Afib

Afib
By Afib Latest Reply 2011-07-11 02:48:40 -0500
Started 2010-10-30 13:51:36 -0500

I am concerned with my husbands Atrial Fibrilation problem he has had since 2002. We have been to numerous doctors and all they have done is converted his heart and put him on new meds off and on. This year he has had 3 Afib attacks in less than 6 months and the doctor put him on coumadin and metropolol. This doctor looked as his history records and said he was too young to be dealing with this and way to many meds. A total of 5 already. So this doctor referred us to a specialist in the cities of Minneapolis who has a lot of experience with afib. He just turned 31 and they believe doing an ablation is the best for him inorder to try to get him off the meds since they can have alot of long-term side effects. Does anyone know anyone who has this or can give some good advice on afib and what has worked or not?


16 replies

rob0334
rob0334 2011-07-09 10:37:58 -0500 Report

I have a very irratic and strong heart beat that kicks on and off throughout the whole day, but no pain associated with it, its more of a twich around my heart area, but depending on my body posture I may feel a bit more of discomfort in the form of a sudden twich around my left chest area follwed by irratci beats. Bi-gemeny is what Iv heard from a couple cardiologists and a couple simply scratched their head. What kind of pain or discomfort is associated with afib or heart attack?

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-07-11 02:18:40 -0500 Report

rob,

Glad you brought this up. What people feel during afib and other arrhythmias is a common question that people ask so any input from the community is appreciated!

HH

stasurban
stasurban 2010-11-25 02:21:20 -0600 Report

I was just diagnosed with AFIB and i had no idea what it was or how to treat it.An after i was told what my heart was doing I realized that this condition had been there for years.I recently became a father and worry that this condition will get worse.I have seen a cardiologist and have been told my heart is fine and doesnt require any medications just an asprin a day but when should I become worried about my condition.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-07-11 02:24:08 -0500 Report

stasurban,

Afib is one of those conditions that is a matter of degree. For some it is minor. For others it can be life threatening. I don't have full blown afib only premature atrial contractions. Another example is mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Mine is slight and doesn't require anything. Others need a valve replacement.

Just to be on the safe side I would look for a second opinion. I did and the answer was the same which gave me confidence and a modicum of relief from worry (which can also reduce episodes of afib)!

HH

smilingabbie
smilingabbie 2010-11-19 13:39:19 -0600 Report

Thank you for bringing up my favourite heart condition! I, too, have atrial fibrillation. I am 40. I replied to leokaren's post about a-fib earlier, and left my story there. My internist is also recommending I see a cardiac electrophysiologist in two weeks to discuss ablation therapy. So far, my three episodes in six months have been caused twice by stress, and once by alcohol (I don't drink much at all, but a glass of red wine on an empty stomach caused 3 minutes of a-fib. My internist called it "Holiday Heart Syndrome"). Although my family doctor and internist don't think ablation is necessary for me, as long as I get my stress issues under control, they did say that it is recommended for younger patients who have many years of heart condition to live through. I take Metoprolol any time my heart is racing or I feel it begin to flutter, and it works beautifully. The only side effect I've noticed is drowsiness. I go on and off daily ASA for blood thinner. This afternoon I go to see my internist for a Holter monitor. He isn't convinced anything will show up over 24 hours, as any other time I've been in to see him, my blood pressure is 120/80, my heart rate is 57 beats per minute, and my ECG is clean. But we will see. I plan on taking the Holter for a good walk, cleaning my house, and up and down my three flights of apartment stairs a few times. Most days that is what's happening anyway. I am not really scared of ablation, if that is what is decided for me. I understand the two electrophysiologists nearby are very good at what they do and come highly recommended.

Smilingabbie

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-07-11 02:30:03 -0500 Report

gabbie,

Thanks for sharing all the details - it is very helpful to others.

Your story is common and similar to mine although I don't have full blown afib to any degree. I take a different med (Atenolol) which is a beta-blocker in the same class as Metoprolol. Heh, your vital signs, BP, heart rate, ECG, side effects, etc. are almost identical to mine!

Keep on smilin'!

HH

nexstar
nexstar 2010-11-21 11:14:14 -0600 Report

Hello, I too am new to the website, but just wanted to comment here. I am 53 years old, I have always had Heart Palpataions all my life, I was noted years ago with having Atril fib. A friend of mine that is also VA got me to go to the VA, they did the heart monitor first off, after the stress test-which I failed. The Heart monitor showed that my heart was stopping for 20 seconds out of every minute I slept. My VA Doctor from the get go said I needed a Pace Maker, so low in behold I got a Pace Maker. After that I was still having the Heart fluttering problems along with being very weak, tired all the time.
Next they did a Heart Ablation, I was on the table for 12 hours! This was not that bad of a surgery. My problems seamed to get worse, so we waited 6 months and low in behold they said evidently they didn't burn enough of my heart away so I had the surgery again, this time I was only on the table 6 hours. They said my heart was in a different position than most people this is why the surgeries took so long.
The 2nd Ablation has still not helped me out, I have at times bad heart palpations or flutters, I can just be sitting around and my heart will start beating like I had run 10 miles.
My heart rate runs around 59/44 with heart rate as high as 150 and never goes lower than 30. I know I should be dead at 30 beats a minute. The Doctors have set my pace maker to not allow my heart to get below 70 but it does.
I take loads of meds, I will try to tell you what I am taking now.
As mentioned above I take 12.5 mg of Warfarin every evening I take 50mgs of Metoprolol Succinate Sa Tab once a day, I take Diltiazem (inwood) 180 mg SA once a day, 225 mgs Rythmol SR twice a day, Omeprazole 20 mgs EC Cap twice a day for Acid Reflux, Carbamazepine 200mg Tab twice a day for TMJ
I know this seems like a lot of pills everyday, but I was taking more. I also take pills for High Cholesterol (Simvastatin) 80mg tab, 1/2 pill everyday!
I am due to go back to the VA in Durham , North Carolina on the 30th of this month. for another check-up.
I seem to have more problems as my feet and legs swell something terrible. My problems are so bad, that I can't hold down a job, I have been trying to get on Social Security but the VA is saying there trying tomake me as good as new. I keep telling them this is not working, but I don't know what more I can do??
Anyone have any input I would greatly appreciate it.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-07-11 02:45:57 -0500 Report

