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

Any opinions on taking Eliquis verse baby aspirin?

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@healthytoday, I was diagnosed with A-fib four years ago. My cardiologist prescribed Coumadin as my anticoagulant medication for preventing clots from forming in my heart and invading my brain, causing a stroke. At the time of the diagnosis, I had been on baby aspirins for several years, and my cardiologist recommended that I drop that practice — worried, he said, that it would cause excess bleeding in combination with the other medication. A good friend is also an A-fib patient, taking Coumadin and baby aspirin; his cardiologist found variables in his circulatory system, including his heart and kidneys, that indicated the aspirin would be helpful.

Neither he nor I have or offer any opinions about aspirin versus anticoagulant. Factors involved are numerous, subtle, and technical — so much so that we don't make recommendations to anybody. And we restrict our decisive discussions about this to those that we have with our respective medical teams.

Some people consider Coumadin to be its own problem, requiring regular blood tests to make sure of stable coagulation at low-threat levels. I don't share that concern, but only for myself. I don't recommend Coumadin therapy for anybody else, although I do defend it with associates whose cardiologists have recommended it to them. As to Coumadin versus Eliquis, I point out that there is a ready antidote for Coumadin (for use in case of a wound or hemorrhage or intestinal or urethral bleeding), but not for Eliquis, and that makes the choice between the two a primary subject for thorough discussion with a doctor prescribing Eliquis. I'm sorry that this response is so lengthy, but the issues are complex and many and require physician guidance rather than informal opinions of nonprofessionals. Martin

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@predictable

@healthytoday, I was diagnosed with A-fib four years ago. My cardiologist prescribed Coumadin as my anticoagulant medication for preventing clots from forming in my heart and invading my brain, causing a stroke. At the time of the diagnosis, I had been on baby aspirins for several years, and my cardiologist recommended that I drop that practice — worried, he said, that it would cause excess bleeding in combination with the other medication. A good friend is also an A-fib patient, taking Coumadin and baby aspirin; his cardiologist found variables in his circulatory system, including his heart and kidneys, that indicated the aspirin would be helpful.

Neither he nor I have or offer any opinions about aspirin versus anticoagulant. Factors involved are numerous, subtle, and technical — so much so that we don't make recommendations to anybody. And we restrict our decisive discussions about this to those that we have with our respective medical teams.

Some people consider Coumadin to be its own problem, requiring regular blood tests to make sure of stable coagulation at low-threat levels. I don't share that concern, but only for myself. I don't recommend Coumadin therapy for anybody else, although I do defend it with associates whose cardiologists have recommended it to them. As to Coumadin versus Eliquis, I point out that there is a ready antidote for Coumadin (for use in case of a wound or hemorrhage or intestinal or urethral bleeding), but not for Eliquis, and that makes the choice between the two a primary subject for thorough discussion with a doctor prescribing Eliquis. I'm sorry that this response is so lengthy, but the issues are complex and many and require physician guidance rather than informal opinions of nonprofessionals. Martin

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Thank you Martin. Yes, it is complex and circumstances differ among patients. I'm on Eliquis, thought I might have a milder med with aspirin, but I've been reading online various opinions. It seems aspirin is being phases out as a blood thinner of choice and as you mentioned, not mixing well with other meds. But then you look at the rather "sneaky" pharma industry, ie, pain killers, and I wonder how much miss information is out there against aspirin since it's so cheap and needs no prescription. ??

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@healthytoday

Thank you Martin. Yes, it is complex and circumstances differ among patients. I'm on Eliquis, thought I might have a milder med with aspirin, but I've been reading online various opinions. It seems aspirin is being phases out as a blood thinner of choice and as you mentioned, not mixing well with other meds. But then you look at the rather "sneaky" pharma industry, ie, pain killers, and I wonder how much miss information is out there against aspirin since it's so cheap and needs no prescription. ??

