Heart Rhythm Conditions – Welcome to the group

Welcome to the Heart Rhythm Conditions group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
Did you know that the average heart beats 100,000 times a day? Millions of people live with heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) which occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats don’t work properly. Let’s connect with each other; we can share stories and learn about coping with the challenges, and living well with abnormal heart rhythms. I invite you to follow the group. Simply click the +FOLLOW icon on the group landing page.

I’m Kanaaz (@kanaazpereira), and I’m the moderator of this group. When you post to this group, chances are you’ll also be greeted by volunteer patient Mentors and fellow members. Learn more about Moderators and Mentors on Connect.

Let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

@healthytoday

I wanted to avoid Eliquis (blood thinner), but there is such a risk of stroke with afib it isn't worth the gamble, in my opinion. When I was hospitalized in advanced heart failure at the Mayo Clinic, when they looked at my heart internally with that little camera machine, I had two blood clots lodged in the heart which were stuck. It was the grace of God they weren't released causing a stoke etc. Its' a mystery, just wasn't my time to leave, not done yet. I'm one of those who will do just about everything to avoid meds. But at 71, I've had to surrender and be grateful that there are so many amazing meds for us. I kept the choc and gave up the wine and coffee. Your tastes change and you can explore the more subtle taste of herb teas. And it's okay to sniff coffee. Salt is a biggie, cut way back. Make your own food.

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You are right. If you don't have your Afib under control you need blood thinners. For me the beta blocker did stop the wild irregular heartbeat so I didn't need the blood thinners. And I could tell VERY easily if my heart was out of sync. Read my post above. I start with "Hello! I am a 69 year old woman…". I CURED my Afib.

Liked by healthytoday

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@dsisko

You are me one year ago. I gave up all alcohol except for one glass of wine with dinner about once a month. I found that dehydration, too much salt, soda, high altitude, and stimulating social situations such as a dinner with a lot of people can cause Afib in me. I almost always get it in the evening when I’m tired. Had Afib once every 2 weeks or so throughout the year. Didn’t last long, maybe 5-30 minutes each time, but was very concerning to me. After a year of trying to reduce and manage this, last week I gave in and have started Losartan (for blood pressure) and Eliquis (blood thinner). When the doctor said “we can replace blood but we can’t replace brain cells”, when my friend told me not to end up like her father who lived 10 awful years after and stroke, and when I learned of another friend who was thin and very physically fit who takes the same med, I decided to give it a go. I actually am feeling some relief now that I’ve started. Will reassess in a few months and take it from there. Lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, reduce stress, hydrate.

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…AND avoid stimulants such as caffeine containing drinks like coffee, tea, sweets, coke, chocolate, standard dental freezing, cold remedies that contain stimulants, cigarette smoke, alcohol and as you say…stress. Key for me was pushing my heart; exercise! Not strolling but walking to build up a sweat….or running gently if one can. Not me anymore. So walking on my treadmill it is.

Liked by healthytoday

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@healthytoday

I wanted to avoid Eliquis (blood thinner), but there is such a risk of stroke with afib it isn't worth the gamble, in my opinion. When I was hospitalized in advanced heart failure at the Mayo Clinic, when they looked at my heart internally with that little camera machine, I had two blood clots lodged in the heart which were stuck. It was the grace of God they weren't released causing a stoke etc. Its' a mystery, just wasn't my time to leave, not done yet. I'm one of those who will do just about everything to avoid meds. But at 71, I've had to surrender and be grateful that there are so many amazing meds for us. I kept the choc and gave up the wine and coffee. Your tastes change and you can explore the more subtle taste of herb teas. And it's okay to sniff coffee. Salt is a biggie, cut way back. Make your own food.

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Wow! You really took a chance going unmedicated… Good thing you are on meds now.

Liked by healthytoday

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@afrobin

…AND avoid stimulants such as caffeine containing drinks like coffee, tea, sweets, coke, chocolate, standard dental freezing, cold remedies that contain stimulants, cigarette smoke, alcohol and as you say…stress. Key for me was pushing my heart; exercise! Not strolling but walking to build up a sweat….or running gently if one can. Not me anymore. So walking on my treadmill it is.

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That’s interesting about the exercise they say sometimes that is a trigger to, I guess everybody’s all different.

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@afrobin

…AND avoid stimulants such as caffeine containing drinks like coffee, tea, sweets, coke, chocolate, standard dental freezing, cold remedies that contain stimulants, cigarette smoke, alcohol and as you say…stress. Key for me was pushing my heart; exercise! Not strolling but walking to build up a sweat….or running gently if one can. Not me anymore. So walking on my treadmill it is.

