Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Health & Fitness => Topic started by: Dave_C on November 12, 2013, 04:38:06 pm

Title: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Dave_C on November 12, 2013, 04:38:06 pm
I wonder if you lovely cyclists can help me here pls.

I had a episode at the weekend where I fell over and fainted not once but twice within 3 minutes. Ambulance parametics took me to A&E and they found I was suffering from Atrial Fibillation. I felt fine but they could see my heart misbehaving. I was sent to the Cardiac Care Unit for an overnight stay while they monitored my heart. 12 hours after my fall (a slip, not related to my AF) my AF stopped and my heart returned to normal rhythm. Later I was discharged and told loosely that the consultant would want me to come in as an out paitient and have an ultrasound and a mobile 24 hours recording of my heart. I was told they would write to me, and sent home with no form, letter, medication or other guidance. I have never had AF before, I don't take any drugs, drink, smoke, or have any underlying medical conditions.

Now my freinds and family are trying to bar me from cycling incase something awfull happens. They think the Dr will write to me within a week and I'll know what is planned very soon. Now I'm not happy at not being able to cycle (from family). I called the Dr's secretary and she has spoken to the consultant and reports that he doesn't know when he'll write to me if at all!! He may write if he thinks its important to follow up, but wouldn't say and when pushed, said I shouldn't expect a letter within the next few weeks and any treatment - not that the consultant had indicated such, would follow when he thought it should be done. I mentioned private health cover and was told he doesn't do private and I'd have to go through my GP for another consultant elsewhere.

So I'm in limbo, I don't know if he is going to write to me asking for more tests? I don't know when he os going to write if he does want tests. He recomends not cycling - but she did say this is standard practice, not to do anything to harm my heart - does that include going to work???? Also I won't be written to, instead he'll be writing to my GP and after that the sec couldn't say what would happen.

Has anyone any similar experiences please? I've found pages on the wrb about AF and excercise, which are promising, explaining that I'm probably not at risk, as other long distance cyclists have similar experiences and indeed its more common to have AF for Endurance Athletes.

PLEASE NOTE, I'M NOT INTERESTED IN WELL MEANING POSTERS WHO HAVE NEVER HAD ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS, BUT WHO MEAN WELL AND WOULD ALWAYS URGE ANYONE TO STOP DOING ANYTHING EVER!! BECAUSE WE MIGHT HARM OURSELVES!! If you have gone through what I have and have anything to contribute, I'm interested in reading your posts.

Thanks, Dave C
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: uphillbothways on November 12, 2013, 05:44:19 pm
I'd suggest getting in touch with the Atrial Fibrillation Association (http://www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk/). They have a very good helpline service and can signpost you to the right local services. Arrhytmia tends to be under-treated in the UK, so if you're to get the right treatment you'll probably need to be quite proactive and persistent.

AF is a very complex condition that tends to be comorbid with other cardiac disease, so it's difficult to speak in generalities. I think your doctor is right to advise you to avoid cycling, at least until you're on a stable course of treatment. Hard exertion can trigger an AF episode and cycling is particularly hazardous due to the risk of fainting at speed or in traffic. You want to find out what your limits are through a stress test in a cardiac lab, not in the middle of a busy roundabout. Most people with AF can engage in serious sport (I know of several competitive testers and triathletes with AF) but it does require careful management.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Basil on November 12, 2013, 08:15:53 pm
OK.  Firstly, don't panic. I've been there (actually, I'm still there) and I'm still cycling.  I'm 64, I've ridden 5000 km this year so far, I can still ride over 100 miles in one day (admittedly only once a year).  I'm asthmatic and I smoke and drink.  :facepalm:

Anyway, for what it's worth here is my experience.

My atrial fibrillation went undiagnosed for rather a long time due mainly to my own self mis-diagnosis and my lifestyle.

In 2005 I was beginning to get very breathless on the bike.  I put this down to my asthma getting worse and figured that exercise was the best method of treating it.  (It had worked before when asthma was the actual problem) I never went to the doc because, let's face it, what smoker is going to go to the doctor and ask "I seem to be getting breathless when I exercise.  What do you think I should do?"  ::-)
Anyway, the breathlessness got worse and worse until I was having to stop every day 3/4 of the way in on my 5 mile commute, sit on a wall or something and gasp until I felt strong enough to continue.

What I didn't realise was that the breathlessness was not a lung problem but was being caused by the malfunctioning heart failing to deliver oxygen properly and the lungs trying to compensate.

