"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

"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"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"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

New Video Added to A-Fib Library

We’ve add a video to our library of Atrial Fibrillation videos:

Mechanism and effects of Atrial Fibrillation

An Impulse That’s Lost its Way

A medical description of the mechanism and effects of Atrial Fibrillation (i.e., initiating triggers, abnormal substrate, electrical and structural remodeling, blood stasis and hypercoagulable state, etc.). Animation with narration.

Difficulty level: Intermediate. 3:24 min. Watch video.

A-Fib.com Library of Videos and Animations

We have loads of A-Fib-related videos in our Video Library. For the reader who learns visually through motion graphics, audio, and personal interviews, these short videos are organized loosely into three levels: introductory/basic, intermediate and in-depth/advanced. Click to browse our video library.

Click image to go to video.

A Popular Video: Buyer Beware of Misleading or Inaccurate A-Fib Information’, with Steve Ryan and host, Skip E. Lowe. Click image to go to video.

Steve Ryan Videos: We’ve edited Steve’s most interesting radio and TV interviews to create several short (3-5 min.) videos. Check out Videos Featuring Steve S. Ryan, PhD, publisher of A-Fib.com.

3:59 min. Click to Watch video.

New Research on NOACs: Which has More Bleeding Risk―Which is Safer?

Do you take the anticoagulant, Xarelto? Or one of the newer NOACs? Which is safest? Which has the least GI bleeding?

NOACs Research Study Results

The New NOACs - anticoagulants graphic at A-Fib.com

Which is safer?

A Mayo Clinic study indicated that the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is higher for patients taking Xarelto than for other anticoagulants in its class.

The researchers compared the gastrointestinal (GI) safety profile of three rival oral anticoagulants: Xarelto (rivaroxaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Eliquis (apixaban). All of the patients in the study had Atrial Fibrillation.

Bleeding occurrence: GI bleeding occurred more frequently in patients taking Xarelto compared to Pradaxa (approximately 20% increased risk), while Eliquis had the lowest GI bleeding risk.

Age factor: They also found that the risk of GI bleeds increased with age. In particular, patients over the age of 75 were at an increased risk.

Safety: Eliquis had the most favorable GI safety profile, even among very elderly patients, and Xarelto had the least favorable. … Continue reading this report…->

2017 AF Symposium: New Reports on Reversing Fibrosis and Hypercoagulability & NOACs

I’ve been a busy writer since attending the 2017 AF Symposium in January. Here are two more summary reports.

Report 5Some Forms of Fibrosis May Be Reversible: Research with Overweight Sheep 

In a very hopeful study for Atrial Fibrillation patients, Dr. Stanley Nattel of the University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada concluded that some forms or types of fibrosis are indeed reversible.

Steve with Shannon Dickson, editor of The A-Fib Report

Steve with Shannon Dickson, editor of The A-Fib Report

He described his experiments with overweight sheep. A 30% weight lost reduced fibrosis as well as inflammation and incidence of A-Fib. Continue reading….

Report 6: Hypercoagulability May Cause A-Fib, NOACs May Prevent It 

Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) may both prevent and stop A-Fib, according to a thought-provoking hypothesis by Dr. Ulrich Schotten of the University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

His different, somewhat contrary hypothesis flips the current thinking― that hypercoagulability increases and promotes A-Fib (versus A-Fib increasing hypercoagulability).

Working with specially designed mice with increased thrombin activity (hypercoagulated mice), Dr. Schotten found that these mice had increased atrial fibrosis and A-Fib, and a hypercoagulated state promotes atrial fibrosis…Continue reading….

See the entire list of my reports from the 2017 AF Symposium.
Look for three more reports soon.

FDA Approved: CardioInsight (ECGI) Mapping and Ablation System Now Available in U.S.

CardioInsight 3D system vest - A-Fib.com

CardioInsight 3D system vest

Medtronic’s CardioInsight Noninvasive 3D Mapping System (ECGI) has received FDA clearance for use in the U.S. The CardioInsight system is the first non-invasive mapping system in the world.

Dr. Vivek Reddy at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City was the first to use the system commercially in the U.S.

