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Experiences with Afib?

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Experiences with Afib?

Old 03-17-22, 09:40 AM
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missinglink
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Experiences with Afib?

I began having Afib symptoms around mid December 2021 for no apparent reason, and was hoping for some input from those in our age group who have dealt with it.

I'm familiar with the "feel" since I had Afib in my mid 40's. I'm now 73, btw. Without going into a lot of detail, the issue (in my 40s) was traced to the overuse of neo-synephrine nasal spray which turns out has quite a stimulant in it.

Before yesterday's appt with a cardio doc, I spent a lot of time reviewing the various prescription and non-prescription meds I'm currently using. None should have apparent link to Afib.
During my appt, the cardio agreed that my meds weren't causing it. The EKG also showed no abnormalities. I'll be going back for an Echocardiogram May 2nd.
He then began asking questions about lifestyle. When I mentioned I did a lot of cycling, he zeroed in on that immediately.

I'm by no means an "endurance athlete" (as he called it). Ten years ago I would do 40-60 mile rides, but now in my 70s my rides consist of ~14 miles on weekdays, and ~24 on weekend days, depending on weather, traffic, etc.
The doc appears to imply that years of 'endurance sports' (and cycling in particular) often leads to Afib.

I had noted that for some odd reason, my Afib had tapered off on the days leading up to the appt. I still had it occasionally, but not nearly as much as I had been experiencing, which was perplexing.
After the visit, I looked back at my ride logs, and realized that due to bad weather, family functions, etc. I hadn't been on my bike in 15 days. So this has me wondering.

I post here hoping for other's experiences.

Thank you.
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Old 03-17-22, 10:36 AM
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obviously not what people that cycle miles and miles want to hear..but thanks for the info
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Old 03-17-22, 11:05 AM
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I have had irregular heartbeat, first in 2017, and it went away until last year in July and has been on and off since then. Yes, it's common in endurance athletes and I know several people who have dealt with it in varying degrees. A few have had the ablation procedure with good results but it's not for all cases.

The people I know of are riders who have done intense training for years and most of them were racers. I never raced but did thousands of club rides at my personal limits.

I have noticed that after a ride when I push myself to try and keep up is when I feel the worst. I can do long climbs by myself and don't feel so bad afterward. I usually feel fine on the bike, although being tired is more pronounced than years ago.

Two of my friends have started riding e-bikes because of a-fib. These are drop bar road bikes and they do long-ish rides with lots of climbing but rely on the motor to keep their heart rate down. They are both strong enough to switch the motor off on flat ground and still go pretty fast.

15 days off? I haven't been off the bike for more than 5 days since about 2000, and one other time in 1988. I'll be 68 next month.

There is a book called "The Haywire Heart" by Lennard Zinn. He raced and has a-fib and I think he now rides an e-bike.

Last edited by big john; 03-17-22 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 03-17-22, 11:19 AM
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No personal experience (knock on wood) but with a wife in cardiology research, I'm interested.

I think there was a cluster of Afib cases in athletes 5-6 years back. Most of those were middle-aged or older triathletes or competitive Masters cyclists. It sounds to me like your cardiologist isn't particularly active, and is lumping you with those cases by implicit similarity. After all, a 24 mile casual ride is about the same distance as a 25 mile time trial, so anything that affects the latter must be causing similar symptoms in the former. Right?

I've discussed my cycling habits with three doctors in one cardiology practice. Doctor 1: Riding on the roads? That's dangerous! Doctor 2: I used to ride mountain bikes a lot, but I broke so many bones I don't any more. Doctor 3: Really? You ride bikes? Cool! That probably is why you're alive today, the secondary vascularization your cycling developed saved your life when you had your heart attack.

Dr. #3 is my cardiologist, right or wrong. You might see if you can find a doctor who exercises himself (or herself).
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Old 03-17-22, 12:13 PM
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The cardio I doc saw was fairly young. Late 30s early 40s maybe. He claimed to do quite a bit of mountain biking. I'm sure it's challenging, but seems it would be different than maintaining my desired average speed for an hour or two.

And yes, 15 days off the bike is pretty common this time of year in Texas. We'll have several months of weather systems (high winds preceding storms, then north winds) before the long hot summer kicks in. I can often catch a ride between wind shifts or storms. The wind here as I write this is south at 24mph, gusting to 30. Not very fun sounding. Well, unless I ride north, then have my wife come pick me up.

