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I was diagnosed with AFIB in 2016. I believe I may have had it much longer, but was diagnosed as panic attacks. I am a 59 yr old male. I was diagnosed the morning of a colonoscopy.
The day before the procedure while doing my prep to clear the stomach and intestines I started to get heart palpitations, I checked my BP and HR and they were going up and down, I was dizzy and had an ache in my neck. I believe the cleansing a clearing of my gut from all the good bacteria, minerals, and the dehydration sent me into AFIB.
So I need to find a better prep before my next colonoscopy.
A few years before this I fainted once at home and went to the ER. After much testing, my heart was determined to be fine, and the issue was my vagal nerve being stimulated, causing me to faint.
Makes sense, as I occasionally also get neck aches behind my skull, near where the nerve comes out of the skull. I usually get these aches before or during an AFIB episode.
I am now hearing more and more about the vagus nerve and its importance to overall health and the ties to the heart and the control of the hearts rate and rhythm.
It made me wonder why more AFIB prevention and care didn't involve talk of the vagus nerve instead of cardioversions, ablasions and other methods that don't always work or work temporarily.
I have found that exercises and massage to my neck can calm and bring my AFIB back to sinus rhythm. I've also used the cold water to the face, cold pack to my neck etc. that you sometimes read about.
I just believe that more of the problems from AFIB is due to the nerves that control the sinus node, than the actual heart itself. Now, this is only for people with a healthy heart. If AFIB started because of a heart valve issue or after surgery, that is a different issue.
It is frustrating that most Physicians focus so much on the heart, rather than what may actually be the source of the problem, the vagus nerve.
I did find this interesting video a while back that talks to this issue.
john1818, January 21, 2019 2:15pm EST
Very intersting video by doctor John Bergman that discusses all AFIB medical alternatives. It is quite long (53min) but it is interesting since the doctor is a great speaker.
Myrna, January 21, 2019 3:08pm EST
I have a lot of arthritis, old injuries in the neck area, very interesting information and I know problems there affect my afib but I think Dr. Bergman is a chiropractor, I didn't see any MD qualifications when I quickly looked at his profile.
D10S, January 21, 2019 3:40pm EST
Myrna you are correct, Dr. Bergman is not an MD. However, after seeing what most MD's have done for me I am willing to look at other alternatives. Most MD's want to push drugs on you right away, and then cardioversion and ablation. I agree with Dr. Bergman, that when Dr's look at what was done for AFIB today they will be horrified. Just like we are horrified at many of the procedures done 100 years ago.
For me, it makes sense. And it is sad that the major nerve connected to the heart is being forgotten by MD's. And why? They are not Chiropractors, and there is no drug or surgery used for treatment of the vagus nerve, hence no $$ to be made. I am not a Chiropractor advocate, in fact, I have never gone to one. I just find his theory interesting, and in my case makes some sense. Some MD's are starting to come around to it, but they can't do anything for it.
For what it is worth here is his story from his website:
Dr. Bergman is a one of a kind chiropractor, holistic doctor and a researcher who has dedicated his life to teaching and helping people with various, serious health conditions. With Dr. Bergman’s unique approach and years of professional experience, even the most challenging cases have a potential to become real success stories.
He was propelled into Chiropractic by a severe auto accident he experienced as a young man, that resulted in 2 broken legs, fractured skull and sternum along with several organ injuries. With great personal need and a passion for healing and regenerating Dr. Bergman began studying the body’s recovery process. He obtained his degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, eventually becoming an academic teacher at CCCLA. He taught Human Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics, and 4 Chiropractic techniques: Full Spine Specific (Palmer Method), Thompson, Diversified, and Extremity Adjusting. Dr. Bergman has an extensive knowledge of human anatomy and physiology that few can match. He successfully runs his clinic “Bergman Family Chiropractic”, that continues to grow serving hundreds of people every week by focusing on corrective methods of healing along with a pediatric development.
D10S, January 21, 2019 4:12pm EST
Here are some more chiropractic responses to AFIB.
katebart, July 18, 2019 11:45am EST
Thanks for your info. I too feel that the vagus nerve has a lot to do with my situation - paroxysmal afib. Mine started with bad gut health (IBS which sometimes has caused me to pass out) a few months ago and the intitial medications only made that oh so far worse that I was in on and off afib for a day and a half. Monitoring at home, have been finding that when my blood pressure starts dropping (seeing a number of specialist about this), my heart rate starts going up. Have used the ice on the back of my neck to stop fainting and noticed that as my blood pressure starts coming back up again, my heart rate slows which prevents an afib episode. Previous EP was not willing to even entertain any thoughts about the vagal connection. Current EP agrees that there is a connection but OV was too brief to discuss much at length. However, he did say that he did not want me to use the ice on my neck because that would stimulate the vagus nerve and would put in afib. (But that has not yet happened for the many many times I have done this.) So holding off on that till I meet with him again to discuss more. May need another EP opinion on that until I get a doc who looks at me as an indiividual. And don't know of what kind of specialist you can talk to about the vagus nerve. None of hte neurologist around here that I have looked at address it. So may be chiropractic help.