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


Be Proactive—Find the A-Fib Treatment Solution that Fits You Best

Advice from Patients Now Free from the Burden of Atrial Fibrillation

Joy G.

Joy Gray, Manchester, New Hampshire

“A-Fib tends to be a progressive disease, so taking an aggressive approach to treatment early on may be your best option.

Sheri Weber, Boyce, Virginia

Sheri Weber on A-fib.com

Sheri W.

“A-Fib hardly ever gets better. Be aggressive. Anger and determination led me to researching options. Find the solution that fits you best. Every case is different.
You can learn from others’ experiences, but you cannot determine what is best for your case unless you have all the facts, tests and personal goals in line.”

Michele S.

Michele Straub, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Do not take “this is as good as it gets” as an answer— do your own research about what’s possible and take a co-leadership role with your doctor.”

A-Fib Patient Stories: Learn from Others’ Experiences

Other A-Fib patients have been where you are right now. Dozens have shared their personal experience with our readers (starting with Steve Ryan’s story in 1998). Told in the first-person, many stories span years, even decades. Symptoms will vary, and treatments choices run the full gamut.

Each author tells their story to offer you hope, to encourage you, and to bolster your determination to seek a life free of A-Fib.

You can browse the many stories organized by categories such as age group, symptoms or treatment choice. Start at Personal A-Fib Stories by Subject Category.

Read how others learned to seek their A-Fib cure.


From The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ , a consensus of valuable advice from fellow Atrial Fibrillation patients; Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

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

Read Steve’s A-Fib Alerts for October 2018

Subscribe today!

The A-Fib Alerts October 2018 issue is ready for you and presented in a condensed, easy-to-scan format.

This issue includes articles about beginner yoga for A-Fib patients, more research on coffee and caffeine, and how family history is linked with early-onset A-Fib…and more! Read it online today.

…Or make it more convenient to read and have our A-Fib Alerts newsletter sent directly to you via email. Subscribe NOW. I hope you will join us. It’s Risk Free! You can unsubscribe at any time! Subscribe TODAY!Amazon.com review of Beat Your A-Fib book at A-Fib.com

Special Signup Bonus: Subscribe and receive discounts codes to SAVE up to 50% off my book, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

Early-Onset A-Fib linked With Family History

Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos with A-Fib have higher rates of complications and even death as a result of A-Fib. This is despite research which shows that Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos are less likely than Whites to develop Atrial Fibrillation.

Although research of A-Fib in minority populations has been limited, researchers think they have unlocked one bit of the mystery.

Thanks to the development of a large, diverse registry of patients at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have been studying A-Fib in minority populations.

This study is unique because most prior studies on family history and A-Fib relied on data from mostly White populations, leaving doctors with little research to guide personalized treatment in minority communities.

A-Fib Registry of Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and Whites: Of the 664 patients enrolled in UIC’s A-Fib registry at the time of the study, 40 percent were white, 39 percent were black and 21 percent were Latino, according to Dr. Dawood Darbar, professor of medicine and head of cardiology at the UIC College of Medicine.

Early-onset A-Fib refers to those younger than 60 years old when diagnosed.

Link with Early-Onset A-Fib diagnosis: The researchers found that there was a family history of A-Fib in 49 percent of patients who were diagnosed with early-onset A-Fib (EOAF), that is, in patients younger than 60 years of age―compared with only 22 percent of patients diagnosed with A-Fib later in life.

Monitoring First-Degree Relatives: This is the first research-based evidence that supports increased monitoring (even including genetic testing) of families who have first-degree relatives with early-onset A-Fib (EOAF) as a preventive measure against complications including strokes.

When broken down by race, the chance of a patient with early-onset A-Fib having a first-degree relative with the condition was more than two-and-a-half times more likely for Blacks and almost 10 times more likely for Latinos, compared with only two-and-a-half times more likely for Whites.

While more research is needed, these findings have important implications for identifying family members at risk for atrial fibrillation

“Many people with A-Fib do not know they have the condition until they present to the emergency room with a stroke,” said Dr. Darbar.

Hispanics/Latinos with early-onset A-Fib are almost 10 times more likely to have a first-degree relative with A-Fib.

What this Means to Patients

For patients diagnosed with early-onset A-Fib, a family history of A-Fib was found in 49 percent of patients. This research holds true across all three races, Whites, Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos.

If you have early-onset A-Fib (EOAF), that is, if younger than 60 years old when diagnosed, your family members should be monitored for A-Fib as a preventive measure against complications including stroke. This is especially true for Hispanics/Latinos.

Resource for this article
• Alzahrani Z, et al. Association Between Family History and Early-Onset Atrial Fibrillation Across Racial and Ethnic Groups. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(5):e182497. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2497

• AFib linked to family history in blacks, Latinos. UIC Today. September 21, 2018. https://today.uic.edu/afib-linked-to-family-history-in-blacks-latinos

After 5 Years A-Fib Free, Terry Shares “I Wish I Had Seen an EP Sooner Than I Did”

For over 15 years Terry Traver, Thousand Oaks, CA, suffered with A-Fib. At first, he’d have a 15-hour episode every three months or so. Over the years, though, his A-Fib progressed to persistent and severe to the point of being unable to work.

Sadly, during this time, he was never referred to a cardiologist (and certainly not to cardiac Electrophysiologist). Luckily, a friend put him in touch with a clinical electrophysiologist (EP). In March 2012, he had a successful catheter ablation with a touch-up ablation the following July.

Terry’s Lessons Learned

Terry Traver’s regrets

After being A-Fib free for five years, Terry shared his A-Fib story with our A-Fib.com readers. His ‘Lessons Learned’ include these two regrets:

• I would have had the ablation much sooner. No G.P. [family doctor] ever mentioned ablation as an option. I only heard about it from a friend!

• I had never heard of an electrophysiologist (EP), and wish I had seen one sooner.

Finding the Right Doctor for You

I’m still amazed when an A-Fib patient tells me their family doctor didn’t refer them to a cardiologist, and more importantly, to a cardiac Electrophysiologist.

GP, cardiologist or EP?

Consult the right type of cardiologist: Most cardiologists deal with the vascular or pumping functions of the heart (think ‘plumber’). But Atrial Fibrillation is a problem with the electrical function of your heart (think electrician).

