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HEART RHYTHM
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to heart rhythm issues, arrhythmia, irregular heartbeat, implanted defibrillators, pacemakers, and tachycardia.

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HEART RHYTHM

I just found out that I have A-Fib.  I went for a regular checkup and the doctor had me get an EKG.  At 73, I was very much surprised to learn I have A-Fib.   I had many EKG’s and they were always okay.  I never smoked or drank, and I eat all the right foods.  I also exercise every day. My blood work up is always great.   I never get chest pains or anything that would make me think of a heart problem.  I always have a lot of energy. But, for the last three months or so I drank a lot of soda with caffeine.  I just do not know why or how I got this A-Fib.  The question is what do I do now.  I had a Stress test with images.  The stress and images of my heart before and after were all normal.  I far surpassed my age group with this stress test as the doctor stated in his report.   I also had an Echocardiogram.  That also was normal.   I went to two different heart doctors.  One doctor told me to do nothing at all about it and just stay on aspirin, which I have been on for many years.  I have been taking aspirin for 40 years.  My dad told me it was good for my health.  The doctor said this may go away, but if it does not, when I hit 75 years of age I will have to be put on another blood thinner.  The other doctor wanted to give me an electrical cardioversion.  I read about this cardioversion and it was not all that good.  Its success rate is less than 50%.   What do I do?  When I check my pulse, I do feel that it is off sometimes.  But that’s no big deal.  I do not have any of the symptoms like skipped heartbeats, thud, racing, or erratic heartbeat.  I have nothing that is scary at all.   My blood pressure is always very good and my pulse is always 68 to 95.  Ninety-five is after working out.  So, what do I do?   Jack
  
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Dear Jack:  I had afib for about12-13 years and got it corrected recently with a heart ablation. I am 69 now.. I wouldnt recommend a heart ablation for you at this point .. but you might want to consider it in the future.  I had probably 15-16 electro cardioversions over the years.... the last few years after I had a cardio version, I would stay out of afib 3-4 months.  They always worked for me.. and were not really a problem, just had to get them more frequent as i got older..  There are some medication you can take that worked good for me.. the one that worked the best for me was flecainide.  It will keep you out of afib however it can damage your heart if your not in good physical condition... Personally if i were you, Id try one electro cardioversion and see how it goes... there is nothing to them.. they give you a mild seditive or anesthesia and you dont remember any thing about the  cardio version.. my experience was that the older i got the more often I had the afib.... I finally decided to try the heart ablation... and it worked the very first time they did the proceedure... you might want to see how it goes the next few months and then if its still bothering you, you might want to consider an ablation.... hope this helps... if you have any questions, let me know.. claytex.One other thing .. diet is very important in preventing afib I think.. any thing with caffine( cold drinks, coffee, energy drinks etc) or alcohol can cause  afib..even decaffinated coffee would effect me.. if you drink it every day... the decaf has a small percentage of caffine and i guess it adds up.. I also found that most Ice cream is loaded with caffine and is not disclosed on the packaging..cigarette smoke would also effect me.. if I went to a casino or some place with lots of smoke, I would go into afib sometimes.. sorry I got so long winded...Claytex
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Thank you very much for your answer.  It was very good and interesting.  I stop caffeine coffee but was still doing soda.  After reading you answer, I will stop all caffeine.  Thank you again.  Jack
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