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Good point, @healthytoday! The pharmaceutical industry is always suspect for its power to influence political and public opinion and, in fact, the regulators at the FDA — not only because of corporate capacity to fill communications and advertising channels with bullwharf, but also because of the fulsome fees they pay the FDA to determine the safety and effectiveness of the medications the industry manufactures and sells. Martin

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@predictable

Good point, @healthytoday! The pharmaceutical industry is always suspect for its power to influence political and public opinion and, in fact, the regulators at the FDA — not only because of corporate capacity to fill communications and advertising channels with bullwharf, but also because of the fulsome fees they pay the FDA to determine the safety and effectiveness of the medications the industry manufactures and sells. Martin

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Yes, it makes an educated choice on meds a shot in the dark. My husband and I just studied the list of rhythm control meds and rate control meds. Interesting. Rate control seems to be the least toxic but age and other considerations play a part. Just give it to the divine knowing he/she will guide and protect.

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@scardycat

Can anyone tell me how long Afib has been around, seems like it’s becoming very prevalent, I wonder why?

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I think it's because our heart is broken and stressed so many times and we live too long.

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@scardycat

Can anyone tell me how long Afib has been around, seems like it’s becoming very prevalent, I wonder why?

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scaredy-cat,
Afib has been around since humans. It has to do with a biological item, so if your ancestor had to run from a sabertooth tiger his/her heart might have gone into Afib.

Liked by healthytoday

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@healthytoday

Thank you Martin. Yes, it is complex and circumstances differ among patients. I'm on Eliquis, thought I might have a milder med with aspirin, but I've been reading online various opinions. It seems aspirin is being phases out as a blood thinner of choice and as you mentioned, not mixing well with other meds. But then you look at the rather "sneaky" pharma industry, ie, pain killers, and I wonder how much miss information is out there against aspirin since it's so cheap and needs no prescription. ??

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healthy today,
I asked my cardiologist if he had any problem with my blood donations. He asked in return why I'd want to donate. To which I let him know these facts, 1. it is the ONLY natural blood thinner, 2. donating forces your body to produce new blood cells 3. someone else needs blood of my type to make it through their own rough patches.

Beside the bimonthly donations, I take a full strength aspirin daily, but I take the coated type. I am going on 4 years post Bypass and have had no additional problems.

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I've had aortic regurgitation for about 15 years. Suddenly got worse with enlargement of ventrical. Cadiologist at Mayo want to repace with Open heart surgery. He left the room saying he had to check with the boss. Next think his boss came in and said change of plans. That I should wait for 3 months, do another electrocardiogram and go from there. I'm on metroponol and elaquis. I'm trying to reduce the occurance of a fit, thinking that this is the cause of heart enlargement. I'm a little scared about having a heart attach. Anyone have similar experience?

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Hi @dfelix,

I merged your most recent message with this conversation, so that members get notified about your post, and you can reconnect with them. Here is some additional information from Mayo Clinic regarding aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement, and I’ve copied a few relevant points as well:

– Aortic valve disease treatment depends on the severity of your condition, whether or not you're experiencing signs and symptoms, and if your condition is getting worse.
– The decision to repair or replace a damaged aortic valve depends on many factors, including the severity of your aortic valve disease, your age and overall health, and whether you need heart surgery to correct another heart problem in addition to aortic valve disease, such as heart bypass surgery to treat coronary artery disease, so both conditions can be treated at once.
– Aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement may be performed through traditional open-heart surgery, which involves a cut (incision) in the chest, or through minimally invasive methods that involve smaller incisions in the chest or a catheter inserted in the leg or chest (transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR). https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/aortic-valve-repair-aortic-valve-replacement/about/pac-20385093

@dfelix, have you explained your concerns to your cardiologists at Mayo Clinic?

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Hi….I am not new to Mayo Connect as I have been posting on Sleep Apnea for the past several weeks but I do have a question concerning AFib which the doctors have told me goes hand in hand with my Sleep Apnea.

