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


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

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

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

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

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

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

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

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


Patti Ryan

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

For Inspiration: ‘A-Fib’s Demise’ a Poem by Emmett Finch, the Malibu Poet

At the beginning of this new year, we offer you a poem written for A-Fib patients by our friend Emmett Finch, the Malibu Poet. We met Emmett when we researched his personal A-Fib story for our book, Beat Your A-Fib (“40-Year Battle With A-Fib Includes AV Node Ablation With Pacemaker”).

Emmett F.

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

We hope A-Fib’s Demise will inspire you during this coming year to seek your A-Fib cure!  (Note: You can download and print the PDF.)

Emmett's Poem - A-Fib_s Demise

Wishing you a blessed year to come
filled with good heart health.

It Takes Time to Find the Right Treatment Plan for You: Learn all Your Options

A-Fib begets A-Fib. The longer you have A-Fib, the greater the risk of your A-Fib episodes becoming more frequent and longer, often leading to continuous A-Fib. (However, some people never progress to more serious A-Fib stages.)

Most Atrial Fibrillation patients should look beyond the typical antiarrhythmic drug therapy. These drugs don’t cure A-Fib but merely keep it at bay. According to Drs. Irina Savelieva and John Camm of St. George’s University of London:

“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.”

Educate Yourself: Learn All Your Options

A-Fib is not a “one-size fits all” type of disease. You need a personalized treatment plan. To begin, first educate yourself about Atrial Fibrillation, and then review all your treatment options. See Overview of A-Fib, Find the Right Doctor for You and Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation. A-Fib treatments include both short-term and long-term approaches aimed at controlling or eliminating the abnormal heart rhythm associated with A-Fib.

Next, you can move on to the guidelines we’ve posted: Which of the A-Fib Treatment Options is Best for Me? You are then prepared to discuss these treatment options with your doctor. Keep in mind, this should be a ‘team effort’, a decision you and your doctor will make together.

Build a Support System: We Can Help

You are not alone. Many, many others with A-Fib have been where you are now and are ready to share their experiences and insights.

Our A-Fib Support Volunteers: Having someone you can turn to for advice, emotional support, and a sense of hope that you can be cured, may bring you peace of mind. Our support volunteers offer you one-to-one support through exchanging emails and sharing their stories. To learn more, go to our page A-Fib.com’s A-Fib Support Volunteers.

Positive Thoughts/Prayer Group: At A-Fib.com we believe in healing through hope, belief, prayer and in the power of positive thoughts. To learn more about our group and how to send in your request, go to our A-Fib.com Positive Thoughts/Prayer Group.

Build Your A-Fib Treatment Plan: Know All Your Options

Resources for this article
Savelieva I, Camm J. Update on atrial fibrillation: part II. Clin Cardiol. 2008 Mar;31(3):102-8. Review. PubMed PMID: 18383050. URL Retrieved Nov 17, 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=PMID%3A%2018383050

Give the Gift of Hope: Steve’s Guides to A-Fib-Related Products

Give the gift of hope this gift-giving season with our ideas for family members and patients with Atrial Fibrillation. We’re often overwhelmed when we shop for A-Fib-related items.

Steve’s Shopping Guides help you sort through the vast array of products of interest to those touched by Atrial Fibrillation. These brands and products are available from many online and other retailers.

We invite you to browse our page with the following shopping guides from books to supplements and heart rate monitors. Go to Steve’s Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products including:

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

Support A-Fib.com When You Shop Amazon.com

Amazon.com portal link for A-Fib.comUse our Amazon.com portal link and support A-Fib.com at the same time (at no extra cost to you). Your purchases generate a small fee which we apply to the costs of publishing this website. Bookmark this link. Use it every time!

“Hi Steve and Patti, I just spent $200+ on Amazon and used the A-Fib.com portal link [to generate commissions for the website]. I, too, want to keep the A-Fib.com website independent and ad free.

I bookmarked your portal link and will continue to use it for every Amazon purchase.” 

Barbara Cogburn, Renton, Washington, U.S. 

