Doctors & patients are saying about 'A-Fib.com'...


"A-Fib.com is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD


Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...


"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Patti Ryan

Steve's wife, Patti The story goes that when Steve Ryan started planning his website for A-Fib patients (A-Fib.com), the top priority was presenting up-to-date medical and research information but in layman’s terms, not medicalese. That’s where Patti Ryan enters the picture. With a background in corporate communications, she pledged to fight tooth ‘n nail, if needed, to represent the patients’ point-of-view and drum out as much medical jargon as possible. And, yes, there were many heated “discussions.” Patti also contributes her graphics and photography savvy to both A-Fib.com and and the publishing of the book, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure (BeatYourA-Fib.com). Patti has earned a B.F.A. in Fine Art, a B.S. in Communications, and university certificates in business management and corporate training. Her professional experience ranges from graphic design and digital photography to corporate video production, and business management. In the past few years she has focused on creative project design and writing for the craft and home décor magazine/book publication markets. For more background information, see Patti J Ryan at LinkedIn.

Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told About A-Fib

‘Don’t let anyone tell you A-Fib isn’t that serious,
or just learn to live with it’

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure. Advice from patients now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation:

ken hungerford on A-Fib.com

Ken H.

Ken Hungerford from New South Wales, Australia, shared:

During this period I asked three cardiologists about these episodes, and they all basically told me to simply put up with them. (pp.125-128)

Sheri Weber from Boyce, Virginia, was dissatisfied with the answers from her doctor:

Sheri Weber on A-fib.com

Sheri W.

“I questioned the cardio doctor about my future with A-Fib thinking there must be a cure and knowing absolutely nothing about the disease. His response was to tell me many people live with A-Fib and did not suggest any treatment aside from medication. (pp. 106-109)

Warren Welsh, Melbourne, Australia, talks about the years he needlessly endured A-Fib, in part, based on one doctor’s advice:

Warren Welsh on A-Fib.com

Warren W.

I would urge any A-Fib sufferers not to make the same mistakes I did by not researching their treatment options. …I experienced several years of unnecessary suffering by accepting an opinion of one specialist who said I would have to live in A-Fib.
I believe that unless there are special circumstances…any advice on treatment that is not directed towards a possible cure should be questioned.”  (pp.116-118)

VIDEO: Buyer Beware: Misleading or Inaccurate A-Fib Info Abounds

Steve Ryan video Freeze frame400 x 360 at 300 resAlways Question the Source

In a short video, Steve S. Ryan, PhD, warns to beware of misleading and incorrect A-Fib information published by reputable sources on the internet and in print media.

Talking with host Skip E. Lowe, Steve gives three specific examples of why you need to be on the lookout for inaccurate statements about Atrial Fibrillation. 3:59 min. Watch video now.


‘The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ is a a consensus of valuable advice from fellow patients who are now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation. From Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (beatyoura-fib.com)

Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice
Please, share the advice ♥ 

Steve’s A-Fib Alerts: February 2017 Issue is Out

Check your email boxes! Our A-Fib Alerts: February 2017 issue is out and being read around the world.

Get up to 50% discount on 'Beat Your A-Fib' by Steve S. Ryan, PhD at A-Fib.com

Get up to 50% discount on my book.

Not a subscriber yet?  Sign-up TODAY! A-Fib Alerts is the easy way to get your A-Fib news. It’s in a quick, easy-to-scan format. Get your A-Fib news delivered direct to your email box. (There’s No Risk! You can unsubscribe at any time.) Subscribe NOW.

Read the current issue of A-Fib Alerts or learn more about our newsletter.

P.S. Signup and receive a special bonus. Discount codes to get my book for up to 50% off. Sign-up for your savings. Don’t wait, do it TODAY.

A-Fib.com: Your Independent Source of Unbiased Information

Former A-Fib patient, Paul V. O’Connell of Baltimore, MD, wrote about A-Fib.com publisher, Steve Ryan:

Reader Paul O.

“Steve’s probably the world’s best informed patient advocate when it comes to understanding atrial fibrillation and its treatment. 

Most important, Steve is not owned by the AMA or Big Pharma—so he is not beholden to anyone except his readers.”

A-Fib.com is Independent and Unbiased

From our start in 2002, Steve has maintained an independent and unbiased viewpoint. To assure our integrity, A-Fib.com is deliberately not affiliated with any medical school, device manufacturer, pharmaceutical company, HMO, or medical practice.