CardioInsight Noninvasive 3D Mapping System (ECGI)

The CardioInsight system allows physicians to locate the origin of a patient’s irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Cardiac mapping is traditionally achieved by inserting a catheter into the heart via an artery or vein.

The CardioInsight 3D system instead uses a 252-electrode sensor vest to non-invasively (from outside the heart) map irregular rhythms like A-Fib. The vest is a single-use, disposable multi-electrode vest that gathers cardiac electrophysiological data from the body surface. The 3D mapping system combines these signals with CT scan data to produce and display simultaneous 3-D cardiac maps.

The vest technology contours to the patient’s body and allows for continuous and simultaneous panoramic mapping of both atria or both ventricles, which cannot be achieved with current invasive methods. The 3D cardiac maps can be created by capturing a single heartbeat, and enable rapid mapping of these heart rhythms.

VIDEO: To learn how the vest is applied to the patient, see the vest application instructional video at the Medtronic CardioInsight™ Mapping Vest webpage.

ECGI is a Major Breakthrough in Treating A-Fib

ECGI mapping is certainly one of, or even the most important new development in the treatment of A-Fib.

In 2013, I started reporting about this ECGI system. Prof. Haissaguerre and his colleagues in Bordeaux, France, were very active and instrumental in the use of the CardioInsight system. They are credited with the greatest number of presentations and publications on the system. CardioInsight expanded its rollout to eight different venues in Europe where it tested as well as it did at Bordeaux. It’s now available in the U.S.―great news for patients.

Back then, I predicted that “the ECGI system, barring unforeseen circumstances, would rapidly supersede all other mapping systems and will become the standard of care in the treatment of A-Fib patients.”

David Neth wearing ECGI vest before ablation by the Bordeaux Groups - A-Fib.com

David Neth wearing ECGI vest before ablation by the Bordeaux Group

Not only does the CardioInsight (ECGI) system produce a complete, precise, 3D, color video of each spot in a patient’s heart producing A-Fib signals, but also the video can be done by a technician before the procedure right at the patient’s bedside rather than by the  electrophysiologist (EP) during an ablation. It also can be used during the procedure, for example to re-map an ablated area.

Dr Vivek Reddy stated: This system shifts mapping away from the EP lab, potentially saving time and enhancing the patient experience.”

The CardioInsight map is a better, more accurate, more complete map than an EP can produce by using a conventional mapping catheter inside the heart.

Should You Wait on Your Ablation for ECGI Mapping?

From a patient’s perspective, CardioInsight (ECGI) reduces both the time it takes to do an ablation and the number of burns a patient receives.

The question for patients is, should you wait on having an ablation till a CardioInsight  mapping system is available at your center?

The CardioInsight mapping system is most effective in cases of persistent or long-standing persistent A-Fib.

The CardioInsight mapping system is most effective in cases of persistent or long-standing persistent A-Fib where non-PV triggers have developed. Most cases of short-duration, paroxysmal A-Fib haven’t usually developed a lot of non-PV triggers.

Hence, if you’ve only been in A-Fib for a relatively short time and are still paroxysmal, it’s probably not worth the wait.

Medtronic Rollout of CardioInsight System

Medtronic will employ a strategic rollout of the technology in the geographies where it is cleared. I will try to report when an A-Fib center in the U.S. receives a CardioInsight system..

To read more about the CardioInsight (ECGI) system, see my article, How ECGI (Non-Invasive Electrocardiographic Imaging) Works.

Disclosure: Dr Vivek Reddy consults for and receives research funding from Medtronic.

Resources for this article

Inherited A-Fib? Is it More Risky for Family Members?

Many A-Fib patients wonder if they will pass their Atrial Fibrillation on to their offspring. Called Familial A-Fib, your first-degree family members are at higher risk of developing A-Fib.

A-Fib accounts for one-third of all strokes in patients above the age of 65 and is also associated with an increased mortality.

Several studies have shown an association of genetic variants with A-Fib and indicated that Familial A-Fib increases the risk of developing A-Fib. Familial A-Fib may account for as many as 20% of A-Fib patients.

But there is good news. A Danish registry study found that a diagnosis of Familial A-Fib carries no greater risk of death and stroke than in the general Atrial Fibrillation population.

