A Fib dormant after several active years

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****I had a heart attack in 2010 at the age of 60. I experienced regular episodes (episodes varied from a few hours to 12 hours) of Afib after the heart attack and have been on Metoprolol tartrate, artovastatin, lisinopril and aspirin since then. I resisted the cardiologists suggestion of a blood thinner. My last afib episode was about 18 months ago. I check my pulse 2-3 times daily. Has anyone with a similar medical condition had documented afib disappear like this and if so for how long.

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  • Posted

    Although my vaguely diagnosed arrhythmias are hardly the same thing, my experience with their variability suggests your case is probably not the first.

    Any recent changes in your health, have you lost any weight, or even changed diet?

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    • Posted

      what kind do you have and what are your symptoms? I believe I have afib and atrial flutter but my cardiologist can't see it on the monitor, so doesn't believe me, so he won't put me on any blood thinner. Im super scared of having a stroke!! I get racing heart and all of a sudden will go away... hard thumps and flip flops, dizziness and fatigue.

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    • Posted

      Hi jx41870, thank you for responding. The most significant change was that I quit working out 3-5 days in the gym about 2 years ago, the a fib stopped about 1 1/2 years ago. I have always been active in sports up until my heart attack which occurred at the age of 60 after my regular game of pick up basketball. My diet was terrible up to that point as I traveled in my job and my wife being a nurse worked various shifts so fast foods were my main diet. My A Fib episodes were very noticeable with significant erratic and fast heart beats, flip-flopping, etc., sometimes lasting only a few hours up to 10-12 hours, with episodes about every two weeks. Not only extremely noticeable in my chest but feeling the pulse during the episodes was an easy confirmation in my case with no doubt about the A Fib. I have resisted my doctors suggestion of a blood thinner due to the potential for internal bleeding and now that I have retired the cost of Eloquis (the recommended drug) is prohibitive for me, although there are cheaper alternatives (must not as highly recommended as Eloquis). I am presently trying to get more info from doctors regarding the change in my A Fib episodes.

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    • Posted

      Hi christina69014, thank you for responding. My A Fib was from a heart attack in 2010. The episodes were very pronounced with rapid and erratic heart beat, flip-flopping, etc. I don't think it would show on the monitor at the time your hooked up as you are apparently were not in A Fib during that hook up, but the EKG would show possible heart damage which could cause A Fib. I believe you would have to be hooked up to the EKG during the potential A Fib episode to determine if it actually is some form of A Fib rather that common heart palpitations, panic attack, etc. Maybe a second opinion if possible from a cardiologist would help. Best of luck to you.

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    • Posted

      hi Lennyallen, thank you for your reply!! wait.... so if I had a afib attack or atrial flutter, a ekg could show it, do to heart damage? I didn't know it damages your heart. I just had a normal echo. should that indicate that Its NOT afib or atrial flutter?

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    • Posted

      @lennyallen, afib is a particular thing, and there are a whole bunch of other arrhythmias one can have - are you sure yours is officially "afib"? A lot of afib you can't even feel, and a lot of the "harmless" ones are very obvious.

      Of the drugs you mentioned only the beta blocker, metoprolol, would directly help to block any arrhythmias.

      One thing I've been trying is "nitric oxide" foods, specifically arugula, that may help generally open blood vessels, much like lisinopril should. Maybe my arugula is working, after having a small salad of it twice a day for a month or so. Never seen that written up anywhere but it makes a sort of sense. Have to ask my doctor about nitric oxide drugs instead - though often the natural approach is just better - as long as you like salad!

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    • Posted

      Afib will show on a monitor if you are having an episode, but if you are not, then it won't show up! I have had Holter monitor several times, and it only showed up once, when I knew I was having an episode. My AF started 15 years ago and has been getting worse: every 10 days or so for 24 hours, and I have been on blood thinners for years. You don't know when it is going to happen, and sometimes you have a slight episode that you don't know about. Any of these can cause a clot, which is why my doc says I must always take a blood thinner. Ask for a second opinion. I have started Multaq and happily it seems to be working.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lennyallen, compared with many people on this forum, I have to admit I have only had two significant episodes of Afib/SVT, over two years ago now. I was diagnosed by my GP with atrial flutter in Dec 2016, who chose not to prescribe blood thinners given my risk factor was considered minimal, albeit I am over 65. Two weeks after the diagnosis I had a stroke, that left me with a permanent visual impairment, fortunately nothing worse, but I was then immediately, and in my view belatedly, prescibed Apixaban (Eliquis)

    I had an ablation in June 2017, and have had no problems since. The advice following the ablation was that I should take blood thinners for the rest of my life. Given the low probability of having had a stroke in the first place, I have taken that advice, and even though I have had no Afib problems since the ablation, I will continue to do so. They do not cause any side effects that I am aware of, and I have to say they do give me peace of mind. I do get very occasional palpitations, usually when I lose control of my digestion, i.e. eat too late, eat/drink the wrong thing.

