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



General

Updated: Steve’s Shopping Guides to A-Fib-Related Products

We’ve updated and expanded our page of Steve’s recommendations for A-Fib-related products. Steve’s shopping guides help you sort through the vast array of products of interest to A-Fib patients and their families. These brands and products are available from many online and other retailers.

We invite you to read more about the following shopping guides: Go to Steve’s Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products.

A-Fib Survival Kit for the Newly Diagnosed
A-Fib Reference Books and Guides
Magnesium & Potassium Supplements for A-Fib patients
Seven ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart
DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs)

Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products at A-Fib.com

Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products

Support A-Fib.com When You Shop Online

Use our Amazon.com portal link and support A-Fib.com at the same time (at no extra cost to you). Shop for anything, and your purchases generate a small commission which we apply to the maintenance costs of this website. Bookmark this link.

A-Fib.com portal link to Amazon.com

Bookmark our A-Fib.com portal link to Amazon.com

 

How to Buy Cheap Prescription Drugs Online by Travis Van Slooten

Our friend, Travis Van Slooten, over at Livingwithatrialfibrillation.com has written a comprehensive post about saving money on your prescription medications and why U.S. readers should consider buying online from Canada. Why? He sums it up in one word, cheap!

Best online price for Eliquis in U.S.

The same prescription drugs that you buy in the U.S. can be ordered for a fraction of the cost online from a Canadian pharmacy.

Follow Along: Step-by-Step Shopping Trip

As an example, Travis comparison shops the price of a 30-day supply of the anticoagulant Eliquis which retails for $484.40 in the U.S. The best U.S. price he found online was $404.87.

Read along as he shops at Canadian pharmacies (Canada Drugs, CanadaDrugPharmacy.com and YouDrugStore.com).

Best online price for Eliquis in Canada

VIDEO: The post culminates with a 12 min. video as Travis places his Eliquis order at YouDrugStore. com for $129.99.

Is It Legit & Legal to Buy Prescriptions Online from Canada?

Well, the answer is yes! It is legit and it is legal. It is perfectly legal for a U.S. citizen to purchase prescription drugs from Canada. And it’s perfectly legal for Canadian pharmacies to sell U.S. citizens prescription drugs. Watch the video and you’ll see that everything is on the “up and up” and how seamless and painless the process is.

For all the details on how this works, read Travis’ detailed review at How To Buy Cheap Prescription Drugs Online.

A-Fib, Inc. Earns GuideStar Platinum Seal for Transparency and Accountability in the Non-Profit World

A-Fib.com earns GuideStar Platinum Seal

A-Fib.com earns GuideStar Platinum Seal

A-Fib Inc. has earned GuideStar’s highest rating, the GuideStar Exchange Platinum Seal, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability in the non-profit world.

In order for A-Fib, Inc. to earn the GuideStar Exchange Platinum Seal, we filled in all required and optional sections of the report pages for Bronze, Silver and Gold levels and uploaded requested and additional documents to our profile on www.guidestar.org, including our annual financial report, 990 IRS filings, corporate officers, incorporation documents, etc.

A-Fib.com was first rated by GuideStar in 2014.

Our GuideStar seal is displayed at the bottom of every A-Fib.com page. To learn more about us, visit our A-Fib, Inc.’s GuideStar Profile.

About GuideStar USA, Inc.: GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations and allows nonprofits to supplement the public information that is available from the IRS.

Caution: 1 in 10 Take Aspirin When They Shouldn’t (Warn your Family and Friends)

I have written about how aspirin is no longer recommended as first-line therapy to prevent A-Fib stroke. (See my Update: Aspirin No Longer Recommended as First-Line Therapy for Stroke Prevention.).

But it’s not just A-Fib patients who shouldn’t be on aspirin therapy for stroke prevention.

Data indicates more than 1 in 10 adults take aspirin when they shouldn’t.

Warn your family and friends who are taking daily aspirin: Maybe they shouldn’t be.

Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, is a pharmaceutical drug

50 Million in the US Take Aspirin for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

The problem with routinely taking aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is an increased risk of bleeding complications. More than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are now taking aspirin for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

“Primary” means preventing a first event like a heart attack. “Secondary” means preventing a reoccurrence of an event, like a second stroke.

