fantastic news and well done you ! Thank you for sharing will encourage others !

Thanks Peony I am so determined to take some control of this then I know I tried my best!

That’s wonderful! Great results and all great moves for overall health!

Thank you love to garden (I do too!). It’s hard work at first switching and adapting to new things but I’m getting there! Slowly slowly

Pretty impressive stuff Pigleywigley, doubt it’s a fluke, lots of evidence around to support everything you’ve just confirmed to be true.......well done!

Thank you flap jack. Just reading John Day book & it pretty much confirms the stuff I’m doing & more!

Hello Pigleywigley that is great news! This is the first time I have commentated on this great site. I've had afib off and on once a month for 8 years and like you have done the things you have tried. The interesting thing is since taking a magnesium tablet PLUS eating fresh salmon three times a week my afib has stopped for over 4 months! Time will tell!

That's great! Congrats!

Amazing 🤩 so so hope it stays that way for you. I know we are all different but our bodies are certainly telling us something & we must listen!

Good on you! Congrats on your success!

I have made quite a few lifestyle modification and tried various strategies involving supplements, diet changes, meal times, meal size, exercise, deeper slower breathing, water drinking. I felt healthier, but nothing put a dent in my pattern of an Afib episode once every 2-3 weeks.

Then I began the ivermectin prophylaxis protocol for something unrelated (Covid protection)... and my Afib stopped! I have not had an episode since Feb 7-9. I started the ivermectin Feb. 19. I take a single 12 mg dose once every 2 weeks.

I posted about my experience here: healthunlocked.com/afassoci...

If the ivermectin is responsible for my Afib stopping (and that is just speculation, but certainly seems connected), I suspect it is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin. But it's also possible that the ivermectin cleared a parasite I didn't know I had.

kim

Very interesting Kim. I believe inflamation plays a big part in afib. I take take a statin plus an ace bp med at night. Taking the ace at night may be better in reducing heart remodeling. I believe it's very important to keep bp under good control when asleep.

Amazing Kim I read your post previously. I hope it stays that way for you 🥰 I agree with the inflammatory response. I believe the gut microbiome plays a big part. I wasn’t too unhealthy before but when you look at what I was eating it was certainly not doing me any favours!

Great news Kim. I've seen Ivormectin mentioned re Covid, is it readily available at your local pharmacist in Canada?

Unfortunately pharmacies in Canada are most back-ordered on it right now. And seriously back-ordered - like months without it. So pharmacies in Canada not the best route at the moment. There are online pharmacies in other countries one can use. There is also horse paste from local farm supply stores.

Thanks Kim, I know you are very good at research, may I ask did you read any assurances that Ivormectin should not harm our gut flora like antibiotics do? I am a bit concerned that a powerful parasite drug might also kill everything else off!

I am concerned about that too. There are some types of bacteria that ivermectin DOES kill. So I hope that does not include the good bacteria we want in our microbiome:

"In 2013, researchers confirmed that ivermectin was bactericidal against a range of mycobacterial organisms, including multidrug resistant and extensively drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the authors suggesting that ivermectin could be re-purposed for tuberculosis treatment." nature.com/articles/ja201711

And there is also the question of whether we may benefit from having low level parasite population in gut. There is theory that we evolved this way over millennia in tandem with gut parasites, and they may actually serve a purpose such as reducing inflammation elsewhere in body.

And there is also the possibility of developing a resistant parasite by long-term usage of ivermectin.

So I do worry about unbalancing microbiome over long-term with this protocol. Every 2 weeks when it comes time to take my prophylactic dose for this Covid protocol, I am now wondering if I should keep doing it? Or just stop for now and be ready to use ivermectin at first sign of actual infection. Because there is good reason and evidence to believe, that if used correctly at right time, ivermectin will actually halt viral replication.

I am glad I started it because it seems to have halted my Afib. And I am glad to have done all the reading about it because it seems to be a very significant (and simple) tool to deploy if infected with Covid, and could be life-saving. But I am not sure I should keep doing it indefinitely when I am healthy.

Thanks Kim for such a detailed and honest reply. I watched a YouTube video of a UK trained doctor in Zimbabwe who had caught Covid at least twice and if memory serves when her symptoms were really bad I think she said she took around 80mg of Ivermectin as a one-off dose and felt almost immediately a warm feeling spreading up her body and it did the job! I need to do some more internet research myself. Hope all goes well with you.