It’s important for A-Fib patients to see a cardiac Electrophysiologist (EP)—a cardiologist who specializes in the electrical activity of the heart and in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders.

Educate yourself on treatment options: It’s so important for patients to educate themselves to receive the best treatment. Terry writes that in his 15 years with A-Fib, his GP never referred him to a cardiologist or an EP. Thank goodness a friend stepped in to help him.

Urgency! A-Fib is a Progressive Disease

The longer you wait, the worse A-Fib tends to get. Look at Terry’s story. His disease progressed to Persistent Atrial Fibrillation and was incapacitating.

To learn how to find the right doctor, go to our page: Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your Treatment Goals.

‘A Patient Cured is a Customer Lost’ & Other Facts About Big Pharma

Did you know drug companies spend twice as much on marketing and advertising as on researching and developing new drugs? (I was shocked.)

Of special interest to me is the ‘Direct to Consumer’ drug advertising which has significantly increased drug sales in the U.S.

‘Direct to Consumer’ drug advertising is so misleading that it is banned in all countries except two: the U.S. and New Zealand. (No wonder that 70% of drug companies’ profit comes from the U.S.)

Misleading Drug Ads

To be specific, I hate those misleading TV commercials that target A-Fib patients. What these ads for anticoagulants don’t tell you is:

• You are on their meds for life! (they want lifelong customers!)
• These meds do nothing to treat your A-Fib (only your risk of stroke)
• A-Fib can be cured (you don’t have to be on meds for the rest of your life)

These ads for anticoagulant medications imply that if you just take their pill once a day, you’ve taken care of your A-Fib. Wrong! Don’t fall for the hype.

Bad Pharma—How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors & Harm Patients

The author of Bad Pharma does an excellent job of shining a light on the truths that the drug industry wants to stay hidden.

Bad Pharma by Ben GoldacreThose truths include how they mislead doctors and the medical industry through sales techniques, and manipulate consumers into becoming life-long drug customers. (For doctors, that industry influence begins in medical school and continues throughout their practice.)

We also learn truths about the internal workings of the medical academia, the U.S. FDA, and medical journals publishing.

The arguments in the book are supported by research and data made available to the reader. The author, Ben Goldacre, is a doctor and science journalist, and advocates for sticking to the scientific method, full disclosure and advocating for the interest of the patients. Read a critical review of Bad Pharma in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

My Best Advice: ‘Educate Yourself’

One of our tenets at A-Fib.com, is ‘Educate Yourself’! if you want to be a more savvy consumer of health care services (I highly recommend Bad Pharma. I also recommend Ben Goldacre’s other book, Bad Science).

Bonus Idea: If you pair this book withKnow Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics by Steven Woloshin, you’ll have a complete course on how the drug industry skillfully markets their products. Read my review.

Read the book for FREE: The ebook version is online at U.S. National Library of Medicine PubMedHealth, and you can download the .PDF version (remember to save to your hard drive).

See my post: How Big Pharma Issues Misleading News and Why it Matters.

Features the report by the online watchdog group HealthNewsReview.org.

 

Don’t Settle for a Lifetime on Medications—

Seek your A-Fib Cure

More Research on Coffee (& Caffeine)! Could it Actually Help Prevent A-Fib?

Yes—another study about coffee and Atrial Fibrillation.

A retrospective study from Australia included 228,465 subjects. Researchers found that drinking coffee lowered atrial fibrillation occurrence. Regular coffee drinkers had a 6% average reduction in A-Fib. While heavy coffee drinkers had a 16% reduction. How do they explain this? Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a compound that can facilitate A-Fib.

Conclusion: In this one study, researchers found that coffee doesn’t increase abnormal heart rhythms—but helps prevent them.

Coffee and the Bottom Line for A-Fib Patients

Needless to say, the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant. And we don’t all react to stimulants the same way.

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States and the least regulated one.

Remember, A-Fib is not a “one-size fits all” disease. Contrary to this research, coffee or caffeine may trigger or worsen your A-Fib. So, you may want to start (or continue) avoiding caffeinated beverages until your A-Fib is cured.

For some, drinking coffee regularly (including me) may have no ill effects. This research suggests coffee and caffeine may actually help prevent A-Fib.

How Much Caffeine is There in the Food and Beverages you Consume?

Caffeine is not a nutrient but a drug that is a mild stimulant of the central nervous system. Like any drug, the effects of caffeine on the body are not wholly good or bad. For an extensive list of how much caffeine there is in the food and beverages you consume, go to Caffeine Effects, Half-Life, Overdose, Withdrawal

Illustration credit: NutritionsReview.com

Resource for this article
• Life Extension. Coffee May Help Prevent Arrhythmia. November 2018, P. 21.

• Voskoboinik, A. et al. Caffeine and Arrhythmias: Time to Grind the Data. JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, Volume 4, Issue 4, April 2018. http://electrophysiology.onlinejacc.org/content/4/4/425?_ga=2.195692140.1103642825.1538971476-336263164.1535661225 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacep.2018.01.012.

• Katan, M, Schouten, E. Caffeine and arrhythmia1,2,3. Am J Clin Nutr March 2005 vol. 81 no. 3 539-540. Last accessed November 5, 2012 http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/81/3/539

• Rashid, Abdul et al. “The effects of caffeine on the inducibility of Atrial fibrillation.” J Electrocardiol. 2006 October, 39(4): 421-425. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2257921/

• Barclay, L. Caffeine Not Associated With Increased Risk of Atrial Fibrillation. Mar 10, 2005. Medscape News Today. Last accessed November 5, 2012. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/501279?src=search

Part 2: Has My A-Fib Returned? 21 Day Results from My Medtronic Reveal LINQ loop recorder

In Part 1, Steve describes how during a recent medical exam, one of his doctors (not a cardiologist) detected an irregular heart beat. Steve didn’t feel any symptoms but went to see his EP who checked him over and found no A-Fib. 

But, just to be sure, his EP implanted a tiny wireless heart monitor so he can review Steve’s heart activity over time. Go here to read our first post.