I was diagnosed with AFib two months ago after my first episode lasting 7 hours. I converted on my own and was put on Metoporal and a low dose aspirin as I am only 1 on Chad. This past week I had my second episode lasting 18 hours. The cardiologist doubled my Metoporal dosage and put me on Eliquis. I self converted on my own again. The problem I am having is that I am living in fear of the next time. I know an ablation will be in my future because I am very drug sensitive and do not believe I can handle the heart rhythm drugs. I don't like the feeling of living in fear or wondering when the next episode will be. It's making me very anxious. My cardiologist said to "live my life" and relax. The Eliquis will protect me from stroke and an ablation is not something to be afraid of . Are there any words of advice as to how I can stop dwelling on "next time" and just relax?

CeCe55

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@cece55

Hi….I am not new to Mayo Connect as I have been posting on Sleep Apnea for the past several weeks but I do have a question concerning AFib which the doctors have told me goes hand in hand with my Sleep Apnea.

I was diagnosed with AFib two months ago after my first episode lasting 7 hours. I converted on my own and was put on Metoporal and a low dose aspirin as I am only 1 on Chad. This past week I had my second episode lasting 18 hours. The cardiologist doubled my Metoporal dosage and put me on Eliquis. I self converted on my own again. The problem I am having is that I am living in fear of the next time. I know an ablation will be in my future because I am very drug sensitive and do not believe I can handle the heart rhythm drugs. I don't like the feeling of living in fear or wondering when the next episode will be. It's making me very anxious. My cardiologist said to "live my life" and relax. The Eliquis will protect me from stroke and an ablation is not something to be afraid of . Are there any words of advice as to how I can stop dwelling on "next time" and just relax?

CeCe55

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A small mg of Zoloft has helped me immensely. Good luck🙏🏻

Liked by healthytoday

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Hi I am Lynn. I have had PACs for years. I have been tested thoroughly to make sure they are good beats, just spaced oddly. I also have 2 thoracic aortic aneurysms so they watch me closely. The rhythm is what actually led to finding the aneurysms. I tell doctors that my heart beats to its own drummer . I think no matter how often they tell me they are benign it will bother me. I can always hear them. Mine are most often in the evening or morning and seem to be connected to burping. 1 burp and I am in a funky beat for hours. The doctors do not believe they are related but it always happens the same way. Does anyone else have this experience. They will hopefully (ablation) fix the rhythm when they fix the aneurysms. Falling asleep listening to your own personal hip hop beat is just not fun…

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@cece55

Hi….I am not new to Mayo Connect as I have been posting on Sleep Apnea for the past several weeks but I do have a question concerning AFib which the doctors have told me goes hand in hand with my Sleep Apnea.

I was diagnosed with AFib two months ago after my first episode lasting 7 hours. I converted on my own and was put on Metoporal and a low dose aspirin as I am only 1 on Chad. This past week I had my second episode lasting 18 hours. The cardiologist doubled my Metoporal dosage and put me on Eliquis. I self converted on my own again. The problem I am having is that I am living in fear of the next time. I know an ablation will be in my future because I am very drug sensitive and do not believe I can handle the heart rhythm drugs. I don't like the feeling of living in fear or wondering when the next episode will be. It's making me very anxious. My cardiologist said to "live my life" and relax. The Eliquis will protect me from stroke and an ablation is not something to be afraid of . Are there any words of advice as to how I can stop dwelling on "next time" and just relax?

CeCe55

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Hello Cece! Sorry to hear about your episodes of AFib. Some years ago I suffered from constant AFib. The cardiologist had never seen a case as bad as mine apparently. I didn't have 3 steady beats in a row. I couldn't get enough air and I felt dizzy. I was put on a beta blocker. Unfortunately, the highest dose was required which the cardiologist said could stop my heart! He told me to try to get it down even just to 3 1/2 pills a day instead of 4. My heart would go haywire with any reduction in the dose. I had to remain at the high dose and the side effects made me feel 90 years old…at age 46! This went on for almost 2 years. I felt like an invalid and let my husband do any physical work. It was depressing!