I have heard many reports like that - from doctors as well as patients. Sometimes with severe respiratory involvement from covid and very quickly that resolves and they can feel themselves reperfusing and blood oxygen starts climbing. Patients have literally been gotten off of ventilators and sent homes once hospitals are forced by court order to administer ivermectin. It's quite astounding. But happening everywhere it's used. I am thankful that it is relative available and something one can have on hand at home and safely self-treat with. But I may leave it for treatment at this point and halt the prophylaxis.

I have never heard of Ivermectin being used to treat Covid in England and when I read these posts about it knew it was a familiar name to me but couldn't think why. Suddenly I realised that I used to use it years ago to worm my horses! Wow never imagined that it could be used to treat Covid in humans.

It has been an approved drug for decades for anti-parasitic activity in both animals and humans. And yes, horse dewormer is exactly what it is. However, it has multiple actions, including antiviral, anti-inflammatory, even anti-tumor for cancer treatment, and also apparently anti-coagulant (which is also useful in covid because of the hypercoagulation problem caused by spike protein in covid). It's use for covid is very controversial. Some countries have embraced it and are using it to good effect. Most countries have not accepted its use for covid. Some won't even allow it. Many doctors around the world are using it even in countries where govt does not accept its usage for covid. All I know from reading quite a few peer-reviewed studies about its usage for covid as well as reading hundreds of personal testimonials from both doctors and patients in the ivermectin/covid groups online is that it indeed does appear to work and save lives and prevent hospitalizations from covid everywhere it is used. there are other useful things to take along with it (vitamin C, D, zinc, quercetin, aspirin, pepcid/famotadine - and fluvoxamine if respiratory issues develop). But ivermectin in the linchpin. And most people using it are reporting very speedy clearing of infection, even if they were quite sick when they started it.

Thank you for your in depth interesting reply. It sounds most useful. I am not sure if it could be used on people who were on anticoagulant though from what you say about it's anticoagulant properties?

that is an interesting question. i'll see if i can find anything more or that. it may be fibrinolytic like nattokinase rather than anti-platelet like aspirin. i'll see if i can find out!

I just looked. And yes, apparently ivermectin together with warfarin can be a problem. Warfarin should be dose-reduced or INR monitored more closely. This might not be a problem with the non-warfarin based anticoagulants.

"Ivermectin has been shown to increase prothrombin time by disrupting vitamin K–dependent clotting factors II, V, VII, and X.3-5 ... There currently do not exist any best practices on the concomitant use of warfarin and ivermectin together; however, based on this case report, prophylactic dose reduction or increased INR monitoring would not be unreasonable...This case report is consistent with the rest of the little literature that exists on ivermectin’s anticoagulant properties by exhibiting prolonged prothrombin time."

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

G'day Pigleywigley,

I put a reply post on here yesterday to Nerja2012 which covers your question. You should be able to find it easy enough. If not click on my user names and have a scroll through my replies/posts.

John

G’day to you John. 😊 just read your replies & story very fascinating. I am convinced my diet plays a big part & I too am booked in to see a nutritional therapist! The gurgling and burping (not very lady like 🤣) can be a big problem. Interestingly I’ve over indulged this bank hol weekend & I can hear my stomach now making me a bit nervous about an episode 😤

Book AFIB CURE by EP John Day covers this subject of lifestyle change to remit AFIB quite well. You're doing a lot of what he recommends. Have you read the book?

So, I would say .... yes, modifying your lifestyle and health metrics may certainly put AFIB into remission for some people. Good news for all sufferers . . .

Yes part way through now picking up some more good pointers!

These changes sound great and I bet you're feeling better too. I made substantial life changes a year ago and they made a difference - though in my case didn't stop the AF. I seemed to settle around 2 monthly intervals. I'm certain mine is stress response triggered, although diet and lack of sleep also play a part. I don't think the pandemic helped - it kicked in about 3 months after my AF. So my biggest challenge has been changing my response to stress triggers and adjusting my work life. 🤞🤞 For you.

I feel soooooooo much better singwell. Weird isn’t it having this condition can actually make you feel better 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m not being complacent I know the score with AF but I’m doing my best to kick its ass!!

I found the same. It kicked me up the ass into caring better for myself.

