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.

Steve’s A-Fib Alerts: March 2016 Issue is Available

Check your email boxes! Our A-Fib Alerts: March 2016 issue is out and being read around the world.

Beat Your A-Fib by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

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.

Report 1: Brief Summaries from the 2016 Western AF Symposium

Utah! What a wonderful winter venue for the Ninth Annual Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium held  February 26-27, 2016.

Skiing in Park City, UT

Park City, UT

After having just attended the January 2016 AF Symposium in Orlando, FL, I was surprised at how much new, relevant information was provided (sometimes by the same presenters). In all, there were 53 scheduled presentations of 15 minutes each.

My first report includes 9 brief summaries of technical presentations.

Ablation vs Drugs: From AFFIRM to Recent Guidelines

Dr. Eric Prystowsky discussed the now somewhat notorious AFFIRM study which many cardiologist still use to justify keeping A-Fib patients on rate control drugs (and anticoagulants) while leaving them in A-Fib.

But the AFFIRM study was only for 3-5 years. Leaving someone in A-Fib for 20-30-40 years while only trying to keep their heart from beating too fast can have disastrous long-term consequences for A-Fib patients.

To continue reading, go to Report 1: 2016 Western AF Symposium.

Brush & Floss! Is Oral Hygiene Linked to A-Fib?

Warren Welsh, from Australia, answers ‘Yes’ to that oral hygiene question. He wrote me about how he developed bleeding gums and felt it contributed to his Atrial Fibrillation diagnosis. (A 2010 catheter ablation made him A-Fib free. Read Warren’s story.)

Brush and floss regularly we were taught as kids, but who knew that oral hygiene is linked with A-Fib?

Dental Cleanings and New-Onset A-Fib

A study in Taiwan compared a group without A-Fib who received dental cleaning at least once a year to a similar group who didn’t. Both groups were followed for five years. The regular dental cleanings group had a lower occurrence rate of new-onset A-Fib.

More frequent dental visits (2-3 times a year) further reduced the risk.

Graphic of tooth A-fib.com

Good Oral Hygiene Reduces Inflammation

Studies have shown that inflammation is an independent risk factor both for the initiation of A-Fib and its continuation once you have it.

Good oral hygiene prevents A-Fib, probably by reducing the amount of inflammation of the gums and periodontitis (gum disease).

Take Away

Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of new-onset A-Fib and of sustaining it once you’ve got it.

For more about A-Fib and dental health, read my FAQ question about Local Anesthesia Used in Dentistry May Trigger Your A-Fib.

References for this article
Goldie, Maria Perno. Atrial fibrillation: link to oral disease? Dentistry iQ. 4/19/2013. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2013/04/atrial-fibrillation.html

Chen S.J., et al. Dental scaling and atrial fibrillation: A nationwide cohort study. (2013) International Journal of Cardiology. http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/23453452/Dental-scaling-and-atrial-fibrillation:-a-nationwide-cohort-study.

Patients’ Best Advice #2: Dump Your Doctor?

Top 10 List #2 Don't be afraid to fire your doctor at A-Fib.com

Top 10 List #2

‘Don’t be afraid to fire your doctor’.

 THE A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

Sheri Weber

Sheri Weber

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure:

Sheri Weber, from Boyce, VA, shared this advice about finding the right doctor for your treatment goals:

“I wish I had realized that the first doctor you see is not necessarily the right one for you. I fooled around way too long, believing what my cardio doctor said. I should have been thinking outside the box. 

Run―don’t walk―to the best specialist you can find in your area.” (pp. 106-109) 

Michele Straube

Michele Straube

Michele Straube, Salt Lake City, UT, chimed in with similar advice about changing doctors. She wrote:

“My experiences with cardiologists were 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 20s), and 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.” (pp. 88-91)

How to Find the Best Doctor for You

To be cured of your A-Fib, you may need to ‘fire’ your current doctor. Seek a heart rhythm specialist, an 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 Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib.