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Yes, not pushing so Hard
Anymore. The Treadmil
Works. Younger
Years yes.
I eat smaller meals now
And, Mabe 5 times a day
Try to eliminate stress.
Not easy. Hudband has
Too many maladies.
But, life in moderation.
At. 75, I want to be around a few more years.

Liked by healthytoday

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@success101

Yes, not pushing so Hard
Anymore. The Treadmil
Works. Younger
Years yes.
I eat smaller meals now
And, Mabe 5 times a day
Try to eliminate stress.
Not easy. Hudband has
Too many maladies.
But, life in moderation.
At. 75, I want to be around a few more years.

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I wonder if Christmas with all it's promise and excess makes the heart race or be confused?

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@healthytoday

I wonder if Christmas with all it's promise and excess makes the heart race or be confused?

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healthy today,

It is guilty of both. If someone you love is gone due to distant employment or their recent passing your heat will suffer from this loss. If you perceive you will be getting some fabulous present , like a girl getting her engagement ring, your heart will race.

It is good and it is bad. But, know your own limits. Decorate/not decorate to the amount you can put away in a reasonable amount of time, shop within your budget, only cook enough to consume at one meal or maybe 2 so you don't have to cook 2X that day. Be sensible and you will get through with little or no insult to your physical heart.

Glad you posted your question.

Elena

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@eileena

healthy today,

It is guilty of both. If someone you love is gone due to distant employment or their recent passing your heat will suffer from this loss. If you perceive you will be getting some fabulous present , like a girl getting her engagement ring, your heart will race.

It is good and it is bad. But, know your own limits. Decorate/not decorate to the amount you can put away in a reasonable amount of time, shop within your budget, only cook enough to consume at one meal or maybe 2 so you don't have to cook 2X that day. Be sensible and you will get through with little or no insult to your physical heart.

Glad you posted your question.

Elena

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Vitamins seem to help me, Omega3, magnesium, vit c, b's, and E.

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@healthytoday

Vitamins seem to help me, Omega3, magnesium, vit c, b's, and E.

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I was able to get off meds…veeeerrry slowly and carefully with the cardiologist's encouragement, through going to the gym every day. I don't really agree with eileen's in the case of Afib. The heart needs to be pushed into rhythm. Exercise is key. It stabilizes the heart. But if you are ON beta blockers, you will probably feel too tired to do much. So, if you can UP the exercise and DOWN the meds with the doctor's ok, do it! I had the worst case of Afib my cardiologist had ever seen with not even 3 stable beats in a row and I got off the meds over a one month period of daily gym exercise AND avoidance of all stimulants. (chocolate, alcohol, meds with ephedrine for colds or for dental treatments, etc…) Be informed.

Liked by healthytoday

REPLY
@afrobin

I was able to get off meds…veeeerrry slowly and carefully with the cardiologist's encouragement, through going to the gym every day. I don't really agree with eileen's in the case of Afib. The heart needs to be pushed into rhythm. Exercise is key. It stabilizes the heart. But if you are ON beta blockers, you will probably feel too tired to do much. So, if you can UP the exercise and DOWN the meds with the doctor's ok, do it! I had the worst case of Afib my cardiologist had ever seen with not even 3 stable beats in a row and I got off the meds over a one month period of daily gym exercise AND avoidance of all stimulants. (chocolate, alcohol, meds with ephedrine for colds or for dental treatments, etc…) Be informed.

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I'd like to raise some doubts about proposals by @afrobin for getting off common medicines for treatment of A-fib and its symptoms — first the recommendation for rigorous exercise to make it possible to cut off use of beta blockers within a month; second the idea that anticoagulants are not needed if A-fib is ended ("cured"?) due to exercise, and third that if you have A-fib you can get clear indications from your heart on whether medications are even needed. I don't feel that these proposals are wrong, just that they may be unique to the condition of one or a few patients and unfortunately fatal to a few on the other end of possibility — myself, for example.

First, I get no signals from my heart about my A-fib, which I'm told is clearly obvious on an EKG; otherwise I'm conscious of it only by watching my heart rate's irregularity on my blood pressure meter at home. Second, my A-fib medication is a relatively strong dose of a beta blocker twice a day and a medium dose of Coumadin anticoagulant once a day; these meds have applied for nearly two years. Third, my exercise regimen is challenging, but not comparable to running a mile. I was preparing last Spring to begin a gradual reduction in my beta blocker medication over a period of two-three months.

However, out for a brisk walk in June, I was struck by symptoms of a stroke, my return home on foot was belabored by loss of balance and repeated stumbles. At urgent care several hours later, the MRI showed I had suffered a "small stroke," probably from an A-fib clot ejected into a cranial artery. Movement of my left arm and leg and my jaw was affected. I spent six weeks in physical therapy and regained my balance as a result.