Drug Companies Influence Most Health Websites

Did you know…the drug and medical device industries operate or influence almost every health/heart related web site on the Internet?

For example, the drug company Eli Lilly is a “partner” with WebMD (WebMD Health Corp.) which include the websites, Medscape.com, MedicineNeteMedicine.com, eMedicineHealth, RxListtheHeart.org, and Drugs.com.

Consider for a moment how that may affect the information you read on their websites. Who can you trust?

No Affiliations at A-Fib.com

At A-Fib.com, Steve accepts no third-party advertising, does not charge for inclusion in our Directory of Doctors & Facilities and accepts no fee (cash or other kind) for a listing in Steve’s Lists of Doctors by Specialty.

Not many healthcare websites or patient education sites can make these same claims. A-Fib.com is your independent source of unbiased information
about Atrial Fibrillation and its resources and treatments.

Join our Mission. Support A-Fib.com.

Every donation helps. Even $1.00.

Resource for this article
Rosenberg. Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post. Opednews.com 2/24/2010 http://www.opednews.com/articles/Grassley-Investigates-Lill-by-Martha-Rosenberg-100224-629.html

My Top Articles About Exercise and Atrial Fibrillation

My Top 3 Articles - Exercise and A-Fib 400 sq at 96 resby Steve S. Ryan, PhD

When you develop A-Fib, you have to think seriously about changing your exercising routine. In general, you want to do whatever you can to stay active and exercise normally. Review these articles to help you determine the right choices for you.

1. Exercising During an Episode: “When I’m having A-Fib symptoms, should I go ahead and exercise as I would normally?

2. Returning to “Normal” Exercise Level: “I love to exercise and I’m having a catheter ablation. Can I return to what’s ‘normal’ exercise for me? 

3. Exercise to Improve Circulation: “Is there any way I can improve my circulation, without having to undergo a Catheter Ablation or Surgery?

Do Whatever You Can to Stay Active

Having Atrial Fibrillation doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising, but you have to be smart about it. (In some people, light exercise helps get them out of an A-Fib attack. In others, like me when I had A-Fib, exercise makes it worse.) Do whatever you can to stay active even though you have A-Fib.

Additional Resources

Guide to DIY Heart Rate Monitors: A-Fib patients sometimes want to monitor their heart rate and pulse when exercising. A consumer ‘DIY” monitor can be useful. Continue reading…

Lessons You Can Learn About Intense Exercise: Why Elite Athletes Develop A-Fib. Continue reading…

My Search for the Best 7-Day Medicine/Vitamin Organizer

By Patti J. Ryan

Do you struggle with the daily mix of supplements and prescriptions you take? Some are small, but some are horse-pill size! Some you take in the AM, others you take in the PM.

Trying to find the right pill organizer has been a trial for me. Most often the compartments are too small and hard to open.

EZ Dose 7-Day AM/PM organizer at A-Fib.com

EZ Dose 7-Day AM/PM organizer with push-button lids

I Found the Best Organizer

After years of trial and effort, I’ve FINALLY found a great pill organizer―the EZY Dose AM/PM 7-Day Push Button organizer.

This 7-day organizer has two rows for AM/PM dosages with large letters for the days of the week.

Compartments are extra large―about 1 1/8″ wide by 1 3/8″ deep. That’s large enough for those ‘horse pill’ size tablets. The compartments have rounded bottoms― making it effortless to get the pills out. And the cherry on top? Push button lids―easy open and easy close.

EZY Dose - 4-times a day organizer

EZY Dose – 4-times a day organizer

Do you carry your meds with you? The EZY Dose is also compact and portable for carrying in your purse or jacket pocket.

Note: If you take pills four times a day, there’s an EZY Dose for you too: 7-Day XL Medtime Planner

Use our Link to Amazon.com and Support A-Fib.com

For my needs, I bought two 7-Day EZY Dose organizers from Amazon.com, so I’m set for two weeks at fill up time.

amazon_logo white square

Use our Amazon.com portal link: Here’s a link to get two EZY Dose AM/PM 7-Day Push Button organizers and Free Amazon Prime shipping. (Purchases through our portal link helps support A-Fib.com―at no extra cost to you!)

The EZY Dose AM/PM 7-Day organizer is also available from other retail and online sources.