The first doctor you see is not necessarily
the right one for you.


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

Taking Warfarin? The Myth about Foods with Vitamin K

Are you taking the blood thinner warfarin to manage your risk of clots and A-Fib stroke? Have you been told to avoid foods with vitamin K to prevent excess clotting? Want to know the facts about warfarin and vitamin K? Take our 5 question quiz to separate the facts from the myths.

A 5 Question Quiz about Warfarin and Vitamin K

1. True or False: Warfarin and vitamin K actually work against each other in your body.
True. Vitamin K helps your blood clot. Warfarin makes your blood clot more slowly. Your INR level is monitored to keep them in balance.

2. True or False: When taking warfarin, you should limit foods with high levels of vitamin K like dark, leafy greens.
False. You don’t need to avoid foods with vitamin K. The key is to consistently maintain your daily level of vitamin K.

Don’t confuse vitamin K with the K on the periodic table for potassium. One’s a vitamin, the other is a mineral.

3. True or False: Vitamin K information is not included on most packaged food nutritional labels.
True. So it’s often hard to determine the amount of vitamin K in your food.

… Continue with the quiz…->

Can I Prevent Familial A-Fib with Diet? Supplements?

I’ve posted a new Frequently Asked Question and Answer about A-Fib that runs in families:

“Both my uncles and my Dad have Atrial Fibrillation. I’m 50 years old and so far I don’t have A-Fib (yet), but I’m worried. How can I avoid developing A-Fib? Can dietary changes help? Or lifestyle changes?”

A-Fib does run in families and is called Familial A-Fib. Research says you have a 40% increased risk of developing A-Fib yourself. And the younger your uncles and dad were when they got A-Fib, the more likely you are to develop A-Fib. So, you are correct to be concerned about getting A-Fib.

My answer covers:

• What can someone with A-Fib in the family do to avoid getting A-Fib?
• Is there a diet to prevent A-Fib? The Mediterranean diet? A whole-food organic diet?
• What are the causes of A-Fib that can be controlled?
• Do mineral deficiencies cause A-FIb?
• What are the vitamins and supplements known to improve your overall heart health?  (I take these myself to help stay A-Fib free after my 1998 catheter ablation which isolated only one of my pulmonary vein, common at the time.)

Read my full answer at FAQs: Can I Prevent Familial A-Fib with Diet? Supplements?

Your Records: Will You be Charged for Copies?

Before meeting with a new electrophysiologist (or surgeon), you’ll want to send (or take along) a packet with your medical records, test results and any images/X-rays, but you may be missing some medical records.

HIPAA stands for the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

What They Can and Can’t Charge You

When requesting copies of your medical records, expect to pay duplication costs for hard copies. In the U.S., HIPAA regulations allows doctors/practices to charge a “reasonable, cost-based fee.”  They can charge for supplies, staff time for copying and processing, and mailing costs, if applicable.

However, they may not charge for the time a staff member spends searching for the record. In addition, they should not adopt a policy of charging a flat fee or charging a patient to view a record.

Pill-shaped USB flash drive

Copy digital files to a USB flash drive

No-Cost Copies?

To save money, ask your doctors or medical center if they will copy electronic files to your USB Flash drive or to a disc/CD you supply.

“But I Live Outside the U.S.”

If you live outside the US, know that over 89 countries have adopted Data Privacy Laws that apply to patient records. For example, Canada has the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and in Europe there’s the EU Data Protection Reform. To learn more, research your country’s data privacy laws.

Continued Reading: 3 Ways to Request Copies of Your Medical Records.

Top 10 List of A-Fib Patients’ Best Advice #1: What’s an EP?

Top 10 List #1 Find the best EP your can afford - A-Fib.com

THE TOP 10 LIST #1

‘Find the best heart rhythm specialist (EP) you can afford.’