The Danish Familial A-Fib Study

The study from Danish nationwide registry data included 8,658 patients diagnosed with A-Fib from 1995 through 2012 with both parents known, matched 1:1 for familial A-Fib status as well as age, year of A-Fib diagnosis, and sex.

Familial A-Fib is more common in men than women and with median age of 50.

Study Findings: Compared with the entire A-Fib registry population, the familial A-Fib patients were less likely to be female (21% women versus the overall registry’s 47% women) and were younger at diagnosis (median age 50 vs 77).

An element to be taken into account is that families with long life expectancy, for any reason, may be at higher risk for familial A-Fib due to the longevity of relatives.

What Patients Need to Know

We have heard of many fathers and sons and sets of brothers with A-Fib as well as three-generations with A-Fib.

If you have Atrial Fibrillation, your first-degree family members (parents, siblings, offspring) may have Atrial Fibrillation and not know it. They may have ‘silent A-Fib’ with no or few apparent symptoms but with an increased risk of stroke.

Encourage family members to discuss Familial A-Fib with their doctors.

Be your family’s health advocate. Encourage family members to discuss Familial A-Fib with their doctors. A-Fib is usually easy to detect by taking your pulse and/or by an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). Early detection and treatment may avoid early health complications and prevent a cardiovascular event (i.e. A-Fib-related stroke).

For more about Familial A-Fib, see FAQs: Can I Prevent Familial A-Fib with Diet? Supplements?

A-Fib Personal Story on A-Fib.comDoes A-Fib Run in Your Family? 

Would you share your A-Fib story with our readers? We would love to hear from you. Our Personal Experiences stories are one of the most visited areas of A-Fib.com. Email me and tell me your story. (Or, read how to write and submit your A-Fib story.)

Resources for this article

Read it Today: Our A-Fib Alerts: January 2017 Issue

From Chile to Ireland, Australia to Canada and Greece to Denmark, A-Fib patients around the world are reading our A-Fib Alerts January 2017 issue.

Read the latest issue here. Even better—have our A-Fib Alerts sent directly to you via email. Subscribe NOW.

Beat Your A-Fib book at A-Fib.com

Sign-up bonus! Save 50% on my book.

Our A-Fib Alerts monthly newsletters are presented in a condensed, easy-to-scan format. (There’s no risk! Unsubscribe at any time.) Subscribe NOW.

Special Signup Bonus: Subscribe HERE 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.

Book Review: The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Best Medical Care Every Time

the-empowered-patient-cover-400-x-600-pix-at-300-resThe Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time

by Elizabeth Cohen

Review by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

For many, today’s healthcare system is overwhelming and confusing. Gone are the days of the paternal family doctor who managed your overall medical care. Today, you must step up and take responsibility for managing your own health care.

This Review: Important Material all Patients Should Consider

‘The Empowered Patient’, written by a CNN Senior medical Correspondent, is a short, easily read book. Chapters are organized in categories with common problems and practical solutions.

This review discusses important material for all patients to consider. If you read the softcover book, I recommend having a highlight marker and some post-it tabs handy for marking particular passages of personal interest for follow-up and future reference.

Trust No One Completely

When it comes to medicine, trust no one completely. Each year, 99,000 patients die from infections they acquire in hospitals, and another 98,000 die from medical mistakes in hospitals. … Continue reading this report…->

Reader Tip: Ends Vagal A-Fib Attack with Short Intense Exercise

If your A-Fib occurs at night, after a meal, when resting after exercising, or when you have digestive problems, then you may have ‘Vagally-Mediated’ A-Fib. The Vagus Nerve controls the abdomen and is part of the Parasympathetic Nervous System that tends to slow the heart and dilate blood vessels. Vagal A-Fib is uncommon.

I received an email from ‘A-Fibber in California’ with Vagal A-Fib who’s otherwise healthy and active. He wrote to tell about his success getting out of an A-Fib attack. ‘A-Fibber in California’ writes:

“I have the classic presentation of vagal A-Fib. Good heart, younger age bracket, typically in shape; A-Fib starts at night when I am relaxed and the parasympathetic part of the nervous system is more prominent.

The A-Fibs go away sometime during the day, usually at work when the sympathetic aspect is more prominent. I am an avid cyclist, and in shape, as are many patients with vagal A-Fib. I have a stationary bicycle trainer at home.