21 Days of Data with my Medtronic Reveal LINQ ICM

Section of Steve’s ECG

After having worn the Medtronic Reveal LINQ loop recorder for 3 weeks, I went in to check my results with my EP, Dr. Shephal Doshi, at Pacific Heart in Santa Monica, CA. (Reports are sent wirelessly each night by the bedside transmitter.)

The monitor report was saying I was having multiple A-Fib attacks, though I didn’t feel anything. When Dr. Doshi did an EKG of me, I was in perfect sinus. He suspected the monitor or I might be producing false positives.

Steve & his CAM

I Get a 7-Day Carnation Ambulatory Monitor, Too

To check the accuracy of the LINQ monitor, he gave me a Carnation Ambulatory Monitor (CAM) to wear for a week. It’s similar to a Zio Patch, but is stuck vertically along my sternum.

For the next 7 days I should avoid immersing the device in water. I was told I could take a shower, but I am being cautious and just taking sponge baths.

I’m supposed to keep a log of when I eat meals, exercise, drink any alcohol, and include any A-Fib symptoms. If I do feel symptoms, I’m to press the button on the monitor. So far, I haven’t had any occasion to press the button. I’ll return the monitor to Dr. Doshi’s office in a week.

Monitoring the Monitor

Carnation Ambulatory Monitor

Reveal LINQ loop recorder

Since the LINQ monitor is still actively collecting data, my EP can compare the LINQ results with the results collected by the Carnation Ambulatory Monitor. Hopefully, Dr. Doshi will find no occurrences of A-Fib (just false positives).

I’ll write more when I have something to report.

Have you worn a Carnation Ambulatory Monitor? Email with your experience.

 

Atrial Fibrillation Patients: Team with Your Doctor—Be Your Own Patient Advocate

Advice from Patients Free of the Burden of Atrial Fibrillation

Charn Deol, Richmond, BC, Canada. Now A-Fib free after 23-years with Atrial Fibrillation, reflects on the doctor-patient relationship:

Personal A-Fib story by Charn Deol, BC, Canada at A-Fib.com

Charn Deol, BC, Canada

“As a patient, the relationship is somewhat like that of a child with a parent. The patient is naïve, scared, distraught and looking for a path of reassurance from the medical profession.This was not the case in this situation.

“My gut said to ‘no longer trust’ this supposed best electrophysiologist at the hospital”.

This is when “gut instincts” come into play. My gut said to ‘no longer trust’ this supposed best electrophysiologist at the hospital and search for an alternative path. (This is another cardiologist I dropped.)…

From this experience I’ve learned to obtain as much knowledge as possible of your condition. Trust your gut feelings if you feel uncomfortable with your doctor.”

Tony Hall, Evansville, IN. Now A-Fib-free: he shares about learning he had A-Fib along with his wife’s best advice:

Tony & Jill

I sat there for probably 40 minutes waiting for my A-Fib to convert back to normal sinus rhythm, but it would not. The EP agreed to release me with prescriptions for Xarelto and Metoprolol, and a non-driving restriction.

As we drive away and I sit in the passenger seat feeling like a pet heading to a kennel. Suddenly things are different. I no longer have that “healthy as a horse” attitude. …

As we drive away and I sit in the passenger seat feeling like a pet heading to a kennel.”

Learning About A-Fib. Anyway, I took the meds for a few days and read as much as I could on the internet about this condition I have now called Atrial Fibrillation.

My wife spent at least as much time as I doing her own research. We are soon better informed but in many scattered directions. 

My Wife Knew! While she was very concerned and extremely supportive, she knew that until I became my own advocate, that I would not pursue the most effective path to addressing and dealing with this condition. She was right there.

I started doing more research through the help of Steve’s book, and found comfort in the education about the variety of heart rhythm conditions, treatment options, testimonials, personal stories, etc… .”

Michele Straube, Salt Lake City, Utah, cured after 30 years in A-Fib, encourages you to be more active in your own treatment plan:

Michele S.

“Do not take ‘this is as good as it gets’ as an answer.”

“My experience with cardiologists was 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-20’s). 

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.

Best advice: Do not take ‘this is as good as it gets’ as an answer—do your own research about what’s possible. Take a co-leadership role with your doctor.”

For More Personal Insights

It’s encouraging to read how someone else has dealt with their A-Fib. These A-Fib patients have been where you are right now. They tell their stories to help bolster your determination to seek a life free of A-Fib.

For more personal experiences, go to Personal A-Fib Stories of Hope and Encouragement.

Team with Your Doctor—Be Your Own Patient Advocate

Atrial Fibrillation Patients: Guide on How to Get Started with Yoga

In our article, FAQs about Natural Therapies: Yoga and A-Fib, Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy describes his research with A-Fib patients and how yoga provides a powerful connection between mind and body. “It affects heart rhythm through its significant influence on the [nervous system].” It improves symptoms and arrhythmia burden, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves quality of life (QoL).

Yoga can be adjusted to any level or intensity. Just start slowly! It doesn’t need much equipment: a mat to prevent slipping and provide padding and perhaps a folded blanket, when needed, to support your knees.

Dr. Lakkireddy cautions that yoga isn’t a substitute for medical treatment, but it can be a good adjunct.

Beginner’s Yoga Guide for A-Fib Patients

We found a great article, Yoga for Atrial Fibrillation, on EverydayHealth.com that offers a beginner’s yoga guide for A-Fib patients.

To get you started, they include directions for seven simple poses each with an illustration. Here’s an example of the instructions:

Yoga for Atrial Fibrillation: Table Pose
This pose helps you warm up and is a starting position for other yoga moves. How to do it:
1. Come to the floor on your hands and knees. Bring the knees hip-width apart, with feet directly behind the knees. Bring palms directly under the shoulders with fingers facing forward.

Photo credit: yogabasics.com

2. Look down between the palms and allow the back to be flat. Press into the palms to drop the shoulders slightly away from the ears. Press tailbone toward the back wall and the crown of the head toward the front wall to lengthen spine.
3. Breathe deeply and hold for 1-3 breaths. 
Special considerations: Place a blanket under the knees to protect them from pressure and stress. Make fists with your hands to reduce pressure on the wrists. Avoid this pose if you’ve had recent or chronic knee or hip injury or inflammation.