Lessons learned? First, if I ever again experience symptoms of a stroke, I'll call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical transportation and care right away. Second, I'll be less determined to back down on the medications that have carried me thus far. Third, coordination with my medical team is required before I take ANY steps to modify the therapy my doctors recommend. I hope other A-fib victims find something helpful in my experience with it, especially to avoid cutting back therapy unilaterally. @afrobin's decision to follow this practice and work with a doctor is a good example for us all. Martin

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@predictable

I'd like to raise some doubts about proposals by @afrobin for getting off common medicines for treatment of A-fib and its symptoms — first the recommendation for rigorous exercise to make it possible to cut off use of beta blockers within a month; second the idea that anticoagulants are not needed if A-fib is ended ("cured"?) due to exercise, and third that if you have A-fib you can get clear indications from your heart on whether medications are even needed. I don't feel that these proposals are wrong, just that they may be unique to the condition of one or a few patients and unfortunately fatal to a few on the other end of possibility — myself, for example.

First, I get no signals from my heart about my A-fib, which I'm told is clearly obvious on an EKG; otherwise I'm conscious of it only by watching my heart rate's irregularity on my blood pressure meter at home. Second, my A-fib medication is a relatively strong dose of a beta blocker twice a day and a medium dose of Coumadin anticoagulant once a day; these meds have applied for nearly two years. Third, my exercise regimen is challenging, but not comparable to running a mile. I was preparing last Spring to begin a gradual reduction in my beta blocker medication over a period of two-three months.

However, out for a brisk walk in June, I was struck by symptoms of a stroke, my return home on foot was belabored by loss of balance and repeated stumbles. At urgent care several hours later, the MRI showed I had suffered a "small stroke," probably from an A-fib clot ejected into a cranial artery. Movement of my left arm and leg and my jaw was affected. I spent six weeks in physical therapy and regained my balance as a result.

Lessons learned? First, if I ever again experience symptoms of a stroke, I'll call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical transportation and care right away. Second, I'll be less determined to back down on the medications that have carried me thus far. Third, coordination with my medical team is required before I take ANY steps to modify the therapy my doctors recommend. I hope other A-fib victims find something helpful in my experience with it, especially to avoid cutting back therapy unilaterally. @afrobin's decision to follow this practice and work with a doctor is a good example for us all. Martin

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Couldn’t agree more!

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Hi All – probably should have joined this group a long time ago. My name is Rodney and I'm a 64 year old happily married man who just retired after a long career in the clinical software industry. I've always been very active over the years biking, running, and hiking so I was in pretty good shape leading up to my first heart arrhythmia episode 8 years ago. I came home from a run and suddenly felt this incredibly intense bout of palpitations. I had to lay down on the floor before it finally subsided a few minutes later. After getting hit with these episodes a few more times over the coming weeks I went to see a cardiologist. EKG was normal but it wasn't until a subsequent visit for a stress test that the EKG revealed I was in afib. I was admitted to the hospital, put on warfarin and was given an IV drug that put me back in normal sinus rhythm by morning. From there I was put on metoprolol (25mgx1) and eventually flecanaide (100mgx2) along with aspirin 325mg daily, which worked very well over the next 7 years. I had some fatigue and shortness of breath but overall the afib was kept at bay.

A couple of months ago I suddenly began having serious breathing issues, which eventually was tied to a return of my afib. My cardiologist suggested getting a cardioversion to snap it back into rhythm and either a new drug or an ablation. I also stopped the aspirin and now take Eliquis for blood thinning I'm still getting hit with afib on a daily basis and should be getting a cardioversion this week. An ablation is scheduled 3 weeks from now. I'm hoping it's not too late since I hear of some people at this age needing multiple ablations to reverse the issue. It has been a very uncomfortable several weeks for me so I'm anxious to get this afib back under control.

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@rod1105

Hi All – probably should have joined this group a long time ago. My name is Rodney and I'm a 64 year old happily married man who just retired after a long career in the clinical software industry. I've always been very active over the years biking, running, and hiking so I was in pretty good shape leading up to my first heart arrhythmia episode 8 years ago. I came home from a run and suddenly felt this incredibly intense bout of palpitations. I had to lay down on the floor before it finally subsided a few minutes later. After getting hit with these episodes a few more times over the coming weeks I went to see a cardiologist. EKG was normal but it wasn't until a subsequent visit for a stress test that the EKG revealed I was in afib. I was admitted to the hospital, put on warfarin and was given an IV drug that put me back in normal sinus rhythm by morning. From there I was put on metoprolol (25mgx1) and eventually flecanaide (100mgx2) along with aspirin 325mg daily, which worked very well over the next 7 years. I had some fatigue and shortness of breath but overall the afib was kept at bay.