 

Help Keep A-Fib.com Independent and Ad-Free

http://tinyurl.com/Shop-Amazon-for-A-FibEach purchase you make generates a small commission for us (at no extra cost to you.) We apply it towards the monthly costs of publishing A-Fib.com.

Our goal is to make A-Fib.com a self-sustaining site and maintain our ‘no third-party advertising’. No distracting Google or product ads that interrupt your reading.

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

After using the A-Fib.com portal link to shop Amazon.com, Mary Jo Hamlin, Liverpool, NY writes:

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

VIDEO: Compares Apple Watch 4 EKG to Hospital 12-Lead EKG

Image from C/NET video

C/NET.com has posted a very informative short video featuring Dr. Gregory Marcus at the UCSF Medical Center who compares a 1-lead ECG from the Apple Watch Series 4 to the results of a traditional hospital 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG).

Hooked up to a traditional electrocardiogram monitor, C/NET Senior Editor Vanessa Hand Orellana uses an Apple Watch 4 app to take her 30 second ECG reading.

Compare ECGs: See comparisons of Vanessa’s readings from her 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor and her Apple Watch ECG.

EKG monitor from C/NET video

Learn the technology of how the Apple Watch captures the heart beat.

Dr. Marcus talks about appropriate uses of the Apple Watch ECG and the role of the electrocardiogram. (Note: Other wearable devices also let you take an ECG outside the doctor’s office.)

Go to video: Animations with location footage and on-camera interview. 4:26 min video. See the video–> Apple Watch EKG tested against a hospital EKG

Personal Update: Surviving the Woolsey/Malibu Fire

For our earlier posts and fire photos, see On a Personal Note: Malibu Fires and Mandatory Evacuation and Personal Update on the Malibu Fires.

Wow! The last 30 days have been an experience I hope you never have to live through.

The left sign post was burned, but not the right.

We evacuated our Malibu, CA, home on November 9th due to the Woolsey brush fire that was burning its way toward us and the Pacific Ocean. We were in a motel for 11 days. Then we got word our home was okay. When road blocks were lifted, we returned home but without electricity, no heat, spoiled food in the frig/freezers, no phone landline and no internet access (FIOS). But we had water and our cell phones worked.

Fire damage: The fire did come down the land on either side of our home, singed the trunks of our palm trees near the street, but only burned a few isolated spots (see our Island sign). Our structures were spared but the soot and ash were throughout the house, even the closets (despite closed windows).

Making do without and filing claims: First came treks to the library to charge our devices and get on the internet. Cold drinks were out of a styrofoam cooler, hot food from a drive-thru. We burned a lot of candles at night. Next, came insurance, FEMA, SBA disaster claims paperwork. After about two weeks without power we bought a gas powered generator. Over several days (and lots of industrial extension cords) I got power for our devices, hot water heater (and satellite TV) then furnace and laundry. But it required daily trips for gasoline (Patti could now use her CPAP at night).

The green brush and tree mark our property line; The rains caused the hill side erosion next to us.

Then the mud slides. Then came the dreaded rains. We had been advised where to place the free sand bags from the fire station to protect our property and propane tank. We had little mud but you can see the erosion next door where the fire burned the brush that had been securing the soil.

Thank God for Friday: This weekend was a big one for us. Friday, after 28 days with no power, the electric company discovered and replaced a fried transformer next door and restored our electricity!

About 12 cleaners descended on our home and started three days of cleaning. Our insurance paid for us to move out while Service Master cleaned our entire house (inside and out), frig and freezers, closets, rugs, etc. to get rid of the soot and odors (and will pay to wash or dry clean the clothes in our closets). On Saturday, surprise! our phone service and internet access were restored.

Home sweet home after 30 days: When you read this, we will be back in our freshly cleaned home. We still have a bunch of work to do, but we now have everything we need in one place.

Thoughts and prayers: We thank God our home was spared and the disaster center services and our insurance claim agent were there to help. Blessed be all the firefighters, first responders, evacuation center volunteers and all the utility company workers.