For the other six poses and to read the entire article, go to Yoga for Atrial Fibrillation at EverydayHealth.com. According to YogaBasics.com: “By concentrating on your breathing and being present in the poses, you’ll feel the benefits immediately.”

For Atrial Fibrillation patients, yoga can be an effective complementary therapy and a part of your A-Fib treatment plan. Also see our article, FAQs about Natural Therapies: Yoga and A-Fib.

Always consult your doctor before starting a yoga exercise program. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you may need to avoid yoga poses in which your head and heart are lower than the rest of your body, such as the Downward-Facing Dog.

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners
by H. David Coulter, PhD

Resource for this article
Lakkireddy, D., et al. Effect of Yoga on Arrhythmia Burden, Anxiety, Depression, and Quality of Life in Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Mar 2013, 61 (11) 1177-1182; doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.11.060

Yoga for Atrial Fibrillation. EverydayHealth.com. Last updated: 11/14/2017.  https://www.everydayhealth.com/heart-health/atrial-fibrillation/yoga-atrial-fibrillation/

Wahlstrom, M, et al. Effects of yoga in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation—a randomized controlled study. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Vol 16, Issue 1, pp. 57 – 63. March 14, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474515116637734

Selecting the Right Doctor: the Plumber vs. the Electrician

Start with the Right Doctor for You

To be cured of your Atrial Fibrillation, you need to hire the right doctor.

Seek a heart rhythm specialist, a cardiac 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 my page, Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib.

Warren W.

In his A-Fib story, Warren Welsh of Melbourne, Australia, offers other A-Fib patients this advice:

“I would urge any A-Fib sufferers not to make the same mistakes I did…I experienced several years of unnecessary suffering by accepting an opinion of one specialist who said I would have to live in A-Fib.”

To Seek Your Cure—Hire the Right Doctor

More Bad News for Warfarin: Older A-Fib Patients Risk Severe Brain Bleeds

Researchers looked at 31,951 veterans with A-Fib. All were over age 75 and newly taking warfarin. The study found that one in 50 of these veterans developed severe bleeding inside the skull.  The rate of traumatic intracranial bleeding in this group was higher than previously reported in clinical trials, researchers noted.

Dementia in particular doubled the risk of intracranial bleeding.

Comorbidities may be a factor: These patients often had other illnesses (comorbidities) such as hypertension 82.5%, coronary artery disease 42.6%, diabetes 33.8% and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 25.5%. Many of these patients also had dementia and depression.

Dementia, in particular, doubled the risk of intracranial bleeding (possibly because cerebral amyloid angiopathy increases bleeding risk).

Rates of Ischemic Stroke vs. Brain Bleeds

There’s one bit of good news. While the rates of ischemic stroke and intracranial bleeding in this study were similar, not all intracranial bleeds were traumatic.

But there’s no good news if you have a low CHAD2DS2-VASc score (low score = low risk of stroke). Intracranial bleeding remained relatively constant over the range of CHAD2DS2-VASc scores. (For more, see The CHADS2 & CHA2DS-VASc Stroke-Risk Grading Systems.)

What Patients Need To Know: Possible Options

War farin (brand name Coumadin) at A-Fib.com

Warfarin (brand name Coumadin)

Older patients with A-Fib are between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, if you take warfarin, you reduce your risk of an ischemic stroke. But on the other hand, if taking warfarin, you may get brain bleeds which can kill you or cause dementia.

While we don’t have a guaranteed method of preventing A-Fib-related strokes, here are two options to avoid a lifetime of taking warfarin (or another anticoagulant).

• Close off your Left Atrial Appendage (LAA). This is the origin of 90%-95% of ischemic clots. LAA closure is a recognized alternative to having to take anticoagulants. Some say it’s an improvement rather than an alternative to anticoagulants.

• Have a catheter ablation to stop your A-Fib. If you no longer have A-Fib, you can no longer have an A-Fib-related stroke. Your stroke risk drops down to that of someone without A-Fib. (But, of course, people without A-Fib also have strokes.)

Warning: Anticoagulation is No Guarantee Against Stroke

Warning - cautionBe advised that warfarin greatly reduces but doesn’t totally eliminate stroke risk in A-Fib.

On a personal note, a close friend of ours with A-Fib was in the correct range of her INR testing (2.5) when she had a massive ischemic stroke that paralyzed her left side.

It breaks our hearts when we visit and have dinner with her to see food dripping from the left side of her mouth. But happily, her thinking and communication skills are still good.

For additional readings, see Watchman Better Than Warfarin and Anticoagulants Increase Hemorrhagic Stroke Risk.

Resource for this article
Dodson, JA et al. Incidence and Determinants of Traumatic Intracranial Bleeding Among Older Veterans Receiving Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation. JAMA Cardiol. 2016 Apr 1; 1(1): 65-72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5600874/ doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2015.0345.

Did You Get Yours? Steve’s A-Fib Alerts for September 2018

The A-Fib Alerts September 2018 issue is out and being read from the U.S. to the UK and Australia to France. Read it online today.

My A-Fib Alerts is presented in a condensed, easy-to-scan format. It’s convenient! Get all your A-Fib news in one compact, easy-to-scan newsletter! …Or make it more convenient to read and have our A-Fib Alerts newsletter sent directly to you via email. 

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Special Signup Bonus: Subscribe and receive discounts codes to SAVE up to 50% off my book, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

The Watchman Occlusion Device and Risk of Device-Related Blood Clot

The Watchman is an occlusion device that closes off the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) to prevent clots from getting into the heart. For those with A-Fib, 90%–95% of clots and strokes come from the LAA.

The Watchman device is considered an alternative or an improvement to a lifetime of taking anticoagulants including warfarin and the NOACs. See Watchman Alternative to Coumadin and Watchman Better Than Warfarin.

2018 HRS Report: Clots Can Form on the Watchman

A new meta-analysis of clinical trials and registries of the Watchman device is believed to be the largest to date of Device-Related Thrombi (blood clot) following left atrial appendage closure.

Size comparison of the Watchman occlusion device

The study shows that in about 3.7 percent of patients a blood clot forms on a metal screw on the face of the device. The clot can form many months, even a year after installation.