So eventually I went to see the doctor, telling him that I seemed to be having problems with my asthma.  He stuck a stethoscope on me, widened his eyes and called an ambulance.
10 days in the cardiac unit at Selly Oak Hospital.

The usual cure for atrial fibrillation is a cardioversion, but after my hospital treatment my AF became intermittent (sort of 2 days off, two days on), consequently on three separate occasions I attended a hospital appointment for this treatment and was chucked out for being in possession of a perfectly normal heart rhythm.  (Ever woken up in the morning and hoped that your heart wasn't working properly?  Sounds daft, but that that's how I felt before the third attempt)

Eventually, they put me on a seven day 24 hour mobile recorder (the guy said, "I can see when you cycle to and from work - left a bit early on Wednesday, didn't you?)  A week of no showers, just strip down at the sink. 
After seeing the results, they decided on an Ablation.

This is where they enter through the femoral artery via the groin and go up into your heart.  It's a sort of chimney sweep affair with a Swiss Army knife on the end that has a camera and a miniature cheap zippo lighter.  They check where the electrical current is leaking across your heart muscle and cauterise the shit out of it.
Worked for me!  :thumbsup:

OK, I'll be on flecinide tablets and either aspirin or warfarin daily for the rest of my life, but it's good.

The aspirin vs warfarin is my doing.  Doc would prefer that I take warfarin, I but object.  As a cyclist who fettles and someone who enjoys cooking, the occasional cuts are inevitable.  Cuts that absolutely refuse to stop bleeding are shite.

Sorry, that was very long winded, but I took you at your word and assumed that you would want to hear everything.

Don't worry.  You'll be fine.
The only difference should be that you need to get yourself treated before you become an emergency admission like me.  Don't ring the doc.  Make an appointment and see her/him face to face.  Ask them what they are doing to get you back on your bike.  Don't accept any compromises.  Tell them "Cycling is what I do." 
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: 'breff on November 12, 2013, 11:09:52 pm
Piggy backing on this thread, excuse me, I have had two TIAs, Mini Strokes, when cycling in the past 2 years. both involved hospitals and some tests a few weeks later.  I am now getting breathless a lot of the time, even small movements at home, should I be seeing somebody about this?
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: hellymedic on November 12, 2013, 11:19:09 pm
Yes.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Marmitegeoff on November 13, 2013, 09:12:14 am
I have a couple of stents fitted and am now on the relevant drugs,  It was suggested that an HRM when cycling would be a very good idea and that getting my HR over 130  (level for me others may vary) would not be a good idea.

I have pushed it up to 140 for 20 mins, chasing a group, and this then led to several weeks of very high readings >300 ,short term 5 - 10 mins, when I got back on to the bike.  mention this to the Doc who asked how I felt when it was that high.  "OK but a little more breathless".  Basically slapped wrists and do not do it again,  but keep cycling is his prescription but below 130 HR.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Basil on November 13, 2013, 10:37:39 am
HRMs don't work for people with AF.  They give silly readings like 300 due to it not being able to correctly interpret the wild fluctuations in heart rhythm.
Or that was my experience.  (Although, it was a cheap Lidl/Aldi one)

I suppose it would be useful in showing that you are currently having an episode.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Marmitegeoff on November 13, 2013, 10:54:23 am
HRMs don't work for people with AF.  They give silly readings like 300 due to it not being able to correctly interpret the wild fluctuations in heart rhythm.
Or that was my experience.  (Although, it was a cheap Lidl/Aldi one)

I suppose it would be useful in showing that you are currently having an episode.

and to not exert myself too much.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Dave_C on November 13, 2013, 01:07:12 pm
Many thanks for all the input. I saw a GP lastnight - late cancelation, and as I have medical cover with work, I was refered to a specialist privately. I called the local Spire hospital this morning and am going to be seen tomorrow at 4:20pm. Depending on how it goes I'm hoping to get the OK to get back on the bike.

Cheers, Dave C
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Redjeep! on November 22, 2013, 06:52:59 pm
I' m just recovering from a bout of AF about 2 months ago. I'd noticed my erratic heart rate and put it down to overtraining so left it a few days before speaking to my GP who sent me immediately to A&E.

They did an ECG, where the tech confirmed what it was and told me its really common 'I see between 5 and 10 a day'.