Short Maximum Intensity Exercise Stops My A-Fib

The Vagal Nerve - A-Fib.com

Click image to enlarge: The Vagal Nerve

I usually have A-Fib episodes once a week for anywhere from 10 hours to 24 hours.

I wondered if after warming up, if my doing a short bout of maximum intensity exercise, 60 seconds all-out, on my stationary bike, if that would stop an A-Fib episode?

Could the short maximum intensity exercise drive a very strong, sympathetically-mediated, sinoatrial node signal to the atrium? And then would it override the chaotic cardiac Central Nervous System nuclei signals that kept the heart in A-Fib? 

Yes. It worked!

In the morning of each of my past 5 A-Fib episodes, which have taken place in the space of 6 weeks, I got back to sinus rhythm immediately after getting off the bike following the maximum-intensity exercise noted above.

I used a pulse oximeter and stethoscope to confirm. This signal-overriding approach to sinus rhythm has worked so far to end an A-Fib attack.

Theory Why it Didn’t Work One Evening

There was one instance, however, when it did not. That time the A-Fib had begun, as is typical for vagally-mediated A-Fib, in the early part of the night/late evening. The short intensity exercise did not stop the A-Fib at that time. However, when I waited until morning and did it again, I returned to sinus rhythm immediate after stopping.

I wonder. Could attempting to stop the A-Fib when the body’s circadian rhythm places greater emphasis on parasympathetic/vagal tone, make it be more difficult to bring the heart back to sinus rhythm through a sympathetic nervous system activation?

Technique More Effective in the Morning? Short intensity exercise may be more effective in the morning, when the body’s sympathetic system starts to be activated more.

Perhaps my experience may help others who have vagal A-Fibs and can exercise this way.” – A-Fibber in California

Our reader, ‘A-Fibber from California’, also writes that he has scheduled his PV CryoBalloon ablation. Perhaps after his three-month ‘blanking’ period, his vagal A-Fib will be a thing of the past. We’ll follow and report on this progress.

Do You Have a Tip to Share?

Share your tip at A-Fib.comHave some advice to pass on to others with A-Fib? Something that’s working to lessen your A-Fib symptoms, or reduce your frequency or duration of your episodes? Perhaps some ‘Lessons learned the hard way’?

Why not share it with others? Take a few minutes and send me an email about it. Short or long, your tip offers insights that can help others.

Sharing encourages others with A-Fib
to seek their cure!

2017 AF Symposium: Two New Reports on Rotors and Predicting A-Fib

My third and fourth reports from the 2017 AF Symposium:

The Virtual Heart - Dr Natalia Trayanova

“Virtual Heart” image

Report 3: 3D Virtual Heart’ Predicts Location of Rotors. You may recall my 2015 report about Dr. Natalia Trayanova of Johns Hopkins University, and her ground breaking presentation on the 3D “Virtual Heart”. Her 2017 presentation was a continuation of her innovative research, this time about Atrial Fibrillation signals from rotors and fibrosis.

Dr. Trayanova constructed three-dimensional computer models of the atria in A-Fib from MRI data and assessed the propensity of each model to develop arrhythmia. Read how the predictive ability of her models compare to actual ECGI mapping cases…continue reading…

Report 4: Links Between Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and A-Fib. One of the most important frontiers of A-Fib research is trying to determine why and how Atrial Fibrillation develops. Dr. David Van Wagoner of the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH talked about the mechanistic links between inflammation, oxidative stress, and A-Fib.

Stressors like sleep apnea and obesity impact arrhythmia substrate changes.

Preventing and Preventing A-Fib: Oxidative stress can cause oxidants to interact with lipids and proteins and cause previously functional proteins to become dysfunctional. Processing dysfunctional proteins is impaired as in diseases like Alzheimer’s.

A-Fib hemodynamic stress or ‘stress activated’ changes (for example, by stressors like hypertension or obesity) produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation…continue reading…

Look for more of my 2017 AF Symposium reports
in the coming weeks and months.

New 2017 European A-Fib Stroke Risk Guidelines Changes

My second report from this month’s 2017 AF Symposium. Dr. John Camm from St. George’s Medical Center, London, UK discussed the new 2017 ESC (European) AF Stroke Risk Guidelines (i.e. CHA2DS2-VASc).