“While not frequent, when present, thrombus on the face of an LAA occluder is associated with a high rate of ischemic stroke,” said study presenter Vivek Y. Reddy of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. (Dr. Reddy was one of the original investigators of the Watchman clinical trials.) These findings were presented at the 2018 Heart Rhythm Society meeting.

Device-related thrombi (DRTs) are troublesome because they increase the risk of ischemic stroke by over 3 fold. However, no significant association with mortality emerged.

This risk, Dr. Reddy said, calls for aggressive management of patients at risk for device-related blood clots.

The Study: Finds Device-Related Thrombi (DRTs)

To better understand the mechanism of stroke after LAA closure, Dr. Vivek Reddy and his colleagues, looked at the incidence, predictors and clinical outcomes of device-related thrombus (DRT).

Watchman device: inserted (L) and progression of proper tissue growth (R)

The meta-analysis study looked at data on 1,739 patients who were successfully implanted with the Watchman device as part of four prior clinical studies. Patient follow-ups included a transesophageal echocardiography (TEE).

Findings: Among those patients receiving a Watchman, the investigators found 65 patients (3.74%) had DRT. Most were detected after anticoagulation had been discontinued at 45 days post-insertion. Some DRTs first showed up at the 1-year TEE.

“A majority of Watchman patients with an identified DRT (74% of the 65 patients) did not have a stroke.” Dr. Vivek Reddy

Dr. Reddy reported that despite these findings, a majority of Watchman patients with an identified DRT (74% of the 65 patients) did not have a stroke. And in Watchman patients who did have stroke, 87% occurred in the absence of a DRT.

Implications: There is a strong case for rethinking the timing of planned follow-up TEE examinations of Watchman patients. The standard protocol is a TEE at 45 days after placement, when routine anticoagulation usually stops, and then a second TEE 12 months after placement.

Dr. Reddy suggests a better schedule might be to perform the first TEE at 3-4 months after placement when oral anticoagulant therapy stops. This gives time for a potential DRT to form.

What this Means For Those Patients With a Watchman

“Prevention and management of DRT may require that each [Watchman] patient receive a tailored regimen of anticoagulation and surveillance,” said B. De Lurgio, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Emory Healthcare commenting on Reddy’s report.

If you have a Watchman device, you and your EP should discuss “aggressive surveillance” to find any clots on the face of your Watchman. Usually these can be resolved by taking a course of anticoagulants.

If Closing the LAA: An Alternative Occlusion Device

Lariat placement: lasso around opening to LAA

With no metal involved, another occlusion device is the Lariat II noose-like device which is slipped around the LAA. This ‘lasso’ is then tightened, and eventually the tissue dies and shrivels up (like a grape into a raisin).

But there has been a reported problem with the Lariat, too. For more on the Lariat see my article: Alert: Patients with Lariat Device for Left Atrial Appendage Closure.

A Challenge to Install: Compared to the Watchman, the Lariat is more challenging to install and is currently used less often than the Watchman. Not all EPs install and have experience with the Lariat II. You may need to do research to find an EP experienced and good at installing the Lariat. For more about the Lariat, see Lariat II Suture to Close the Left Atrial Appendage.

Watchman Still As Effective As Warfarin

Regarding this DRT data, Dr. Reddy said he didn’t think this data takes away from the argument that the Watchman is a reasonable strategy. “It doesn’t add or detract from the previous data.”

Clots can form on any foreign body as well as inside the heart.

Comparing stroke risks: In cases where no treatment was applied (neither anticoagulants nor the Watchman), the overall ischemic stroke rate is 6.0% per year.

Contrast that 6% rate to the stroke rates of 1.77% per year in people with the Watchman device and 1.71% per year for those on oral anticoagulation.

The Watchman is still a viable option against stroke risk.

Resource for this article
Dukkipati, SR et al. Device-related thrombus after left atrial appendage closure: incidence, predictors, and outcomes. Circulation. 2018; May 11: (Epub ahead of print) https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/journal-scans/2018/05/21/12/30/device-related-thrombus-after-left-atrial-appendage

Perriello, B. HRS 2018 Roundup: Device-related blood clots with Boston Scientific’s Watchman implant. MassDevice.com. May 11, 2018.  https://www.massdevice.com/hrs-2018-device-related-blood-clots-with-boston-scientifics-watchman-implant/

Andrew D. Bowser. Device-related thrombus associated with ischemic events. Cardiology News. May 14, 2018. https://www.mdedge.com/ecardiologynews/article/165539/interventional-cardiology-surgery/device-related-thrombus-associated

Get Support: A-Fib Wreaks Havoc with Your Head as Well as Your Heart

Anxiety, fear, worry, confusion, frustration and depression, and at times, anger. Most A-Fib patients deal with one or more of these feelings. Beware: research indicates that “psychological distress” worsens the severity of A-Fib symptoms.

Advice About Stress from Patients (and a Spouse) Now Free from the Burden of A-Fib

Jay Teresi, Atlanta, GA, USA. cured after having A-Fib for over ten years:

Jay T.

“Of the entire experience, anxiety has been the greatest challenge. Don’t beat yourself up if you deal with this. Be honest with the doctors about it and get help.
And help your family to understand as they are your greatest support system.”
Kelly Teresi, wife of Jay Teresi, about coping with her husband’s A-Fib:

Kelley T.

“This disease is so far beyond what a non-A-Fib person can comprehend—many times I found myself frustrated, not understanding what was going on with Jay’s thoughts and heart. Jay’s A-Fib and the associated anxiety has left its imprint on our lives.”

Max Jussila, Shanghai, China, about the emotional impact of his A-Fib:

Max J.

“I have never been mentally so incapable…even the simplest work-related problems seemed impossible for me to handle, let alone solve.
I was only 52 years old…but mentally I was reduced to a six–year-old child with constant tantrums.”

Joe Mirretti, Gurnee, IL, a 62-Year old cyclist, about the personal A-Fib stories on A-Fib.com:

Joe M.

“Like everyone has said in their A-Fib stories, A-Fib does such a job on your head. Every time you feel something, it scares you like you’re going back into A-Fib. That’s been a mental battle.
That’s why reading those patient stories [on A-Fib.com] help.”