When Aspirin Therapy Is Appropriate

As a “primary” prevention, only patients with a moderate to high 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke should be on aspirin therapy (estimated using the ACC/AHA risk-prediction calculator or similar calculator).

Aspirin is recommended for “secondary” prevention.

If you’ve had a stroke, aspirin IS appropriate as a means of preventing a re-occurrence or ‘secondary’ event.

When Aspirin Therapy Is Not Appropriate

Aspirin is not appropriate for adults who are at low risk of cardiovascular disease—defined by their 10-year stroke risk score. For these adults, the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic strokes outweigh any potential benefit.

“Among the more than 16,000 deaths each year linked to bleeding… about one-third of these deaths occur in those who take low-dose (81-mg) aspirin.” The 2014 an FDA statement warned against widespread use of aspirin in adults of average risk.

Aspirin is a Drug, Just Like Other Blood Thinners

It’s all too easy to take an aspirin―we don’t need a prescription to get it. But taking an aspirin isn’t like taking a vitamin. Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a pharmaceutical drug.

Warn Loved Ones Taking Daily Aspirin

Maybe they shouldn’t be! Instead of routinely taking aspirin, adults should discuss aspirin therapy with their doctor just as they’d do for any ‘by prescription’ blood thinner. (Hint: Take along a copy of this post.)

Caution: Suddenly stopping daily aspirin therapy could have a rebound effect that may trigger a blood clot. It’s important to talk to your doctor before making any changes.

References for this article

 

A-Fib.com Glossary of Terms and Phrases: Recent Additions

Recent additions to our A-Fib.com Glossary of Medical Terms and Phrases:A-Fib.com Glossary of Terms on notepad

Heart Failure:
A “failed” heart is NOT one that has suddenly stopped. Instead, it occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the other organs to satisfy their need for oxygen and nutrients. It usually manifests as tiredness and weakness, breathlessness and swelling of the legs and abdomen.

Atrial Kick:
The force or strength of the atrial contraction (which forces blood into the ventricles).

Fibrosis:
Fiber-like characteristics that develop in place of the normal smooth walls of the heart making you more vulnerable to A‑Fib…Over time it makes the heart stiff, less flexible and weak, overworks the heart, reduces pumping efficiency and leads to other heart problems…read the entire definition

Check it out. Bookmark it! Refer to it often!

The A-Fib.com Glossary of Medical Terms and Phrases is the most complete online glossary devoted exclusively to Atrial Fibrillation. Each definition is written in everyday language—a great resource for patients and their families.

(See Glossary of Terms in the left menu.) If you don’t find the term you are looking for—email us and we’ll add it to our Glossary.

A-Fib.com HON Certified for 8th Year: ‘Health Information You Can Trust’

Once again, A-Fib.com has earned the Health On the Net Foundation (HON) Certification for quality and trustworthiness of medical and health online information. The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) Code of Conduct helps protect citizens from misleading health information.

The voluntary HONcode accreditation program sets out a standardized criterion of eight principles of good practice for health information web sites. Each applicant is checked for compliance by a review committee including medical professionals.

Our 2017-2018 Active Certification & Dynamic Seal

The A-Fib.com HON seal is displayed in the footer of our web page and is directly linked to the A-Fib.com HONcode certificate located on the HON website.

HON Certified: Websites You Can Trust

When browsing healthcare sites on the web, look for the HON Code certificate. Learn more at Health On the Net Foundation (HON) Certification.

High-Quality Illustration of the Heart’s Electrical System

The Heart's Electrical System Illustration

The Heart’s Electrical System: Click image to download

Update March 24: The Cleveland Clinic has given us permission to host this graphic on A-Fib.com for the viewing and printing by our readers.

Print and keep this illustration handy for the next time you talk with your doctor about the workings of your heart. You can make notes directly on the picture.

