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 @gudrun45 :

Gudrun,

 

I'm sorry - you posted while I was on the road (seems like I was gone from March-July, and I'm headed back out again, which is why our new operations manager is starting to watch over the blog for me).

 

I'm glad you had an ablation. Last I remember hearing, your afib was under control with a gluten-free diet. I didn't realize it had come back. I sure hope the ablation finishes off all afib/flutter for you.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 4 months ago on AV Node Ablation: Why You Shouldn't Have It

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 @rhoads501 , I don't know what the red around the seeds would be about - is it possible that it's pesticides on the peaches that triggered your afib? Peaches are one of the fruits most affected by pesticides. It would be interesting to try organic peaches with red around the seeds to see if that triggers it.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 4 months ago on Does Air Pollution Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

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 @latex mattress Feel free to contact me privately via our web site, using this link: http://www.stopafib.org/contact.cfm

2 years, 5 months ago on Does Air Pollution Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

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 @pattyingrassia Thanks for sharing your experience. Nothing you said surprises me. 

2 years, 5 months ago on Can Avoiding Dehydration Prevent Atrial Fibrillation "Holiday Heart Syndrome"?

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 @Cathy Wilson 

I'm sorry about what you've been through. The county public health department generally has jurisdiction, but if they are no help, then perhaps the state agency responsible for health services can help. (In Texas, that is the Texas Department of State Health Services, at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/default.shtm; most states have something similar, which you should be able to find by Googling.)

 

Most likely there is no reason that this would come under federal jurisdiction (generally requires something that crosses state lines for it to fall within federal jurisdiction.)

 

Good luck.

 

Mellanie 

2 years, 6 months ago on Does Air Pollution Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

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Ruth,

 

Aspirin has been proven to NOT BE EFFECTIVE for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation, and many of the guidelines are in the process of being changed to reflect that. We have a wonderful video interview on this subject with Dr. Albert Waldo, a world expert; we are in the process of editing and transcribing it and we'll post it in the next week. After catheter ablation, patients are continued on warfarin or one of the new drugs to prevent afib strokes based on their risk factors. Aspirin is not considered effective for preventing afib strokes, regardless of how effective it might be for other uses.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 6 months ago on Ask Dr. Andrea Natale Your Questions About Atrial Fibrillation

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 @ElmerFittery , Yes, Dr. Damiano does a hybrid procedure (surgery and catheter ablation), and many other teams of surgeons and EPs around the US are doing this as well.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 6 months ago on Foods That May Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

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 @ElmerFittery , What your cardiologist probably meant was that the pacemaker slows the fast heartbeats that are being transmitted to the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) so you don't have ventricular fibrillation that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. However, your EP is correct - there is no pacemaker that will stop the afib itself.

2 years, 6 months ago on Foods That May Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

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James, 

 

Afib makes you tire easily, as do a couple of your medications, so it's hard to say how much impact each of those things has. You may want to scale back for a while.

 

I would think that you should be seeing a doctor for the thyroid sooner rather than later.

 

Their focus on the INR is to help you avoid a stroke. But I'd want to know what they are going to do to stop the afib, sooner rather than later. 

 

Good luck with the cardiologist. You might ask if you should be seeing an electrophysiologist, which is a cardiologist that specializes in heart rhythms.

 

Good luck to you.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 6 months ago on Atrial Fibrillation and Clueless Doctors

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James,

 

I'm so sorry about what you've been through. 

 

I would think that they could get your afib sufficiently under control so that you can go back to work. Whether it's safe for you (and others) for you to drive a truck is not something that I can address as I am not a clinician. But I would think you should be able to go back to some kind of work.

 

Hyperthyroidism definitely causes afib, and if they can treat that, I wonder if the afib might subside somewhat. And your having such a low ejection fraction (30) makes me wonder if you might have had afib for a while. Are you in afib all the time, or does it come and go? If you're in it all the time, if they can get you converted out of it, then I wonder if your ejection fraction might rise.

 

I wish you the best, and that the afib subsides as soon as they get your thyroid issues under control.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 6 months ago on Atrial Fibrillation and Clueless Doctors

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 @CindyMBlack , You can't imagine how touched and concerned I've been since reading your story, and I've been searching frantically for answers. I think I've found a really important source of help for you. It's called the Patient Advocate Foundation (http://patientadvocate.org/), and I happened to find it because I was at a meeting this week with the CEO of that organization.

 

A particularly useful resource is their National Uninsured Resource Directory (http://patientadvocate.org/pdf/UNinsuredPublication.pdf)

. They also have case managers that you can call to help solve insurance and healthcare access issues. However, the CEO gave me the name of someone specific to help you. Please contact me privately using our contact us link (http://www.stopafib.org/contact.cfm) so I can send you that info.