RajaRua profile image
RajaRua in reply to Pigleywigley

Really well done Pigleywigley!! I have gone totally plant based since last august and am feeling the better for it. Also lost a lot of weight and feeling better for that. I do agree with Fancy Pants 54 that the HRT is a very good idea. Especially the body Identical type. There's been a lot in the media coverage here in Ireland re that recently. Quite an eyeopener as I am 65 now and it's a bit late to start on it. But the message is that Oestrogen especially is so necessary for womens heart health. I was so against HRT back when I started menopause at age 52 as the media reports were so negative about it causing breast cancer etc. With the newer type of HRT (body Identical) Oestrogen is given as a gel or a patch through the skin. It's working so well for women in perimenopause and in menopause. It is said to be very safe and a lot of women are stayin on it for life! I do also feel that for me the anxiety I can suffer from is also a big trigger but I think this is due to Oestrogen deficiency also.

Keep up all your dietary and exercise regime as it's so good for you all round. I'm very happy for you and long may it last.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to RajaRua

Yep I’m on all the body identical stuff & intend to stay on it having weighed up all pros & cons looks like more pros to me. So much more info for women out there now and the recent programme by Davina Mcall brilliant!

RajaRua profile image
RajaRua in reply to Pigleywigley

I didn't see the Davia Mc Coll programme but I've joined a FB age called The Irish Menopause which has a lot of info and great interviews with wonderful Menopause specialists both here and in the UK. I got to speak with 2 specialists here on the phone! (lucky me!) and they were a bit iffy about me starting on HRT as it can soften the arteiries as in being more elasticity back and if you've got plaque on any of the cononary arteries it could chip off and cause a heart attack. So the risk/benefit is definitely a bit iffy for me as I do have some plaque on one of my coronary arteries. Also it's over 10 yrs since my last period.. Having said that Dr. Louise Newton in the UK has started women in their 60's 70's and 80's on HRT!! I was so disappointed as my QOL is not great and I long for more energy and less anxiety!

RajaRua profile image
RajaRua in reply to RajaRua

So glad to hear you arte on all the body identical stuff. Well sone!!

That’s very good news well done and I’m really pleased for you. I think I’m going to look at making a few changes too.👍 hope the dogs are keeping well.x

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Jetcat

Hey jet cat. Morning from the doggies 🐶 Good luck with your journey too. It is a journey and I know the road we take can be a tricky one but well worth the effort if the reward is improvement in our condition. I am v determined to make a difference to my quality of life.

That's great news Pigleywigley 🎉🎉Afib moves in mysterious ways - like yourself, I, too, have made some serious lifestyle changes - cut out a lot of sugar and fat, stopped drinking alcohol, cut down on meat consumption, increased water intake, increased walking. I'm now about 6 months into my new regime and while I can't claim not to have had an episode during that time, I do feel more in control and (touch wood) any episodes have been shorter, so I like to think that I'm getting there and that those changes have most certainly made a difference. I do think that I can be quite an anxious person, although can appear calm on the surface, and maybe I need to try to get to grips with mindfulness and meditation (something I do find hard) to achieve even better results. For now, I'll call it semi-remission!!

Hey Spangle amazing 🤩 work 👏👏 I too have cut processed & sugar. I still have a long way to go with sweet stuff as I love it but I’ve started baking my own cakes using only natural ingredients & I have some dark chocolate as a treat! I still enjoy a beer 🍻 but wine seems to be a no no. Your right about the anxiety. That is the hardest bit of work for me hence my journey into training to be a clinical hypnotherapist & meditation teacher. Good luck 🤞

I have achieved similar results by cutting out sugars and following a low carb diet, little to no alcohol snd lost 3.5 stones and exercise regularly. I haven’t experienced any symptoms for 15 months now. This works for me and it’s great to know it works for you too.

Amazing Astro such lovely stories from folk doing really well 👏👏👏 I’ve struggled with sugar but I’ve halved it & use stevia (plant based) still better than where I was at! Good luck on your journey 😊

Sounds excellent. Lifestyle changes are the most powerful weapon we have against AF, not only helping stop AF but making us healthier in other departments and making us mentally stronger as we exercise control over our condition...turning a vicious circle into a virtuous circle. Still would like the courage to dump my Flecainide though!!

I’m not taking it. I did have it as a PIP then it was recommended daily. That was 10 weeks ago & ive not taken it yet! Agreed with cardiologist that I would start on next episode but 🤞 I’m hoping not to……..

Fingers crossed for you

You have done amazingly well with your lifestyle changes, and not having an episode for so long it seems you could keep your flecainide as a PiP... not advice but I am sure your cardiologist would agree. Long may your AF-free life continue!