Is the Supplement BCAA+G a Natural Remedy for Atrial Fibrillation?

In his personal A-Fib.com story, Tom Lisak wrote that his A-Fib disappeared after taking the supplement combination BCAA+G twice a day.

BCAA+G supplement - a natural cure for A-Fib? at A-Fib.com

The heart muscle will suffer if BCAA-deficient

Personally, I take BCAA+G after running and after working out at the gym. (For recommended products: see ‘BCAA+G’ under ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.)

Branched Chain Amino Acids coupled with L-Glutamine (BCAA+G) helps builds muscle. Athletes and weight lifters use BCAA+G to improve exercise performance and decrease post-exercise soreness and recovery time.

Our body doesn’t naturally manufacture Branched Chain Amino Acids. They’re essential nutrients that the body obtains from proteins found in food. All of your muscles, including your heart, could suffer if you are BCAA-deficient. Continue reading...

Patients’ Best Advice #4: Don’t Just Manage Your A-Fib with Meds. Seek your Cure.

Top 10 List #4 Meds don't cure A-Fib 600 x 530 pix at 300 res

THE TOP 10 LIST #4

Drugs have a role, but other treatment options target a cure.

A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure. Advice from patients now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation:

Dan Doane at A-Fib.com

Dan Doane

Daniel Doane, Sonora, California, USA, shares his mistake:

“Don’t think that the medication is a long term solution. Don’t put up with nasty side effects. That was the mistake I made. I thought I could tough out the medication as long as I stayed out of A-Fib.” (pp. 152-162)

Terry DeWitt, Massachusetts, USA, advises act sooner than later:

Terry Dewitt at A-Fib.com

Terry D.

“I knew I could continue on medication for several years, but I was concerned about the remodeling of my heart. …I would need an ablation…and sooner seemed better when my heart was still strong.”  (pp. 138-143)

Max Jussila, Shanghai, China, says meds are for the short term:

“Do not listen to your doctors if they suggests medication as a long-term solution!
Max Jussila, A-Fib Support Volunteer at A-Fib.com

Max J.

The doctors who see medication as a solution commit serious negligence and are ignorant of the terrible nature and consequences of Atrial Fibrillation.” (pp. 92-97)

Don’t Just Manage Your A-Fib with Meds. Seek your Cure.

According to Drs. Savelieva and Camm:

“The plethora of antiarrhythmic drugs currently available for the treatment of A-Fib is a reflection that none is wholly satisfactory, each having limited efficacy combined with poor safety and tolerability.”

In general, don’t expect miracles from current medications. Antiarrhythmic drugs are only effective for about 40% of patients; many can’t tolerate the bad side effects. When they do work, the drugs become less effective or stop working over time. To date, the magic pill that will cure your A-Fib probably doesn’t exist.

Drugs don’t cure A-Fib but merely keep it at bay.

Learn more at: Drug Therapies.


‘The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ is a a consensus of valuable advice from fellow patients who are now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation. From Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (beatyoura-fib.com)

Next, look for #5 on the
Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice
Please, share the advice ♥ 

Patients’ Best Advice #3: Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told About A-Fib

Top 10 List #3

‘Don’t let anyone tell you A-Fib isn’t that serious,
or just learn to live with it’.

 THE A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure. Advice from patients now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation:

ken hungerford on A-Fib.com

Ken H.

Ken Hungerford from New South Wales, Australia, shared:

During this period I asked three cardiologists about these episodes, and they all basically told me to simply put up with them. (pp.125-128)

Sheri Weber from Boyce, Virginia, was dissatisfied with the answers from her doctor:

Sheri Weber on A-fib.com

Sheri W.

“I questioned the cardio doctor about my future with A-Fib thinking there must be a cure and knowing absolutely nothing about the disease. His response was to tell me many people live with A-Fib and did not suggest any treatment aside from medication. (pp. 106-109)

Warren Welsh, Melbourne, Australia, talks about the years he needlessly endured A-Fib, in part, based on one doctor’s advice:

Warren Welsh on A-Fib.com

Warren W.