They then put me on drugs to get my rhythm back and blood thinners (Xalantro or something), and even laughed when I suggested that they just give me a bag of weed and some Bob Marley CDs instead.

I reverted back after a couple of days, but was told to keep on with the meds for a few months. I saw the consultant a couple of weeks ago and he put it down to a viral infection. He was happy enough for me to start training again but told me to take it easy for a while. He did however give me the ok to run a marathon in early December if I wanted to.

I probably stopped doing anything for about ten days and have been training again for about two weeks. I am a bit concerned about a relapse but am building confidence day by day.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: rogerzilla on November 22, 2013, 07:17:46 pm
The only advice I can add is that, if you feel faint when cycling, either slow right down (keep pedalling) or stop and lie on the ground.  Don't stop and stand around, because the blood will pool in your legs and you are quite likely to hit your head very hard when you faint.  BTDTGTTS.

Also be ultra-cautious if you have, or have recently had, a cold or the 'flu, as these can muck about with your heart rate and rhythm even when you feel well enough to cycle.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: robgul on November 22, 2013, 07:21:01 pm
I've had AF (or at least, I have know about it for about 10 or 12 years) ... no big deal ... I'm 66 and cycle probably 150 miles a week, pootling not racing pace.

Going back to the OP - don't bugger about - go to your GP and he'll undoubtedly do the 24 hr tests for both heart beats and blood pressure (not at the same time!) - and take it from there.

I take various medications to control BP and also Warfarin daily .. for life.  Yes, cuts are bit of a pain, but not that much of a problem. 

The "risk" with AF is that a missed beat will cause a "pooling of blood" in the heart that could clot, push round your vascular system and cause a stroke, or worse.  Warfarin kills rats by thinning the blood - it helps humans by thinning the blood and reducing the risk of clotting.  [Aspirin has similar thinning qualities but is harder to control and has other side-effects that are not too good]

The alternative to Basil's "ablation" treatment (it's a bit like doing some soldering in your heart) is "cardioversion" where they shock you (under a general sedation ... can't spell the other word!) .. think of the paddles on Casualty - but front and back.  The idea is to shock your heart back into a consistent rhythm ... didn't work for me - I just got scorch marks on my back and chest (really!)

I've known Basil for ages and compared notes with him years ago ... as he says, don't panic - masses of people have AF and don't know!

My GP recommends cycling ... and the more the better ... but at a manageable pace.

Hope that helps

Rob
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: noggy on November 22, 2013, 07:35:25 pm
also have AF- known for about 2 years now

They discovered it when waiting for a general anaesthetic to kick in :o

Same medication as above

GPs (never see same one twice) have all said do NOT give up the daily bike commute- keep on riding

I am a lot slower than before and get tired quickly and have little stamina for long rides (probably old age as well)
BUT I can still cycle and will keep on doing so until
heart, knees or arthritic hip tell me otherwise ;)
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Dave_C on November 24, 2013, 12:50:29 am
I saw the Heart specialist who reconned my AF was as a result of my fall and blackout from the pain rather than the otherway round. I had an ecg, ultrasound and wore a heart recorder for ~35 hours and all was fine. The specialist said my heart looked healthy and strong. I've been commuting for the last week and not felt any AF return. Cheers for all the helpful messages.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation Heeeeeeeelp!!
Post by: Cycling Daddy on March 15, 2015, 03:36:59 pm
Read this i with a fascination.  SO after some 'hummin' and 'hawin' about whether I have Afib I went to the GP on Thursday because my heart was 'performing': deffo Afib.  Ended up having an ECG and then the GP getting an ambulance...this was because I had 'symptoms' and my resting heart rate was well over 145 (normally average of 48).  Day in A and E in resuss bit (as the nurse said... 'you have to be really naughty to be put here but actually they were out of space elsewhere'.  Given some IV gunk to bring the heart rate  down and sent on my way.  Went back to  GP, referred to Cardiac Consultant specialising in AFib.  appointment a week tomorrow.  Put on Warfarin and Beta blocker.  I can cycle but have to keep my HR below 130. 
Tried the London Oxford London this morning HRM warning went off within the first kilometre HR  to 145 to 150 and then took a long time to come back down.  Any movement sends rate up.  SO DNF'd after 10 minutes had a coffee and went back home.   :-[  Just as well I had my HRM because was not at all breathless at 150 normally down to the odd gasped word.

