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spinning smiley sticking its tongue out How to avoid afib reccurence after cardioversion + How to re-gain energy after bypass surgery

Posted by Roel 
History; double bypass with complications - mainly pleural effusion and persistent afib in spite of medication. First cardioversion worked at 70 joule, then afib (or more correctly flutter) came back. After second cardioversion (read more on this below) afib did not return.
Disclaimer; any advice given is provided as-is with no guarantees. Each person differs. Pray, do your own research, and you accept that you are always responsible for your own actions and choices.

My recommendations (doing something back for community);
For cardioverson & after bypass surgery;
1) Always pray. God is able to do more then anything - i.e. everything. Ask Him for help and please be assured you will receive it. I and my family can vouch for it, many times over.
For cardioverson;
2) I took lots of vitamin C (mega doses, build up slowly to about 20-40 gram/day) before my 2nd cardio version and after double bypass surgery. I believe it was the main cause (as a result of God's Grace...) of no recurrence of afib after that. Do not do the "5 gram every 15 minutes" - I found it to be quite dangerous in terms of the heart. Instead, I just slowly took several grams every few hours or something, over the course of a day, and kept repeating the same. I also added a good dose of Vitamin B2 as Riboflavin-5-Phosphate (all in powder form, bought from bulksupplements.com - they have a high rating for their Vitamin C on labdoor.com) with it, again split over the day in many smaller individual doses. For a study, see;
From memory it was something like 2g/day that they took, but I took much more (20-40 gram/day) before the cardio version, at least for a week. Now I take less (few gram) + use Solavert and afib stays away (yay).
For after bypass surgery;
3) After my bypass, I looked quite without color. At some point, I read on examine.com (CoQ10 page) that if you take statins (I do, 40mg/day, since just before double bypass surgery) you can up your CoQ10 dose to 1200mg. I buy the CoQ10 powder quite cheaply from bulksupplements.com and decided to try the 1200mg/day (mixed in olive oil). Wow, the first time I did this (~900mg one dose), I had all my energy back in the space of a few hours. It has not gone since, only strengthened. I can now easily drive 5 hours again without worries and spend long days. 95% of my previous health/stamina is back. I continue to take ~1200mg/day (1.2 gram) CoQ10 mixed in olive oil per day. I just make a batch for a few weeks and shake it before taking it. I can post the formula if anyone is interested.
In general;
4) I added many other things. I seem to have found most benefit from (besides the ones already listed above); Taurine (~2100mg/day), Garlic (~10g/day), Magnesium Aspartate & Taurate (~380mg/day), Potassium as prescribed by Cardiologist, Solavert (idem), Fish oil, Resveratrol, Selenium, Vitamin D and K2-MK7, Lyposomal Vitamin C from LiveOnLabs, Beta Sisterol. I also add (I have high histmine issues) things like Astaxanin, Quercetin/Bromelain, anti-histamine tabs, Zinc, B1/P5P/R5P, Vitamin E and A, Molybdenum, Trace minerals etc. Things like these need to be individually tuned and build up over time. I use examine.com and labdoor.com a fair bit, and some others.

While I know that sometimes big doses of something are needed, it is often not wise to start with big doses but to build them up as possible.

Again, any info given here is provided as-is. You are responsible for your own choices.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2017 12:17AM by Roel.
I find it frustrating to have to take so many supplements. I have trouble swallowing. Everything affects everything else and meds seem to contraindicate a lot. I have trouble figuring out what I uniquely should take and is it forever? Can we get most from diet?
How do you know that the Vit C helped you stay in NSR? Have you failed previous Cardioversions, and now added in the Mega-does of Vit C? 20-40g of Vit C sounds like a large amount.
There are plenty of super healthy people that take no supplements. A well balance diet of limited volume and exercise is all most of us need. However, I do take magnesium, potassium and taurine, which have essentially eliminated what was occasional flutter/PAC's. This is 11 years post ablation. If I had not had afib, I likely would not be taking anything. Also, no prescription meds and I am 72.