I did some research and I learned a lot about arrhythmias. I learned to take responsibility for my condition and have some power over it myself instead of relying on medication alone. I never drank coffee, tea, alcohol or ate chocolate and I kept carbs to a minimum; all things that got my heart racing and going arrhythmic. I tried to keep stress to a minimum. Dental anaesthetics were a non stimulating kind. No cold meds for me. I was highly motivated to get off the beta blockers and followed the regimen religiously.

Doing my research I learned that exercise helps so I decided to join a gym and I went on the treadmill for 35 minutes 6 mornings a week for 4 months then tapered off a bit. Of course, on beta blockers my heart rate stayed at 80 bpm. After a week I reduced the beta blocker dose a bit. (One has to do it very gradually.) My heart rate stayed stable! At the end of a month, I was completely OFF the beta blockers.
I went to see the cardiologist and he said that my case was so extreme that the AFib would come back. Well, it is 24 years later and I have had blips when I had some coffee or chocolate which reminds me to stay away from those stimulants…and last year I had 1 day of unstable heart beats when I was under a lot of stress. Otherwise, my heart is stable.

I feel in control of my condition. And I hope that you can also gain similar control by taking charge of your Afib. Good luck!

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@afrobin

Hello Cece! Sorry to hear about your episodes of AFib. Some years ago I suffered from constant AFib. The cardiologist had never seen a case as bad as mine apparently. I didn't have 3 steady beats in a row. I couldn't get enough air and I felt dizzy. I was put on a beta blocker. Unfortunately, the highest dose was required which the cardiologist said could stop my heart! He told me to try to get it down even just to 3 1/2 pills a day instead of 4. My heart would go haywire with any reduction in the dose. I had to remain at the high dose and the side effects made me feel 90 years old…at age 46! This went on for almost 2 years. I felt like an invalid and let my husband do any physical work. It was depressing!

I did some research and I learned a lot about arrhythmias. I learned to take responsibility for my condition and have some power over it myself instead of relying on medication alone. I never drank coffee, tea, alcohol or ate chocolate and I kept carbs to a minimum; all things that got my heart racing and going arrhythmic. I tried to keep stress to a minimum. Dental anaesthetics were a non stimulating kind. No cold meds for me. I was highly motivated to get off the beta blockers and followed the regimen religiously.

Doing my research I learned that exercise helps so I decided to join a gym and I went on the treadmill for 35 minutes 6 mornings a week for 4 months then tapered off a bit. Of course, on beta blockers my heart rate stayed at 80 bpm. After a week I reduced the beta blocker dose a bit. (One has to do it very gradually.) My heart rate stayed stable! At the end of a month, I was completely OFF the beta blockers.
I went to see the cardiologist and he said that my case was so extreme that the AFib would come back. Well, it is 24 years later and I have had blips when I had some coffee or chocolate which reminds me to stay away from those stimulants…and last year I had 1 day of unstable heart beats when I was under a lot of stress. Otherwise, my heart is stable.

I feel in control of my condition. And I hope that you can also gain similar control by taking charge of your Afib. Good luck!

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Great story! Congrats to you, how awesome🙏🏻

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After 2.3 years on dofitilide, I was taken off of it since it is no longer working re afib. Cardiologist and I discussed the problem, and he put me on a small dose of metoporol. Just started it this morning. Feel alittle odd, but okay. Been working on taxes and my cognitive function is good, not sleepy, seems to be processing well. Thank God. He said the drugs to control afib are no longer working for me, and now the strategy is rate control. HR was about 100 resting, alittle too high. He's a young local doctor and doesn't mind that I take a handful of vitamins twice a day. My other functions are healthy. PRAY FOR SUCCESS!!

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