A-FIB PATIENTS’ BEST ADVICE

From Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, Chapter 12: Your Journey to a Cure:

Michele Straube

Michele S.

Michele Straube, cured after 30 years in A-Fib, wrote in her personal A-Fib story:

Go to an electrophysiologist, an A-Fib expert, right away, one with a high success rate at getting patients back into normal rhythm—you deserve nothing less.” (pp. 88-90)

Terry DeWitt, cured in 2007 from a clinical trial for CryoBalloon ablation, offered his best advice:

Terry Dewitt at A-Fib.com

Terry D.

“Spend the time to find the best Electrophysiologist (arrhythmia specialist) you can find. It makes a big difference in treatment and in the success of the ablation procedure.” (pp. 138-143)

Keep in Mind: “For many A-Fib patients, their best outcome came about only when they told their doctor,I want to cure my A-Fib, not just manage it.’ (And, if needed, they also changed doctors.)” (p. 171)

How to Find the Best Doctor for You

To be cured of your A-Fib, you may need to ‘fire’ your current doctor. Seek a heart rhythm specialist, an 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 Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib.

Run―don’t walk―to the best specialist
you can find in your area.


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

Staying in A-Fib Reduces Brain Volume & Cognitive Function

A study of brain atrophy from Iceland found that A-Fib in the elderly caused accelerated loses of brain volume and cognitive function.

Study of brain volume and cognitive function in A-Fib patients

Study of brain volume and cognitive function in A-Fib patients

This is yet another study driving a stake into the heart of the notion that you can just leave patients in A-Fib with anticoagulants and rate control drugs, and they will live happily ever after.

“It’s better for the brain to remain in sinus rhythm than to pursue rate control of A-Fib” stated Dr. David O. Arnar, speaking of the AGES-Reykjavik Study results at the 2015 Euro Society of Cardiology Annual Congress.

The AGES-Reykjavik Study

Over two thousand elderly subjects without dementia (mean age 67 years old) were tested and followed for over 5 years. Participants had brain MRIs and structured cognitive function testing during the duration of the study.

The 2,472 elderly patients fell into three groups: those who remained A-Fib-free throughout the study, those with confirmed A-Fib at the start (121), and those who developed new-onset A-Fib (132) by the end of the study.

AGES Findings: Brain Matter

At the end of the follow-up period, all participants had a reduction in brain grey matter. The amount of reduction varied significantly by group:

• A-Fib-free: 1.8% decrease
• Ongoing A-Fib: 2.79% decrease
• New-onset A-Fib: 6.5% decrease

… Continue reading this report…->

How to Find the Right Doctor: Steve’s Directory of Doctors & Medical Centers

Doctor acronyms wide 150 pix wide at 96 res

Article: Physician Credentials and What They Mean

Are you looking for a cardiologist who treats A-Fib patients? Or do you want to change doctors? We make it easier for you with our A-Fib.com Directory of Doctors and Medical Centers.

What Makes our Directory Unique?

Unlike some other directories on the web, we accept no fee, benefit or value of any kind for listing a specific doctor or medical center.

We list only those cardiologists and electrophysiologists who treat Atrial Fibrillation patients. We include doctor’s names and contact information. Our Directory is organized in three parts:

How to Select the Right Doctor for You

Be sure to refer to our article: Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib. It covers what you need to know to research and select the best doctor for you and your treatment goals.

What do FHRS, FACC and CEPS mean after a doctor’s name? Read our article: Physician Credentials: Acronyms and What They Mean for Atrial Fibrillation Patients.

NOTE: This evolving list is offered as a service and convenience to A-Fib patients and is not an endorsement of any doctor or medical facility.
NOTICE: Unlike some other directories on the web, we offer no preferential listings to be in our Directory. We accept no fee, benefit or value of any kind for listing a specific doctor or medical center. A-Fib.com is not affiliated with any practice, medical center or physician.