nexstar,

Thanks for the input!

First, see your docs regarding 80mg of simvastatin. Although it sounds like you are taking only 40mg a day (is that right) the 80mg dose is being restricted by the FDA - see the links below. The newer statins require a far smaller dose and that can relieve many of the aches and pains related to statins.

http://www.heartconnect.com/news-articles/227-fda-places-new-warning-label-on-zocor

http://www.heartconnect.com/news-articles/228-fda-restricts-use-of-simvastatin-80-mg

Don't feel too bad about the pills. I take probably 20 a day but only three are by prescription (including OTC omeprazole because all the other pills upset my stomach, lol). The rest are supplements I take by choice but at the advice of my doc (always check with your doc before taking any supplement).

Finally, make certain you report the swelling/edema. This can be treated as well and could be a side effect of your meds!

It can take a while to get everything adjusted correctly and over time your body changes so it is a real hassle. Getting heart rate just right is a particularly difficult task so you situation is not that uncommon even with the multiple ablations. But, if possible, I would seek a second opinion especially in light of the fact that you have had a second ablation (although even that is not uncommon).

Let us know how things go after your next checkup on the 30th!

HH

lisa young
lisa young 2010-11-24 14:06:30 -0600 Report

keep trying to get on social security! you'll get it! with your health promblems,you deserve it! if you get denied the first time,try again! it took me 2 times! i know people that have taken years to get on it but it'll be worth it(the wait)because you get all the back pay.from the day you first applied! well,good luck with your health! lisa

griz104
griz104 2010-11-24 20:48:09 -0600 Report

May i ask what you did for money the time you spent waiting to get SSI? I has been close to a year now for me and it is getting tough just to survive..Savings are gone and started on the retirement..what little there is…

smilingabbie
smilingabbie 2010-11-21 21:27:56 -0600 Report

Wow, Nexstar, your condition is a lot worse than mine is at the moment. I have to say, I had swollen legs and feet too. I didn't think to mention it to any of my doctors, but I'm thinking now maybe I should. I quit my job a year ago. The stress was much more than I could take and I was sick two or three weeks out of every month. I had quit sleeping for longer than three hours. Six months after I quit, I noticed my palpitations were getting regular and often and then I had my first a-fib episode. Anyhow, now it's time to get back to work and I worry about how it will affect my heart, because I still feel we don't know enough about it. The puzzling part for me is that I have low cholesterol, low blood pressure, and low heart rate. But now when I read your numbers, I wonder if "low" isn't a bad thing too. When my Dad had a heart attack earlier this year, he was given something to lower his blood pressure and it went too low, giving him another heart attack. It's such a balancing act.
A question for you: right after a meal, does your heart race? Mine races for about five minutes, then goes back to normal on its own. I hadn't noticed it before, but now I am sensitive to any heartbeats that seem irregular.

Thanks for writing back and telling your story. Take good care.
Smilingabbie

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2010-11-12 16:45:25 -0600 Report

Afib,

First, I am NOT a doc so DO NOT consider this medical advice - but given your husbands age I would personally study, consider, and discuss with your physicians anything that would reduce my need for long-term drug treatment. Metoprolol is fairly benign and I have been using a similar beta blocker (Atenolol) for symptomatic relief of occasional Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs) for years.

Unlike PACs, full-blown Afib represents a substantial risk for stroke and should not be taken lighty. Often, patients require blood thinners like coumadin which is not quite so benign. Perhaps an electrophysiologist can discover a root cause for the Afib which would go a long way in backing a decision to consider ablation to eliminate a "bad electrical connection" in the heart and solve the problem completely (success rates are in the 70% range).

What I would watch for are the unethical cardiac interventionalists who take blind stabs hoping to ablate the culprit electrical interference. This is like the mechanic who, when they cannot find the real cause of your car malfunction, simply starts replacing parts!

Again, this is not a medical diagnosis, prognosis or any type of medical recommendation. It is simply a common sense way to go about addressing the situation.

smilingabbie
smilingabbie 2010-11-21 21:14:56 -0600 Report

Hello HeartHawk,

As I've been referred for ablation therapy (initial consultation early next month) I am wondering if you know how often patients receive ablation after they are referred. Because my stress test and Echocardiogram both came back clean, I wonder if it is necessary to go through with ablation at all. Here in Canada, I would hope that we have a bit less worry about having to ferret out unethical doctors, but maybe I have that backwards and maybe I should be more concerned! I already have a list of questions to ask once I get into the consultation, but any information to be armed with would certainly help!

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