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Posted by BeachBill 
Newbie
February 14, 2018 04:52PM
Hi everyone, what a GREAT forum. I have already spent several hours reading posts and they have been both enjoyable and very informative. I too am on a journey to slay the AF beast. When I started the journey without a clue about how to proceed, I felt like I had joined up with the Monty Python boys trying to find the Holy Grail. Now thanks to this forum and a few other websites I found, I now feel like I have a battle plan. Background: 74 years old, 6'1", 215lb. Still have all my original body parts (many in my age group are becoming artificial). Go to the gym 3 times a week, play golf 3 times a week (weather permitting) and work outside. Overall, I am in reasonably good shape (no more RB, Soccer, SB, Tennis). My heart first started misbehaving in my 30's. I was having PVCs and my insurance company aged me up 10 years. Shortly after the diagnosis, I quit smoking (I was a professional) and went from 8 to 10 cups of coffee a day (loved living on the ceiling) to no caffeine per my cardiologist recommendations and guess what. The PVCs went away and have not come back. I currently drink 2 cups at the most per day, following Mark Twain's advice, not to neglected my vices. In 2009, I was diagnosed with paroxysmal AF. My cardio put me on Multaq twice a day and diltazim once a day. I had to hold fast to keep from taking a blood thinner (my cardio was of course adamant, you know, clots and strokes, etc). I finally had to explain to my cardio that blood thinner (I do take an aspirin a day) was out, but if they ever developed a pill that would cause you to drop dead instantly should a major stroke be detected, I would be interested. So, these chemicals controlled the AF beast (attacks once or twice a year when I overdid it) until 2017. I started having Afib attacks more and more frequently. When the attacks became more frequent, I purchased a Polar H7 heart sensor and used the Elite HRV app on my iPhone to record my hearts activity. I found it really helpful to record snap shots when I started feeling kind f punky. I am not interested in fighting this battle with chemical warfare. I have decided to bring in the big guns: Ablation Surgery. My cardio is not opposed to this plan. I am in the process of setting up this surgery with Dr. Marcus Wharton who is with MUSC in Charleston, SC. It was a toss-up between him and Dr. Kevin Jackson who is with the Duke Medical Center. I live in Myrtle Beach, SC so both locations are acceptable. As my journey progresses, I will make brief status reports to this forum (no more long winded boredom). In the mean time, any advice or opinions are more than welcome. Regards and good health to all.
Re: Newbie
February 14, 2018 09:43PM
Beach bill, great story,sounds like you have managed. Ablations have progressed just make sure to have someone with the most experience. Wish you great luck with your decision!
Tim
Re: Newbie
February 15, 2018 08:39PM
Bill,

I used the chemical warfare as a holding action while I did research behind the lines. Please take your time and be sure you are going to a very experienced EP. If you're still paroxysmal it should be pretty straightforward, but still nice to know that you have more experience and expertise on the catheter than you need.

All the best,

C
Re: Newbie
February 17, 2018 03:33PM
I am also new to the forum. Well, here is my story. It all started with the VA. As far as I'm concerned the VA is a pathetic excuse for an HMO and HMOs suck. Some years back I had been going to the VA for a yearly physical and was doing quite nicely. The VA's general practice is mainly done with nurse practitioners, not doctors. I was given a nurse practitioner that was set on finding something wrong. So, she started with blood pressure. In the office, which is normal for me I had elevated BP. That is called "white coat hypertension". She didn't take that into account and kept insisting that I had HBP. So, what I did was spend a whole month following my BP 3 times a day. I had created a complete chart. During that whole month the BP averaged late 117/78. Well, she saw a couple of 140/80 and insisted it was HBP after she took my chart and tossed it back at me with a look of disdain. So, she prescribed hydrochlorothyazide, a mild diuretic. The only reason I took it was because my father had been treated for HBP and my brother's BP was slightly elevated. Well, within 2 weeks of taking that I had an attack (and I do mean attack 120 BPM) of tachycardia that sent me to the ER. In the ER (which was at the VA) I was hooked up to an IV for about 6 hours or so until the rhythm slowed. The thing is the ER "doctors" could have checked what prescription I was taking and look at the side effects and could have easily seen that one of the major side effects of hydrochlorozide is tachycardia and should have been taken off of the prescription. But they didn't do that. They let me go. Less than 2 weeks later I had another attack of tachycardia that sent me to the ER. I was in there for more than 12 hours hooked up to an IV again. But I wasn't taken off the prescription. Instead, they prescribed metropolol. This did not do what it was supposed to do. It just made things worse. My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest. No matter how I complained no one listened to me, especially the nurse practitioner who was assigned to me. I even came to one of my appointments with a bout of Afib. I told her I was going through it and told her to listen to the heartbeat. She looked at me like I was bothering her. The problem continued and she kept me on the same prescription for at least 5 years. During all this time nothing got better and my complaints were not taken into account. This was doing my heart absolutely no good. Finally, I got tired of what was happening inside my chest and began searching the Internet. I found several doctors who had dealt with Afib. Several of them required that you purchase something from them before you will get their data. The one who was the most help was Dr. Stephen Sinatra. He has a protocol that has helped me immensely. His people even sent me an 80-page PDF booklet that was very informative. I began using his protocol and I'll give it to you:

Fish Oil (actually, he recommends calamari oil over fish oil) - 2 gms
CoQ10 - 100-200 mgs
L-Carnatine - 1-2 gms
D-Ribose (this does what metropolol is supposed to do) - 5 to 15 gms (5 gms 3 times a day)
Magnesium - 400-800 mgs
Potassiuim - 500-1000 mgs
Calcium - 500-1000 mgs
Hawthorne Berry - 500 mgs 2-3 times a day
Vitamin C - 1000 mgs

I have been on this for some years now and when Afib hits the intensity is reduced dramatically. I also found out that the Chinese have been treating Afib for centuries. They call it "heart flutter". They have an herb they call Tian Shan Xue Lian (Herba Saussureae Involucratae). China is expending billions of dollars to look into traditional medicine because some of the plants, etc. can do what western drugs can't. They found that a plant flavone called acacetin can actually control Afib without side effects. (See: [www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov].) There is quite a bit of research on acacetin's effects on cancer.

Well, that's my story. Afib is very frustrating and in spite of it I still get out early in the AM to exercise. What is so ridiculous about Afib research is that drug companies are continually working on blood viscosity and not even considering Afib itself. I mentioned this to a doctor this week and he agreed with it. They're constantly working on the symptoms and not doing anything about the cause. It doesn't take an IQ of over 200 to figure out that not dealing with the cause is only going to continue the problem. But maybe that is what the drug companies actually want.
Re: Newbie
February 17, 2018 04:27PM
alxndr01 - Welcome.
I am so sorry to read your VA saga and, unfortunately, that's not at all uncommon. I have corresponded with several vets who detailed similar stories about gross incompetency and apathy. So very frustrating and disheartening. You deserve better. As you point out, it certainly is common sense to determine the source or cause of the problem rather than mask the symptoms with meds but, unfortunately, that's often what is done and not only for just for afib.

Dr. Sinatra's protocols have helped many people. There is one caveat I'd like to mention and that's the use of supplemental calcium. Check the post entry just above this one by Que on Calcium supplements and read at the links provided on the caveat about supplemental calcium. Very important. Most afibbers are deficient in magnesium and often on overload with calcium from diet as well as supplements and this overload prevents the relaxing properties of magnesium to work in your heart. The short version... calcium excites nerve cells and magnesium is relaxing.

If you go to the header boxes at the top of the page, click on Afib Resources and locate the reports on Magnesium. Also at the top of the page click on Afib Database and then in the LH column for Conference Room Proceedings.... where you'll find a trove of reports that target underlying factors that can contribute to Afib. Obviously, each person is unique in what's apt to be missing or on overload or influenced by genetics or the environment, but it serves to help each of us sort through factors that are known to set the stage for the appearance of afib.

We are all here to help. Thanks for sharing your story. If I can help direct you to specific areas for onsite reports or other research areas, send me a PM.

Kind regards,
Jackie
Re: Newbie
February 17, 2018 05:41PM
Thing is, I'm not taking the calcium. I really like the d-ribose, the CoQ10 (Ubiuiol), l-carnatine, fish oil (krill oil), and the magnesium (taurate). I saw a pain specialist this week about the pain in then neck (other than Congress) and my lower back. He was at the VA probably as an internist so he was familiar with it. He agreed with me about the incompetence throughout the system. I really doubt I would have Afib if those ER doctors knew what they were doing an would have taken me off the drug causing problems. If the original NP would have been concerned with the patient in front of her instead of just handing out drugs. I had a doctor at the VA who has since retired (I reamed him out for a VERY unhelpful comment he made to me) who bluntly came out and said I should have been taken off of hydrochlorozide immediately. He also leaned toward me and whispered, "The pharmacy is in charge of this place." The VA does get their drugs cheap and in bulk. So, they need to get rid of them. What do they do? They inundate their veterans with unnecessary drugs. Are you familiar with The Starfield Report that was in JAMA July of 2000? That was an indictment of the whole American medical system. So, what was done to correct the inadequacies? NOTHING! After all, the drug companies and the AMA have Congress in their back pockets. angry smiley
Re: Newbie
February 17, 2018 07:52PM
Remember - it is we who decide what goes in our bodies, and no one else. The worst thing a doctor can do is drop you as a patient. He or she can’t force feed you medications.
Re: Newbie
February 18, 2018 02:26PM
I know that now. If I was more aware of my rights as a patient I would have told the NP to take those pills and stick them were the sun don't shine. But I was concerned because my father had HBP and my older brother was dealing with elevated BP as well. Doctors need to realize that the worst thing a patient can do is fire them.
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