You said you did have an ablation, now what If you didn't, you might be taking some drugs or more supplements. I have had episodes of AF since 1997, since I am vagal I take 150 mg. of Propafenone every night before bed. I don't take very many supplements because many of them don't agree with me. I eat a very good diet as well, I raise my veggies, can and freeze them for the winter but that doesn't stop my AF. I do take magnesium and have very few pacs. I am quite healthy otherwise and I am 83. I didn't get an ablation because I can't take blood thinners and you are required to take them before and after an ablation, sometimes affibers still take blood thinners after an ablation for life, I couldn't do that.

Once I found out that I had afib (four years undiagnosed), then I was on prescription meds to help control the afib for 6 years. Then the ablation. After the ablation, I took a blood thinner for one month, then nothing.

My point is that afib is a frustrating ailment and most try to find the magic bullet to fix or help control the problem. I think many folks over do the supplements, or avoid too many things that they think MAY be a trigger.

I didn't know about this web site when I had afib and didn't know about the magnesium and potassium supplements that likely would have helped me manage the afib a bit better. During the 6 years that I knew that I had afib, I documented all episodes, which totaled 198. The average length of time for the 198 episodes was 10 hrs.

During your 6 years of AF (that was known) did you take blood thinners? You had about 2 1/2 episodes of AF a month (doing my math) during those 6 years. It is a little puzzling to me that many that have ablations have to be on blood thinners and then there are also many that do not take blood thinners after their ablations.

Yes, once diagnosed with afib, I went on a blood thinner for 6 years. After the ablation, I was on a warfarin for one month. However, many Dr's seem to keep their patients on blood thinners much longer. There is what is called the "blanking period" after an ablation where it seems to be common to have occasional afib during the healing period before the scar tissue has completely formed. However, no reoccurring afib in my case.

After the ablations, I did have occasional short bursts of arrhythmia (2-3 seconds), but after starting magnesium, potassium and taurine, the occasional arrhythmia has almost totally disappeared. Prior to the ablation, the short arrhythmias kicked off the afib.
@Libby, interestingly, in the hospital, I found it extremely difficult to swallow any medicine. Never had issues with it before that (could swallow a hand full in one gulp, and can that again now even though it is slightly harder then before). But in the hospital even one cap could make me gag. In that case it was directly related to one of the meds I was taking. It made me feal nauseous, dizzy/fainty (nearly fained one time) etc. When I stopped it (replaced by some other medication eventually) the symptoms (including finding it hard to swallow things) went away. On the diet; I personally do not believe we can get things from our diet. Perhaps we could get things "in part" (and likely often a small part) if one is able to buy high quality food (think organic etc.) - if you watch the movie "Time to choose" (well worth the purchase - [vimeo.com] - I believe) I think you'll understand what I mean. Food/air/water is poor quality these days. So I supplement. If you're interested you can work out how much you get from different foods by using the USDA foods database, for example see [ndb.nal.usda.gov] (click on 'full list all nutrients' to get a full list. On meds; Meds indeed may contraindicate a lot. However, for me personally, I have yet to see many interactions between meds and supplements, though there could be some that are hard to detect/long term. Still, doing a review/research of supplements may help. Small dosages or non-therapeutic doses often do little. Still, they may aid, and I find that adding too much too soon backfires (=more symptoms)

@The Anti-Fib, I just base it on the study I linked above. Yes failed one previous cardioversion, as I mentioned. Yes, added the Vit C before the 2nd one (about a week). 20-40g is a large dose, and you can DEFINITELY NOT just take it at once (the first time I did this it caused my heart to be quite upset) - one has to build it up over some time, and take it spread well throughout the day with a fair amount of water. Now (as maintenance) I take about 5-10g/day, not more. If I don't, I usually regret it (other symptoms, not afib) a few days later. I believe that this (and potentially a fair dose of R5P daily) helped me not to fall back into afib/flutter. The study talks about 2g/day if I recall correctly, or I saw that number elsewhere. I am just enthuastic, and I read before about daily large doses of vitamins (https://www.facebook.com/groups/VitaminCforoptimalhealth/)