Dr. John Camm - A-Fib.com

Dr. John Camm

Gender Bias: The big news is that in the 2017 ESC Stroke Risk Guidelines for Atrial Fibrillation “gender is no longer an important consideration.”

The previous CHA2DS2-VASc risk scale automatically gave every woman an additional 1 risk point for just being female. Under the new 2017 Guidelines, anticoagulation recommendations are the same for men with 1 point and women with 2 points. (Sc stands for sex i.e. female gender). This is a major change in anticoagulation treatment for women.

Anticoagulant Therapy: Under the 2017 European Guidelines, the newer NOACs (Novel Oral Anticoagulants)…continue reading…

My First Report: Overview of the 2017 AF Symposium

I returned Saturday night from the annual AF Symposium held at the Hyatt Regency, Orlando, FL. The mood of the three-day atrial fibrillation conference seemed to be somewhat somber.

AF Symposium panel - A-Fib.com

AF Symposium panel

The coming Trump presidency seemed to cast a shadow of discouragement and even fear. Occasional discussions would reflect on the profound changes expected, especially about Obamacare.

The AF Symposium brings together the world’s leading medical scientists, researchers and cardiac electrophysiologists (EPs) to share the most recent advances in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Hot Topic: Left Atrial Appendage

Steve in Orlando

The most talked about topic at this year’s AF Symposium was the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA). This represents a major change in the way doctors now see the importance of the LAA and the LAA’s role in atrial fibrillation.

(For A-Fib patients, this is a most welcome change. All too many doctors still consider the LAA of little importance. For example, when doing an ablation, all too many EPs never look at the LAA to see if it is producing non-PV triggers.) Continue reading my first report

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s App of Herbs, Vitamins, and Dietary Supplements

Determining whether herbs, vitamins, and other over-the-counter dietary supplements can be helpful or harmful to you can be challenging.

Our favorite resource is the About Herbs database at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) website.

Web-based ‘About Herbs’ app

The database is continually updated and managed by a pharmacist and a botanicals expert with assistance from other MSK Integrative Medicine Service experts.

You can search by product or by medical condition to find objective and evidence-based information about:

• traditional and proven uses
• potential benefits
• possible adverse effects
• interactions with other herbs or medicines

Download App or Use Web Version

iTunes Store

Use the web-based service, or the About Herbs app that’s compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices and other mobile devices.

Download the free About Herbs app from the iTunes App Store or

Or go to the web-based version.

Your Doctor Needs to Know

If you are using a dietary supplement, keep your doctor or other healthcare professional informed. Why? The active ingredient in the product could interact with—increase or lessen—the effect of other medicines you’re taking.

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.

Inforgraphic: What’s on My A-Fib Bookshelf?


Click on image to see the full infographic

To seek your A-Fib cure, educate yourself and learn to become your own best patient advocate. To help you, we created an infographic with 12 recommendations from my own Atrial Fibrillation library.

The Best A-Fib Reference Books

First are my top three A-Fib books along with my favorite medical dictionary. Then, I hand-picked books on patient empowerment, the importance of Magnesium to A-Fib patients, how to unmask the facts behind health statistics, and revealing insights into the marketing ploys of the pharmaceutical industry.

To see the full infographic, click here.

All are available from retail and online bookstores. To read my description of each book, see my ‘Wish List’ on Amazon.com. (Note: Use our Amazon portal link to order your books, and your purchases help support A-Fib.com.)

Educate yourself.
Become your own best patient advocate!


With A-Fib, Stroke is Not Your Only Risk

Xarelto advertisement

We hear it every day on TV, ads about ‘living with Atrial Fibrillation’. In today’s media, the message is about how to ‘manage’ your A-Fib. You’re advised to ‘just take our anticoagulant’ and you’ll live happily ever after.

But recent research (and common sense) indicates otherwise.

Mega Research Analysis of Your Additional Risks

Researchers at Oxford University, Oxford, UK and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA, conducted a systematic review and analysis of 104 different studies involving nearly 10 million people, of which, over a half-million had A-Fib.

