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irontriangle (@irontriangle)

What increases the risk of A-fib?

Heart Rhythm Conditions | Last Active: Jun 27 7:35am | Replies (5)

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There are a great many triggers for AFIB. Some are fairly common to most of us, like stress, anxiety and lack of sleep. Alcohol, for some people is a trigger, as is just about anything with caffeine in it, like coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. But there are people to whom none of these are triggers. And there are people who could list triggers most of us wouldn't even think of. And sometimes……AFIB just happens. (Perhaps by an "internal" trigger we aren't even aware of)
The best way to figure out what triggers YOURS is to keep a journal. When my cardiologist suggested I do this, he said to write down EVERYTHING that preceded the attack, like if I was tired. If I had eaten, and when I ate it, and how much I ate and what I ate. Was I stressed/upset/worried about anything. What I was doing just prior to the attack. Was I home, comfortable and relaxed or was I rushing home from a busy day at work and stuck in traffic. Well……you get the idea. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING! It took me about 4 weeks of journaling (I had almost daily AFIB) to finally begin "seeing" my triggers. When I began to change what I could and avoid the things that always seemed to be there when I had an attack…….I WAS able to lessen the amount of attacks I was having. But there were still times when it just happened…….when none of my triggers were affecting me. But…….if you are noticing an increase in the number of episodes you're having, you absolutely need to discuss this with your cardiologist. Ask about wearing a ZIO patch. It's very similar to a Holter, but with the ZIO, you push a button on the patch every time you have an AFIB episode and then record in the journal that comes with it what was going on when it happened. It can, for some of us, take quite awhile to figure out most of our triggers and I'm not sure we ever know ALL of them. For me, trying to live WITH AFIB was just NOT working out and I did not have good luck with antiarrhythmics…….so I had an ablation 9 months ago, and, knock on wood, since then I have been totally AFIB free. I'm a 68 year old woman with CAD and 2 cardiac stents which were placed 8 years before I developed AFIB. I also continue to have the occasional PVC, which is usually when I go over my caffeine limit or I'm really tired.
I wish you the best of luck.

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Replies to "There are a great many triggers for AFIB. Some are fairly common to most of us,..."

Thanks again, Ruby, for one of your useful posts. At 85, I definitely have had to downscale my life not to have AFib attacks. One other source is changing the blood flow too quickly – such as jumping right out of bed or twirling in a dance move. Slowly, my old body prefers to move slowly. I can go to exercise class, but not twirl around too much. Good holidays, everyone!