← Return to Afib: What causes an episode? What if I don't notice?

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@afrobin

Dear catmom, Don't be too discouraged. You can lead a full and healthy life. Afib can be a warning to the body that you are not treating it right. It can even be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes conditions such as this, diabetes or conditions related to being overweight or a smoker can jolt a person into major lifestyle changes. Take charge of your own health.
As we know, we do not eat enough vegetables and instead eat lots of carbs in the form of bread and junk which cause inflammation in the body. Read Dr Axe to learn more. Simply changing one's diet and exercise routine can eliminate a lot of ills. I know. I did it. I overcame a serious case of Afib.

At age 46, I had Afib that was so bad that I didn't have 3 normal beats in a row. The cardiologist said he had never seen such a severe case as mine. The Holter monitor even malfunctioned! With daily walking/slight running on a treadmill pushing my heart, over a month I was able to gradually (important) and completely get off the high dose of beta blockers I was on. (320 mg of Sotalol per day) The cardiologist couldn't believe it and said it would not last. Fast forward 24 years and I have had warning signs….but NO Afib.
Having said that, I have to be very careful. As the cardiologist recommended, I must not drink any alcohol, nor eat excessive sweets (which cause palpitations and 'bumps'), and I must avoid all stimulants such as decongestants, the standard dental freezing medication, caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, Coke etc.. When on the rare occasion I have had a bit of coffee, let's say, a few blips will happen and I am reminded to not do that again. Carbs as in desserts can cause my heart to race.
I recommend that you take charge of your cardiac health. No one can be more committed, nor as interested in your own health, than yourself. My aunt suffered from Afib (and continued to smoke!). She was on beta blockers and had a number of cardioversions in her senior years… and she lived to 88 years old and died of old age. With a commitment to listening to and taking care of your body, you will outlive everyone around you! Pass the broccoli!

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Replies to "Dear catmom, Don't be too discouraged. You can lead a full and healthy life. Afib can..."

That's quite a warning!! I am having a hard time believing that my one or two glasses of wine after dinner most nights caused this. I've been a health nut my whole life, am pretty active, had low pressure (110/60 at its highest and 100/50 at its lowest), eat lots of salads and have yogurt/fruit/granola most mornings for breakfast. I hardly ever eat any meat at all, and only eat red meat when in the company of other people or when I get invited out to dinner, so drinking the wine must have been the culprit. The only other thing I did that was bad was be exposed to toxic smoke four years ago. I got smoke inhalation pretty bad and I'm pretty sure got some carbon monoxide poisoning. I was sick for at least a week after that.
But, like you say, nothing I can do now but deal with it. My afib isn't as bad as yours was. I had two days with no real occurrences but last night woke up at about midnight with my heart pounding hard and fast (84 bpm) and it didn't calm down until 4 am.
I am already trying to get more exercise even though I haven't seen my doctor yet. I have to see her before I can be set up with a cardiologist.
Thanks for the reassurances though. I'm 65–just went on Medicare!! I have a new grandson I want to see reach adulthood to make sure he's OK.
If you think of any more good advice, let me know. I'm hungry for information on this. I know already that there is no one-size-fits-all to it. Each person has a different experience, different causes, and a different prognosis, but it really helps to hear about others' experiences and what works for them. I feel at this point I will do practically ANYTHING to stop the episodes! They are awful!

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