I've just returned from purchasing a gadget suggested by my doc called KardiaMobile. It lets me do a home EKG and send it to my doc. New technology just wears me out. I'm sure my granddaughter can have it up and running in about 5 minutes. I can report back on that if anyone is interested.

Thanks for the input so far. Much appreciated.
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Old 03-17-22, 12:22 PM
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Just had HOLTER Heart Test for 48 hours. 79 y/o
16% Normal.
84% With AFIB.

Now taking 100mg of AMIODARONE Once a day.
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Old 03-17-22, 05:05 PM
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I have almost totally asymptomatic a-fib and high BP; also clinically obese; 77 years old. My cardio is afraid of strokes, so I'm on Xarelto. When I ride, I often see my HR spike from, say, 120 to 180 in seconds, and then drop down to the 1-teens. It's very disconcerting, but I wouldn't be aware of it except for my HRM. On July 4 last year, hot and humid, my HR jumped, and I felt pretty bad. I stopped in a park and rested for 10 minutes and continued my ride, but I had to stop several times to rest.

Toprol, a beta-blocker, does something to control my HR and BP. No fibrillation on my trainer this year, but the road is harder than a trainer, at least IMO. No a-fib on my 1st ride, either, but I only rode 10 miles.
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Old 03-17-22, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Just had HOLTER Heart Test for 48 hours. 79 y/o
16% Normal.
84% With AFIB.

Now taking 100mg of AMIODARONE Once a day.
That sounds very troubling. Let us know if the AMIODARONE helps.
Thank you for the input and best of luck to you.
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Old 03-17-22, 08:13 PM
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AFIB seems to manifest in many different ways.
I've had exercise induced AFIB for so many decades, I don;t even remember when 1st diagnosed, I think it was mid-80's.
Mine manifests when I bring my heart rate over a certain 'limit' - back when I was in the 40's the HR which if exceeded, often brought on AFIB - above 190
in the 50's it was 180, then 60's until about 67, it was 175. Big hiatus on heavy exercise stress until about 1 yr ago and the new number is 170 ish...
so I try never to go near that 'onset border HR'...
I always wear a HRM on most every ride - cause, until recently 90%+ of my rides would take me close to that HR onset... Now I actually take rides when I never even get close... a whole new world.. LOL!
I suggest, for anyone suspecting some heart complications, use/wear a HRM on your rides.
I don;t find the wrist smart watch monitors as even being close. I have a FITBIT and it never registers anywhere near close when I get above 100 bpm.
I have a dedicated HRM with chest belt, and it works and is as accurate as the HRM/BPM machines in the doc's office.
Whatever you chose, make sure you can see it constantly - mounted on the handlebars is best. If it's on your wrist, you won't be able to monitor realtime.
Realtime is important, and you'll become more aware of how your HR reacts to the various parts of your riding.
You'll become aware of things even your MD can't determine from you office visit tests.
I'm thinking of trying the Wahoo, but that will only happen if I can see a display REALTIME WHILE RIDING. Having the period report data is nice, but not as valuable as seeing the HR as you are in the moment.
Ride On
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Old 03-17-22, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by missinglink

I've just returned from purchasing a gadget suggested by my doc called KardiaMobile. It lets me do a home EKG and send it to my doc. New technology just wears me out. I'm sure my granddaughter can have it up and running in about 5 minutes. I can report back on that if anyone is interested.

Thanks for the input so far. Much appreciated.
One of the men I know who had an ablation told me his recording of heart data was the key for his doctor to help him. I don't know if it was KardiaMobile but it was that kind of thing. He is very happy with the result and can drop me in the hills these days. He said it took several months after the procedure to get back to where he is now with his fitness. He's 65.
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Old 03-17-22, 09:57 PM
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I have 4 riding buddies who've had Afib. One tried riding more moderately so as not to bring it on, but eventually wasn't having fun doing that, gave it up. One quit coffee and rides more moderately and he's still having fun. One had a successful ablation, still rides hard, no problem. One had an ablation but it didn't work and he's miserable. So there's a lot of variation, both personal, and medical. I think everyone has to experiment and see what works. Competent doctoring is obviously key. More experience in Afib diagnosis and treatment is a must.
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Old 03-17-22, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
One of the men I know who had an ablation told me his recording of heart data was the key for his doctor to help him. I don't know if it was KardiaMobile but it was that kind of thing. He is very happy with the result and can drop me in the hills these days. He said it took several months after the procedure to get back to where he is now with his fitness. He's 65.
Modern technology is amazing. I never knew these things existed until my doc suggested it.