I am aiming to do PBP and have already got my 200 (x2) so there is a bit of room but wondering if my aim is realistic.  It seems very likely to be fixed in the end by one means or another but wondering how long this fixing takes? 
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Peter on March 15, 2015, 03:43:22 pm
Good luck, CD.  I can't help thinking your target should be your heart and not PBP.  If you miss PBP, you can always aim at something else.

Peter

Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: sojournermike on March 15, 2015, 04:30:56 pm
For information that may be useful/calming to some on here:

Mrs S was diagnosed by GP as having AFib earlier this year by GP. We were referred to consultant - privately through work insurance rather than NHS, but same consultant... - he insisted on doing his own additional ECG and confirmed that she actually didn't have AFib, but benign PVC s(pre ventricle contractions). If these cause unpleasant fluttery symptoms he gave her a prescription for some beta blockers to take as and when - no regular medication - and he encouraged her to exercise and, even, to lose a bit of weight.

This is a website dedicated to AFib and PVCs, as well as general heart health, that we found useful:

http://www.drjohnm.org/ (ftp://www.drjohnm.org/)

Stay calm and hope all is well and you are quickly on a good road again.

Mike
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on March 15, 2015, 05:01:18 pm
For information that may be useful/calming to some on here:

Mrs S was diagnosed by GP as having AFib earlier this year by GP. We were referred to consultant - privately through work insurance rather than NHS, but same consultant... - he insisted on doing his own additional ECG and confirmed that she actually didn't have AFib, but benign PVC s(pre ventricle contractions). If these cause unpleasant fluttery symptoms he gave her a prescription for some beta blockers to take as and when - no regular medication - and he encouraged her to exercise and, even, to lose a bit of weight.

This is a website dedicated to AFib and PVCs, as well as general heart health, that we found useful:

http://www.drjohnm.org/ (ftp://www.drjohnm.org/)

Thanks for the link.  I have had PVC's for quite a few years: this is different and I think the tachycardia supports the diagnosis.  ECG was looked at by four different doctors and
two paramedics.  It is not 'like' my PVC's: I can feel the difference between the two.


L
Stay calm and hope all is well and you are quickly on a good road again.

Mike
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: sojournermike on March 16, 2015, 10:20:46 pm
CyclingDaddy

I hope all comes out OK

Mike
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on March 16, 2015, 11:39:07 pm
I will keep in touch.  See EP on Monday
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Crumbling Nick on March 18, 2015, 02:12:57 am
I'm another AF sufferer. It was paroxysmal (which means not all the time). Quite a few years ago, on my last 100 mile ride before a hip replacement op, I was riding with a HRM. A bit before halfway my heart rate went silly & stayed that way. I had to walk up several hills, but made it home at a reasonable pace.

Nearly 2 years ago I suddenly started to suffer random "not well" symptons. After a few miles of walking over easy level ground in nice sunny weather it semed like dehydration. A few weeks later near the end of an 80 mile ride I suffered serious hypoglycemia aka "the bonk" .

A few weeks later later I started to ride home after a day's haymaking in Alcester & discovered I couldn't ride up the slightest of hills. Fortunately I managed to struggle as far as Wooton Wawen, to catch a train to Shirley. It needed about half a dozen rests to make it home - only 6 km or so.

A second visit to GP confirmed that my lungs were doing fine but my heart wasn't/isn't. I was duly referred to the the cardiologists. Subsequently I've been through a fair number of measurements that have confirmed AF.

The best one was an ultrasound scan of my heart. There was a medical student watching what was going on & subsequently discovering how to use the kit to get some decent pictures - not an easy task. I had the benefit of seeing my heart in action (though not useful action if I'm only lying down on a hospital bed) and having a running commentary on how my heart was working & the state of my heart's valves. It's a wonderful experience that I cannot put into words, but will stick in my memory for a long time. In particular it was nice to discover how much of my heart is healthy, which I'd guess is typical for many cyclists.

I'm now in a queue for a catheter ablation that may fix the problem. The second consultant advised that success rate of the operation is around 50%. AUI failures are ususally "problem not resolved" & only very infrequently generate complications worse than the original condition. It was & is my choice to take the risk. I don't yet know what may happen if "problem isn't resolved".

The concept of queue appears to be more complex than my simple mind would have expected. At present I shall say no more than that I've always viewed progress through the hospital system as a game of snakes & ladders without any ladders.

Meanwhile, perhaps due to the medication (Digoxin & the especially nasty Amiodarone), I struggle to ride the usual 40 or so miles to work & back, and often need more than one rest day to recover before I can manage another day's work.