TV Doctors’ Talk Shows: Can You Trust Their Recommendations?

Dr Oz Show: 3 Healthy Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar, Video frame

Dr Oz Show: 3 Healthy Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar, Video still

Most of us have seen an episode or two of a TV medical talk show, like the Dr. Oz Show. Have you wondered if the health recommendations are accurate and fact-based?

A group of general practitioners had the same question. So, they analyzed over 40 episodes of the popular American TV shows, ‘The Dr Oz’s Show’ and ‘The Doctors’, to see if health claims were evidence-based.

Published in The British Medical Journal, the study results were alarming.

Can You Trust the Claims of TV Doctors?

The research doctors were concerned when their patients would say: ‘I was watching TV and I saw a recommendation that I should be taking this medication (or this supplement or have this test).’ Or, ‘I’ve started taking this supplement because it was recommended on this particular medical show.’

Dr. Christine Korownyk, the lead researcher said, as doctors, “we were left scrambling thinking ‘what is the evidence for that? Is this something you should be doing?’ So we thought we should go ahead and systematically look at these shows on television.”

The main goals were to assess the accuracy of the reporting (was it evidence-based), if the recommendations were ‘best practice’ and if the doctors’ claims were unbiased (no conflicts of interest).

The Doctors - Hope or Hype TV video frame 400 x 300 pix at 300 res

The Doctors: Hope or Hype: The Trendiest Foods of 2016, Video still.

Are the Health Claims Evidence-Based?

The findings were somewhat disturbing. One third to one half of what was discussed and recommended on these programs had NO scientific basis.

• For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%.
• For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%.
• On average, The Dr Oz Show had 12 recommendations per episode, and The Doctors had 11 recommendations.

What this Means to Patients

You should be skeptical about claims made on medical talk shows.

The public should be skeptical about claims made on medical talk shows.

Do your own research and talk to your own healthcare professional before making any changes to your health plan.

For a more in-depth look at this study, read the ConsumerAffairs.com article: Study: Less than half of Dr. Oz’s recommendations are actually supported by evidence.

References for this article
Korownyk C, Kolber MR, McCormack J, et al. Televised medical talk shows—what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study. BMJ. 2014;349:g7346. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7346

Abel, J. Study: Less than half of Dr. Oz’s recommendations are actually supported by evidence: Those pills are not “miracles,” and they’re not worth buying either. ConsumerAffairs.com 12/19/2014. URL: http://bit.ly/20EQm2d.

Can you trust the advice of TV doctors? The BS Medicine Podcast. Audio program with the authors of the Korownyk BMJ article, 45:00. Online at: https://soundcloud.com/bmjpodcasts/can-you-trust-the-advice-of-tv-doctors

Black, HR and Lundberg, GD. Bad News: Medical Misinformation and the Ethics of TV Docs. Video program (17:39) and transcript. Medscape Cardiology: Black on Cardiology. April 08, 2015. URL: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842415.

Visual credits: Dr Oz Show: 3 Healthy Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar, Video frame, https://youtu.be/pK8Sw3JRieM; The Doctors: Hope or Hype: The Trendiest Foods on 2016, Video frame. http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/hope-or-hype-the-trendiest-foods-on-2016

Our Top 3 Sources for Reliable, Unbiased Info on Vitamins and Supplements

Interested in ‘natural’ ways to treatment your A-Fib symptoms? Are you researching minerals and supplements? You aren’t alone. An A-Fib.com reader wrote us:

“Where can I find reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements? (I want an independent resource, not some site trying to sell me their products.)”

We agree that the most reliable information is from unbiased sites—often the best are non-commercial sites.

Drugs.com MedFacts Natural Products menu

Drugs.com MedFacts Natural Products menu

In our search for unbiased sources, we looked at many, many informational directories. Three searchable databases rose to the top of our list. In order of preference, here are our favorites:

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

To read our complete report with links to each database, go to FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research.

