Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Support Group

Atrial fibrillation (AF or afib) is an abnormal heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia) which involves the two small, upper heart chambers (the atria). Heart beats in a normal heart begin after electricity generated in the atria by the sinoatrial node spread through the heart and cause contraction of the heart muscle and pumping of blood.

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Living with A-Fib

It\'s only been two weeks for me, but I can\'t shake the fear. I\'m scared to do anything. The drugs I take keep me from driving, so my husband has to take me to work. I\'m scared of having another episode, so I don\'t like to be away from home for long. I\'m afraid to travel. I\'m afraid to drink decaf coffee or a glass of wine.

Those of you who have lived with A-Fib for a while, is there a time when you came back to center? Got back to the gym? Got back out on a boat? Felt joy?

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Jea d, The first thing you need to know is afib won't kill you. Next you learn to live with it. There are a few things you can do to help it along. You can google a list of triggers for afib but the most common triggers are coffee, tea, decaf also on both, alcohol, chocolate, MSG, a lot of additives and preservatives, stress and anxiety, losing weight too fast, too much sun on a hot humid day, pushing or shoveling snow, straining yourself.
Hydrogenated fats > Saturated fat including animal fat and coconut (palm oil)pro inflammatory products Exercise after eating

Getting very cold

Dehydration Sugar spikes and crashes

Getting overheated (sauna) Sleep disturbance- takes extra care if you must do shift-work

Sleep apnea High altitude

Deep diving Getting sick-flu, food poisoning, malaria, etc.

Effort before recovery from illness High output (more than normal training)

Taking on tasks which will overtax one Helping someone move, build something; put the boat away etc.

Ballistic (burst of energy) sports Heavy weightlifting

Competition High heart rate

Gerd (acid reflux) Bowel disturbance

Anger High stress Sedentary life Adrenaline

Dental freezing with adrenaline Alcohol Tabasco

Aspartame (diet pop etc.) MSG see "truth in labeling "
These are all things to avoid but not everyone has too. You need to figure out what type of afib you have? I also belong to a Yahoo group for afib called,
www.afibsupport.com This is a 2000 plus group and you can gain a lot of information form the group. It is not a chat like this group but more sharing information only.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I've lived with a-fib for 20 years. It was mis-diagnosed for 15 of those years as anxiety-related palpitations. I know how paralyzing the fear can be, but you are not going to die from a-fib. you might feel like you want to sometimes, just to make it stop, but you really can carry on... even while in the middle of an episode. You'll have to learn to pace yourself and get enough rest and not to push too hard when you DO feel good. My cardiologist said that wine was fine... just make sure to keep getting your coumadin level checked. Best of luck.
Rakkahead
deleted_user
deleted_user

I just joined this group and how are you doing today? Hope you found your comfort zone in living with AF
deleted_user
deleted_user

just joined...and want to send Blessing to everyone...
I recently had my second event and it shook me up more than the first. I think it is mind over matter but I am constantly checking my pulse,
My treatment is metropolol(sp) and Warfarin...they seem to be working. I come out of A -fib sponteneously and this second event was shorter than the first.
My triggers seem to be the most common, caffeine or acohol...
The doctor is positive about my condition because I respond so well the the most basic medicines...but as Jea_d has said it is not an easy feeling or better said concern to get used to.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had my first a-fib in May of 2006. I have 2 flaps on one of my valve instead of 3 and now that I am 60 it is effecting the blood flow. Went on Tropol and was doing fine until Feb of this year. My primary doctor put me on thyroid medicine and within a week I was having big problems. The second a-flib was shorter but much worse than the first. My cardo dr increase tropol to 100mg and added cartia 180mg.
I was taking it with milk which also gave me problems. I stopped the milk and within days I am back to me and working out in gym and gaining confidence to live my life as before. Yes anything extreme does cause me to feel the heart beat faster and I just slow down or rest. Hope this is helpful.
deleted_user
deleted_user