    I continue to walk regularly, cycle regularly, and do all the things I did before. Neither the stroke, the Afib or the medication have changed my lifestyle. Having said all that I am aware that many people stay Afib free for many years before recurrence, so still early days for me I would say.

    Hope that helps in some small way.

    Regards

    Sherpa Al

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    • Posted

      Hi Sherpa Al, I appreciate your response my friend, sorry to hear of the stroke, sounds like you are back on track as best as can be expected, hoping that all continues to go well for you.

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    • Posted

      hi, did you have any preexisting heart condition? Im concerned I have atrial flutter but can't prove it to my doc and doesn't want me on a blood thinner and Im terrified. what was your first sign of stroke?? I keep checking myself and do suffer with facial numbness, so its hard to tell

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    • Posted

      Hello Christina,

      Are you in the UK or the US, I'm in the UK. What convinces you that you have atrial flutter?

      I'd had one significant episode of very rapid heartbeat and fatigue whilst cycling, and because I was planning a Himalayan trek later in the year, I had an echo-cardiogram and a 24 hour Holter, all clear I was told by my GP, so I went trekking. During the trek I had a full day of rapid heartbeat, massive fatigue, zero energy, which culminated in the curtailment of our trek.

      At this stage I had no idea what the problem was, and had had no previous heart problems. I had been a runner and cyclist for over 20 years, and no heart problems in the family either.

      Things returned to normal and I returned to the UK and visited my GP. He gave me an ECG, and straight away diagnosed atrial flutter, although at that point I felt fine. A cardiologist visit was booked, but before that day arrived I had the stroke, completely out of the blue. Woke half way through the night with the strangest sensation and found I had complete double vision. Not until I was given a CT scan in A&E was it confirmed I had had a stroke.

      After that I was on thinners immediately, Apixaban was prescribed given my risk of internal bleeding was low, and being in the UK cost was not an issue. My double vision cleared quickly, but a residual visual impairment remains, and I am fortunate the stroke has not been life changing.

      After the ablation everything has been fine, and I had a long discussion with my EP about the pros and cons and risks of remaining on Apixaban or not. In the end I concluded that it was not a risk I was prepared to take and will continue with them for the foreseeable.

      If my GP had prescribed blood thinners immediately upon the diagnosis of atrial flutter I would most likely not have had the stroke. I believe that in the US prescription of thinners on a diagnosis pf Afib is standard practice, but not here in the UK it seems.

      You don't say what tests you have had Christina, however I do hope you get to find the right answers Christina.

      Best Wishes

      Allan

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    • Posted

      hi Allan! thank you for your message! Im glad you are ok! Ive had a echo done, numerous ekgs and 2 holter monitors. I had alot of pvc and pac but never had an attack while on the monitor. I will get a racing heart with little excursion along with fatigue and dizziness.... it'll start and stop suddenly. its not irregular but very fast... and pounding. I want to be on a blood thinner for precaution but my doc says no!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Lenny!

    I am in permanent afib which means I have it 24/7 all the time. I am lucky bc I rarely feel it unless I am extremely upset or sometimes when laying down for bed.

    I have been on cuomidin and diltizem. for many years. I was diagnosed with afib by accident during pre-surgical testing by means of an ekg.

    However, I strongly suspect I had afib for many years prior to my diagnosis and despite a few full cardiac work ups it was not caught bc it was intermittent at those times.

    Afib can be hereditary...thanks dad, brought on by sleep apnea and is also a product of many athletes! I have done alot of research mainly bc of my suspicion I had it a long time before they caught it thus resulting in it progressing to the permanent stage. I have also gained alot of info on a FB afib group.

    If your cardiologist recommended a blood thinner you may want to consider how you scored on the Chad test. If a blood thinner was recommended bc of your result I would get on one. A stroke is no joke same as a heart attack.

    I was diagnosed at 55 and am almost 62. As I age I am less willing to take risks with my health. Afib is progressive and one of the things I struggle with is daily fatigue. Dont need a stroke, heart attack or other major medical event to stress me out further.

    Best of luck!

    Kathy

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