@Ken, I disagree on the second sentence. I now sometimes stick my head above the waves (figuratevely speaking) and think "wow, I have a feeling of wellbeing". That is a Grace, and the supplements taken that lead me there are a Grace also. Ref my reply to Libby above as well. You too take mag/pot/taurine and it has helped you. I believe that as people we often get used to "how we feel" and don't even realize anymore how one can feel. Jesus came to heal the sick, and I believe He (and St. Fiacre - a gardener) have helped me a long way back towards great health.

@Elizabeth/Liz, you mention that some supps don't agree with you. When something does not agree with me (as Vitamin C did in the beginning!) it seems that I need to keep going/need more of it over time. Other times, it's clear that something does not agree with me. I am not sure yet how to separate between the two, however it seems that the following two things help me to separate the wheat from the chaff; 1) research (i.e. if something is clearly meant to help in correspondence with one's profile) then it may make sense to take it longer (perhaps even up to a year) to see what happens long term (as long as the negative symptoms ain't too bad offcourse), 2) how ambitious something is. For example, Vitamin C would seem "low ambitious" versus "Ginkgo" would seem "highly ambitious". Ambitious could be synonym for "dangerous" here. Have a look - in terms of Vitamin C - at the facebook group I mentioned in my reply above to "@The Anti-Fib". Also, have you ever tried CoQ10? What was the reaction?

@Ken (2nd reply), I do not agree on the supplements part. But I agree on trying to find "a bullet" and on the fact that it is complex, if that was implied, to get it right. Still, with keeping records over time (ref [practicalhealing.com] (a website I made) on 'baseline chart'), it is possible to improve things subtantially. Also, with heart related things it seems supplements are more documented and researched and even standardized. I do agree on 'avoiding too many things that one may think MAY be a trigger'. Btw, it may be worthwhile changing the "then nothing" in your 2nd reply as it leads one to read "then nothing [since then]", whereas you do take the supplements now. Have you ever tried CoQ10?

Any info given here is provided as-is. You are responsible for your own choices.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2018 02:33PM by Roel.

The supplements that I cannot take have given me oral Migraines, CoQ10 is one of them. I believe that I can get most of my nutrients from food, I have a large garden and raise vegetables which I also can and freeze for the winter, I do all of my own cooking from scratch. I don't use chemical fertilizers on my garden, I use compost. You have to be careful with supplements, where are they shipped from what is in them etc. also, taking a large amount of the same supplement day in and day out may not be good, you may be getting a buildup, food is different it is absorbed more slowly.

I have been taking some supplements for many years, I have always taken a vitamin B complex, in the winter months I sometimes take cod Liver Oil, biotin, Magnesium, I have added collagen, that is about it.

Dr. Don Colbert, a Holistic doctor, in Orlando, Florida has written a book, "let food be your medicine", which I agree mostly with. I have noted the supplement craze today, a lot of people are jumping on the train and really don't know what they are doing. If a supplement does not agree with you then don't take it, plain and simple, same with food.



The only reason I take the three supplements is to prevent/minimize the arrhythmias, in the hope that they will not kick off a return of afib, like they did before my ablation. The comments on this forum suggest that most posting here have had more than one ablation, and my hope is that I am one and one. So far, 11 years to the good.

