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Old 11-29-2009, 05:04 PM   #1
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19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

My name is Patrick, and I went to the hospital with atrial fibulation at age 18. I am now 19 yet chest pain has existed on and off since they did an electric cardioversion. The chest pain seems to be almost bi-weekly in that the pain persists for 2 weeks or so, then there is no chest pain for another 2 weeks.

The pain is somewhat central in the chest and it seems to climb up into the area of my neck where you would check your pulse.

I've gone to the hospital twice, once for atrial fibulation and once for chest pain, but they concluded nothing as to why this happened on both visits. On my second visit they gave me a GI Coctail, if I remember correctly, did a chest x-ray, and checked for specific enzymes that my heart would release if it was damaged, yet came up with nothing.

The pain usually occurs near the end of the day, but it has started in mid-afternoon on occasion. Weight lifting does not seem to affect the pain much, if any, so I continue doing that 3 days a week. I drink coffee once a day, maybe. I would say, in total, 4 to 5 cups of coffee per week, as I drink tea with no caffein.

I, personally, think that atrial fibulation was brought on by stress. I am a health nut and I am very conscious of what I eat and drink. I do not partake in any sort of drug related activities, however, I do have a glass of wine or two on the weekends. On a very rare occasion, I can feel a slight heart flutter and it seems to have no correlation with chest pain in terms off its occurance. I do not want to see a cardiologist just yet as I do not have insurance anymore since my dad got laid off of his job.

Feedback and questions are much needed!

 
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:40 AM   #2
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Quote:
Originally Posted by acdc554 View Post
My name is Patrick, and I went to the hospital with atrial fibulation at age 18. I am now 19 yet chest pain has existed on and off since they did an electric cardioversion. The chest pain seems to be almost bi-weekly in that the pain persists for 2 weeks or so, then there is no chest pain for another 2 weeks.

The pain is somewhat central in the chest and it seems to climb up into the area of my neck where you would check your pulse.
When you have Atrial Fibrillation, the electric current through the top part of your heart (Atrial) is messed up. As such, if your heart gets agitated by irritants, such as stress, anxiety, caffeine, nicotine, cigarette smoke on someone's clothes, pollens, pollutants and/or other irritants, then the electric current in the top part of your heart (Atrial) spreads down into the bottom (pumping) part of your heart (Ventricle) where it causes chest pain, rapid heart beats (tachycardia), skipped heart beats, strong painful heartbeats, etc.

So the trick is to stay away from things that can irritate your heart, and try to limit the stress.

Quote:
I've gone to the hospital twice, once for atrial fibulation and once for chest pain, but they concluded nothing as to why this happened on both visits. On my second visit they gave me a GI Coctail, if I remember correctly, did a chest x-ray, and checked for specific enzymes that my heart would release if it was damaged, yet came up with nothing.
There are hundreds of body chemicals (hormones and cytokines) that can be causing your problems. The hospitals seldom test for the right body chemicals.

Quote:
The pain usually occurs near the end of the day, but it has started in mid-afternoon on occasion. Weight lifting does not seem to affect the pain much, if any, so I continue doing that 3 days a week. I drink coffee once a day, maybe. I would say, in total, 4 to 5 cups of coffee per week, as I drink tea with no caffein.
You need to stay away from ALL caffeinated drinks and foods, including soda, tea, coffee, chocolate.

Quote:
I, personally, think that atrial fibulation was brought on by stress.
Stress is just one of the many possible causes. Actually, it isn't the Atrial Fibrillation that causes your discomfort, it is what happens when the Atrial Fibrillation gets agitated and spreads to the ventricles, that causes your discomfort.

Quote:
I am a health nut and I am very conscious of what I eat and drink. I do not partake in any sort of drug related activities, however, I do have a glass of wine or two on the weekends. On a very rare occasion, I can feel a slight heart flutter and it seems to have no correlation with chest pain in terms off its occurance. I do not want to see a cardiologist just yet as I do not have insurance anymore since my dad got laid off of his job.

Feedback and questions are much needed!
The first steps, that I would take, to limit this problem, would be as I suggested before, limit the caffeine and the stress. If that doesn't work, you might consider limiting the carbohydrates and simple sugars.

I don't have any medical training or education. I've lived with Atrial Fibrillation for over 20+ years. So...... I'm just giving you my personal opinion based on my own experiences, for what that is worth.

Take care............
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CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 11-30-2009 at 01:42 AM.

 
Old 11-30-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Thank you very much for the reply. I will cut out all the caffeine out. I am glad i'm not addicted to the stuff, but I do love a good cup of coffee haha. I'll do non-cafeinated teas, unless that is bad. I drink lots of water but I make sure to get my sodium, potassium and magnesium as they are electrolytes.

I've notice the pain the most when i'm in my bed on my back. If I turn to my side then the pain receeds. In the morning, after a good night's rest, I never feel any bit of chest pain at all.

Do you think seeing a cardiologist would be best? My heart has raced twice in a span of about 2 months. It raced when I had chest pain, but I think it might be me freaking out because i'm convincing myself it is something worse than it really is.