Download the PDF file and store on your hard-drive. To have one handy when you need it, print and store copies in your “A-Fib Binder or folder“.
A-Fib.com Library of videos and animations

Video: You may also want to watch the video, How Your Heart Works and Understanding Arrhythmias, or one of several heart animations from our A-Fib.com Video & Animations Library.

Also see our Free Offers and Downloads page.

New FAQ: Do Ablations Only Treat A-Fib Symptoms and Not a “Cure”?

We’ve posted a new FAQ and answer about curing Atrial Fibrillation with catheter ablation versus successful drug therapy:

Q: “I’ve read that an ablation only treats A-Fib symptoms, that it isn’t a “cure.” If I take meds like flecainide which stop all A-Fib symptoms and have no significant side effects, isn’t that a ‘cure?’”

My answer: A successful catheter ablation doesn’t just treat A-Fib symptoms, it physically changes your heart.

Isolates PVs: An ablation closes off the openings around your pulmonary veins (PVs) so A-Fib signals from the Pulmonary Veins (PVs) can no longer get into your heart.

It electrically ‘isolates’ your PVs, and if successful and permanent, you should be protected from developing A-Fib that originates from your PVs (where most A-Fib originates).

Recurrence Rates: Older research showed that recurrence of A-Fib after an ablation occurred at a 7% rate out to five years. But this was before the use of the newer techniques of Contact Force Sensing catheters and CryoBalloon ablation which make more permanent lesion lines around your Pulmonary Veins.

Also, people with comorbidities, like sleep apnea…continue reading my answer…

Attending the 2017 AF Symposium in Orlando, FL

I’m in Orlando, FL, for several days attending the AF Symposium 2017.

The annual AF Symposium (formerly called the Boston AF Symposium) is an intensive and highly focused three-day scientific forum that brings together the world’s leading medical scientists, researchers and cardiologists to share the most recent advances in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

I attend in order to offer A-Fib.com readers the most up-to-date A-Fib research findings and developments that may impact the treatment choices of patients who are seeking their A-Fib cure (or best outcome).

Look for my reports and brief summaries in the coming weeks and months.

Illustration: The Vagal Nerve

The Vagal Nerve - A-Fib.com

Illustration: The Vagal Nerve; Source: Wikimedia.org

Happy Birthday, Steve!

It’s your birthday, and it’s amazing
how easy and enjoyable it is to be with you each day.
It’s your birthday, and no matter what fate has in store for us,
I know it will be a pleasure to spend life with you.

It’s your birthday, but I got the gift—
You in my life for another year.

With love forever, Patti

Donate: Help A-Fib.com Become a Self-Supporting Site, but Still Ad-Free

Donate to Help A-Fib.com Become a Self-Supporting Site, but Still Ad-Free

A-Fib.com (A-Fib, Inc) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to patient education of those with Atrial Fibrillation and their families, and to empowering patients to find their A-Fib cure or best outcome. Won’t you join us? Donate Today. Support our Mission!

Donate Today through PayPal
(you don’t need a PayPal account to pay by credit card)


 
 Do it NOW!


Or Mail Us a Check, send to:

Steve S. Ryan
A-Fib.com
30765 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 259
Malibu, CA 90265

Your Support is Needed and Appreciated.

“I’m happy to donate [to A-Fib.com]. Steve has always been very helpful answering my questions. You guys do a great job for a good cause! God bless,”

Mary Jo Hamlin, Liverpool, NY

December 2016 


Graphic Quote: I Want to Cure my A-Fib, Not Just Manage It

for-many-a-fib-patients-3-600-x-1530-pix-at-300-res


 “For many A-Fib patients, their best outcome came about only when they told their doctors, ‘I want to cure my A-Fib, not just manage it’. “

Steve S. Ryan, former A-Fib patient, from his book, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure. A-Fib-free since 1998.


Don’t Live With A-Fib: Seek Your Cure

The goal of today’s A-Fib treatment guidelines is to get A-Fib patients back into normal sinus rhythm (NSR).

A-Fib Zebub - Seek your cure! At A-Fib.com

Ignore A-Fib Zebub. Seek your cure!

Treatment options includes antiarrhythmic drugs, chemical and electrocardioversion, catheter ablation and mini-maze surgery.

