• 8 replies
  • 5 followings
Bobkinca, April 8,  2021  7:19pm EST

Ablation vs meds?

Hi all thank you for being here for me and each other. I'm new to Afib world and can't say I like it.

I'm 54 and was diagnosed with Afib a couple of months ago. My Cardiologist now has me on 75 mg of metropolol plus blood thinner but still everytime I have as much as one glass of wine or a half **** the next day I have an incident for hours. 

Question 1: is this normal and does it mean I need to give up alcohol forever, just as restaurants and clubs are opening again?

Question 2: For those with experience, should I just stay on meds like my Cardiologist suggests or is ablation worth it? (For the record I've never been on meds before and not a fan).

Appreciate your advice



8 Replies
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, April 9,  2021  8:41am EST

    Good morning, 

    Thanks so much for participating in MyAFibExperience and for sharing your story. I am sorry to hear about the symptoms you are experiencing. Unfortunately, I am not a medical professional, but I can share some resources with you on Lifestyle Strategies for Atrial Fibrillation and information on how alcohol may fit into a heart-healthy lifestyle.

    As for question 2, I would recommend working with your cardiac care team to come to a solution that is right for you. I hope you can hear from others' experiences here on the support network and foster a sense of community with others who have gone through similar things.

    Please keep us updated on how you are feeling!

    Best wishes,

    AHA Moderator

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, April 9,  2021  9:38am EST

    Bobkinca, sorry to hear of your "introduction" to AFib.  Most of us who have it seem to have different symptoms -- some can continue to drink alcohol in moderation, others must stop altogether, or say that it was enormously helpful to do so.  As for meds vs. ablations, most opinions I have read here say that meds often lose their effectiveness over time.  My own experience was that I was on meds for about 10 years, had no bad symptoms from my AFib, but in the meantime my heart was slowly deteriorating, until it was in rather bad shape.  So I always recommend:  see an electrophysiologist (EP)--a cardiologist who specializes in AFib.  They are generally more up-to-date on treating it.  I also recommend ablation(s), which have sometimes been described as the closest thing to a "cure" which exists for AFib.  If you go the route of ablation, make sure your EP has done hundreds of them successfully!  Let us know how things are going for you!

    Thumper2 (Judy)

  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, April 10,  2021  8:52am EST

    Bobkinca, you can learn more on this site and the excellent videos at I, male 73, was diagnosed about six years ago, and have been under the care of an afib clinic at a major medical system. I am not a doctor, so what I am saying is based on my own experience and what I've learned from these sources. 

    First, Thumper2 is right about the variability in how this condition affects us. Everybody has different "triggers", different responses to drugs and treatments. There are some common patterns, but don't be surprised if you have your own! For example, dehydration, salty foods, anxiety & stress, too much alcohol or caffeine, are pretty common triggers. I can tolerate a cup of coffee, fortunately(!!!), and an occasional glass of wine,which I don't miss too much. Basically you and your doc (preferably a cardiac electrophysiologist (EP)) have to figure out what works best for you.

    My understanding is that the  common approach is to try drugs first - they work well for many people, and then try ablation if the drugs don''t work, and especially if the afib episodes last a long time or don't stop by themselves.  But ablation procedures are being constantly improved, and these days many people and their docs go directly for an ablation, skipping the drug phase. 

    I'm in the second stage of the standard drug approach - I started on "rate control" and have been on "rhythm control" the last few years; adjusting the dosage is part of the process. 

    So working out the approach that works for you is the "adventure" of having afib. It helps to learn about this condition so you and your docs can work together better.  All that said, this is  a manageable conditio,  so hang in there, and let us know how it goes!

  • dee2468
    dee2468, April 10,  2021  5:37pm EST

    Do the ablation quick and easy very few problems, I have been off metropolol since about 4-5 months after ablation. That it's self was worth it, I was very worried about how that the ablation would do but I worked ******* my health and exercise I am back in to rhythym and have kept it since october, my original stroke was August 2020, So not dealing with the beta blocker is fantastic, If you have a great cardiologist get the ablation good chance it will work and you can move forward but you must change your health for success so buckle down do it feel better and stay healthy and back in rhythm. Good Luck to you!

  • nancyh
    nancyh, April 12,  2021  5:02pm EST

    Hi BK,

    I'll be 54 next week and I have had afib for the past 6 years. I did take Metoprolol but only 12.5mg (when I took Metoprolol 50mg my pulse went down to 37-not fun!) each day along with Flecainide, it worked for about 3 years. To answer your question, I couldn't drink much alcohol (like only one glass of wine) because I would have symptoms. This was when my afib was well controlled. I chose to not have any now because of my recent issues of frequent afib. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion on your afib. I have not had an ablation and when I was in er yesterday they told me my doctor shouldn't be even suggesting that. Good luck! 

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, April 14,  2021  8:17am EST

    Nancyh, I agree, it's good to get a second opinion on one's AFib, but the  er  is rarely a good place to get that opinion, since the doctors there are unlikely to be either cardiologists or EPs.   And it's true--your doctor should not be suggesting an ablation,  unless  he/she is an electrophysiologist (EP).  I'll repeat some of what I said earlier:  please don't try to "live with" AFib.  It is very likely that your heart is slowly deteriorating.  Have an ablation while that procedure  will work.  All the best--

    Thumper2 (Judy)

  • Jujoinflo
    Jujoinflo, April 25,  2021  9:14am EST


    new here ..... I am 64 female , was born with genetic condition essential hypertension so always have taken beta blocker Propananol since I was 15 to control it , am also on Tekturna .

    ivwas diagnosed pre diabetic last year snd given insulin to take when numbers got a little high ( my Blood glucose I've been told is not bad ) however pretty much weeks into taking insulin I started with AFib .... 

    ive had tests at cardio who gave me awful meds which interact with my BP so am back just trying to. Intros with my usual medication .

    ive come off insulin , am on strict diet and have lost over a stone in weight ... however it seems that I now have so many food sensitivities that kick off the AFib ...literally just tea / coffee / any thing that's not home made - haven't touched alcohol for years .....

    I was ok with no AFib for the first time in a week yesterday , was feeling normal like my old self then wham it's back later on the afternoon .I would like to ask anyone out there have you had insulin related / diabetic related AFib ?? How do you cope ?? Have you just gone ahead with surgery and meds , which to be honest feel like my cardio was on auto pilot ... he didn't want to discuss , just this is general procedure ...felt he didn't consider cause just effect ??

    any advise on managing or your experiences  would be appreciated .

    thanks ! 

  • dcshilton
    dcshilton, April 26,  2021  8:35am EST

    Hi,  As others have said, it's really important to find a good EP and listen to his/her advice on your personal situation.  My experience was that Multaq was pretty effective at preventing afib for a little less than two years.  Once it stopped working, I was advised to get an ablation last summer.  The precedure was not difficult, and I have been entirely free of afib since.  I'm able to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, which was problematice before the ablation.  So for me, ablation was the right way to go.  Good luck to you,  David

dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active