My a-fib blog. 5 reasons.

A-fib progression

I’m only 44 and want to do a lot of things. This AF heart of mine has definitely showed me that life is short. My doctors have said different things at different stages of my heart story. I know that age, type of exercise, diet, stress, medication and operations will all have an impact on the progression or lack of it in afib and I want to try and measure and catalogue it. At research shows that progression is typically fast in the first year after diagnosis.

The  afib progression scoring system HATCH can be used to predict what can happen with your AF heart in the future, and I want to understand that.

 A-fib Prevention

We all want to know how we can prevent an afib attack. I have been AF free for 2 years, and know that too much alcohol or caffeine can put me back in AF, both substances have put me into atrial fibrillation previously. My doctor thought that a specific sport like squash (similar to racket ball) that I took part in was the reason for one of my non-sinus episodes. I now do mountain biking and a little bit of jogging.

Other avenues that I want to explore is the use of portable heart monitors, apps, correct medication, diet and the AfibAlert® heart monitor as mentioned in for example, and any other way to prevent afib for myself but also for people that have never heard of afib but may be at risk.

Natural/Alternative treatment of A-fib

There are many treatments that are not mentioned in mainstream media and they need to be investigated. Sometimes the problem is that you do not know if it is safe to use and in what quantities. I have had many cardioversions and one catheter ablation and it worked for me, but maybe there are other ways too.

One  interesting site is the site that mostly deals with Lone Afib. This does not mean that this type of diet, or variations of it, can not help persistent atrial fibrillation. The authour mainly talks about the importance of Vitamin D and cranberries in a diet and the lowering of calcium, he is not a Cranberries stock photoDoctor but has “experimented” on himself over a period of 9 years.

So is cranberries a “superfruit”? and can it really help fight afib and heart disease?


image: istock.


Symptoms of A-fib

This one is for people who may not even know that they have afib. One of the most difficult things, is to explain what your heart is doing. Your doctor may not understand what you mean by a racing heartbeat every now and then, or may think that it is normal at your age. The other factor is that in many cases it is a lone afib, or not persistent and you feel so stupid to try and explain the symptoms to a caregiver, nurse or doctor.  Then they listen to your heart and it’s on it’s best behaviour. You go away, everything in order and then on a wonderful sunny Monday morning minding your own business the racing heart, palpitations, bouncinMen with chest pain - heart attack stock photog, fast, irregular, flopping fish heart is back for a few minutes or hours. You are not mad, and yes it sometimes happens just like that. Ask your doctor or caregiver the right questions.


image: istock.



Beating fear

This one is very interesting to me and I hope to explore this issue much more. Be afraid and you are being robbed of living. Even the cured afib can keep you from living if you are not careful of what you are thinking. Not to mention the period when the doctors are still figuring out what is wrong with your heart.Attitude girl with red boxing gloves stock photo

The doctors told me that AF is not life-threatening but to believe them and just go on with my life was not so easy. One of the ways that I conquered my fear was by doing the Cape Argus cycle race in Cape Town  . It is the largest timed cycle race in the world and 109 km long. About 85km into the race there is a long climb called Chapmans Peak. When I reached the top, at my first race, I felt tears welling up and thinking, I’m going to do this thing halleluja!!!

But I found out that I had to beat my fear more than once, and I am going to do it a few more times.

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