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"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."

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"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"



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"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013


Editorial: Leaving the Patient in A-Fib—No! No! No!

Recently I corresponded with a fellow who just found out he was in “silent” Atrial Fibrillation with no symptoms.

I commend his family doctor for discovering he was in A-Fib during a routine physical. Otherwise, he might easily have had an A-Fib stroke. (Of those with untreated A-Fib, 35% will suffer a stroke.) We don’t know how long he might have been in A-Fib before being diagnosed.

I wish I could commend his cardiologist too, but I can’t. His cardiologist just put him on the rate control drug, diltiazem, and left him in A-Fib.

That is so wrong for so many reasons!

Rate control drugs aren’t really a “treatment” for A-Fib. They slow the rate of the ventricles, but they leave you in A-Fib.

Rate Control Drugs Don’t Really “Treat” A-Fib

Rate control drugs aren’t really a “treatment” for A-Fib. Though they slow the rate of the ventricles, they leave you in A-Fib. They may alleviate some A-Fib symptoms, but do not address the primary risks of stroke and death associated with A-Fib.

Effects of Leaving Someone in A-Fib

A-Fib is a progressive disease.

Leaving a patient in A-Fib can have long-term damaging effects with disastrous consequences. Atrial Fibrillation can:

• Enlarge and weaken your heart often leading to other heart problems and heart failure.

• Remodel your heart, producing more and more fibrous tissue which is irreversible.

• Stretch and dilate your left atrium to the point where its function is compromised.

• Lead to progressively longer and more frequent A-Fib episodes and within a year can progress to chronic (continuous) A-Fib.

• Increase your risk of dementia and decrease your mental abilities because 15%-30% of your blood isn’t being pumped properly to your brain and other organs.

I’m So Angry at Doctors Who Just Leave Patients in A-Fib!

I can’t tell you how angry I am at cardiologists who want to leave people in A-Fib.

Even if a patient has no apparent symptoms, just putting them on rate control meds and leaving them in A-Fib can have disastrous consequences (and verges on malpractice).Don't Settle for a lifetime on medication April 2016 600 x 935 pix at 300 res

What Patients Need to Know

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

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.1

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

References    (↵ returns to text)
  1. A cardiologist may cite the 2002 AFFIRM study to justify keeping patients on rate control drugs (and anticoagulants), while leaving them in A-Fib. But this study has been contradicted by numerous other studies sinse 2002.

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