A-Fib Doesn’t Have to be in Your Head as Well

Don’t be ashamed to admit how A-Fib makes you feel (especially if you’re a guy). Your psyche is just as important as your physical heart. Just acknowledging you have some or all of these symptoms is a step in the right direction.

PODCAST: 15 Ways to Manage the Fear & Anxiety of Atrial FibrillationTune in to learn ways to cope. Listen as Steve Ryan and Travis Van Slooten, publisher of LivingWithAtrialFibrillation.com discuss ways to help you with the emotional component of A-Fib. (See show notes for the list of 15 tips.)

Acknowledge the Stress and Anxiety.
Seek Emotional Support. 


From The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ , a consensus of valuable advice from fellow Atrial Fibrillation patients; Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

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

Apple Watch 4: Do ECG Readings Give A-Fib Patients a False Sense of Security?

We received a couple of emails about the new Apple Watch 4. As many A-Fib patients may be aware, recently Apple unveiled the next generation of Apple Watch which includes a second generation optical heart sensor.

Among several interesting features, it can generate an ECG tracing similar to that of a single-lead electrocardiograph.

In her Sept. 14, 2018 editorial on Medscape.com, ECG Readings From the Apple Watch? This Doctor Is Leery, Dr. Hansa Bhargava gives her perspective of this feature for those diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. She writes that she finds the Apple Watch’s ability to do a one-lead ECG interesting but has some reservations.

“…Here’s what I worry about: the false sense of security that a person could have.

Apple Watch 4 screens

Being able to do a one-lead ECG is definitely interesting, but does it always help? Here’s a scenario. A 40-year-old runner starts feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and has chest pain. He worries but remembers that there is an ECG function on his watch. He proceeds to do the ECG which then reads “normal.” Because of this he decides to continue to run.
What he doesn’t know is that this is only a one-lead ECG, and even though it seems normal, it is an isolated data point; more information is needed to diagnose what is going on. What if he is having angina? In fact, 30% of cardiovascular events happen to people under the age of 65. One lead on an ECG could certainly miss this; in fact, even a 12-lead ECG, if the only isolated data point, could miss this.

Dr. Andrew Moore, an emergency department physician at the Oregon Health and Science University is also skeptical of the Apple Watch 4 ECG feature:

“The ECG thing is a little bit overhyped in terms of what it will really provide. …The tech that Apple is working with is very rudimentary compared to what we’d do for someone in a hospital or health care setting.” 

While the watch can detect changes in the patterns of a person’s heart rate such as too fast, too slow, or beating irregularly—signifying A-Fib, the watch doesn’t diagnose a medical issue.

Apple Watch and Other DIY Heart Rate Monitors

Guide to HRMs and Handheld ECG monitors

Keep in mind these doctors’ concerns apply to all consumer heart rate monitors (HRM), those with optical heart sensors and those with electrode-containing monitors.

Wrist vs. Chest Bands: Wrist-band optical heart-rate monitors (like Apple Watch 4) may be more convenient or comfortable and have advanced over the years. But researchers found that electrode-containing chest-strap monitors were always more accurate than their wrist counterparts and more reliable and consistent. To learn about this research, read When Tracking Your Heart: Is a Wrist-Worn Heart Rate Monitor Just as Good as a Chest Strap Monitor?

Blue-tooth chest-band with smartphone app

As an A-Fib patient, when monitoring your heart beat rate is important to you (while exercising or doing heavy work), you’ll want to stick with an electrode-containing monitor (chest band-style, shirts or sports bras with built-in electrode pads, etc.).

For help selecting a HRM, see our article: Guide to DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) & Handheld ECG Monitors (Part I). Also take a look at Steve’s list on Amazon.com: Top Picks: DIY Heart Rate Monitors for A-Fib Patients.

Keep in mind: None of these DIY heart rate monitors are diagnostic tools. But they can be helpful once you know you have A-Fib, A-Flutter or suffer from PVCs, PACs, etc. Just don’t make medical decisions based on their readings. See your doctor if you have any concerns or symptoms.

Remember: None of these DIY heart rate monitors are diagnostic tools

Resource for this article
Hansa Bhargava, MD. ECG Readings From the Apple Watch? This Doctor Is Leery: The Apple Watch Gets ‘Medical’. Medscape/NEWS & PERSPECTIVE.  September 14, 2018. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/902001?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=159481AX&impID=1739393&faf=1

Hauk, C. Data Collected by Apple Heart Study Used to Obtain Apple Watch Series 4 ECG Clearance from FDA. Mac trast.com. Sep 14, 2018.
https://www.mactrast.com/2018/09/data-collected-by-apple-heart-study-used-to-obtain-apple-watch-series-4-ecg-clearance-from-fda/

Has My A-Fib Returned? I Get an Insertable Wireless Monitor to Find Out

Update 5 pm (see below): During a recent medical exam, one of my doctors (not a cardiologist) detected an irregular heart beat. I didn’t feel any symptoms before, during or after the appointment, so I wasn’t alarmed. But I did make an appointment with my EP.

Medtronic Reveal LINQ ICM

When I met with my EP, he took an ECG but didn’t find A-Fib (thank goodness). But, just to be sure, he recommended implanting a tiny wireless heart monitor so he can review my heart activity over time.

I Get a Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor

So yesterday, as an outpatient, I had a tiny cardiac monitor implanted just under the skin near my heart. The minimally invasive procedure took the doctor about 2 minutes to do. (Most of my time at the hospital was spent doing paperwork).

My doctor used the Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM)—one of the world’s smallest cardiac monitors—the device is approximately one-third the size of a AAA battery.

MyCareLink transmitter

The Reveal LINQ System includes a bedside unit that collects heart rhythm data from the ICM and wirelessly sends it to my doctor every evening.

The device allows my cardiologist to continuously monitor my heart for up to 3 years.

Setup to transmit: I got it all set up and it’s working. But I don’t expect to get any feedback from my EP any time soon. I’ll publish an update when I have something to report.

My incision for the ICM

Update 5 pm: I forgot to mention that I had no pain with this procedure. They used some numbing agent on the incision area, but I’ve had no pain afterwards (it’s now about 36 hours since the insertion). No sutures. They applied a clear bandage that holds the tissue together while healing.