Hope my experience is helpful to you.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on March 20, 2015, 06:55:14 pm
Now due to see a different EP on Tuesday.  I am on Beta blockers which is helping keep my HR stable... ever increasing doses of Warfarin...may try to go out for a ride over the weekend
L
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Crumbling Nick on March 20, 2015, 08:55:44 pm
Respose to warfarin is very individual. My first experience (after DVT & PE 15 years ago) was about 13mg daily. Last summer that had dropped to around 10mg.

My GP's surgery has regular warfarin clinics, with HCAs (basically experienced nurses with specialist training) using a bit of software called INRSTAR. That started me on 1 mg daily &, when my INR failed to change, tried to continue that dosage for a couple of weeks. Fortunately my GP knows (with the help of good record-keeping) my history and rased my dosage to something that had a measurable effect on INR.

When I went on to Amiodarone (not recommended, but we're not in a position to argue) my INR went sky high & only became reasonable at around 6 mg warfarin daily.

Meanwhile, keep riding. It's essential to maintain fitness for post-op, but listen to what your body is telling you.

Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: djmc on March 21, 2015, 09:06:18 am
I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in September last year after struggling while cycletouring being breathless, tired and dehydrated. I was given amioderan, bisopralol and xarelto. The symptoms became worse for me (I never noticed palpitations or an irregular heart rhythm), since I became even more zombie like. The generaliste (I live in France) said ah yes, that will be the bisoprolol, take half the quantity. It did improve. In December they gave me a cardioversion (electric shock) which shocks the heart into working properly which it did. After another month the cardiologue changed the pills for diazeltem, flecainade and to continue with xarelto. I did a stress test two weeks ago and it still seems to be in order. She did say to continue to take the pîlls until further notice. I don't like taking pills and there were a few side effects in that when I bend down and then stand up I feel dizzy. Here they seem to prescribe xarelto (I think the generic name is rivaroxbaran) rather than warfarin as an anticoagulant. It doesn't have to be monitored in the same way as warfarin and is supposed to be slightly more effective. I haven't noticed any side effects and don't seem to have any problems with bleeding when I nick myself.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: simonT on March 21, 2015, 11:05:28 am
There's a lot of it about then.
Mine probably started a with infrequent and mild symptoms about a year ago. I worked out what was happening just before christmas when the symptoms came more often and high BP was detected through routine screening. After 2 months during which I felt GPs weren't taking it seriously I had a bad episode and ended up in A&E where AF was diagnosed. Now I'm on precautionary beta blockers and warfarin, just waiting for a referral, which apparently could take some time. Even gentle exercise can trigger attacks so I'm really not able to do anything until hopefully, I can find out what's causing it and get some treatment.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on March 22, 2015, 01:08:52 pm
I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in September last year after struggling while cycletouring being breathless, tired and dehydrated. I was given amioderan, bisopralol and xarelto. The symptoms became worse for me (I never noticed palpitations or an irregular heart rhythm), since I became even more zombie like. The generaliste (I live in France) said ah yes, that will be the bisoprolol, take half the quantity. It did improve. In December they gave me a cardioversion (electric shock) which shocks the heart into working properly which it did. After another month the cardiologue changed the pills for diazeltem, flecainade and to continue with xarelto. I did a stress test two weeks ago and it still seems to be in order. She did say to continue to take the pîlls until further notice. I don't like taking pills and there were a few side effects in that when I bend down and then stand up I feel dizzy. Here they seem to prescribe xarelto (I think the generic name is rivaroxbaran) rather than warfarin as an anticoagulant. It doesn't have to be monitored in the same way as warfarin and is supposed to be slightly more effective. I haven't noticed any side effects and don't seem to have any problems with bleeding when I nick myself.
Have you considered ) (or is it an option) to go to Bourdeaux, it is a centre of international excellence for Afib.  BTW I am in NSR again now Les
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: djmc on March 22, 2015, 01:25:26 pm
No idea. I'll think about that when I next see the cardiologue or have problems. At the moment it seems to be behaving itself.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Captain Zelos on April 05, 2015, 09:59:25 pm
All interesting stuff to a fellow sufferer, but can anyone elaborate on whether AF might be caused BY other heart conditions, or if AF causes other heart conditions?
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: hellymedic on April 05, 2015, 10:12:07 pm
We learnt long lists of causes of AF.
Commonest were
Ischaemic heart disease
Rheumatic heart disease
Thyrotoxicosis
'Idiopathic' ie no known cause.
Age is often a factor
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: yoav on April 06, 2015, 07:54:02 am
Add to that:
Major surgery
Critical illness