I would urge any A-Fib sufferers not to make the same mistakes I did by not researching their treatment options. …I experienced several years of unnecessary suffering by accepting an opinion of one specialist who said I would have to live in A-Fib.
I believe that unless there are special circumstances…any advice on treatment that is not directed towards a possible cure should be questioned.”  (pp.116-118)

VIDEO: Buyer Beware: Misleading or Inaccurate A-Fib Info Abounds

Steve Ryan video Freeze frame400 x 360 at 300 resAlways Question the Source

In a short video, Steve S. Ryan, PhD, warns to beware of misleading and incorrect A-Fib information published by reputable sources on the internet and in print media.

Talking with host Skip E. Lowe, Steve gives three specific examples of why you need to be on the lookout for inaccurate statements about Atrial Fibrillation. 3:59 min. Watch video now.


‘The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ is a a consensus of valuable advice from fellow patients who are now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation. From Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (beatyoura-fib.com)

Next, look for #4 on the
Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice
Please, share the advice ♥ 

‘A-Fib’s Demise’, a Poem by Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet

Photo - Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet

Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet

We met Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet, when we researched his personal A-Fib story for our book, Beat Your A-Fib. (“40-Year Battle With A-Fib Includes AV Node Ablation With Pacemaker” on pp. 166-169.) Now in his 90s, Emmett’s story illustrates the evolution of A-Fib treatments from drug therapy to PVIs, and from AV Node ablation/Pacemaker to the Watchman device.

Emmett honored us with a special poem ‘A-Fib’s Demise’. It’s for people of faith who look for hope and help from the Divine but also see doctors, medicines, supplements, etc. as manifestations of the “creative power we call God.”

We hope ‘A-Fib’s Demise’ will inspire you to Seek Your Cure!

Note: Want a hard copy? Download and print the PDF.

Emmett's Poem - A-Fib_s Demise

 

Steve’s A-Fib Alerts: March 2016 Issue is Available

Check your email boxes! Our A-Fib Alerts: March 2016 issue is out and being read around the world.

Beat Your A-Fib by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

Not a subscriber yet?  Sign-up TODAY! A-Fib Alerts is the easy way to get your A-Fib news. It’s in a quick, easy-to-scan format. Get your A-Fib news delivered direct to your email box. (There’s No Risk! You can unsubscribe at any time.) Subscribe NOW.

Read the current issue of A-Fib Alerts or learn more about our newsletter.

P.S. Signup and receive a special bonus. Discount codes to get my book for up to 50% off. Sign-up for your savings. Don’t wait, do it TODAY.

Report 1: Brief Summaries from the 2016 Western AF Symposium

Utah! What a wonderful winter venue for the Ninth Annual Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium held  February 26-27, 2016.

Skiing in Park City, UT

Park City, UT

After having just attended the January 2016 AF Symposium in Orlando, FL, I was surprised at how much new, relevant information was provided (sometimes by the same presenters). In all, there were 53 scheduled presentations of 15 minutes each.

My first report includes 9 brief summaries of technical presentations.

Ablation vs Drugs: From AFFIRM to Recent Guidelines

Dr. Eric Prystowsky discussed the now somewhat notorious AFFIRM study which many cardiologist still use to justify keeping A-Fib patients on rate control drugs (and anticoagulants) while leaving them in A-Fib.

But the AFFIRM study was only for 3-5 years. Leaving someone in A-Fib for 20-30-40 years while only trying to keep their heart from beating too fast can have disastrous long-term consequences for A-Fib patients.

To continue reading, go to Report 1: 2016 Western AF Symposium.

Brush & Floss! Is Oral Hygiene Linked to A-Fib?

Warren Welsh, from Australia, answers ‘Yes’ to that oral hygiene question. He wrote me about how he developed bleeding gums and felt it contributed to his Atrial Fibrillation diagnosis. (A 2010 catheter ablation made him A-Fib free. Read Warren’s story.)

Brush and floss regularly we were taught as kids, but who knew that oral hygiene is linked with A-Fib?

Dental Cleanings and New-Onset A-Fib

A study in Taiwan compared a group without A-Fib who received dental cleaning at least once a year to a similar group who didn’t. Both groups were followed for five years. The regular dental cleanings group had a lower occurrence rate of new-onset A-Fib.

More frequent dental visits (2-3 times a year) further reduced the risk.

Graphic of tooth A-fib.com

Good Oral Hygiene Reduces Inflammation

Studies have shown that inflammation is an independent risk factor both for the initiation of A-Fib and its continuation once you have it.

Good oral hygiene prevents A-Fib, probably by reducing the amount of inflammation of the gums and periodontitis (gum disease).

