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Vagal Mediated AFIB and Chiropractic adjustments
Greetings! I've recently been reading and listening to information on Vagal Mediated AFIB. I believe this is what I have. I am extremely unhappy with my cardiology department bc I was diagnosed and told "We don't know why you have Afib, you have no underlying heart disease or issues. Take this Metropolol 2x daily". What a disaster. The Motropolol made it WORSE. When I initially went into ER, the episode was triggered by binge drinking wine one weekend (that was October of 2019 haven't drank alcohol since that day). I had experienced heart irregularities prior, but only very occasionally like once every two years. After going on Metropolol, the episodes increased in frequency, duration and severity. After 8 months, I had an episode where my BPM went as high as 250! Went to ER they hospitalized me for 3 days and I was taken off the Metropolol and put on Sotalol. Once again, after about 2 months, I started having episodes. My resting heart rate was down to 41 BPM, I gained 30 pounds and just generally felt so tuckered out constantly... not like me at all. I went to cardio guy and he said I should stay with the 80mg 2x daily Sotalol bc if I was having break thru episodes, he didn't want to decrease my dosage so I've been tolerating it. Again, this Sotalol seems to be exasperating my Afib. At the time I was put on the Sotalol, my cardio guy sent in an electrophysiologist while I was in the hospital. I didn't like him. He introduced himself, looked at me (a 68 year old HEALTHY woman) and he says "You know, there is no cure for this." and that just put me OFF. I had only tried ONE medication, was just introduced to a new medication and he was already pushing an ablation. I sent him packing telling him that would be my LAST resort and I would try everything before agreeing to that.
Now, I'm finding out that my Afib is vagal. It only happens when I'm at rest (sleeping at night) or after I've eaten a large meal and laid down. Sometimes just swallowing my supplements with cold water I'll feel flutters and also have triggered one when bending down at the waist after eating a meal. I'm also finding out that beta-blockers do NOT work on vagal Afib in fact they can and do make it worse. Also I want to add, I've been treated by this cardiology group since October of 2019 and have never had an event monitor or holter monitor on EVER! I've had all the tests otherwise, echo, heart cath, etc...
The first cardiologist has retired and I got assigned a new guy in the same group. He doesn't seem interested. Says take the pills I'm fine, no restriction. Yeah that's good news but what about the dibilitating episodes? How come nobody ever asked me questions about when my Afib happens? It matters right? My episodes never happen during the day, on an empty stomach or while I'm out and about. They happen during sleep and rest and after big/heavy meals. Shouldn't they have inquired? They didn't. Also I was never given the option of "pill in pocket". Why? I bet that would have been better than this constant trickle of beta blocker I'm taking that's ineffective. I hadn't taken a pharmaceutical drug in over 30 years. Not an antibiotic, not any pain meds, no antihistimines nothing I treat myself homeopathically and naturally. Until getting this Afib I had NO drugs circulating. At 68 years old at the time the hospital staff attending me couldn't believe it. I am Healthy otherwise.
Now, I'm reading that vagal Afib can be improved by Chiropratic adjustments of C1 and C2 vertabre. This is where the Vagus nerve is bundled where it comes out of the skull threaded thru the vertabre. An injury to this area, or improper and consistent posture can misalign these vertabre and press on the Vagus Nerve and can cause a multitude of issues with intermal organs especially heart arrythmias. Has anyone tried chiropratic adjustments or have you ever heard of this before?
In closing, I want OFF the Sotalol and I do not want anymore beta-blockers of any kind. I am going to go to a very reputable chiropracticor asap. Thank you for reading this if you've come this far lol. I admire all the experiences within this group I've been very Enlightened by many of the posts... I've learned things my doctors have just never talked to me about and from the sounds of it these doctors I'm going to are no very competent. Any and all replies are Appreciated. Thanks!
MellanieSAF, June 6, 2021 3:48pm EST
You mentioned sleep several times. Have you been tested for sleep apnea? If you have sleep apnea, then treating it may help to decrease afib episodes. You may want to peruse the recent AHA Afib and Lifestyle Scientific Statement as it is full of ideas for managing afib, including the role of sleep apnea with afib and the role of treating sleep apnea in affecting afib burden.
Last year, Dr. Mina Chung, who chaired the writing group for this scientific document, presented about lifestyle at the afib patient conference. This year, we have a special evening keynote by Dr. Prash Sanders, from Adelaide, Australia, who is notably the world's foremost expert on afib and lifestyle. He was a co-author of the statement above and his expertise was a major contribution to it. In his keynote, he will discuss all of his team's research in this space, which is amazing.
Patio7, June 7, 2021 6:59pm EST
Unfortunately doctors today have about 10 minutes to spend with patients. Combine that with education that teaches them that their best tool is the prescription pad, and the host of issues aging brings on are treated with a procedure or a prescription. That 's not to say wonders haven't been wrought by medicine, and viruses and infections etc are far in rear view mirror because of great discoveries. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc all treated with more pills. Noone asking about why or can these be reversed. Have you considered weight loss. I am not overweight but gained over the past few years despite all efforts. Since January I have lost weight doing careful slow low carb, and am amazed. Glacially slow...less than a pound a week...but colitis meds gone, no more meds for arthritis, sleeping again, almost no afib. My blood work done at two months outstanding, low a1c , and glucose. No longer signs of pre diabetes and cholesterol all better! Check out utube videos on low carb high fat. Sounds like you think for yourself. Meanwhile take the meds your cardiologist prescribes. Be safe, but do your own thinking. Good luck.
JeffT, June 10, 2021 12:45pm EST
I'm a 67 year old male. My afib experience has been very similar to yours. It would never occur when I was active, but only when I was lying down or sitting in bed. I could cause ectopic beats at times by bending over, and sometimes I would get a funny feeling after eating or while eating. I did some research online and began to suspect that I had vagal afib. I mentioned this to the EP physician assistant and she didn't seem familiar with this type of afib. Metoprolol as a pill in pocket approach did manage to get my heart rate down when I had an afib episode and the heartbeat would finally convert. I was also put on sotalol, 40mg twice a day, and my resting heart rate is typically in the low 40s with it. But the sotalol didn't initially prevent the afib. So I decided on an ablation. I had it done on Feb. 2, and the first month after was not fun as I had more afib and runs of tachycardia, plus lots of ectopics. But all of that has gradually diminished, and I am feeling better with no afib episodes for quite a while (knock on wood). I have not heard of having a chiropracter work on the cervical spine to help with vagal afib. I did read that beta blockers are not good for vagal afib though, and that another medication which I can't recall might be more effective. The problem, even in vagal afib, is that there are heart cells (usually in the pulmonary veins) that fire off creating the afib episode. I guess if you can stop the vagal nerve from stimulating those cells it might prevent the afib. I'm not sure how that works, but that doesn't seem to be the conventional approach the doctors take with vagal afib. It does sound like you should try to find another electrophysiologist who is more knowledgeable or at least more commincative.