They found that Atrial Fibrillation is associated with not just stroke, but also with:

• Heart Disease
• Heart Failure
• Kidney Disease
• Sudden Death
• Death from All Causes

The term “associated with” is as strong as academic researchers can state their findings as other factors may be at play.

Heart failure: The strongest association was with heart failure, which was five times more likely in people with A-Fib. Because your heart isn’t pumping properly, it’s not surprising that A-Fib leads to heart disease, heart failure and sudden death.

Kidney disease: A surprising association is that A-Fib is tied to kidney disease and peripheral arterial disease, probably because of poor circulation due to A-Fib.

Death from all Causes: This isn’t such a surprising finding as A-Fib affects the whole body. A-Fib damages your heart, brain and other organs. It reduces the heart’s pumping capacity by about 15%-30% which may cause weakness, fatigue, dizziness, fainting spells, swelling of the legs, and shortness of breath.

Patients with A-Fib, even if they don’t have a stroke or heart failure, are more likely to die from other causes compared with people in normal sinus rhythm (NSR).

Note: this study didn’t examine the known link between dementia and A-Fib. See Leaving Patients in A-Fib Doubles Risk of Dementia—The Case for Catheter Ablation

Don’t be Misled by Pharmaceutical Ads

Xarelto drug ad at A-Fib.com

Xarelto drug ad with Brian Vickers, Arnold Palmer & Kevin Nealon

For patients with A-Fib, it isn’t enough to simply take an anticoagulant!

We need to worry not just about stroke, but also about the risks and potential damage of A-Fib to our overall health.

Contrary to today’s media, your goal shouldn’t be to just ‘manage your A-Fib’. It’s a Pollyanna fantasy to just ‘Take a pill (anticoagulant) and live happily ever after’.

That misconceoption is propagated by drug manufacturers who want you to stay an A-Fib patient and thus a customer for life.

Don’t Just Live with A-Fib

Don’t Settle. Seek your A-Fib cure. Your goal should be to get your heart beating once again in normal sinus rhythm (NSR). We can’t say it enough…

Do not settle for a lifetime on meds. Seek your A-Fib cure.

Resources for this article

New Story: Prayer + CryoAblation = A-Fib Free

We first heard from AGL this past summer (My A-Fib Story: The Healing Power of Prayer, #88) Here he shares the rest of the story…up-to-date and expanded.

“In early 2011, I had my first heart episode. I thought I’d sleep it off, so I went home and took a nap. It didn’t go away. I eventually went to the ER where they said my heart rate was 235. They used adenosine which broke the episode, and my heart rate fell to 130s–140s. At this point they thought I had SVT [Supraventricular tachycardia], I couldn’t be sure if it was simply a fluke or not.

After a few more episodes within a year or two, I knew this wasn’t a one-time fluke. I went to see a cardiologist who gave me three choices of proceeding: 1) do nothing 2) take medicine or 3) have an ablation. He didn’t recommend I go with an ablation due to the risks involved.

I began taking 120mg of Cardizem, but that did not help―it simply slowed my heart rate and lowered my blood pressure. I was also taking 81mg of aspirin daily [for risk of stoke].

A-Fib Confounded by Sleep Disturbance

I wasn’t making progress in my A-Fib battle―and I was sleeping terribly. For three months I woke up every night at 2:30 a.m. Then, the rest of the night’s “sleep” was sketchyContinue reading

Inspire Others to Seek a Life Without A-Fib

Sharing the gift of Hope is a wonderful way to start this new year. Inspire others to seek their A-Fib cure…

Pass on this heart to encourage others with Atrial Fibrillation.

Seek your A-Fib cure. A-Fib.comYou don’t have to live a life on medications. Seek your cure. For encouragement, browse our library of over 90 first-person stories by patients, many now A-Fib-free. Go to our Personal A-Fib Stories of Hope.

You can be free of the burden of Atrial Fibrillation.

Graphic by Patti J. Ryan, A-Fib.com. #afib


“Holiday Heart”: Binging Alcohol, Marijuana & Rich Foods

‘Tis the season when many people end up in a hospital’s emergency room (ER) for treatment of “Holiday Heart Syndrome”, i.e., Atrial Fibrillation triggered by alcohol binging.