the exercise thing has a big question mark for me. even though the two events I had seemed to have coffee or alcohol involved this second event also had an increase in exercise. I was working out on the eliptical machine and walking 3 miles a day for a few days before this second event.
The doctor does not consider a target heart rate of 130bpm to be too much but of course if I have an issue 'don't do that'!
we will be taking a long vacation this year through Yellowstone, Tahoe and Yosemite. there will be some activiity above 8,000 ft. The doctor does not consider this risky...so we will see. My sister in law will be with us. She is a cardiac nurse.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hey Gang,
Need feedback. What I don't get is that I've had afib for 30 plus years undiagnosed and now on Cartia and Lopressor and Coumadin. As I read everyone's posts it seems NO drug stops or really helps. I'm trying to figure out why my doc gives me meds other than Coumadin. Coumadin makes sense becasue of stroke prevention. Apparently my reading everyone, the other two don't do the trick. Am I right?
svenska
svenska

My afib started in January 07. I felt exactly the same way you did. We were scheduled to go on a cruise (4 day) and I was terrified! I went anyway and everything was fine. I have stayed away from caffeine but have an occasional glass of wine. Also, I've gone back to the gym and now exercise regularly and feel much better.

I think if you realize you are not alone in this, that there are a lot of others out there just like you who are living AND doing OK with it, then you will be able to get on with your life. Just take it slow at first but don't give up doing the fun things in life and don't let this rule your life. You're on the meds, so that should help.

Hope you're doing better now!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have had two afib "events" since January. a nurse told me I am one of the fortunate one, that I do not have these events more often...I exercise daily, 3 mile walk and 40 minutes on the eliptical machine and no problems, feel better every day.
but I would like to know how often do you all have them?
svenska
svenska

Since January, I have had three events. Two of which I had to go to the ER, the other I was able to get out of myself. My medication was changed after the last event (a month ago) so hopefully this will help.
deleted_user
deleted_user

thanks...my last 'event' was April 17/18 after too much wine...I came out of that by myself. technically I came out of the first one at the end of January myself, though I was in the hospital...

my triggers seem to be too much alcohol and possible coffee, though caffeine is not real easy to pin point...the doctors are going along with me on the caffeine and alcohol though non of them will say what are the official triggers...they all say 'we don't know', since other than alcohol there are just too many variables involved.
svenska
svenska

My doctor told me to totally stay away from caffeine, although I could have an occasional glass of wine. I have had wine (only a glass or two)and feel ok.
deleted_user
deleted_user

well for the first event, I had caffeine (coffee) in the morning, I don't usually have coffee but I did that day, however it was at least 12 hours before the event, That evening I had the normal food that I have on Sunday night, and it hit...so the doctors were confused on the cause.
the second event was easier to see the trigger...my wife and I are both in the tax preparation business and we went out to celebrate the end of tax season...to make a long story short, I consumed about two bottles of wine that night...however earlier in that day I used my elliptical machine to maintain my heart rate at 130 for about 1/2 hour...even though I have read the physical activity can cause a-fib I felt no issues, I was winded but not in any distress...
then late that night after the whine it hit.

I am saying it is alcohol for sure but there is another trigger in there.

so I avoid coffee. I do have two cups of green tea a day, and two small glasses of red wine...about 6 oz total...the diet is very consistent with fish and chicken, salads and fruit...

I am doing well and consistently increasing exercise and physical activity...
deleted_user
deleted_user

when I said physical activity can cause a-fib...I mean overworking the heart, over the normal conditions,
deleted_user
deleted_user

Alcohol started me down the path to A-Fib, but I have quit drinking, and they continue. Getting more frequent, but I always go back to NSR on my own. I really don't know what triggers it any more. I have laid off of eating many things, and keeping track what I am doing at the time. Haven't nailed down any thing substansual. Two short 15 sec episodes this week...