If afib had not surfaced, I would not be on any supplements. And as I said before, I am also not on any prescriptions. I am in great shape and at age 72, hiking, golfing, scuba diving, snow skiing and windsurfing are my passions. No doubt that some supplements play an important role for some people, but I also believe that many are conned into spending tremendous amounts of money looking for the "magic bullets" that are frequently blanks. With no regulations for supplements, it leaves the industry wide open for fraud. So for those trying to find solutions to their problems with supplements, I say good luck. I don't mean that to be sarcastic, one has to do what they believe will help them, even if it means gambling a bit to find the right answer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2018 09:29AM by Ken.
Roel - I totally believe in the importance of nutritional supplements, either supportive or for prevention, when there are known benefits.

When it comes to actual need of nutritional supplements, in functional or restorative medicine circles, there is a popular phrase… “Test. Don’t Guess.” Beyond the routine, generic medical testing, there are types evaluations such as Metabolic and Nutritional that assess the patient’s nutritional status and can be extremely useful in achieving long-term goals of healthy living to help avoid the pitfalls that typically occur with the aging process. Be aware that deficiencies or slowing of normal processes can begin in the twenties so this isn’t always a ‘senior’ concern. (One example is the slowing of fibrinolytic enzyme production mentioned in CR 24 on Cardiac Fibrosis [www.afibbers.org] )

A variety of metabolic testing is available such as Genova Diagnostics Metabolic Profile and Genova’s NutrEval which can include genomics or Metametrix, for example. Boston Heart Diagnostics targets your personal heart health profile and there are many, many other customized metabolic profile type tests offered by practitioners with advanced training and certification that assess your specific nutritional status.

This is a preventive focus because, often, these deficiencies don’t have obvious or typical outward signals or symptoms until after years of deficiency which then manifest in the host as an ailment or severe medical condition. (Although some do, but may not be recognized as having a nutritional foundation.).

Even with the best of intentions for healthy eating habits, food choices, eating strictly USA organic, etc., deficiencies can be present for a variety of reasons not the least of which can be genetics. Nutritional supplements are often the only way to get enough of the nutrient to actually make a difference. Plus, the nutrient has to be the right “form” to be utilized efficiently.

I’ll share one of my revelations from years ago when I developed a lot of muscle aches and pain. My family doctor referred me to a Rheumatologist who prescribed muscle relaxants and a pain reliever type drug for “fibromyalgia”… a catch-all diagnosis meaning - ‘we don’t know what causes this but here’s drug to take your mind off it.” The drugs just made me tired so I stopped. About that time, a ‘holistic’ Family Practice MD new to the area offered an introduction to her medical practice which was based on that from the Institute for Functional Medicine. I went and she began with basic, nutritional profile testing… a first in my fairly long medical history.

Several key items stood out and the most obvious connection to the muscle pain was the Vitamin D test results. My level was 18 - when ideally, it’s 60-70 - if not higher. I began vitamin D supplementation and when the levels approached 50, I began to have pain relief and that continues to this day. I supplement daily and periodically test to make sure I’m in my comfort range which is about 70. That experience made me a ‘believer.’ Something so basic yet not one of the several doctors I saw tested for vitamin D even though I was a life-long resident in NE Ohio where we only have natural sunlight exposure to bare skin in summer, so deficiency is not unusual.

My iodine deficiency saga is much more tragic and revolting. I’ve related a bit of that in some of the posts on thyroid and iodine and won’t belabor it here but has similar history of failure to test and recognize the obvious.

Nutritional supplements can definitely useful when used as ‘targeted nutrients’ as a result of specialized testing. We know also that the majority of afibbers have magnesium deficiency which is related to other electrolytes and nutrients vital to keeping cardiac cells optimally functional yet, it’s not common for cardiologists to do specialized evaluations or assess what might underlie those deficiencies.

I agree that it’s not smart to just gobble down handfuls of supplements in the hope that some may do some good. There are many supplements that are poorly formulated and fall short as useful health aids so testing and nutritional guidance is highly useful.

Thank you all for the input and great feedbacks.

Personally, I use amazon.com rating system (to see hundreds of personal experiences) + labdoor.com independent 3rd party testing to evaluate which ones to try. Then try and evaluate over long period of time.
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