Please keep all those who lost their homes in your thoughts and prayers. No matter your income level or the size of your home, the loss is still devastating.

Blood Thinner Myths Debunked by Healthcare Monitor Guide to AFIB

Every Atrial Fibrillation patient has to deal with the increased risk of clots and stroke and that often includes taking a blood thinner or anticoagulant.

At my doctor’s office I came across one of those “free take home copy” publications about Atrial Fibrillation. Healthcare Monitor Guide to Living with AFib 2018 had an interesting sidebar with a few myths and truths about blood thinners. I’d like to share a few misconceptions they list:

Guide to Living with AFib 2018

• “I’m afraid of shaving because I hear it’ll take forever to stop bleeding.”
• “Blood thinners will make me feel tired.”
• “It seems I bruise much more easily now-and that can’t be good.”

Do any of these ring a bell with you? Are you concerned with the same issues? Healthcare Monitor debunks these as myths and explains way.

Blood Thinner Myths Debunked

“I’m afraid of shaving because I heart it’ll take forever to stop bleeding…If bleeding while shaving is a problem, consider using an electric shaver. And remember: Even if you seem to bleed more easily now, suffering a stroke could cost you your life.

Blood thinners will make me feel tired. There’s no evidence that blood thinners cause or worsen fatigue. In fact, fatigue has not been identified as a problem in numerous studies done in thousands of patients. Of course, several things can effect your energy levels, including other medications you’re taking and lack of sleep. If you’re feeling more exhausted than usual, bring it up with your doctor.

It seems I bruise much more easily now-and that can’t be good. It’s true that bruising may be somewhat increased while you’re on a blood thinner. Although this can be a nuisance, it is important to remember that you are taking this medication to lower the risk of stroke. So the trade-off—accepting a slight increase in bruising—is worth the protection from dangerous clots.”

An Alternative to Blood Thinners

Catheter positioning the Watchman occlusion device at the mouth of the Left Atrial Appendage

Catheter placing Watchman in LAA

But blood thinners are not like taking vitamins. They have their own set of risks and side effects. However, preventing a stroke is for most people a welcome trade-off for any bad effects of anticoagulants.

If you can’t or don’t want to take blood thinners, an option is to have a device installed to close off the Left Atrial Appendage. The LAA is a small pocket of heart tissue located above the left atrium where 90%-95% of A-fib strokes originate.

To learn more see my articles: Watchman: the Alternative to Blood Thinners or LAA Occlusion for A-Fib Patients: The Lariat II Versus the Watchman Device.

Or watch the 3:28 min. video: The Watchman Device: Closure of the Left Atrial Appendage.

Resource for this article
Blood thinner myths debunked. Healthcare Monitor Guide to Living with AFib. 2018. print publication, p 21. healthmonitor.com.

How Wide-Spread is Silent Brain Damage in A-Fib Patients?

A-Fib patients are at increased risk for cognitive problems and dementia, even in the absence of stroke. But why?

Swiss researchers devised a study to determine what causes A-Fib patients to experience more cognitive dysfunction.

Mechanisms of A-Fib Cognitive Decline

The Swiss-AF research is an observational study designed to identify the mechanisms of cognitive decline in A-Fib patients. The study enrolled A-Fib patients between 2014 and 2017 from 14 centers in Switzerland.

Analyzed were 1,389 A-Fib patients with no history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)

All patients had standardized brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Analyzed were 1,389 A-Fib patients with no history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). The average age of the A-Fib patients was 72 years. Most (89%) were being treated with oral anticoagulants.

Study Findings: Types of Silent Brain Damage

The MRI scans showed that 569 (41%) had at least one type of previously unknown (silent) brain damage.

 15% (207) had a cerebral infarct (dead tissue resulting from a failure of blood supply)
 19% (269) had small bleeds in the brain (microbleeds)
 16% (222) had small brain lesions

41% had at least one type of previously unknown (silent) brain damage

Oral Anticoagulants and Silent Brain Damage: In this study the researchers couldn’t determine if the cerebral infarcts and other brain lesions occurred before or after patients started taking oral anticoagulants.  But the researchers did state:

“The findings nevertheless raise the issue that oral anticoagulation might not prevent all brain damage in patients with atrial fibrillation.”