In my line of work, I see a lot of elderly (and not so elderly) people develop AF 2-3 days after one of the above. Often settles down after a week or so but not always.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Captain Zelos on April 06, 2015, 08:37:23 am
Could AF also be caused by a minor heart attack? I seem to remember reading that a large percentage of marathon runners subjected to a scan showed evidence of heart damage, even though they were still very fit and unaware of any problem. Presumably the same would be true for other types of athletes?
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: hellymedic on April 06, 2015, 11:07:27 am
Add to that:
Major surgery
Critical illness

In my line of work, I see a lot of elderly (and not so elderly) people develop AF 2-3 days after one of the above. Often settles down after a week or so but not always.

Now you remind me of the post-op thoracotomy patients I treated as a locum house surgeon a very long time ago...
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: hellymedic on April 06, 2015, 11:08:44 am
Could AF also be caused by a minor heart attack? I seem to remember reading that a large percentage of marathon runners subjected to a scan showed evidence of heart damage, even though they were still very fit and unaware of any problem. Presumably the same would be true for other types of athletes?

It can.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Ruthie on April 06, 2015, 01:18:49 pm
Add to that:
Major surgery
Critical illness

In my line of work, I see a lot of elderly (and not so elderly) people develop AF 2-3 days after one of the above. Often settles down after a week or so but not always.

Now you remind me of the post-op thoracotomy patients I treated as a locum house surgeon a very long time ago...

Yeah, post op thoracotomy patients  ::-)
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: djmc on April 06, 2015, 03:08:23 pm
my cardiologue said it was very common among endurance athletes.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: yoav on April 06, 2015, 08:14:59 pm
my cardiologue said it was very common among endurance athletes.

The enlarged heart (as a result of being very fit) can disrupt the conducting mechanism of the heart. Add to that a slow heart rate (again, from being fit) and AF, usually intermittent, can result.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Veloman on April 06, 2015, 08:48:39 pm
Remembered this from CW:

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/fitness/training/getting-heart-matter-129091 (http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/fitness/training/getting-heart-matter-129091)

Just so happens a couple of elderly cyclists I know who were very fit, trained very hard and got good results, are now subject to this phenomenon.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on April 08, 2015, 07:27:50 am
I think there is a well established link.  My personal difficulty is that I show all the signs of athletic disorders without actually being remotely athletic.  A lot of the evidence about this is focussed on those who compete at a level well above mine e.g. cyclists in the Peleton or Iron Man tri-athletes.  Often this comes from an era when taking a complex cocktail of drugs to support performance was common.  Athletes tend to get vagal AF and you can sometimes convert this to NSR by holding your breath and pushing down as it were.  Af takes people in different ways but I find I responds well to Beta blockers apart from he fact that it can f drop my heart rate below 40 bpm.  However it works on rides quite well : keeps a lid on my HR (makes me very full value) and gives a more regular rhythm by removing ectopics.  This lead me to believe that it is my autonomic (sympathetic) nervous system that is adrift.  I a going to have an ablation at the royal Brompton that includes an attempt to deal with this on top of the PVI.
Les
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on June 23, 2015, 06:28:44 am
I am now a few days post ablation.  There is a 6 to 12 week period while the heart heals before you really know what the outcome is.  It was more complicated than expected with RA involved as well as LA.  I went down to the lab at 3 next thing I remembered it was 1 in the morning so this was a long procedure even allowing for faffing before and afterwards. 
I am off the bike altogether for the next 10 days.  No long rides until September.  HR is more regular than it has been in 20 years but still in a pretty weakened state from last Thursday.
Les
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Redjeep! on January 24, 2016, 12:20:40 am
Sorry to reinstate this thread after so long. I even contributed to it myself a couple of years ago after my first bout of AFib.

I'd gone well with no repeat until New Years Eve when after a session on the rollers I felt faint and dizzy. I spent 8 hours the following day in casualty and since then have seen my GP, my cardio specialist and have had a cardioversion on Thursday which went well until today when I realised that I'd gone irregular again.