Unless too feeble, there’s no good reason to just leave someone in A-Fib.

Don’t let your doctor leave you in A-Fib. Educate yourself. Learn your treatment options. And always aim for a Cure!

Updated Article on Sleep Apnea Home Testing

Philips Respironics "Alice NightOne Sleep Apnea in-home test at A-Fib.com

Philips’ Alice NightOne

We’ve updated our article: Sleep Apnea: Home Testing with WatchPAT Device and the Philips Respironics.

There are several FDA-approved sleep study devices you can use in the comfort of your own bedroom to determine if you have sleep apnea. And it’s convenient (especially if being away from home overnight is problematic).

Everyone with A-Fib should be tested for sleep apnea. It’s now available at a fraction of the cost of an in-lab sleep study ($250-$300 vs. $1100-$2,000).

We’ve added the Philips Alice™ NightOne home test. Continue to the updated article…

 

Keep A-Fib.com Independent and Ad-Free: Shop Amazon.com

Use our portal link to shop Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/Shop-Amazon-for-A-Fib

Bookmark the A-Fib.com portal link to Amazon.com; use every time.

Help us maintain our independence along with ‘no third-party advertising’. We are commited to having no distracting Google or Yahoo ads that clutter the page and interrupt your reading.

My goal: make A-Fib.com a self-sustaining site. You can help.

When shopping online, use our Amazon portal link to shop at Amazon.com. Each of your purchases generates a small commission that’s applied to the monthly costs of publishing A-Fib.com. And it costs you nothing extra.

Bookmark this Link. Use it every time. Your support is needed and much appreciated. (http://tinyurl.com/Shop-Amazon-for-A-Fib)

Or Donate to A-Fib.com Using PayPal

A-Fib, Inc. (A-Fib.com) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. A second method to support our patient educational efforts is by a cash donation. Just use the PayPal button below.


Support A-Fib.com.
Every donation helps, even just $1.00


 

Infographic: A-Fib & Sleep Apnea—The Life-Threatening Risks


Sleep Apnea is common amount Atrial Fibrillation

At least 43% of patients with Atrial Fibrillation suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as well.

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

It is now established that there’s a correlation between Sleep Apnea and A-Fib.

 

Update: ICE Numbers in Cell Phones are No Longer a Useful Solution

ICE entry on cell phone - A-Fib.com

ICE entry on phone

Last December, we posted: Got A-Fib? Add ICE to Your Cell Phone. (ICE stands for “In case of emergency” entries in your cell phone address book.)

Started by a paramedic in Britain, ICE entries allow first responders (i.e., paramedics, firefighters) to contact the cell phone owner’s next of kin to obtain important medical information.

What’s the Problem with ICE Entries?

MedIDs.com wallet card - A-Fib.com

MedIDs.com wallet card

Many modern ‘smart’ cell phones require a passcode to unlock and access the owner’s address book. This prevents medical staff from getting to your emergency contact info.

Solution: Carry a written copy, too. Write down your medical contact information and include in your wallet, medical ID bracelet or necklace. A good place to start is a wallet card as most of us usually have our wallets handy.

Print a Custom ICE Card

GetICE.com template - A-Fib.com

GetICE.com template

To help you make your ICE or medical ID, we have two Free online sources for printing your own wallet cards.

• MedIDs.com
• GetICECard.com by ICE Gear

Both offer an online form (with nothing to install or download) to customize with your information. Then, print, trim, fold and add to your wallet or purse. (Note: none of your personal information is stored on their websites.)

ICE Gear laminated tag- A-Fib.com

ICE Gear laminated tag

Other Options: Key Ring or Gym Bag Tag

If you want a key ring tag, ICE Gear offers a personalized laminated tag at a very reasonable price.

ICE Gear laminated cards - A-Fib.com

ICE Gear laminated cards.

Similar in size to your gym or grocery loyalty tags, they can be attached to car keys, shoe laces (for runners), zippers, gym bags and more.

Made with durable, high-visibility materials. For $9.99 you get 4 tags. Shipping is free.