Take Away

Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of new-onset A-Fib and of sustaining it once you’ve got it.

For more about A-Fib and dental health, read my FAQ question about Local Anesthesia Used in Dentistry May Trigger Your A-Fib.

References for this article
Goldie, Maria Perno. Atrial fibrillation: link to oral disease? Dentistry iQ. 4/19/2013. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2013/04/atrial-fibrillation.html

Chen S.J., et al. Dental scaling and atrial fibrillation: A nationwide cohort study. (2013) International Journal of Cardiology. http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/23453452/Dental-scaling-and-atrial-fibrillation:-a-nationwide-cohort-study.

Patients’ Best Advice #2: Dump Your Doctor?

Top 10 List #2 Don't be afraid to fire your doctor at A-Fib.com

Top 10 List #2

‘Don’t be afraid to fire your doctor’.

 THE A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

Sheri Weber

Sheri Weber

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure:

Sheri Weber, from Boyce, VA, shared this advice about finding the right doctor for your treatment goals:

“I wish I had realized that the first doctor you see is not necessarily the right one for you. I fooled around way too long, believing what my cardio doctor said. I should have been thinking outside the box. 

Run―don’t walk―to the best specialist you can find in your area.” (pp. 106-109) 

Michele Straube

Michele Straube

Michele Straube, Salt Lake City, UT, chimed in with similar advice about changing doctors. She wrote:

“My experiences with cardiologists were hit and miss.

Early on I was told that they had never seen someone so young with A-Fib (at the time, I was in my mid 20s), and some told me the best they could do was medicate me so I could walk from the bed to the window and back. …I changed doctors.” (pp. 88-91)

How to Find the Best Doctor for You

To be cured of your A-Fib, you may need to ‘fire’ your current doctor. Seek a heart rhythm specialist, an electrophysiologist (EP), who will partner with you to create a treatment plan—a path to finding your cure or best outcome. To make this happen, see Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib.

The first doctor you see is not necessarily
the right one for you.


‘The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ is a a consensus of valuable advice from fellow patients who are now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation. From Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (beatyoura-fib.com)

Next, look for #3 on the
Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice
Please, share the advice ♥ 

Taking Warfarin? The Myth about Foods with Vitamin K

Are you taking the blood thinner warfarin to manage your risk of clots and A-Fib stroke? Have you been told to avoid foods with vitamin K to prevent excess clotting? Want to know the facts about warfarin and vitamin K? Take our 5 question quiz to separate the facts from the myths.

A 5 Question Quiz about Warfarin and Vitamin K

1. True or False: Warfarin and vitamin K actually work against each other in your body.
True. Vitamin K helps your blood clot. Warfarin makes your blood clot more slowly. Your INR level is monitored to keep them in balance.

2. True or False: When taking warfarin, you should limit foods with high levels of vitamin K like dark, leafy greens.
False. You don’t need to avoid foods with vitamin K. The key is to consistently maintain your daily level of vitamin K.

Don’t confuse vitamin K with the K on the periodic table for potassium. One’s a vitamin, the other is a mineral.

3. True or False: Vitamin K information is not included on most packaged food nutritional labels.
True. So it’s often hard to determine the amount of vitamin K in your food.

… Continue with the quiz…->

Can I Prevent Familial A-Fib with Diet? Supplements?

I’ve posted a new Frequently Asked Question and Answer about A-Fib that runs in families:

“Both my uncles and my Dad have Atrial Fibrillation. I’m 50 years old and so far I don’t have A-Fib (yet), but I’m worried. How can I avoid developing A-Fib? Can dietary changes help? Or lifestyle changes?”

A-Fib does run in families and is called Familial A-Fib. Research says you have a 40% increased risk of developing A-Fib yourself. And the younger your uncles and dad were when they got A-Fib, the more likely you are to develop A-Fib. So, you are correct to be concerned about getting A-Fib.

My answer covers:

• What can someone with A-Fib in the family do to avoid getting A-Fib?
• Is there a diet to prevent A-Fib? The Mediterranean diet? A whole-food organic diet?
• What are the causes of A-Fib that can be controlled?
• Do mineral deficiencies cause A-FIb?
• What are the vitamins and supplements known to improve your overall heart health?  (I take these myself to help stay A-Fib free after my 1998 catheter ablation which isolated only one of my pulmonary vein, common at the time.)

