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ATRIAL FIB WITH A PACE MAKER
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ATRIAL FIB WITH A PACE MAKER

Would a pacemaker help with AF and does it stop the AF or will it still feel very unpleasant as it did before?


I have suffered with AF for 4 years, the first episode was frightening with my heart rate going up to 200. After 3 hours the hospital reduced the heart beat down to 80 but the rhythm took 3 days to go back to normal. 2 years later the same thing again, both times I had a heavy meal and red wine. I put this down to alcohol and have reduced my intake to 2 beers a week, 3 months ago I had another episode which lasted 3 days, prior to the episode I had a light meal and two beers, again put it down to the alcohol. Recently I had another episode and this no alcohol, the doctor said it was an infection (heavy cold) that set it off. I am very worried about the situation and the Doctors do not express any concern and just state there is no underlying heart condition, the only test I have had is an ultra sound.
Not very happy with the medical help and support but not sure what else I can do as it is making me very anxious.
I have looked through comments from other sufferers and would be interested if anyone has some advice.
Regards Paul
Tags: Afib
9 Comments Post a Comment
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612551_tn?1247839157
I believe a pacemaker will have no affect on AFib or its symptoms, the pacemaker is designed to keep the ventricle heart rate (the real pump) from going too slow, not from going too fast.

That's what I understand, I do have extensive experience with AFib, but no personal experience with a pacemaker... so I offer the above on what I have read.
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1089281_tn?1314571114
I agree with Jerry... I dont think a pace maker will help afib... I think the choices are: Medications ( ie: flecainide, sotolol, toprol XL etc..) or you may want to consider an ablation.  I had a heart ablation 3 years ago and it stopped my afib...I had afib for about 12-13 years and was shocked back into regular rhythm 12-15 times.. Alcohol, Caffine..(coffee, tea, chocolate, and candies and soft drinks with caffine in them) would set my afib off.. Also eating very much refined sugar would set mine off it seemed.  I think regular exercise (walking) seemed to help me avoid afib..soooo and change of lifestyle might help lots also... just my opinion.  hope this helps/////Claytex
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1569985_tn?1328251082
My EP says exercise is the best thing I can do for afib.  I seem to feel better in general when I am exercising and eating well.  I am been out of afib for 1-1/2 years on Norpace CR.  I still get some episodes of irregular beats or a fast heart rate if my adrenaline is high or I have more than one piece of chocolate, but no actual episodes where I went into afib.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Jerry
Regards Paul
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Claytex, thanks for your feedback.
Does this mean you can have a few beers, caffine etc without any problems?
Could you also tell me what ablation you had or is there just one kind and also how long it takes to recover?
Thanks again for your help, its good to communicate with others and learn from their experiences.
Regards
Paul
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612551_tn?1247839157
Wow a dozen or more electrocardioversions... seems your doctor(s) are far more willing to try than mine.  It is true I have a history with the same cardiologist, and his associated EP, and we've gone trough heart surgery to repair my mitral valve, and the mini maze done that that time did not stop my AFib, still I(trying to remember of the past 10+ years) I have had only 4 electrocardioversions.  The first lasted about 6 months on Toprol XL, the second and third each lasted about 18 months on Propafenone, the forth lasted about 1 month on Rythmol 425 mg twice a day. They then "gave up" as my heart has an enlarged left atrium (presumably due to the leaky mitral valve, since repaired - now 5 years).  Further my physical discomfort and limitation due to AFib are simply a reduced ability to exercise, do physical work.  Up to the heart surgery I was still "running" 3 miles in 30 minutes a few times a week for exercise.  I'm too old and big (73 yo, 235 pounds 6'6") to be running any way.  But, I am encouraged by the repeated attempts of your doctors to convert you using shock.  Not sure I lost the flow, are you now not in AFib.. was it an ablation?  Yes I could read back, but I"m on a roll with question.  I think this line of discussion is in line with the original poster's question - I am not trying to hijack the thread.

As for drinking alcohol, I have no problem with a beer or two, maybe three if we're talking about a couple of hours, even switch between beer and wine. In the last 6 months I have developed a taste an interest in whiskey and have a double,  usually mixed with Pepsi, some evenings.  Do my doctors agree?  Not sure, I think I confess that I drink socially when I have my checkups.
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2093880_tn?1334817368
Thanks for asking this question!  I was wondering the same thing since the medications that I have tried haven't completely stopped episodes and seem to cause or continue to allow pauses at night (not sure which).  I don't just have Afib though.  

Interesting to read from others that exercise helps with to control the Afib.  I've had Afib episodes after exercising, so I'm a little leery to keep attempting.  Caffeine doesn't seem to bother mine at all, but alcohol does.  I like a margarita, mimosa or shot of whiskey on occasion, but I'm pretty much at a one drink maximum even while on the medication.  

I was kind of hoping to read that a PM would help to control the Afib since it would fix my other arrhythmia, but at least ablation is an option for this problem.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your reply, its nice to know others will help with advise. I am not confident with the medical advise I have received. I feel they just palm me off with "just carry on as normal" and hope I dont get a series epidode.
I am on a small dose of Atenonol and they advise just to continue and come back after 6 months.
Originally I thought it was Red Wine that triggered the bad episodes that take the heart beat up to 200 bpm, but on holiday this year I had 3 bottles of beer over a two hour period and the next day felt unwell with missed beats. A lot of Coffee and Coke also make me feel unwell. I guess because of the caffene
I am not sure about Ablation, I wonder how successful it is and how long does the surjury take and the time to recover.
If anyone has some advice? I would appreciate it.
Regards
Paul
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2093880_tn?1334817368
My EP and I just decided to schedule me for an A-fib ablation.  He told me that I had a 85% chance of the ablation fixing the problem.  He also said that if it works, I might need touch up work in the future.  He said the surgery will take about 4 hours and I'll have to spend the night in the hospital.  For some perspective, I had an ablation for A-flutter this summer.  It took about an hour and a half and I just had to lay flat for about 4 hours afterwards, before being released to go home.  The first couple of days were a little rough, but 4 days after we drove 5 hours to a family picnic and to pick up my daughter.  The next days we took the kids (2 and 4) to the aquarium.  I didn't feel great, but I didn't feel bad....I just had to listen to my body.  My EP said that in an A-flutter ablation they burn about 15mm, but A-fib is about 60mm.  I eagerly signed up for the A-fib ablation.  If there is a chance that this can be fixed, it would be a huge benefit to my life.  If they can't, they can't, but I really need to try and get some of my arrhythmia's handled and right now A-fib seems to be the major problem.  
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