The cardio specialist (when I had the CV) has recommended that I go in for an ablation, he doesn't know yet that I've gone back into Afib.
I'm a bit worried about the op and am annoyed that it's going to mean another six weeks feeling cr@p and not doing any training.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on January 24, 2016, 06:58:06 am
Hi

Ablation really works, or has in my case.  Even when I felt really bad it was better than when I was in Afib.
1.  Who does it is really important, you are best off with someone who specialises (pm for what I know about that.
2.  Recovery varies, I have or had a severely enlarged left atrium and also a complication in recovery.
3.  It is the entry wounds that take you off the bike, they are not big but with thinned blood and an unfortunate position for a saddle you have to come off the bike
4.  You can do other training but it would be gradual.  I was completely detrained and put on weight.
5.  Looks like my fix worked first time: I like the (experimental) procedure used since it minimised scars and fibrosis inside my heart.

I am not sure if you have had an ablation before...I am very happy to chat about it.  You can get a gizmo that works with your mobile phone to keep track of your afib.

SHort advice choose and see an experienced and eminent Electro Physiologist ASAP.  With luck you will be back and fully fit by the SUmmer. 
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Redjeep! on January 24, 2016, 09:59:15 am
Thanks Cycling Daddy. It's good to hear from somebody who's been through it.

I've not been able to speak to my cardio specialist yet to tell him that I've gone back into AFib, but hope to do that tomorrow. I was speaking on Thursday with the Electro Physiologist who will do the op, my cardio specialist reckons he's the best in Ireland so will probably go with him. He said that he wanted to leave it 6 weeks after the CV to allow everything to settle.

The only question I do have for them is that the way the procedure was described by the cardio guy was different to the EP guy. The cardio specialist talked about three catheters, one going into each of the left and right atria and one in one of the ventricles. The EP guy talked about one catheter passing from the right ventricle up through the right atrium and through the wall of the heart in to the left atrium. I realise that there's different techniques and that this procedure is still developing, but I'm a bit worried about something going through the wall of my heart.....

Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Cycling Daddy on January 24, 2016, 01:06:08 pm
Ah wondered where you were located.  Get the Ep to explain...there are fi different routes.  L
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: swiss hat on August 02, 2017, 11:13:12 am
Another thread revival.

I've been in Afib for almost a week now. I was first aware of something not quite right 6 days ago whilst running a 3 km lap of our local park, much slower pace than normal with unusual breathless and slow recovery after returning home. The same experience the following day and I found it difficult to track my pulse on wrist during the day and Polar HR monitor showed high and erratic readings. The following day (Saturday - LEL registration day) I tried a little run but experienced the same symptoms and quickly realised that I should DNS LEL and get a medical check. I'd not had any palpitations or chest pains.

After calling 111 I was advised to attend the emergency treatment centre at Ealing hospital within an hour. I was seen quickly and given an ECG which indicated the Afib. Anti-coagulation and heart rate control medication was given and I was to stay in for observation. I felt comfortable throughout this period. I had an echocardiogram on Monday which clearly showed the left atrial fibrillation - I found this a very emotional moment as the potential implications on my running/cycling activities struck home.

I'm now taking Rivaroxaban anti-coag and Bisoprolol rate control medication with a cardioversion scheduled in 6 weeks time. I'll aim to get out for a daily walk but anything more strenuous is unwise I think. The immediate disappointment of not riding LEL and curtailing the planned September tour in France is tough at the moment. I hope to get some positivity over the next few days.

Edit 21/9/17: I had a cardioversion yesterday which has restored my normal heart rhythm. I plan to continue with walking and easy short cycling (no hills) and begin some easy running soon. Feeling much better without the Afib.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: T42 on August 02, 2017, 12:46:42 pm
Sympathies for LEL and good luck with the cardioversion.  Shame it's so far in the future, though.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: hellymedic on August 02, 2017, 01:00:36 pm
Sympathies. There are several members of this parish so afflicted so you're not at all alone.
Not sure if this is helpful to someone who has had to cancel his summer thobut...
Hope you're sorted soon!
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 02, 2017, 01:35:00 pm
Sympathies for LEL and good luck with the cardioversion.  Shame it's so far in the future, though.

It needs to be to allow an adequate period of thrombo-prophylaxis when AF has been established for more than 48 hours.

Good wishes from here, S Hat.
Title: Re: HELP wanted. Atrial Fibrillation
Post by: chrisbainbridge on August 02, 2017, 09:42:25 pm
Best wishes from a DNF for interesting reasons as well.