 

I think the word "extreme" gives us a clue as to the possible source of your afib as we know that extreme athletes, including professional athletes and Olympians, are at significantly greater risk of afib than those who do not exercise to extreme. The reason is that the over-exertion stretches the upper chambers of the heart, creating scar tissue (fibrosis) that leads to atrial fibrillation. So a first step is to back off on some of the over-exertion to let your body recuperate.

 

We also know that smoking and alcohol can contribute to afib, though dehydration may be part of the problem related to alcohol.

 

Regarding your concerns over cardioversions failing, much of the time that is due to untreated sleep apnea. Do you know if you might have sleep apnea that is triggering the afib?

 

Not being able to eat greens while on Coumadin is a misperception. You CAN stay on the Coumadin and still eat greens - just ask the doctor or Coumadin Clinic to adjust your dosage until you're stable (between 2.0 and 3.0), and then eat consistent amounts of greens each day.

 

There are a few folks who have had their fillings replaced to get rid of the mercury, but I don't recall seeing any clinical research that provides solid evidence that mercury triggers afib.

 

Good luck to you. Please contact me for more info on whom to speak with at PAF.

 

Mellanie

2 years, 6 months ago on Does Alcohol Put You At Risk for Atrial Fibrillation?

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 @Bill McNeil The pacemaker will keep the heartbeat in a normal range. A beta blocker slows the heartbeat, and should do that as well.

2 years, 8 months ago on AV Node Ablation: Why You Shouldn't Have It

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 @Bill McNeil Please email me privately (using the contact form at http://www.stopafib.org/contact.cfm). You're much to young for AV node ablation, so I'd like to find out more details and see if I can help. 

2 years, 8 months ago on AV Node Ablation: Why You Shouldn't Have It

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 @Bill McNeil Maze procedures are typically 90-95% effective, so I'm really curious about the 50% figure you quote. Was it an open chest maze, or are you talking about a minimally-invasive procedure, often called a mini maze (not exactly the same thing as a maze)? What energy source or tool was used on your maze procedure? Do you have any idea why this was less effective? The only reason it should have been a lower effectiveness would be if you had had afib for a long, long time and it was so set-in that they couldn't reverse it.

2 years, 8 months ago on AV Node Ablation: Why You Shouldn't Have It

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 @Bill McNeil We have lots of knowledge of afib, but the patch for a hole in the septum is not something we have much knowledge about.

 

Are you working with an electrophysiologist? If not, please do so. If so, please get a second EP opinion.

 

Any idea why the maze didn't work? Have you been in afib for a long time?

 

Mellanie

2 years, 8 months ago on AV Node Ablation: Why You Shouldn't Have It

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 @Aveco This is a common response in those who have vagally-mediated afib. As I understand it, it is a result of the body trying to stabilize the chemical balance in the body.

 

2 years, 8 months ago on Foods That May Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

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 @cmeyner It's not surprising that your heart acts up after drinking coffee, but the question is whether it is the caffeine, the pesticides, or the dehydration that is doing it. 

2 years, 8 months ago on The Role of Coffee in Atrial Fibrillation

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@rontitus Ron, Unfortunately, the survey is now closed, and we removed the link to it. But we can't remove the link above because the call for help went out to so many places from which we cannot call them back; thus we had to leave the link here to explain that it's now closed. But I'll change the title to avoid any confusion.

2 years, 10 months ago on Atrial fibrillation (Afib) survey has concluded and is now closed

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@KerryMurg Congratulations for finding your solution. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

2 years, 10 months ago on Is It Time to Re-think Typical Atrial Fibrillation Treatment?

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@dsdoane I could not agree with you more. It should be up to doctors and patients to decide what is best, which is generally also the most cost effective over the long term. I'm so glad you have found a solution, and sorry you lost time fooling around with meds that didn't work for you. I hope you'll be afib-free forever.

2 years, 10 months ago on Is It Time to Re-think Typical Atrial Fibrillation Treatment?

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@barrypatton Barry, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you'll stay in sinus rhythm always.

2 years, 10 months ago on Is It Time to Re-think Typical Atrial Fibrillation Treatment?

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@yoyomar@donaldmallick

No, I meant that I should have mentioned rhythm medications as an option for getting out of afib and into rhythm. The point is that I believe, based on the latest research and the impact rate control has, that we need to get people out of afib and into normal sinus rhythm. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for asking for clarity.

2 years, 10 months ago on Is It Time to Re-think Typical Atrial Fibrillation Treatment?

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@donaldmallick Don, I agree that they don't always work, and sometimes they go very wrong, like in your wife's case. I'm truly sorry about what ya'll have been through. Unfortunately, everything medical--drugs and procedures--has some adverse events. She is not strictly on rate control medications now and being left in afib all the time, and that was the point of the article. I should have called out rhythm medications in the piece, but kind of presumed that was a given. I'm just very concerned about those who are left in afib long term because we are starting to learn about the ramifications of doing so.

Warmest regards to you both,

Mellanie

2 years, 10 months ago on Is It Time to Re-think Typical Atrial Fibrillation Treatment?

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