Isolated A Fib episodes?

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I have been looking online for days with no sucess.  I have had two A Fib episodes 6 years apart.  Both were a day after heavy drinking.  I am 43 now.  So the first A Fib was when I 37.  I was then put on Diltiazem with Hydrochlothizade to control my high blood pressure.  I exercise and lead an active lifestyle with a physical job.  My first Cardio visit cleared me of any issues other than the high BP.  I will be taking an echo test along with a full blood panel next week.

What really bothers me is on this follow up (before any tests) the Cardio Dr. was suggesting putting me on blood thinners and / or having an ablation. I had stopped taking the Diltiazem about 6 months before my latest A Fib.  I am not comfortable with the blood thinners due to the possible side effects and danger involved.  Is it possible these two A Fib episodes were due to the alcohol?  Holiday Heart?  As opposed to having an A Fib diagnosis?  This has been a real wake up call for me, and I realize I can't drink like that anymore.


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  • Posted

    I am not leaving anything out.  But just some more info.  I have always been about the same weight within 10l-15bs or so for the past 10 years.  I'm 6'5" and always in the 250lb range.  Fully dressed I look very fit, but I have "love handles" my chest is bigger due to weight traing years ago (never any illegal drugs or enhancers of any kind) so it hides my chubby tummy.  Last year after a physical my Dr. said my sugar was on the high side, and as always my BP was high (I was on Diltiazem and Hydrochloathiazide) so I got real serious and dieted and started running / walking everyday along with my physical job.  I got down to 210 lbs.  My Dr. loved all my numbers but kept me on the meds.  I felt weak at 210, and checking my BP at home it was low, and I was light headed.  I stopped taking the Diltiazem on my own (I know I should have consulted my Dr.)  I started eating ocasional junk and lifting weights alittle, but quit running / walking daily.  So now I am back to around 240, and my BP is on the high side.  This wake up call has made me revaluate my diet, my drinking, and my exercising.  I haven't drank, I have cut carbs, and have started walking.  Granted, it has only been a week.

    I had an EKG at the ER last week when I had the A Fib.  My next test is an echo gram scheduled and full blood panel.  That is where I am now.  I don't smoke, and do no ilegal drugs, nor have I ever.  I have been cafiene free for 5 years.  I haven't had any hard liqor in 20 years, only beer.

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    • Posted

      I know I keep referring to this interview that's on medscape, but if you take the time to watch the interview, it really lays it all out there and explains a whole lot of stuff about AF very nicely.

      If you google search 'Legacy PI throws down the gauntlet to US physicians', and scroll down a bit to the interview, you'll find it.

      I found that this clip really put everything into perspective for me.

      I hope it helps you too??

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  • Posted

    Yes. Alcohol is a known trigger for a-fib.Not just heavy drining, but sometimes even small amounts.

    Warfarin has been used by many years since does require careful monitoring though.I had my choice of the first drug that came out as a blood thinner.

    i recalled this advice.

    "Do not be the first or the last to take a new drug.

    I have been on Wafarinfor 4v years without any difficulty in remaining with an INR between 2 and 3.

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  • Posted

    I can't give you a definitive answer, but I believe alcohol is a trigger for afib, also coffee and chocolate. Being dehydrated, which is caused by alcohol as well can also lead to episodes of afib.

    I have given up all these triggers and feel better for it, in fact I've been taken off Bisoprolol and Flecainide, but I will be on blood thinners for life as a safety measure.

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  • Posted

    I wanted to update this after my two Dr. Appointments and Echo gram.  I first went to a new family Dr.  He took the time to listen to me and my thoughts on the issue and agreed that the alcohol was more than likely the cause of my Afib.  My electolytes were also comprimised due drinking beer and dehydrating myself which can cause the Afib.  Obviously my blood pressure is still up, but I have already lost 10lbs, so I am going in the right direction.  He put me back on the Diltiazem and I am feeling fine.  I also had my Echco gram and it came back great.  So it looks like if I continue to exercise more, continue eating right, and stay away from the beer.  I can get my BP lower and not have anymore Afib episodes.

    On a related note, since I had the Echo gram, would it bennifit me to have a heart scan?  I noticed the Hospital I went to for the Echo gram offers a low cost heart scan.  I didn't know what exactly the two have in common?  Meaning, if my Echo gram came back great, did they look at the same things the heart scan would reveal?  Or are they two different things?

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    • Posted

      I asked my cardiologist what the difference was between an echo cardio gram and an MRI ss an of your heart. He said that they pretty much do the same thing, but the MRI is the 'gold standard' and is more precise.

      obiviously cardiologists can't have their own MRI at their practice, and they are usually happy enough with it's accuracy.

      In the last two years I've had 5 cardioversions, 1 angiogram, an ablation, one CT scan, but only had one MRI.

      I don't think an MRI (which is what I assume you're talking about) would pick up anything that the echo didn't??

      But then again, if it gives you peace of mind?

      Youre already doing the best thing-addressing your risk factors. That's what's going to help you the best.

      Also I think it'd probably help if you searched up and watched that Medscape interview (if you haven't already). The sums up The best approach to AF in a nutshell (but the prospect of putting the lifestyle changes into practice can be a bit daunting!)

      Best of luck👍😃

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  • Posted

    Everyone is different when it comes to Afib and not everyone has to take blood thinners. I have an excellent IR doctor who is very careful with prescribing blood thinners. I do not take blood thinners, I do take Diltiazem,

    eat healthy, and expertise everyday. Talk to your doctor.

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