RajaRua profile image
RajaRua in reply to secondtry

I with you on that Secontry re dumping Flecanide! I'm on very high dose 150 X twice a day and it does keep my AFib at bay I feel somnewhat toxic from it! I'm thinking of trying to lessen the dose as I haven't had Afib for almost 4 months now. I so long to come off all meds.

secondtry profile image
secondtry in reply to RajaRua

Ummm, well just to say my cardiologist is not in favour of me trying to reduce my dose of 200mgs. Some people here have been successful on this for 10yrs+. You are on the top dose, which makes both the upside and downside of trying a reduction more critical. If I was in your shoes and decided to try a reduction, it would be 25 mgs slices for 6 months, so at the end of 2 years all being well you would be down to 200mgs where I would stop further reductions. However, if your QOL is good and with Covid present, you would be a braver person than me to start now; instead I would use the time to make more Lifestyle changes...yes there are more you can make!! Best wishes what ever you decide.

Hey secondtry. I think it is important you do what is right for you. Cardiologists are brilliant but they are not us and the amount of reading I’ve done on the matter confirms what happens to most of us by being stuck on the medication. As Dr Gupta says in one of his videos on YouTube the risk needs to be managed. Drugs make me feel awful I’m so sensitive to what I take so my quality of life goes down. So important to me to maintain a good quality of life. I may be on daily flec anytime soon but it will be a V big decision for me & currently I’ve gone against the advice of the cardiologist & he’s supporting that. We are all so individual. Good luck 😉

Totally agree. I have learned many beneficial things since AF began, one of the better ones is to focus on enjoying today more than I used to! Enjoy yours.

RajaRua profile image
RajaRua in reply to secondtry

Thanks Secondtry. Yes I'm about to get my second Pfizer vacc in a few weeks so I thought I'd wait another while and get that over with and wait til maybe the end of summer all going well with AFib. I've done it way back 7yrs ago when I was started on Flecinide. I was started on 100mgs x twice a day. I felt it immediately in my system. especailly in my head. Like Pigleywigley I am very sensitive to meds. And my QOL has suffered a lot also. I asked my EP if I could try reducing and he said yes though he looked taken aback. A lot of consultants are used to people beiing passive and doing what they are told without asking questions. My ideal is to have some kind of colaberative relationship with my Doctors but it seldom works out that way. Over a long period of time and with the aid of my tablet spliter I did get down to 50Mgs twice a day. But over time I had to adjust it up again. If I had done my lifestyles adjustments at that point I'd be at a different place now.....perhaps! Thanks for your advice re going down by 25mgs for 6 months at a time. I have to admit I'm anxious about doing it. I get a lot of difficult symptoms with AFib. So I dread it...And yes I'm trying to make more lifestyle adjustments as I go along. Exercise is a bit tricky as I have Fibromyalgia to deal with also.

Congrats! I love your "scientific" approach lol...just throw it all against the wall and see if something sticks 😄I guess one or some or all of your evil plan worked, which one? Well, at this juncture, who cares, none of it is harmful, and of course, you feel better, so kudos.

I was lucky to pretty much identify my trigger out of the gate...large heavy suppers, and adjusting time/portions stopped it in its tracks...so far...only been 4 months, but fingers crossed.

I tried to identify triggers other than wine once and dehydration once I couldn’t fathom the rest so yep chucked everything at it & still more to go! Well done you too!

Hi Pigleywigley and we’ll done! A good positive post and reminder to us all about not pushing the boundaries with potential triggers.My one word of caution as we now expect some proper sunny weather this Bank Holiday, is to be cautious of taking too much sun!

I have kicked into PAF after having too much sun exposure. Exercise and alcohol when we are a bit de-hydrated with sunshine can be anAF trigger. ….

Yep sat in the sun yesterday with a few beers & lots & lots of ectopics but no AF! Poor night sleep though just goes to show!

That's great. Thanks for sharing your experience. I find it really encouraging to hear from people who have done well with lifestyle changes.

I think lifestyle changes may have helped me to stay in NSR ever since a cardioversion 17 months ago. (I had suddenly gone into persistent rapid AF within 2 days of knee injections for arthritis.) I was already gluten free for other issues, and mostly sugar free, but I've been strict about avoiding added sugar since then.