So far, my experience with KardiaMobile has been positive, but a bit of a learning experience as to how to get the EKG files to my doctor. Most of that is likely my fault in that I mainly use my android phone for little more than just a phone.
Setting up KardiaMobile and running the EKGs has been quite easy. I've run 6-7 EKGs when I think I may feel some Afib, but so far haven't been able to record any.

Thank you, and continued good health to your friend.
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Old 03-18-22, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Just had HOLTER Heart Test for 48 hours. 79 y/o
16% Normal.
84% With AFIB.

Now taking 100mg of AMIODARONE Once a day.
Beware of the side effects of Amiodarone! There are other anti arrhythmics which may be better.
Iím a 30+ year afib patient who has tried just about everything, including meds, cardio versions and ablations. A pacemaker fixed me, but it was a side effect as it was intended to control my resting HR, which it also does. I am 81.
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Old 03-18-22, 10:06 AM
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could an apple watch show afib?
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Old 03-19-22, 03:57 AM
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The apple watch can show irregular heart rates with relates to afib. I think it can be set up easily to do so. In 2017 when I got my apple watch apple was partnered with Stanford U doing a heart study using the watch hrm. Based on my readngs they sent me a 7 day monitor to wear and send back. This dianosed afib and strongly suggested seeing a cardiologist. So my afib journey began with mu apple watch. Now on elequis and metropolol.
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Old 03-19-22, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Artmo
Beware of the side effects of Amiodarone! There are other anti arrhythmics which may be better.
Iím a 30+ year afib patient who has tried just about everything, including meds, cardio versions and ablations. A pacemaker fixed me, but it was a side effect as it was intended to control my resting HR, which it also does. I am 81.
Any Problems with Pacemaker?
Thinking that is The Way to Go with my AFIB.
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Old 03-19-22, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Any Problems with Pacemaker?
Thinking that is The Way to Go with my AFIB.
No problems at all. Insertion under general anesthetic. Transmits data to bedside unit and from there to Heart Center..
Not designed to correct afib. Mine is to keep resting HR above 60, as it had been at 34 with 6-10 sec pauses, as measured by LinQ. Bonus side effect is that I have afib only 1% of the time.
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Old 03-20-22, 09:54 AM
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I did a short leisurely 10 mile ride yesterday. First ride in quite a while due to a variety of reasons.
I was relaxing on the couch yesterday evening and started noticing the odd heart beats again, so got the KardiaMobile gadget set up and started making recordings. Since the gadget only gives 30 seconds per run, and the odd heartbeats happen every several minutes, it's been difficult to actually catch one. I did finally record one though.

After searching 'Afib on EKG' on the net, I found an exact example of what I'd recorded. It was labeled 'Palpation". Not sure what to make of that yet.

What I'd really like to capture is a print of when my heart skips a beat, followed by 3 - 4 very fast and hard beats, then back to a normal rhythm.
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Old 03-20-22, 10:01 AM
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I use one of these.

Walgreens Fingertip Pulse Oximeter | Walgreens
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Old 03-21-22, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by missinglink
I did a short leisurely 10 mile ride yesterday. First ride in quite a while due to a variety of reasons.
I was relaxing on the couch yesterday evening and started noticing the odd heart beats again, so got the KardiaMobile gadget set up and started making recordings. Since the gadget only gives 30 seconds per run, and the odd heartbeats happen every several minutes, it's been difficult to actually catch one. I did finally record one though.

After searching 'Afib on EKG' on the net, I found an exact example of what I'd recorded. It was labeled 'Palpation". Not sure what to make of that yet.

What I'd really like to capture is a print of when my heart skips a beat, followed by 3 - 4 very fast and hard beats, then back to a normal rhythm.
I think you mean "palpitation" or ectopic heartbeat"
<<An ectopic heartbeat is when the heart either skips a beat or adds an extra beat. They are also called premature heartbeats. Ectopic heartbeats are usually not a cause for concern, and they may occur for no known reason. Despite the skipped or added beat, the heart otherwise functions normally.>>
These are quite common, but if you have them frequently, it might be worth consulting a cardiologist.

'
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Old 03-21-22, 08:06 AM
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Afib - as used in this thread seems to mean any heart rhythm disturbance. I have a pretty "classic" form of Afib - where my right atria beats at a multiple of each ventricular beat.

However, my heart also beats irregularly at times - in no particular manner.

The KardiaMobile device should be able to detect the difference in these situations - and display it ......

