DISAPPEARING AF?

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I'm 55 and was diagnosed 18 months ago with PAF. I'd had palpitations for years on and off so eventually doc put me on heart monitor and next thing I know I've got AF! Consultant put me on bisoprolol which made me feel unwell so came off that. I can count on one hand the episodes I've had this year and each time I go for a check up my pulse is normal. ECG shows no AF. I'm on warfarin but that's all. Can it just disappear?

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine,

    ​I doubt it, it is there lurking away waiting for the right conditions to return and set it off. Almost certainly there will be a trigger which will do the job. However, as in my case, you can still be in AF and not know it - that is you can be in AF with no symptoms at all - I am such a case in point. I too had about 3 years of palpitations prior to being diagnosed. I was put on Bisoprolol and Warfarin. Warfarin was easy and still is and I self test for my INR. Bisoprolol was very hard for first 6 months but I perceivered with it and nowadays  I can say my last recorded AF event was in April 2015. Food and digestive issues (bloating) were a trigger for me but I consulted a Nutritionist who put me on a course of probiotics then advised me on a change of diet and that over the last 5 years + seems to have done the job. BUT I know I'm not cured and because my left atria has been damaged I know this rotten thing could return. I try and keep as fit as possible, try and keep weight off, keep blood pressure and heart rate low (currently around 127/72 with HR at 63). I was 65 when diagnosed in Jan 2010 and turn 72 this Sept. I also still work 30 to 40 hours a week driving a shuttle bus. So, basically I try and make life as easy as possible for the heart.

    Good luck.

    ​John

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    • Posted

      The relationship between the heart and digestion is the vagal or vagus nerve. The Vagal nerve is a significant nerve in the central nervous system which controls both heart and digestive system, and extends to other organs too. If you Google it you may well come across some quite good diagrams showing how it is in the body.

      My nutritionist initially prescribed probiotics to clean up/tidy up my gut, the gut flora , the stuff that makes the gut work and do its job which ends up as a waste product. My symptoms preceeding an AF event were massive and painful bloating, mostly around the chest and heart, then intestinal gurgling , burping and diahorrea, all at random and unpredicatable in timing.

      The diet was a gradual process over time starting with the obvious like cutting out gluten, wheat (in all its forms ), taking bits out of the FODMAPS DIET (suggest you Google that one) and finally going added sugar free, so as an example of what I now avoid its .... no oats, no bread, no runner (long) beans, no baked beans, no peas, no pork, no yoghurt, no dried fruit .... the list goes on and on.

      I hope this helps.

      john

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    • Posted

      Hi Jay,

      Any rice products, Gluten Free products, only lager beers Peroni and Tiger beer, but if I'm stuck maybe San Miguel and /or Budweiser. No English real ales ! If I have to have bread best its made from sour dough.Broad beans are OK and so is Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and spinach. Nothing spicy, very limited chinese foods. BBQ steak, gluten free sausages, any seafood from fish of any sort through to oysters. Most red meats. Eggs but not frequently, I have to avoid just about all nuts, but if I have them in small doses and very infrequently then salted peanuts and/or Cashew nuts. The other key thing is eating in small portions, just a bit bigger than a childs portion. I love porridge but if I have a plate then I'll take up permanent occupancy of the bathroom. Strawberry and cream is fine, raspberry and cream is not ! Goosberry pie, so long as pastry is gluten free is OK.

      That'll give you an outline.

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  • Posted

    Another good source of information is the forum on the AFA website.
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  • Posted

    AF is hard to catch on monitors ECGs etc in its early stages for paroxysmal AF. It will occurr erratically and maybe not very often. So maybe no it probably has not disappeared!

    Youre quite lucky it was caught on a Holter Monitor.  Part of the process  of living with AF is working out if there are any particular triggers for episodes. Coffee, alcohol are common... for me it was always over exertion. You'll see people have different triggers. If you can spot these you can help avoid AF episodes.  And stop what youre doing if possible and try and have a nap! Can do the trick nicely

    I started with minor episodes that gradually became longer and turbulent over time. Had not treatment to begin with and then various medications. Took me 30 years to get to the catheter ablation stage but people are different.

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  • Posted

    Significant thing is that your PAF was less frequent when you came off Bisoprolol.

    I've found that my PAF was triggered by my bp meds (Ramipril then Candesartan). I'm now on Bisoprolol and have far fewer episodes than before. I believe that meds have a far bigger effect on af than the doctors would either know about or admit to.

    As one GP put it to me ' do you want high bp or paf, it's your choice'.

     

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  • Posted

    You can adsolutely clear up PAF.

    It is often triggered by specific food intolerances that appear to be individual, i.e., no size fits all. So you have to figure it out for yourself.

    I completely cleared up my PAF when I realized that the damn antibiotics I had been taking off-and-on over the past 66 years were wiping out the good gut bacteria and replacing them with not-so-good ones. Most recent was doxycyclin which is the antibiotic I took and then started having AF episodes - not immediate though. 

    My focus was on histamine in the gut which comes from certain foods and there are specific low histamine diets - not too restrictive btw. Certain gut bacteria also produce histamine, and therein lies a major problem.  Just as a starter, yogurt is a No-NO. Those bacteria do indeed produce histamine and in susceptible people can be a hindrance to clearing up PAF.

    Frank 

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    • Posted

      First - I have been a biomed rersearcher since 1966 - more than a few years, and I have taught many medical doctors.,

      That said, in answer to your question, yes there has been research in this area and if you can wait 15-20 years, the results might make it to the doctors who practice medicine.

      There are some docs who also do excellent research and there are a few who cover things like dietary triggers and afib, but you'd have to google those topics and be prepared to get inundated with scientific literature.

      The true last frontier in biomedical research is the central nervous system, and the afib story, involviong the vagus nerve, is not at all understood.  Stay tuned.

      Frank

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  • Posted

    Hi all. Thanks for all the replies and all the useful information. I don't think I've treated this diagnosis with the respect it deserves! I was told it was paroxysmal AF and at first it scared me but then it just seemed to go away. I know what you mean about being in AF but unaware - but every time I'm at the nurse for a check-up it's not there, also twice to see the consultant and no symptoms (he doesn't want to see me again). Good health to you all 😊

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    • Posted

      I also had no symptoms and AF was NEVER  found on checkups (EKGs) in the hospital or doctor's office.  It was only found when I wore the holter monitor for 24 hours.  I would suggest just to be sure, that you ask for a holter monitor test.  If that does not show AF, then you are OK...
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    • Posted

      It was diagnosed when I wore a monitor 18 months ago.

      I suffered from palpitations which started in my mid-20s and I used to take 10mg propranolol and they would just stop. I can go for months with no symptoms atcall.

      Since being diagnosed I've been on warfarin and that is all. I still have propranolol but I never need them! I would live to think I could control AF by avoiding certain food etc

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