I also noticed that processed meats including bacon, suasage, ham including Parma ham each tried once after the cardio, triggered ectopics - may be the salt or the tyramine in these foods (tyramine is written about as an AF trigger by various doctors). Other aged foods like mature cheese also contain tyramine, so I've dropped these too.

I have lots of fresh veggies, and animal produce is mostly fish and chicken. Some gf whole grain foods, and not too high carb intake. I still have weight to lose though.

I've just been reading up Dr Jack Wolfson on managing AF by lifestyle, and have added beetroot powder for blood pressure, as well as continuing with other supplements I was already taking. Having a good serum level of vit D is suggested by Steven Carr on his website - he has stayed free of AF for many years now, using dietary measures described on his carrafibdietinfo.com website.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Belle11

Thanks Belle will look into that website & good luck too!

Belle11 profile image
Belle11 in reply to Pigleywigley

Thank you Pigleywigley.

Well done. What about exercise -did you increase, lessen or stay the same?

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to boberch

Increased running moved from 5 to 6 or 7k because I’m fitter more than anything else really. Started swimming again now lock down eased twice per week a mile each. So more or less same but bit further & a swim 👍

boberch profile image
boberch in reply to Pigleywigley

Wow-you are fit! You deserve to be very well with all that lot

Well done!

😊

Sounds like all those efforts together achieved your good results. I wonder if it was one in particular or the combination. Good luck to you.

Was talking to my GP the other day & she said now I won’t know which one. However I started all the changes in January to no avail. The last changes I made were no wine, reduced added sugar by at least half & magnesium taurate & nothing since. Personally I’m convinced it’s the taurate!

I had to quit wine -- and I whined a lot! -- because it was my major trigger. You're probably right that it's the taurate as I read many find relief in it. I take so many pills I'm just afraid to try anything not subscribed by my EP.

For some years I have been doing most of what you are doing. No alcohol (it gave me AF episodes), veggie meals, wholemeal bread, lots of fruit, meat from farmers market (only eat it once or twice a week). Taking calcium and Vit D (mostly for bones), magnesium with the calcium. I'm not sure whether that is why I rarely get episodes now -- because I was already doing that diet a while back when I was getting repeated episodes! Might have been the medication -- I was on Flecainide, Verapamil and Indapamide -- but now it's Flecainide, candesartan and Bisoprolol, and it seems to work. (but I have to admit that I eat too much sweet stuff and don't drink enough water.....)

Well done you! I’m not taking flec. & my aim is to get off all meds. We shall see! Good luck too

Same here, cut out butter and red meat; minimised alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten and anything processed. Increased water, veg, fruit and nuts, stopped reading in bed so my body expects to sleep immediately.

I take magnesium, potassium, CoQ10 and Vit D3 supplements daily.

Biggest challenges are meeting mates in the pub and having 3 sipped pints instead of a supped gallon, not eating pizzas or curry and fighting the impulse to indulge my sweet tooth after meals.

I pick up an orange, apple or nectarine, or have a bio yoghurt with lots of berries, instead.

Have lost best part of a stone even though I've always been athletically thin anyway.

I've gone from fairly constant ectopics and rarer AF bursts to no significant arrythmia of any kind for a few weeks now, which is the first time in twenty odd years.

I'm on the list for ablation and was offered a cancellation slot a few days ago but turned it down.

We all know AF doesn't play fair and can ambush us at any time so I'm not kidding myself I've cracked it, but as things stand I can't justify having a procedure to remove symptoms I don't have!

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Mugsy15

Hey Mugsy same here out with the girls last Saturday 4 hours, 4 half’s of lager. Better than nothing I suppose & some people can’t drink anything. Pizza occasionally & I make all my currys from scratch now. Sugar my downfall too but I’m getting better. I too am waiting for an ablation a surgical one though known as mini maze as I can’t have catheter because of my previous heart surgery. Like you dependent on how things go will depend on my next steps. Good luck 🤞

Mugsy15 profile image
Mugsy15 in reply to Pigleywigley

I'll follow you as a lot of what you describe in your replies to others chimes with my condition. I love red wine for example, but it definitely triggers ectopics and rightly or wrongly I've blamed the sulphates in it. Beer doesn't seem to be a trigger so without being complacent I don't think it's the alcohol itself.

Well done you! :)

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to bassets

Thanks Bassets 😊

Congrats - apart from magnesium try hawthorn berry

Thank you what is hawthorn Berry good for?

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