Additional analysis incomplete: The patients in this study underwent extensive cognitive testing to determine if patients with silent brain damage also have impaired cognitive function. But this analysis hasn’t been completed.

What A-Fib Patients Need to Know

The Swiss-AF research was a small study in one country over four years with 1,389 A-Fib patients. The risk of silent brain damage was found in 4 of 10 A-Fib patients. But the findings are alarming and worth continued research.

For A-Fib patients these findings can be frightening―especially for older patients. On top of that, it’s likely further analysis will show ‘cognitive decline’ as well in patients with these types of brain damage.

So, what can you do?

• Aim to get cured of A-Fib as soon as practical, such as by a catheter ablation. (Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to have an ablation. People in their 90s have successful ablations.)

• Seek ways to avoid taking oral anticoagulants, if possible. Intuitively one suspects that anything that causes or increases bleeding in the brain like anticoagulants can be risky and dangerous for older patients. Consider installing a device to close off the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) where 90%-95% of A-Fib clots originate.

Learn More About Risks for Cognitive Problems and Dementia

To learn more about how A-Fib patients are at increased risk for cognitive problems and dementia, see my articles: Anticoagulants, Dementia and Atrial Fibrillation and Increased Dementia Risk Caused by A-Fib: 20 Year Study Findings.

Also see my answer to this FAQ: “I’m scared of getting dementia. Can the right minerals help? I’ve read about the link with A-Fib. What does research reveal about this risk?”

Resources for this article
Conen, David. The Swiss Atrial Fibrillation Cohort (Swiss-AF). A presentation at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2018, Munich, Germany. August 2018. As reported in the Cardiac Rhythm News, October 18, 2018, Issue 42, p. 14.

Conen, David. Hidden AFib Risk. Bottom Line Health. Volume 32, Number 12, December 2018, p.1.

 

A-Fib Patients: 2018-2019 Top Rated Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery

Out of nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated, U.S. News has published their 2018-2019 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings which also includes rankings for 16 specialties. The top 16 Best Hospitals national specialty rankings are updated annually.

U.S. News estimates that nearly 2 million hospital inpatients a year face the prospect of surgery or special care that poses either unusual technical challenges or significantly heightened risk of death or harm. The rankings can help patients find sources of especially skilled inpatient care.

Top Cardiology & Heart Surgery Hospitals for 2018-2019

Atrial Fibrillation patients may be most interested in the Top Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery. A partial list of the top rated hospitals follows (click a score card for the hospital’s full review):

Cardiology & Heart Surgery

#1 Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH); score card 100/100
#2 Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN); score card 99.6/100
#3 Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai (Los Angeles, CA); score card 84.3/100
#4 New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell (New York, NY); score card 83.3/100
#5 Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA); score card 79.8/100
#6 Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (Philadelphia, PA); score card 78.0/100
#7 Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago area); score card 76.9/100

On their website, U.S. News provides information about 613 hospitals in Cardiology & Heart Surgery that see many challenging patients, including those needing heart transplants, those with cardiovascular disease and other complex heart conditions.The 50 top-scoring hospitals are ranked. The rankings should just be a starting point when choosing a hospital.

How Are the Top Hospitals Chosen? A complete description of the data analysis, the 2018-19 Best Hospitals Methodology Report, is available as a viewable and downloadable PDF.

Look up Your Local Hospital

Is your local hospital one of the over 600 listed? Go to the Best Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery page to search for any hospital treating heart patients to read their rating information. The 50 top-scoring hospitals are ranked, followed by high performing hospitals.

Search for any hospital and any expertise: On the same page, you can also reset the parameters and search by specialty or procedure and by location or zip code.

Choosing the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib

To learn how to find the right doctor and medical center for you and your treatment goals, go to our page, Finding the Right Doctor for You where we take you step by step through it all.