SVT is the term used for a collection of things going wrong with atrial contractions in the heart. I'm guessing that narrowing down and identifying what aspect of your heart function is contributing to your problems will dictate a course of action.

I would be very interested in hearing how the kardiaMobile info plays out in conjunction with your cardiologists eventual prognosis and treatment - if any.

My own cardiologist recommended and Apple series 7 watch - but I have little faith in wrist based units of any type for HR readings - let alone more involved info.
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Old 03-21-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Artmo
I think you mean "palpitation" or ectopic heartbeat"
<<An ectopic heartbeat is when the heart either skips a beat or adds an extra beat. They are also called premature heartbeats. Ectopic heartbeats are usually not a cause for concern, and they may occur for no known reason. Despite the skipped or added beat, the heart otherwise functions normally.>>
These are quite common, but if you have them frequently, it might be worth consulting a cardiologist.

'
Sorry. Yes, it was a misspelling on my part.

When I have these episodes (and catch them on KardiaMobile) , I've been sending the files to my cardio doc through my medical Portal. I'm assuming he's receiving and viewing them, but haven't received any comment from him yet. My next scheduled appt with him is May 2nd.
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Old 03-21-22, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
Afib - as used in this thread seems to mean any heart rhythm disturbance. I have a pretty "classic" form of Afib - where my right atria beats at a multiple of each ventricular beat.

However, my heart also beats irregularly at times - in no particular manner.

The KardiaMobile device should be able to detect the difference in these situations - and display it ......

SVT is the term used for a collection of things going wrong with atrial contractions in the heart. I'm guessing that narrowing down and identifying what aspect of your heart function is contributing to your problems will dictate a course of action.

I would be very interested in hearing how the kardiaMobile info plays out in conjunction with your cardiologists eventual prognosis and treatment - if any.

My own cardiologist recommended and Apple series 7 watch - but I have little faith in wrist based units of any type for HR readings - let alone more involved info.
I plan to update the group here as to how things play out.

During my initial visit, my cardio doc discussed several ways to record events, including the Apple watch. He happened to have a stack of brochures about the KardiaMobile in his office. It seemed reliable and much less expensive, so that's what I decided on. On every EKG run I've done so far, the KardiaMobile reports "Normal Sinus Rhythem" , even though I've captured events on two scans.

Of course KardiaMobile urges me to 'upgrade' every time I open it. Not sure yet what I'd gain by doing that. Longer recordings would help. I need to search around and see.

I've mentioned before that the event I'm most interested in capturing is the one that worries me the most. It's where my heart pauses, then beats 3 or 4 (sometimes more) very hard fast beats, then back to normal rhythm. It takes my breath away when it happens.
It happens most often in the evenings when I'm relaxing. I'd probably have to run these 30 second scans repeatedly for a chance at a capture. I get no warning that it's about to occur.
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Old 03-22-22, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by missinglink
I plan to update the group here as to how things play out.

During my initial visit, my cardio doc discussed several ways to record events, including the Apple watch. He happened to have a stack of brochures about the KardiaMobile in his office. It seemed reliable and much less expensive, so that's what I decided on. On every EKG run I've done so far, the KardiaMobile reports "Normal Sinus Rhythem" , even though I've captured events on two scans.

Of course KardiaMobile urges me to 'upgrade' every time I open it. Not sure yet what I'd gain by doing that. Longer recordings would help. I need to search around and see.

I've mentioned before that the event I'm most interested in capturing is the one that worries me the most. It's where my heart pauses, then beats 3 or 4 (sometimes more) very hard fast beats, then back to normal rhythm. It takes my breath away when it happens.
It happens most often in the evenings when I'm relaxing. I'd probably have to run these 30 second scans repeatedly for a chance at a capture. I get no warning that it's about to occur.
You might want to ask your cardiologist about having a Medtronic LINQ monitor inserted in your chest. Minor op, local anesthetic.
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Old 03-22-22, 08:13 AM
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Experiences with A Fib

I developed A Fib as a result of time trialing around max heart rate. All at once my HR would jump to 220 bpm and stay until I backed off; I found a great Electrophysiologist with lots of talent and who was somewhat athletic. After 3 ablations over the last 16 years I can still ride with an "A" group 50 and early 60 year olds ( currently I am 79 ); I do now train with power instead of HR. For me staying on the bike is critical and my Electrophysiologist supports me doing that. I am allowed to reach my max heart rate. I do take Flecainide to control any Arrythmias that can show up.
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