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speedbird2, June 9,  2016  12:33pm EST

Do I have A Fib?

I recently had a stroke & was told it was caused by A Fib; however I had had numerous tests before & after my stroke but none confirmed A Fib. How can I be told that I have A Fib with no confirmation? I was put on Eliquis but its too expensive & Warfarin gave me severe headaches & too much blood testing. I am now taking 2, 81 mgs of aspirin/day. How can they diagnose me with A Fib while all my tests were negative?
  • GoAskAlice
    GoAskAlice, June 10,  2016  3:48am EST
    Maybe the test they did that moment of the day was megative, but read through these forum topics.It is different for everyone, but all it takes is one episode (as you can atest to.) for a stroke to happen.From reading myafibexperience.org I see where sometimes a person only has a few episodes a year,I don't like what I'm going through and all the meds, but I'll keep advocating for myself.I wouldn't want to live and only be able to work half my body or lose speach because I chose not to take a medicationand had a stroke.​​​ I feel lucky, because I finally had an episode that I felt, alerting me to the problem and not a stroke.Good choice on taking the daily asprin even if you don't choose other meds, at least you're doing something. ​
  • Bluebird
    Bluebird, June 10,  2016  4:46am EST
    It's not too difficult to find out exactly whether or not it was/is A-Fib - you can request a copy/copies of the tests i.e. electrocardiogram/echocardiogram/electrolytes-cardiac enzymes/prothrombin time etc. They cannot refuse to give patients copies of their own test results - some will ask you to sign a release consent form first.
  • GrandmaB
    GrandmaB, June 11,  2016  3:49am EST
    My Afib episodes are sporadic.  I wore an event monitor for  30 days to see if I had Afib.  During that time only two events were detected.    Sometimes I will have three in one week, and sometimes I can go as long as two weeks before I have another one.  I take Eliquis now.  Yes, it is expensive but for me, it's my best option.  How are you doing after your stroke?  I hope you recover well.
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, June 11,  2016  6:28am EST
    speedbird,There are co-pay cards for most of the new anticoagulants, including Eliquis. Here is where you find all the offers for Eliquis, including a $10 co-pay card that is good for 24 months.Please keep in mind that aspirin will not protect you from an afib-related stroke; you need an anticoagulant to do that. Now that you have had a stroke, you have two points on the CHA2DS2-VASc stroke risk prediction scale (and if you're female, that adds one more point, and you get other points for age). I'm presuming that they don't know what caused your stroke (called cryptogenic stroke, or stroke of unknown origin). Let me encourage you to read some new materials from the American Heart Association about this topic (I had the privilege to be part of the process). Here is the backstory about the creation of the materials, and you will find links there to the various AHA materials to read.A significant portion of strokes of unknown origin are attributable to afib, and when you add that to the amount of strokes definitely caused by afib, you can have almost half of all strokes being due to afib.In your case, you may want your doctor to rule afib out rather than rule it in. An EKG, which is a single point in time, cannot make the determination - you more likely need either a 30-day montior, or an implanted monitor (such as the Reveal LINQ).  Mellanie
  • JimMtl
    JimMtl, June 11,  2016  6:32am EST
    How does one know if one has AF or another less dangerous form of arrhythmia?  Of course, the EKG gives a definitive answer.I have the kit from HeartMath Institute for heart coherence biofeedback training.  Another benefit of the system is that I can see the actual waveform of my heart beats (pulse) in real time on my computer screen.  The waveform of normal sinus rhythm is very distinct as is the waveform of AF.  The waveform for PVCs, strong pulse followed by a pause, also has a distinctive pattern.  It's not that expensive and has other health benefits, so check out HeartMath Institute's coherence trainer.
  • bfboca
    bfboca, June 12,  2016  7:03am EST
    Hi GrandmaB.  You have paroxysmal afib meaning that it comes and goes.  I suggest you read this forum daily and pick up different trigger possabilities that may be causing some of your events.  Maybe all of them, maybe none of them.  But try them all out and hope you get lucky and reduce your events.  I eliminated alcohol and caffeine and I believe it reduced my events.  I've also put more potassium and magnesium in my diet and I think that's helping.  But how do you really know?  Hopefully somthing is working and that, in turn, is reducing your number of events.  Bob
  • GrandmaB
    GrandmaB, June 12,  2016  4:34pm EST
    Thank you, bfboca.  I do read this forum diligently and am learning so much.  I did stop drinking wine after reading that alcohol may be a trigger.  I am just learning about potassium and magnesium as it relates to Afib.  I was given a couple of books for Mother's Day and am finally getting around to reading them.  I have found that when I am overly tired it can trigger an event.  I think I'm slowly getting a handle on this thing. ( Fingers crossed )
  • Trish
    Trish, June 13,  2016  1:59am EST
    Hello G B,you are so right! Living with afib is all about figuring out your particular triggers. Adding magnesium and  potassium are impt. Lots of water, regular exercise and reading everything you can get your hands on all help. New research happening every day and think we will have some real answers soon.  Best,Trish
  • Tea Sipper
    Tea Sipper, June 14,  2016  6:03am EST
    Trish, adding potassium to your diet could be dangerous if you are taking ACE and ARB drugs which are potassium sparing drugs. Examples would be Lisinopril and Losartan, respectively. Check with your pharmacist first before taking any potassium supplements! I wouldn't worry about potassium in foods though. Most foods would be safe, I think. Jack
  • Trish
    Trish, June 15,  2016  1:36am EST
    Thanks Jack! Am not on those meds but always glad for more info and this board is just wonderful for all sorts of afib knowledge.My potassium sources are all foods...esp Paleo banana bread!Best,Trish
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