There’s no visible sign of the device. If I press the area I can barely feel the outline of the ICM. It’s possible this will diminish with time as the surrounding tissue encases it.

I’ll write more:  I’ll talk with my EP in a couple of weeks when he has reviewed some of the data received via the MyCareLink wireless transmitter. (I assume he has some data processing feature that will alert him before that if the readings are outside normal specs.)

VIDEO: The Insertion Procedure

An animated video (music, no narration) by Medtronic, shows how the Reveal LINQ ICM monitor is inserted through a tiny incision just under the skin near the heart. Special tools are used to make a small incision and another to hold the ICM and “plunge” it under the skin. About 2:45 min.

To enlarge video: click and start the video. At the lower right, click on the frame icon. To exit, click again.

Build Your ‘Dream Team’ to Seek Your A-Fib Cure (or Best Outcome for You)

Treating Atrial Fibrillation doesn’t sound like a team sport. But you don’t beat your A-Fib on your own. It takes a team of healthcare professionals and wellness experts to help you seek your A-Fib cure!

Your ‘Dream Team’ will be unique to you, based on your age, symptoms, and other medical conditions.

The Core Members of your ‘Dream Team’ 

♥ Your primary care physician: often diagnoses your atrial fibrillation; may prescribe and manage your initial medications (especially for risk of stroke); usually refers you to a cardiologist (hopefully a heart rhythm specialist).

♥ Cardiac Electrophysiologist (EP): a cardiologist who specializes in the electrical functions of your heart; often the leader of your ‘Dream Team’! (Read: How to Find the Right Doctor for You.) In addition to your EP, other cardiac professionals may be added to your team including:

▪ Cardiac procedure specialist: if you need a catheter ablation, a left atrial appendage occlusion device (i.e. Watchman device), a pacemaker, or perhaps an AV Node Ablation with Pacemaker procedure.

▪ Cardiac surgeon: if you need a Maze or Mini-maze surgery

Recruit Beyond Your Team Starters

Don’t stop with just recruiting your star performers. Many of our readers at A-Fib.com have drafted other healthcare practitioners and wellness experts to join their ‘Dream Team’. You may benefit from one or more of the following:

Sleep specialist: More than 40% of A-Fib patients also suffer from sleep apnea. Everyone with A-Fib should be tested (Sleep Lab or home study). In fact, your EP may require testing before agreeing to perform a catheter ablation. Learn more about sleep apnea.

♥ Nutritional counselor/Naturopathic physician: Many A-Fib patients have found relief of symptoms through herbal and mineral supplementation (starting with magnesium and potassium). Learn more about a more integrated or natural method of healthcare.

♥ Diet & Exercise specialist: Losing weight through diet and exercise has benefited many A-Fib patients. Some report their A-Fib symptoms have diminished or stopped completely through changes in lifestyle. Read more about a heart-healthy eating plan.

♥ Complementary treatment practitioners:

▪ Acupuncture: Many A-Fib patients have reported symptom relief with acupuncture. Research indicates that acupuncture may have an anti-arrhythmic effect in patients with atrial fibrillation. Read about acupuncture research.

▪ Yoga: The practice of yoga has benefits, many A-Fib patients report. Specifically, the number of symptomatic A-Fib events were down, heart beat and blood pressure dropped, depression eased and anxiety decreased. Read about A-Fib and yoga.

▪ Chiropractor: Several A-Fib.com patients have reported their symptoms were relieved with chiropractic treatments. In fact, a few clinical studies have focused on arrhythmia and ‘manipulation’ techniques. Read more.

Where to Start: Ask for Referrals

To form your ‘Dream Team’ of health and wellness experts, ask for referrals from other A-Fib patients and from your family and friends.

If you know nurses or support staff who work in the cardiology field or in Electrophysiology (EP) labs, they can be great resources. Also, seek advice from the nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at your doctors’ offices.

To find the right doctor, start with our page, How to Find the Right Doctor for You

Don’t depend on websites of patient’ ratings of doctors or with patient surveys. They lend themselves to manipulation. Ratings often reflect how well-liked a doctor is, not competency. Consult several sites. Read my article, Don’t be Fooled by Pay-to-Play Online Doctor Referral Sites.

Why You Need an A-Fib Notebook and 3-Ring Binder

As an A-Fib patient, you want to create a ‘treatment plan’—an organized path to finding your A-Fib cure or best outcome. Forming your ‘Dream Team’ is an important step toward this goal.

As you form your team, you will want to organize the information you are collecting. Start with a notebook and a three-ring binder or a file folder.

Your A-Fib binder is where you should file and organize all your A-Fib-related treatment information. Learn What to Include in Your A-Fib Binder

Remember, above all,
Aim for Your A-Fib Cure!

Reference for this Article
Iliades, C. Team approach: Your Atrial Fibrillation Management Team. Everydayhealth.com. 5/30/2013 http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/atrial-fibrillation-and-stroke/your-afib-management-team/

Diet and Nutrition: ‘The China Study’ and Other Diet Plans With Dr. Joseph Mercola

After Saul Lisauskas of Encinitas, CA was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, he was disappointed by doctors who offered only drug therapy with no advice about improving his symptoms through diet and nutrition. He decided to educated himself on the topic: In his A-Fib story Saul wrote:

Saul Lisauskas

“I read a few books on the subject of food and the interaction with our body. The best book was The China Study. It will give you an education about food, its sources and dangers.”

The China Study Book and its Critics

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell & Thomas M. Campbell II was first published in 2004. The book’s title comes from the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, a 20-year study that began in 1983 and was conducted jointly by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford.

By Campbell & Campbell II

Conflicting opinions: There has been criticism of some of the conclusions drawn in The China Study (mostly focused on data collection, collection bias and data analysis).

Publisher of Cholesterol-and-Health.com Christopher Masterjohn, PhD has written: “Only 39 of 350 pages are actually devoted to the China study…[The China Study] would be more aptly titled, A Comprehensive Case for the Vegan Diet, and the reader should be cautioned that the evidence is selected, presented, and interpreted with the goal of making that case in mind.”