If you find other useful resources, send us an email and we’ll share them with our readers.

Steve’s A-Fib Alerts: January 2016 Issue is Out

Check your email boxes! Our A-Fib Alerts: January 2016 issue is out and being read around the world.

Beat Your A-Fib by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

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.

My 2015 Top Five List: Advancements in the Treatment of A-Fib

Looking back over 2015, I found five significant developments for those ‘living’ with A-Fib and those seeking their ‘cure’. My ‘Top Five List’ focuses on the Watchman device, a Pradaxa antidote and research findings about lifestyle choices, and reducing fibrosis.

1. FDA Approves the Watchman Device

The Watchman occlusion device

The Watchman is positioned via catheter

Anticoagulant Alternative: Because A-Fib patients are at high risk of stroke and clots, a blood thinner (anticoagulant) like warfarin is often prescribed. If you can’t or don’t want to be on blood thinners, you had few options.

That was until March 2015 when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Watchman device. There’s now an option to blood thinners! The Watchman device (Boston Scientific) is inserted to close off the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA), the origin of 90%-95% of A-Fib clots.

To read my complete Top Five List…go to My 2015 Top Five List: A Review of Advancements in the Treatment of A-Fib->.

A-Fib.com HON Certified Again for ‘Health Information You Can Trust’

January 2016: A-Fib.com has again earned the Health On the Net Foundation (HON) Certification for quality and trustworthiness of medical and health online information. We applied and were first certified in 2009.

The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) Code of Conduct helps protect citizens from misleading health information.

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

Our 2016 Active Certification & Dynamic Seal

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

Read more about the A-Fib.com HON Certificate on our website. Or learn about the criterion of eight principles of good practice at Health On the Net Foundation (HON) Certification.

Last updated: Monday, January 18, 2016

Return to A-Fib.com home

The 2016 International AF Symposium: Research You Can Use

Sunday I returned home from four days in Orlando, FL, and the 21st Annual AF Symposium.

Why I Attend the International AF Symposium

The AF Symposium brings together the world’s leading cardiologists, medical researchers and scientists who share the most recent advances in the field. It is one of the most important medical conferences on Atrial Fibrillation in the world.

AF Symposium SSR 400 pix wide at 300 res

Steve Ryan at the 2016 AF Symposium

Each year I attend to listen, learn and ‘absorb’ the presentations and research findings. (I take loads of notes.) The conference gives me a thorough and practical view of the state of the art in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib).

After each presentation, I ask myself: “What does this mean to A-Fib patients?” “How might this impact the treatment decision patients are making now and in the future?” “What will my A-Fib.com readers what to know about?”

What This Means to You

My aim is to pare down the significant research findings to the essentials and ‘translate’ them into plain language (as much as possible) for A-Fib patients and their families. I then add my own comments and insights.

“Steve Ryan’s summaries of the 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, Mass. General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

On the plane ride home, I start a summary of the conference and an overview of the most popular topics or issues.

In the months following the Symposium, I write and post three or four reports each month usually ending up with about 20–30 articles. (Why does it take so long? I send each summary to the presenter inviting their feedback; so it takes some time to get each article written, reviewed, and then posted.)

My Reports are Coming Soon

My reports are written just for A-Fib patients and their families. You won’t find this information in this format anywhere else. (BTW: physicians, cardiologists and electrophysiologists read my reports, too.)

I will post my Symposium Overview soon followed by my first eight reports.

To learn more: If you want to review my 2015 AF Symposium reports, see 2015 AF Symposium Reports by Steve S. Ryan, PhD; For more about the AF Symposium see: What is the Annual ‘AF Symposium’ and Why it’s Important to Patients

Warning: Do you Acupuncture? Know it’s Not Without Risks

Some A-Fib patients report acupuncture has helped with their symptoms.

