Finding triggers

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I'm a nurse, 58 years old, slim, fit and active.  I've started to have short (a few hours) episodes of atrial fibrillation that stops me working.  they started at the end of last year and have occurred every 6 or 7 weeks.  I get the odd 'flutter' most days too.  I'm not a heavy drinker and I don't smoke but I think maybe it was triggered by red wine (now stopped). The most recent episode was yesterday morning following a Sunday of cycling, beer/prosecco and cheese on toast to say nothing of the night cap of whisky (one only!!).  It was a relief when my heart flipped spontaneously back into sinus rhythm but I always feel tired and washed out afterwards.  I exercise with no problem but if I'm tired, dehydrated and not careful with what I'm eating (and drinking) then I'm risking things. I'm not on any meds although my GP wants to start me on Metoprolol but I'm trying to manage this thing through lifestyle choices, coconut water and cashew nuts for magnesium - I'll let you know if I succeed.  Regards to all.

ps: having an echo this afternoon, cholesterol normal.

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  • Posted

    Each day you are supposed to have about 600 mg magnesium AND 5-6 grams of potassium. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar and stress can cause one to excrete the magnesium and potassium.  If those levels are low, then afib can result.

    You need more potassium than the total amounts by weight of sodium, magnesium and calcium.

    Magnesium and potassium are the electrolytes that act inside of all cells, whereas calcium and sodium are supposed to act outside of cells.

     

    I would try to find a way to have your magnesium and potassium levels measured in red cells, not in serum where they are most often measured.

    If you are low. that may be your problem and you might need to take magnesium and potassium supplements.

    Frank

    Frank

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    • Posted

      " Each day you are supposed to have about 600 mg magnesium AND 5-6 grams of potassium"

      In five years and the last 2 1/2 years in permanent AF I have not had a doctor, cardiologist or EP tell me that.The only one I have heard say it is Dr Sanjay Gupta in his Youtube videos but of course it is sold through his web site,

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    • Posted

      Doctors do not measure magnesium and potassium correctly. I am sure your docs measured your's, but not intracellularly, where they should be measured.

      There probably are several causes of afib, and your "brand" might be different than an electrolyte difficiency, but you should get those numbers straight.

      Frank

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    • Posted

      Supposedly we are supposed to get adequate amounts of magnesium and potassium through our diets, but to me that is unrealistic; 10 bananas/day?

      In the USA, it is estimated that only 2% of all people get adequate amounts.

      Frank

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    • Posted

      Mine was initially caused by aortic valve replacement surgery.After a cardiovesrion I was in NSR for 15 months until I had a colonoscopy that stimulated my vagus nerve. Another cardioversion that kept me in NSR for 10 months until I had a DRE that again stimulated my vagus nerve.

      I have now been in permanent AF since January 2015. 

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  • Posted

    You say that without knowing her  CHADS2VASC  score.
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    • Posted

      I have gone long periods without taking anticoagulants in the past five years. I have only taken them for a couple of months before and after a cardioversion. I went back on to Warfarin in February of last year as I wanted to have an Amplatzer Amulet fitted on the British trials. I didn't get on the trial and eventually had it done privately last month and now never need warfarin or a NOAC again as the area in my heart where clots form has been sealed off,  

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    • Posted

      I have not taken anything for two years. Amiodarone disturbed my balance and gave me a tremor and caused deposits and floaters in my eyes. Bisoprolol made me sweat, feel light keaded and dizzy and caused weakness in my legs. Now I just sit the attacks out with the ocasional trip to A&E. If really desperate I take a 1.25 mg bisoprolrol but very seldom.

      There is the Amplatzer Amulet and the Watchman device, They are mesh fillters that are inserted throgh the groin in the left atrial appendage of the heart where clots form and prevent them from escaping and possibly causing a stroke.

      Since  the trials the NHS has stopped funding them for the moment due to financial restrictions although long term it is cost effective. It will probably be two years before money is available again.

      The cardiologist who did my procedure took part in the trials and is now doing them privately. He has done about 120 of them. It is just a day surgery procedure that takes about an hour and a half. I went back last week for an echocardiogram to see that it was properly seated.

      Warfarin caused side effects and NOACs are contra indicated with either type of heart valve although cariologists are willing to take a chance with patients with tissue valves.  

      The procedures are also FDA approved in America.

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    • Posted

      I take Tikosyn and Eliquis plus small dose of Metoprolol. Have had 3 cardioversions since being diagnosed last June .

      Have been in nsr for 7 months .

      Hate taking these whacko drugs !!!

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    • Posted

      I was offered an ablation but turned it down as I was not taking warfarin. They said it didn't matter and they would do it without . I said no way. They then offered an AV node ablation after I had a pacemaker fitted but it was cancelled as I was waiting for an MRI scan and they did not want me pacemaker dependent when having it.

      Last month I asked for another cardioversion and they said they would want to do a cryoablation at the same time but only if I took Apixaban for a month before and after. So that's three different types of ablation that they have offered... which would be the right one???

      The Cardiologist who fitted my Amplatzer Amulet asked why would I want an ablation?? The consultant at the hypertension clinic is also doubtful and said to ask for their success rate with the procedure.  

       

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    • Posted

      as Tikosyn is not listed in British National Formulary I take it you are in America or Canada
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    • Posted

      Do your research before embarking on ablation. If you go that route make sure you find best electrophysiologist you can who has performed the most ablations !
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