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41 y/o Canadian Male with Paroxysmal Afib
Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with Paroxysmal Afib just over a month ago. Episodes are now occuring about once a week and can last from a couple of hours to over 24 hours. I'm physically fit and have been doing weight training and intense cardio most of my adult life. Resting heart rate usually hovers around 57-58. I eat well, am not a big drinker (weekends only), and have never smoked. The episodes I've had are awful, my heartrate will bounce from 60 to 130 to 170 at the drop of a hat, and it's affected my performance at work and my quality of life. My cardiologist has me on 10mg bisoprolol daily and 5mg Eliquis twice a day, I understand the importance of taking a blood thinner but the bisoprolol only seems to lower my HR at rest and does absolutely nothing during an AFib attack. Supplements include Taurine, Ubiquinol, regular COQ10, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2.
A couple of interesting points I've noted:
a.) Attacks often come on when I'm lying down, relaxing on the couch.
b.) They are never triggered by food intake, alcohol, and are only seldom triggered by exercise
c.) I have stopped a total of 3 attacks by jumping on my Assault Bike (basically an exercise bike with your upper body contributing) and doing 15 minutes of hard cardio at about 80% max effort. I did this today as a matter of fact
d.) Mild exercise (walking, yardwork, etc) does nothing to stop an attack
Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and i look forward to learning more and forming a plan of action against this miserable condition
AHAModerator, February 22, 2021 4:16pm EST
Thank you for joining the support network and sharing your story. I'm so sorry to hear that your AFib is starting to affect the quality of your life, but I hope that you can start to feel better about your condition as you hear from others on the forum about their experiences. I can also share some AFib resources with you to help you learn more. Please keep us updated on how you're doing!
The AHA Team
JudyKol, February 23, 2021 6:37am EST
Welcome Johnny to this forum. AFib is indeed a miserable condition. I was diagnosed last January with Paroxysmal Afib and was referred to a cardiologist who referred me to an electrophysiologist who I saw in February and recommended that I be put on the wait list for a cardiac ablation. I was mortified hearing what was involved! And refused. So, I tried osteopathic treatments, accupuncture, hypnosis, and supplements. I cut out all alcohol and caffeine. Nothing stopped the episodes. I am also a cyclist and never experienced an epsiode while on the bike, skiis or training. I did notice that I would get an episode after a smoothie and have since learned it is called a heart freeze and can trigger AFib. I cut those out too. My resting HR is in the low 40s and I would wake up in Afib with a HR of 170 down to 50 up to 170 for several hours. I felt totally dysfunctional. I read and recommend the Haywire Heart written by two cardiolgists and EPs who are on the US National Cycling team and that was insightful.
Through the learning on this forum, the webinars offered, and other members sharing their stories and encouraging me to go ahead with the procedure, I decided to book the cardiac ablation, as the antiarrhythmia drugs were not helping and I am fearful doing activities while on blood thinners. I have heard it is possbile to stop some meds if ablation is succesful. I am also Canadian and the wait was 3-4 months.
I had the much feared ablation January 26th and so far I have not had any episodes but what is most encouraging the extra beats or jumping HR I experienced while not in AFib have also stopped. Cardiac ablation from what I understand is the closest thing to a cure.
AFib begets Afib. So, I would encourage you to keep doing research and find an experienced EP.
Thumper2, February 23, 2021 10:03am EST
JohnnyTiger, glad you checked in here (but sorry you have AFib). It is ironic that so many folks (on this forum) who have been exercise/fitness freaks during their life come down with AFib! THat wasn't my story, but I got it anyway. Good for you for looking for your "triggers" for AFib attacks.
The best plan for attacking AFib has been outlined (above) by JudyKol. Her final statement: "AFib begets Afib. So, I would encourage you to keep doing research and find an experienced EP, " is right on, and I am delighted to hear that her ablation has gone so well! For further research -- see the resources on StopAfib.org. Let us know how things are going.