A couple of months ago I suddenly began having serious breathing issues, which eventually was tied to a return of my afib. My cardiologist suggested getting a cardioversion to snap it back into rhythm and either a new drug or an ablation. I also stopped the aspirin and now take Eliquis for blood thinning I'm still getting hit with afib on a daily basis and should be getting a cardioversion this week. An ablation is scheduled 3 weeks from now. I'm hoping it's not too late since I hear of some people at this age needing multiple ablations to reverse the issue. It has been a very uncomfortable several weeks for me so I'm anxious to get this afib back under control.

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@rod1105– Hang in there my friend and glad you are connecting with us! It seems anymore so many of these procedures have become somewhat standard when one finds themselves with symthoms like yours. I want to encourage you to rest in the assurance that the Doc's have got this down and you should be fine! I personally did not go through what you are, but ended up having a preety major HA back in 2014 that a stent was used and I'm feeling great and exercising regularly and watch what I eat (except this last week)! Several Connect members have gone through what you are up against and I'm sure you will be hearing from them as well! Happy New Year! Jim @thankful

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@rod1105

Hi All – probably should have joined this group a long time ago. My name is Rodney and I'm a 64 year old happily married man who just retired after a long career in the clinical software industry. I've always been very active over the years biking, running, and hiking so I was in pretty good shape leading up to my first heart arrhythmia episode 8 years ago. I came home from a run and suddenly felt this incredibly intense bout of palpitations. I had to lay down on the floor before it finally subsided a few minutes later. After getting hit with these episodes a few more times over the coming weeks I went to see a cardiologist. EKG was normal but it wasn't until a subsequent visit for a stress test that the EKG revealed I was in afib. I was admitted to the hospital, put on warfarin and was given an IV drug that put me back in normal sinus rhythm by morning. From there I was put on metoprolol (25mgx1) and eventually flecanaide (100mgx2) along with aspirin 325mg daily, which worked very well over the next 7 years. I had some fatigue and shortness of breath but overall the afib was kept at bay.

A couple of months ago I suddenly began having serious breathing issues, which eventually was tied to a return of my afib. My cardiologist suggested getting a cardioversion to snap it back into rhythm and either a new drug or an ablation. I also stopped the aspirin and now take Eliquis for blood thinning I'm still getting hit with afib on a daily basis and should be getting a cardioversion this week. An ablation is scheduled 3 weeks from now. I'm hoping it's not too late since I hear of some people at this age needing multiple ablations to reverse the issue. It has been a very uncomfortable several weeks for me so I'm anxious to get this afib back under control.

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I wonder if us sensitive types are just broken hearted over the needless suffering of others.

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@predictable

I'd like to raise some doubts about proposals by @afrobin for getting off common medicines for treatment of A-fib and its symptoms — first the recommendation for rigorous exercise to make it possible to cut off use of beta blockers within a month; second the idea that anticoagulants are not needed if A-fib is ended ("cured"?) due to exercise, and third that if you have A-fib you can get clear indications from your heart on whether medications are even needed. I don't feel that these proposals are wrong, just that they may be unique to the condition of one or a few patients and unfortunately fatal to a few on the other end of possibility — myself, for example.

First, I get no signals from my heart about my A-fib, which I'm told is clearly obvious on an EKG; otherwise I'm conscious of it only by watching my heart rate's irregularity on my blood pressure meter at home. Second, my A-fib medication is a relatively strong dose of a beta blocker twice a day and a medium dose of Coumadin anticoagulant once a day; these meds have applied for nearly two years. Third, my exercise regimen is challenging, but not comparable to running a mile. I was preparing last Spring to begin a gradual reduction in my beta blocker medication over a period of two-three months.

However, out for a brisk walk in June, I was struck by symptoms of a stroke, my return home on foot was belabored by loss of balance and repeated stumbles. At urgent care several hours later, the MRI showed I had suffered a "small stroke," probably from an A-fib clot ejected into a cranial artery. Movement of my left arm and leg and my jaw was affected. I spent six weeks in physical therapy and regained my balance as a result.

Lessons learned? First, if I ever again experience symptoms of a stroke, I'll call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical transportation and care right away. Second, I'll be less determined to back down on the medications that have carried me thus far. Third, coordination with my medical team is required before I take ANY steps to modify the therapy my doctors recommend. I hope other A-fib victims find something helpful in my experience with it, especially to avoid cutting back therapy unilaterally. @afrobin's decision to follow this practice and work with a doctor is a good example for us all. Martin

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Yes, not a simple problem.

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