Read my full answer at FAQs: Can I Prevent Familial A-Fib with Diet? Supplements?

Your Records: Will You be Charged for Copies?

Before meeting with a new electrophysiologist (or surgeon), you’ll want to send (or take along) a packet with your medical records, test results and any images/X-rays, but you may be missing some medical records.

HIPAA stands for the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

What They Can and Can’t Charge You

When requesting copies of your medical records, expect to pay duplication costs for hard copies. In the U.S., HIPAA regulations allows doctors/practices to charge a “reasonable, cost-based fee.”  They can charge for supplies, staff time for copying and processing, and mailing costs, if applicable.

However, they may not charge for the time a staff member spends searching for the record. In addition, they should not adopt a policy of charging a flat fee or charging a patient to view a record.

Pill-shaped USB flash drive

Copy digital files to a USB flash drive

No-Cost Copies?

To save money, ask your doctors or medical center if they will copy electronic files to your USB Flash drive or to a disc/CD you supply.

“But I Live Outside the U.S.”

If you live outside the US, know that over 89 countries have adopted Data Privacy Laws that apply to patient records. For example, Canada has the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and in Europe there’s the EU Data Protection Reform. To learn more, research your country’s data privacy laws.

Continued Reading: 3 Ways to Request Copies of Your Medical Records.

Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice #1: What’s an EP?

Top 10 List #1 Find the best EP your can afford - A-Fib.com

THE TOP 10 LIST #1

‘Find the best heart rhythm specialist (EP) you can afford.’

A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure:

Michele Straube

Michele S.

Michele Straube, cured after 30 years in A-Fib, wrote in her personal A-Fib story:

Go to an electrophysiologist, an A-Fib expert, right away, one with a high success rate at getting patients back into normal rhythm—you deserve nothing less.” (pp. 88-90)

Terry DeWitt, cured in 2007 from a clinical trial for CryoBalloon ablation, offered his best advice:

Terry Dewitt at A-Fib.com

Terry D.

“Spend the time to find the best Electrophysiologist (arrhythmia specialist) you can find. It makes a big difference in treatment and in the success of the ablation procedure.” (pp. 138-143)

Keep in Mind: “For many A-Fib patients, their best outcome came about only when they told their doctor,I want to cure my A-Fib, not just manage it.’ (And, if needed, they also changed doctors.)” (p. 171)

How to Find the Best Doctor for You

To be cured of your A-Fib, you may need to ‘fire’ your current doctor. Seek a heart rhythm specialist, an electrophysiologist (EP), who will partner with you to create a treatment plan—a path to finding your cure or best outcome. To make this happen, see Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib.

Run―don’t walk―to the best specialist
you can find in your area.


‘The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ is a a consensus of valuable advice from fellow patients who are now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation. From Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (beatyoura-fib.com)

Next, look for #2 on the
Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice
Please, share the advice ♥ 

Staying in A-Fib Reduces Brain Volume & Cognitive Function

A study of brain atrophy from Iceland found that A-Fib in the elderly caused accelerated loses of brain volume and cognitive function.

Study of brain volume and cognitive function in A-Fib patients

Study of brain volume and cognitive function in A-Fib patients

This is yet another study driving a stake into the heart of the notion that you can just leave patients in A-Fib with anticoagulants and rate control drugs, and they will live happily ever after.

“It’s better for the brain to remain in sinus rhythm than to pursue rate control of A-Fib” stated Dr. David O. Arnar, speaking of the AGES-Reykjavik Study results at the 2015 Euro Society of Cardiology Annual Congress.

The AGES-Reykjavik Study

Over two thousand elderly subjects without dementia (mean age 67 years old) were tested and followed for over 5 years. Participants had brain MRIs and structured cognitive function testing during the duration of the study.

The 2,472 elderly patients fell into three groups: those who remained A-Fib-free throughout the study, those with confirmed A-Fib at the start (121), and those who developed new-onset A-Fib (132) by the end of the study.

AGES Findings: Brain Matter

At the end of the follow-up period, all participants had a reduction in brain grey matter. The amount of reduction varied significantly by group:

• A-Fib-free: 1.8% decrease
• Ongoing A-Fib: 2.79% decrease
• New-onset A-Fib: 6.5% decrease

… Continue reading this report…->

How to Find the Right Doctor: Steve’s Directory of Doctors & Medical Centers

Doctor acronyms wide 150 pix wide at 96 res

Article: Physician Credentials and What They Mean

Are you looking for a cardiologist who treats A-Fib patients? Or do you want to change doctors? We make it easier for you with our A-Fib.com Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers.