Overindulging in alcohol (six or more drinks) can cause surges in the body’s adrenalin, rises in the levels of free fatty acids, alterations of how sodium moves in and out of the heart cells, and a lowering of the levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium in the body through diuresis.

Does Alcohol Alone Explain Holiday Heart Syndrome?

Recreational Marjuana and A-Fib at A-Fib.com

Trigger: recreational marijuana

Excessive alcohol is not the only culprit. Recreational use of marijuana can compound the risk as well. Other factors include the nicotine effect in smokers (active and passive), large quantiles of rich food, and even cold weather. In addition, fireplace fires and bonfires can release ultra-fine particles in the air from burnt materials and can be bad for the heart.

New Year’s Eve Party Time: Be Aware

As you celebrate, encourage others to avoid heavy alcohol consumption and try to minimize eating large quantities of food at one time. Look for the symptoms of “holiday heart” among your relatives (hereditary A-Fib) and friends. Anyone with any heart symptoms should go to the ER. If they’re lucky, it will be a one time event.

Share the Cheer of the Season

Finally, if you know someone who is depressed, alone, or isolated during the holiday season, reach out and cheer them up. It may be the best thing you do for their heart as well as yours.

Resources for this article

The Hardest Lessons Learned About Atrial Fibrillaiton

A-Fib Patients' Best Advice Top Ten List - A-Fib.com

Click to see the full poster with Top Ten List.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ve read our 10-part series of posts based on ‘The Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice’ from my book, Beat Your A-Fib.

The list is a consensus of valuable advice from fellow patients who are now free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation. Click to see the full image.

The Series of Posts

If you missed a post, or simply want to re-read the original posts in this series, just click on the following links:

#1: What’s an EP?
#2: Dump Your Doctor?
#3: Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told About A-Fib
#4: Don’t Just Manage Your A-Fib with Meds. Seek your Cure.
#5: Don’t Let A-Fib Wreak its Havoc! Seek Your Cure ASAP
#6: Be Courageous. Be Aggressive.
#7: Persevere—More Than One Treatment May be Needed
#8: Get Emotional Support for the Stress and Anxiety
#9: Learn All Your Treatment Options Before Making Decisions
#10: Become Your Own Best Patient Advocate

From Chapter 10 of Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, by Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

Book Review: How Hope, Belief and Expectations Can Alter the Course of Your Illness

The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness, by Jerome E. Groopman

Review by Patti J. Ryan, based on my customer review on Amazon.com

There’s more to hope than we thought. Hope triggers biochemical changes.

On A-Fib.com, hope and encouragement are important ingredients in becoming your own best patient advocate and seeking your A-Fib cure.

We know hope impacts one’s emotions. But it also affects our physical being. I bought and read this book to learn about the BIOLOGY of hope. Written by an oncologist and citing actual patient cases (mostly cancer), Dr. Groopman explores the role of hope in fighting disease and healing.

Bolster All Your Energies to Find Your A-Fib Cure

The latter part of The Anatomy of Hope interested me the most. It documents the positive physiological responses evoked by hope. Top scientists are interviewed who study the biological link between emotion and biological responses. The most relevant studies on the subject are reviewed (I’ve highlighted and marked these with sticky notes). We learn that there’s more to hope than we thought. Hope triggers biochemical changes. Biochemical changes can fight disease.

 Hope triggers biochemical changes. Biochemical changes can fight disease.

Dr Groopman shows how hope, belief and expectations can alter the course of our lives, and even of our physical body. Good news for any patient dealing with a serious health condition, including Atrial Fibrillation patients!

I recommend The Anatomy of Hope to help you bolster all your energies to find your A-Fib cure.

Our Positive Thought/Prayer Group: Support is Just an Email Away

Patients offer support - A-Fib.com

Patients offer support

At A-Fib.com one of our volunteer groups is a Positive Thought/Prayer group comprised of wonderful people worldwide. If you would like their support, especially at the time of your ablation or surgery, please email us your request. It’s comforting to know that others who’ve had A-Fib care about you and wish you well.

How to Send Your Request: Send your request to our coordinator, Barbara at: babareeba(at)aol.com (substitute an “@” for the “(at)”).

Join our Group: We invite you to learn more about our ‘A-Fib Positive Thought/Prayer’ group. All are welcome.

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