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Old 12-19-13, 07:42 PM   #1
fastcarbon
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Atrial Fibrilation in Older Bicyclists

I keep running into other cyclists, usually over 55, who suffer atrial fibrillation during or right after hard (close to max heart rate) efforts. After a couple of fainting spells in the peloton and during a TT at about 30 mph mine was finally diagnosed. I was lucky enough to find an electrophysiologist at UC San Diego who performed a cardiac ablation which has almost eliminated the problem.
I have not seen it but have heard of local cyclists fainting on fast training rides and am wondering how prevalent this condition is in older cyclists, especially those who trained hard and raced for a long time.
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Old 12-19-13, 08:04 PM   #2
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It's fairly common. I know 3 riders. Seems to be most common among riders who have trained very hard for many years. Don't know a rider with it who has usually taken it a little easier.
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Old 12-19-13, 08:10 PM   #3
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I had an atrial flutter after a 3 hr climb but after multiple tests, determined the cause was caffeine sensitivity. Stopped caffeine consumption and haven't had a recurrence. Good luck with your a-fib.
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Old 12-19-13, 08:27 PM   #4
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Check out Dr. John Mandrola's blog. He's a high level amateur cyclist and an electro physiologist. He's the best in town. If you don't believe me, .......

Anyway, the short answer is yes, it is more prevalent in older athletes. He reviews the current (no pun intended) theories.
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Old 12-19-13, 08:33 PM   #5
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I had it 24/7 eight years ago, cured totally by an ablation by Dr. Andrea Natale, national expert. There is an EXTENSIVE thread about my experiences hiding around here somewhere.

Yes, it is more common in athletes.
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Old 12-19-13, 08:41 PM   #6
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http://www.drjohnm.org/2011/04/cw-tr...tough-choices/
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Old 12-19-13, 09:01 PM   #7
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Had it for 9 years then got an ablation. Best decision I ever made. The only thing worse than fainting was being in a fib. Worse feeling in the world, short of kidney stones.

I love my lifestyle and was unwilling to compromise with medicines. The ablation was the way forward. I take no medicine today and have a normal HR. And I run it up into the low 190's on competitive rides (they are tough). No problem but I knock on wood.

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Old 12-19-13, 09:23 PM   #8
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thanks for the recommendation. I checked out his blog and he really seems to be on top of it.
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Old 12-20-13, 09:22 AM   #9
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I have had orthostatic hypotension for decades (slight faintness on standing). I had a few episodes of fainting after strenuous rides (although nothing like the efforts described here) and alleviated them to a degree by dropping some meds. A cardiologist found me to be in good heart health, although maybe he just failed to see me during an episode. In any event, I have noticed that the episodes of dizziness after exercise are accompanied by a heat flash and rapid pulse which lasts for a few minutes and then subsides. Does this sound like Afib or plain old hypotension?
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Old 12-20-13, 09:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I have had orthostatic hypotension for decades (slight faintness on standing). I had a few episodes of fainting after strenuous rides (although nothing like the efforts described here) and alleviated them to a degree by dropping some meds. A cardiologist found me to be in good heart health, although maybe he just failed to see me during an episode. In any event, I have noticed that the episodes of dizziness after exercise are accompanied by a heat flash and rapid pulse which lasts for a few minutes and then subsides. Does this sound like Afib or plain old hypotension?
Male menopause?
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Old 12-20-13, 09:35 AM   #11
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Male menopause?
Hadn't thought about that.
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Old 12-20-13, 06:39 PM   #12
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I've had Afib for 20+ years, but I'm able to deal with it........if I can stay away from caffeine and alcohol.
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Old 12-21-13, 06:55 PM   #13
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My wife is currently off the bike because of it. She won't find out when she can return to riding until next month. She's not been a very happy camper but understands the importance of not riding for time being.
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Old 12-23-13, 10:51 AM   #14
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Try leaving your heart rate monitor on for a while after the ride. It will show a high heart rate, possibly over 200 bpm instead of a resting rate under 100. It is probably hypotension if you don't see it during the ride.
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Old 12-23-13, 10:53 AM   #15
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I haven't given up 1 cup of Joe the morning of the ride. I can't function without it.
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Old 12-23-13, 01:51 PM   #16
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Had one bout of A-fib 10 years ago they thought as caused by dehydration. Started drinking some water instead of beer for breakfast and never had a problem since. Last night was intervals on the trainer and despite the fact I almost blacked out my heart rate is fine……….
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