If you decide to try acupuncture, be aware that it is not without risks. There have been reports of lung and bladder punctures, broken needles, needles left in after treatment, and allergic reactions to needles containing substances other than surgical steel. There is always the possibility of infection from unsterilized needles.

Acupuncture needles at A-Fib.com

Acupuncture needles

The best guarantee of safety is to seek treatment from a properly trained and qualified practitioner who is licensed or certified. Always check their credentials. In the U.S., most states require a diploma from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Outside the U.S., check your national Accredited Registers for acupuncture practitioners.

To learn more about A-Fib and Acupuncture, see our articles:

• FAQs Natural Therapies Acupuncture: “What’s the research on acupuncture and Atrial Fibrillation? I’m willing to try it if it will help ease or reduce my A-Fib episodes

Acupuncture Helps A-Fib: Specific Acupuncture Sites Identified

References for this article
Carroll R. T. Acupuncture. The Skeptic’s Dictionary. (Last updated 30-Jun-2015) Accessed August 27, 2015. URL: http://skepdic.com/acupuncture.html

Acupuncture needle was ‘left in’. BBC News. 9 May 2008 URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7390228.stm

Lombardi F, et al. Acupuncture for paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation: An effective non-pharmacological tool? World J Cardiol 2012; 4(3): 60-65. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v4.i3.60.

Acupuncture: What You Need To Know. U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction Last accessed Dec 9 2014.

Videos: Dr. Carolyn Dean Discusses Magnesium Deficiency

Video: Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium Dr. Carolyn Dean.

Video: Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium Dr. Carolyn Dean.

Magnesium information for A-Fib patients. We’ve two videos to our A-Fib Video Library featuring Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, talking about magnesium deficiency and calcium overload:

The Best Way to Supplement Magnesium” with Dr. Carolyn Dean. Getting nutrients through food is not always possible; discusses side effects of too much Mg and how you can tell if you have a deficiency.(3:39) Go to video. From iHealthTube.com.

Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium”. Dr. Dean discusses the importance of balancing your intake of magnesium and calcium (2:1); the benefits of both and why you need to have both in the body; the problem of ‘calcium overload’. (2:30) Go to video. From iHealthTube.com.

Report: FIRM Mapping System—Should Ablation Patients Avoid It?

The FIRM mapping system was a hot topic at the last annual AF Symposium. In his presentation Dr. Ravi Mandapati compared data from his study of FIRM ablations performed at UCLA Medical Center to the CONFIRM clinical trial data published by Dr. Sanjiv Narayan, one of the inventors of the FIRM mapping system.

Topera-FIRMap catheter - three sizes

Topera-FIRMap catheter (three sizes)

Up to this point in time, everyone seemed to be jumping on the FIRM/Topera ‘bandwagon’ with very little critical analysis or understanding of how it worked.

As patients, we should now be skeptical of the FIRM system:

• It doesn’t map nearly ½ of the left atrium
• The FIRM mapping algorithms finds stable rotors that other research finds are not stable, and electrophysical characteristics that other research doesn’t confirm
• Results of ablating FIRM-identified rotor sites are relatively poor. (This is what should most concern us as patients.)

So, as an A-Fib patient, you may ask: “Should I now stay away from doctors or centers using the FIRM system?” Read my answer and my full 2015 AF Symposium report at Critical Analysis of the FIRM Mapping System.

For more background also see my 2014 AF Symposium report: ECGI vs. FIRM: Direct Comparison, Phase/Waveform Mapping.

What Do We Stand For? A-Fib.com’s Mission

If you visit our “About Us” page, you can read about how Steve started A-Fib.com after researching and finding his own cure.

Among other things, you will also find the A-Fib.com mission statement. It summarizes what we do and why.

The A-Fib Mission

A-Fib.com offers hope and guidance to empower patients to find their A-Fib cure or best outcome. A-Fib.com is the patient’s unbiased source of well-researched information on current and emerging Atrial Fibrillation treatments.

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