Steve’s Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers is unlike other directories—we accept no fee to be included.

Also see Steve’s Directory of Doctors & Medical Centers. Our list is unique because we list only those cardiologists, electrophysiologists (EPs) and surgeons who treat Atrial Fibrillation patients. The directory is divided into three categories: U.S., international and Steve’s Lists: Doctors by Specialties. (Unlike other directories, we accept no fee to be included.)

Organized by U. S. city/state, country/region or specialty, you’ll find doctor’s names and contact information. (This evolving list is offered as a free service and convenience to A-Fib patients.)

Personal Update on the Malibu Fires

An update to our earlier post about evacuating our home because of the Malibu brush fires. Rest assured we are okay. Got back into our home this past Tuesday. Still no power, but water (and toilet) is working. Local hotel hosted all evacuees for Thanksgiving dinner. God bless all our fires fighters, first responders and volunteers.

Our home is okay, just a few singed palm trees and spots of burnt brush. Thanks to God.

A few photos for you. Continue to pray and send us your positive thoughts. Will write more soon.

Heart-Filled Thanks to our A-Fib.com Advisory Board of Electrophysiologists and Surgeons

To publish A-Fib.com I seek advise and opinions from many expert cardiac electrophysiologists and surgeons many of whom are members of our A-Fib.com Advisory BoardWe invite readers to browse the names of members and their affiliations.

Since the start of A-Fib.com in 2002, many cardiac electrophysiologists (EP) and surgeons have given me invaluable advice and support. They have helped make our website the ‘go-to’ destination for over 350,000 visitors a year. (In fact, we’ve been recognized by Healthline.com as a top A-Fib blog since 2014).

It’s a great blessing to be able to tap into the knowledge and experience of these talented professionals when writing on a difficult A-Fib subject or to get help for an A-Fib.com reader with a difficult case.

From all regions of the U.S., and from France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Australia, these doctors may not always agree with all my positions, but they try to point me in the right direction.

Sharing the names and affiliations of The A-Fib.com Advisory Board with you is one way to publicly thank the board members and acknowledge their continued support.

I encourage you to go to The A-Fib.com Advisory Board page and review the list of members. (You can also find the link at “About Us“.) 

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

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

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

ken hungerford on A-Fib.com

Ken H.

Ken Hungerford from New South Wales, Australia, shared:

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

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

Sheri Weber on A-fib.com

Sheri W.

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

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

Warren Welsh on A-Fib.com

Warren W.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Get up to 50% discount on my book.

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

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

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

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

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

Reader Paul O.

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

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

A-Fib.com is Independent and Unbiased

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

Drug Companies Influence Most Health Websites

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

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

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

No Affiliations at A-Fib.com

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

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

Join our Mission. Support A-Fib.com.

Every donation helps. Even $1.00.

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

My Top Articles About Exercise and Atrial Fibrillation

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

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

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

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

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

Do Whatever You Can to Stay Active

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

Additional Resources

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

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

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

By Patti J. Ryan

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

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

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

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

I Found the Best Organizer

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

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

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

EZY Dose - 4-times a day organizer

EZY Dose – 4-times a day organizer

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

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

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

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

amazon_logo white square

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

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

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

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

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

The heart muscle will suffer if BCAA-deficient

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

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

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

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

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

THE TOP 10 LIST #4

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

A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

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

Dan Doane at A-Fib.com

Dan Doane

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

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

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

Terry Dewitt at A-Fib.com

Terry D.

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

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

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

Max J.

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

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

According to Drs. Savelieva and Camm:

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

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

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

Learn more at: Drug Therapies.


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

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

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

Top 10 List #3

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

 THE A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

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

ken hungerford on A-Fib.com

Ken H.

Ken Hungerford from New South Wales, Australia, shared:

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

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

Sheri Weber on A-fib.com

Sheri W.

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

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

Warren Welsh on A-Fib.com

Warren W.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Photo - Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet

Emmett Finch, The Malibu Poet

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

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

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

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

Emmett's Poem - A-Fib_s Demise

 

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