The Cornell-Oxford-China Study: A Critique (Jesse and Julie Racsh Foundation) states: “After performing regression analyses, the data does not justify the indictment of all animal foods as risk factors for chronic degenerative disease.” Read the report online or download the PDF.

A Critical Look at ‘The China Study’ and Other Diet Plans: Dr. Mercola Interviews Denise Minger

Dr J. Mercola

A jam-packed, up-to-date article for those interested in improving current health problems and long-term health through diet and nutrition.

Denise Minger

Published in July 2018, natural health expert and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviewed Denise Minger, most noted for her comprehensive rebuttal of “The China Study” (The China Study: Fact or Fallacy?) some eight years ago. She’s heavily vested in the vegan versus omnivore battle, having cycled through vegetarianism and raw veganism, finally coming full circle to being an omnivore.

Topics covered in a Critical Look at ‘The China Study’ and Other Diet Plans:

• Raw Veganism Took a Toll on Health
• Debunking ‘The China Study’
• The Case for Lowering Protein Intake
• Protein Cycling
• Macronutrient Cycling — An Overlooked Component of Optimal Health
• Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Is Ideally Combined With Cyclical Fasting
• Focus on Nutrient Density
• How Minger’s Diet Has Changed Over the Years
• Critiquing the Blood Type Diet
• Awesome Omnivore
• Plant-Based Paleo
• Lifelong Learning Is Key to Staying Ahead

Go to A Critical Look at ‘The China Study’ and Other Diet Plans.

VIDEO: Highlights from Dr. Joseph Mercola’s interview with Denise Minger (2:28)


YouTube video playback controls are located in the lower right portion of the frame: closed captions,
speed/quality, watch on YouTube website and enlarge video to full frame.

Additional Resources About Diet and Nutrition

Download the full transcript of Dr. Mercola’s interview with Denise Minger. Read Debra Minger’s The China Study: Fact or Fallacy?.

Read The China Study for Free: The 2006 edition is available to read online or download.

The 2017 edition of The China Study is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.

See my article: The Effect of Diet & Nutrition on Your A-Fib: My Top 5 Articles.

Resources for this article

• The China Project: Studying the Link Between Diet and Disease. Study room provides a general overview and introduction to the Cornell-China-Oxford project. Accessed August 7, 2018 URL: http://www.cornell.edu/video/playlist/the-china-project-studying-the-link-between-diet-and-disease

• Cornell-Oxford-China Study: A Critique. Jesse and Julie Racsh Foundation. Accessed August 7, 2018 URL: http://www.raschfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/Cornell_Oxford_China-Study-Critique.pdf

• Masterjohn, C. The Truth About the China Study. Cholesterol and Health.com Accessed August 7, 2018 URL: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

• Mercola, J. A Critical Look at ‘The China Study’ and Other Diet Plans. Mercola.com, July 08, 2018. URL: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/07/08/the-china-study-and-other-nutrition-plans.aspx

• Minger, D. The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? July 7, 2010. DeniseMinger.com. https://deniseminger.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

September is A-Fib Awareness Month: The Threat of ‘Silent A-Fib’

GIF: 'That Demon A-FIB ZEBUB' at A-Fib.com

‘That Demon A-FIB ZEBUB’

During September each year, we focus our efforts on reaching those who may have Atrial Fibrillation and don’t know it. ‘Silent A-Fib’ is a serious public health problem. In his personal A-Fib story, Kevin Sullivan, age 46, wrote about his diagnosis of Silent A-Fib.

“I was healthy, played basketball three times per week, and lifted weights. I started to notice on some days playing basketball, I was having some strange sensations in my chest. And sometimes, difficultly catching my breath. But the next day I would feel fine. I assumed this was just what it felt like to get old.”

At the time, he happened to see a cardiologist about medication for high cholesterol:

“I went to see a cardiologist. They looked at my heart with ultrasound and asked if I could feel “that.” I asked them what they were talking about, and they told me that I was having atrial fibrillation. That was the first time I had ever heard of the phrase.”

Like Kevin Sullivan, about 30%–50% of people with Atrial Fibrillation are walking around not knowing they have it. They may get used to their symptoms or they write off the tiredness, dizziness or mental slowness to growing older, but their heart health may be deteriorating.

Untreated, about 35% will suffer a stroke (half of all A-Fib-related strokes are major and disabling).

How You Can Help

A-Fib.com offers an infographic to educate and inform the public about this healthcare issue. See the full infographic here. (See the posters too).

To help spread awareness:

Share it, Pin it, Download it. 

Resources for Writers and Journalists

For more about Silent A-Fib, go to The Threat to Patients with “Silent A-Fib” How to Reach Them

Visit the A-Fib.com Press Room to learn more about Atrial Fibrillation, videos, get free graphics and other resources.

Drugs Don’t Cure Atrial Fibrillation But Merely Keep it at Bay

Advice from Patients Now Free from the Burden of Atrial Fibrillation

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

Daniel D.

“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.
Terry Dewitt at A-Fib.com

Terry D.

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

“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.”  

 

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

Max J.

“Do not listen to your doctors if they suggests medication as a long-term solution!
The doctors who see medication as a solution commit serious negligence and are ignorant of the terrible nature and consequences of Atrial Fibrillation.”

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

According to Drs. Irina Savelieva and John Camm of St. George’s University of London, London, UK:

“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.

In his, personal A-Fib story, Dr. Sam T. MD, from Tennessee, USA, shares:

“At this time when all medicines and cardiac procedures have their risks and limitations, finding a way to get to NSR [Normal Sinus Rhythm] and staying in NSR is most important.”

The goal should be to end your A-Fib episodes not manage them. Learn more at: Drug Therapies. Always Aim for a Cure!

Drugs Have a Role, but Other Treatment Options Target a Cure.

Resources for this article
CAMM, J, MD. Medical Management of Atrial Fibrillation: State of the Art First published: 03 August 2006 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2006.00581.x

Savelieva I, Camm J. Update on atrial fibrillation: part II. Clin Cardiol. 2008 Mar;31(3):102-8. doi: 10.1002/clc.20136. PubMed PMID: 18383050. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=PMID%3A%2018383050


From The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ , a consensus of valuable advice from fellow Atrial Fibrillation patients; Chapter 12, Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

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

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