What Makes our Directory Unique?

Unlike some other directories on the web, we accept no fee, benefit or value of any kind for listing a specific doctor or medical center.

We list only those cardiologists and electrophysiologists who treat Atrial Fibrillation patients. We include doctor’s names and contact information. Our Directory is organized in three parts:

How to Select the Right Doctor for You

Be sure to refer to our article: Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib. It covers what you need to know to research and select the best doctor for you and your treatment goals.

What do FHRS, FACC and CEPS mean after a doctor’s name? Read our article: Physician Credentials: Acronyms and What They Mean for Atrial Fibrillation Patients.

NOTE: This evolving list is offered as a service and convenience to A-Fib patients and is not an endorsement of any doctor or medical facility.
NOTICE: Unlike some other directories on the web, we offer no preferential listings to be in our Directory. We accept no fee, benefit or value of any kind for listing a specific doctor or medical center. A-Fib.com is not affiliated with any practice, medical center or physician.

TV Doctors’ Talk Shows: Can You Trust Their Recommendations?

Dr Oz Show: 3 Healthy Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar, Video frame

Dr Oz Show: 3 Healthy Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar, Video still

Most of us have seen an episode or two of a TV medical talk show, like the Dr. Oz Show. Have you wondered if the health recommendations are accurate and fact-based?

A group of general practitioners had the same question. So, they analyzed over 40 episodes of the popular American TV shows, ‘The Dr Oz’s Show’ and ‘The Doctors’, to see if health claims were evidence-based.

Published in The British Medical Journal, the study results were alarming.

Can You Trust the Claims of TV Doctors?

The research doctors were concerned when their patients would say: ‘I was watching TV and I saw a recommendation that I should be taking this medication (or this supplement or have this test).’ Or, ‘I’ve started taking this supplement because it was recommended on this particular medical show.’

Dr. Christine Korownyk, the lead researcher said, as doctors, “we were left scrambling thinking ‘what is the evidence for that? Is this something you should be doing?’ So we thought we should go ahead and systematically look at these shows on television.”

The main goals were to assess the accuracy of the reporting (was it evidence-based), if the recommendations were ‘best practice’ and if the doctors’ claims were unbiased (no conflicts of interest).

The Doctors - Hope or Hype TV video frame 400 x 300 pix at 300 res

The Doctors: Hope or Hype: The Trendiest Foods of 2016, Video still.

Are the Health Claims Evidence-Based?

The findings were somewhat disturbing. One third to one half of what was discussed and recommended on these programs had NO scientific basis.

• For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%.
• For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%.
• On average, The Dr Oz Show had 12 recommendations per episode, and The Doctors had 11 recommendations.

What this Means to Patients

You should be skeptical about claims made on medical talk shows.

The public should be skeptical about claims made on medical talk shows.

Do your own research and talk to your own healthcare professional before making any changes to your health plan.

For a more in-depth look at this study, read the ConsumerAffairs.com article: Study: Less than half of Dr. Oz’s recommendations are actually supported by evidence.

References for this article
Korownyk C, Kolber MR, McCormack J, et al. Televised medical talk shows—what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study. BMJ. 2014;349:g7346. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7346

Abel, J. Study: Less than half of Dr. Oz’s recommendations are actually supported by evidence: Those pills are not “miracles,” and they’re not worth buying either. ConsumerAffairs.com 12/19/2014. URL: http://bit.ly/20EQm2d.

Can you trust the advice of TV doctors? The BS Medicine Podcast. Audio program with the authors of the Korownyk BMJ article, 45:00. Online at: https://soundcloud.com/bmjpodcasts/can-you-trust-the-advice-of-tv-doctors

Black, HR and Lundberg, GD. Bad News: Medical Misinformation and the Ethics of TV Docs. Video program (17:39) and transcript. Medscape Cardiology: Black on Cardiology. April 08, 2015. URL: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842415.

Visual credits: Dr Oz Show: 3 Healthy Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar, Video frame, https://youtu.be/pK8Sw3JRieM; The Doctors: Hope or Hype: The Trendiest Foods on 2016, Video frame. http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/hope-or-hype-the-trendiest-foods-on-2016

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