ICE Gear also offers a more detailed custom, laminated credit card-type wallet card for $11.99.

Related reading: ‘What Emergency Medical Info Should You Carry With You?

Taking Supplements? How to Time Your Daily Doses

Updated November, 10, 2016

If you take several supplements (like I do), you may wonder:

Should I take them at the same time each day? Or should I spread doses throughout the day? Should I take with meals? Or on an empty stomach?”

The best answer may depend on whether you are taking medication, on the specific supplement and/or on your personal life style.

Medication Inventory form

Medication Inventory form

Start with the ‘Suggested Use’

Read the supplement label. Some are fairly specific, i.e., “with or without food”, or “with food” or “on an empty stomach”; or specific time (morning or bedtime) or in divided dosages. Make notes for each supplement. Download and use this FREE form to help you keep track of everything.

Do you Have Other Medical Conditions?

If you have diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, first talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Combining supplements with prescription medications, can produce unexpected or life-threatening results.

They may offer advice specific to the combinations of your meds and supplements.

Do Some Reading, Take Some Notes

The best time to take a specific vitamin or supplement may depend on the specific supplement. Do some reading on each at the library or at a reputable website or two. Make notes of the information you find. A few examples:

• Taking a single dose multi-vitamin? It’s best to take it in the morning when nutrients are depleted and with or near breakfast so it’s broken down, then digested with the food.
• Vitamin D is best absorbed after your biggest meal, usually dinner, averaging 56 percent greater boost than those who take it without food.
• Calcium supplement, don’t take along with a multivitamin containing iron. The calcium may interfere with the iron’s absorption.
• Magnesium may be best taken in the evening, since Magnesium may support sound sleep.

Healthy Directions, Dr. David Williams

On the website Healthy Directions, Dr. David Williams offers advice about the best times to take vitamins. He lists specific vitamins and supplements and organized them into three groups, those that should be taken before meals, with meals, or in-between meals. See his article for specifics, The Best Times to Take Your Vitamins

[Healthy Directions offers advanced nutritional supplements and guidance from highly respected integrative and alternative health doctors including Julian Whitaker, MDDr. David WilliamsDr. Stephen Sinatra, MD and others.]

My favorite independent research sites

For reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements, we recommend these three sites (in order or preference). None of the three sell supplements (or anything else). They just offer information on vitamins, herbs, natural products and supplements.

memorial-sloan-kettering-cancer-center-logo1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute/Integrative Medicine: “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products
2. Drugs.com: ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database
3. The ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database’ at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Adjust for Your Life Style

You may need to adjust your supplement taking to accommodate work or school demands, family schedules, etc. For example, if you work the swing shift, your “morning” dose may need to be 1 pm, and your ‘evening’ doze may need to be at 2 am.

Or, if you often skip meals during your work day, taking equally divided doses may become erratic. So, it may be better taking your doses before you go to work.

EZY Dose-4-times a day organizer - A-Fib.com

EZY Dose-4-times a day organizer

Bottom Line: Try to be Consistent

For optimum benefit, it may take some effort to work up your supplement schedule. But you don’t have to obsess about it. Since these are ‘natural’ substances (vs. prescription drugs), you usually don’t have to be overly careful about when you take them. What’s important is do try to be consistent from day to day.

After you work out your schedule, consider using a vitamin/supplement organizer. Check out My Search for the Best 7-Day Medicine/Vitamin Organizer.

For more answers to your questions about mineral deficiencies, see our: FAQ Minerals & Supplements

For more on where to research specific vitamins and supplements see, FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research.

Will You Help Us? Our 5-Question Reader Survey

This survey has ended. Look for our next reader survey.
Thanks to all who participated.

We value your feedback on how we are doing at A-Fib.com. Will you help us by answering just 5 simple questions? It’s easy and should only take 1–2 minutes.

Go to our Reader Survey. We’ll be collecting responses through October 26th. 

We’ll use the information to help us set future goals while continuing what’s already useful to you. Help us make A-Fib.com the ‘go to’ site for Atrial Fibrillation patients and their families.

We Need Your Opinion!

How Are We Doing? 5-Question Reader Survey

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