Oh, one more thing I should add. I do not take medication for atrial fibulation. The doctors at the hospital concluded it was a "fluke" and I probably don't need medication. So, do you think the pain could be brought on from something the electric cardioversion did?

Last edited by acdc554; 11-30-2009 at 10:29 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Quote:
Originally Posted by acdc554 View Post
Thank you very much for the reply. I will cut out all the caffeine out. I am glad i'm not addicted to the stuff, but I do love a good cup of coffee haha.
I, also, LOVE my coffee. I have about ten cups of coffee per day, and four cups of tea, all caffeine free. If I just had one cup of caffeinated coffee, or a coke, my heart would go NUTS!

It might take a few weeks before your body re-adjusts to the absence of caffeine, so, if caffeine is indeed part of your problem, don't expect overnight results, even though you were doing only one cup per day.

Quote:
I've notice the pain the most when i'm in my bed on my back. If I turn to my side then the pain receeds. In the morning, after a good night's rest, I never feel any bit of chest pain at all.
The fact that you experience pain, while lying on your back, but not on your side(s) is troubling to me. I've got Heart Failure and Valve Disease. My heart disease has greatly improved due to diet, exercise, avoiding bad-health triggers and Coreg, but when my heart/valve disease was worsening, I had increased difficulties lying on my back, versus my sides.

I've always tried to "guess" whether it was related to my valve problems or my stretched-out heart problems. Either way, the heart might be complaining because of the extra stress on it, while lying on the back?? Of course, there might be another explanation. I have no medical training or education, so everything I post is from personal experience and my own guess-work. In other words, consider my post as just one additional source of input as you search for answers to your health problems.

Quote:
Do you think seeing a cardiologist would be best? My heart has raced twice in a span of about 2 months. It raced when I had chest pain, but I think it might be me freaking out because i'm convincing myself it is something worse than it really is.
You are in an insurance crunch, so finances have to figure into your decision. You could try something similar to what I've done, and eat the best, most healthy diet that you can, and do appropriate exercise, and see if your heart problems improve. Cut out all of the known heart irritants, such as caffeine, exposure to cigarette smoke, avoid chemicals and pesticides and noxious odors, dust, mold, sugar, high carb foods and drinks, and avoid anything for which you have a known allergy.

Do you have any exposure to cats or dogs?

Quote:
Oh, one more thing I should add. I do not take medication for atrial fibulation. The doctors at the hospital concluded it was a "fluke" and I probably don't need medication. So, do you think the pain could be brought on from something the electric cardioversion did?
My guess would be as good as yours. If your symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation persist you might consider bugging your doctor for a prescription for .125mg of Digoxin, which is an effective, cheap, inexpensive, generic medication for Atrial Fibrillation. Digoxin has been around for hundreds of years and is well tested. At a tiny dose, like .125mg, it would have limited side effects, and might be enough to relieve some of your symptoms. Plus it is inexpensive. I like inexpensive!

Take care............ good luck!
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 12-02-2009 at 09:28 AM.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 07:36 AM   #5
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

I began having afib when I was in my 30's. I had come back from a run and I noticed that my heart was not in rhythm. It only lasted about 15 seconds. But as time progressed it got worse. Take all the advice the other people have given. Mine over a period of time got worse. When you get a bit older and it begins really bothering you asked for an mapping of your heart and have an ablation. Make sure you go to someone that has done them regularly. I went through meds and they would work for awhile then stop. With me the afib would just not stop. I am much older now and the afib has developed into an enlarged left ventricle. I would have to say stress from my job caused mine with the caffeine and those mentioned above. I never had any heart pain, but it sure did scare me. When I was younger there was nothing that could be done to stop it. Today if diet and relaxation techniques don't work, I would see a specialist. But if it gets worse I would go to a large hospital and get this stopped. I would say for the most part it ruined my life from a health standpoint. I had to retire at the age of 50. Please don't look at this as a scare tactic. It's not meant to be. Some people have it and don't even know it. There is a lot on line you can read about when it comes to afib. There used to be a site called "Afib class 101". Good luck. You won't die from it, but you should be taking a blood thinner such as aspirin. If you can afford a doctor see one. Afib can cause a stroke, but at your age I doubt it would. - Sam

 
Old 12-03-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Hey guys. My chest pain has receeded for 4 days. I have been trying to relax more, increase running distance, cut coffee for 5 days so far, decrease sodium a little bit, and eating habits have always been healthy.

Machaon, the past 3 nights I have had no pain when I am on my back which is good. The pain, when I was having chest pain, was odd. In terms of actual pain, it would be rated very low for me, but it is worries me since I have had a heart issue in the past. None the less, I have really been trying to just breath more haha.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 05:18 PM   #7
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

atrial fibrillation is as innocent as you may think.
My father had one before his recent surgery. They said that it can cause heart failure and stroke. Most of the people had to be on blood thinners.
If you are 18, may be it is not as serious for you as for older folkes.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Sam,
ablation through the groin may not be as effective as they claim.
I did some research on this as my father has the same problem and found that no one actually talk about the risk(even Mayo).
And risk is substantial , about 5%- including bad bleeding and death.
results are mediocre at best - 50-60% in one try and 70% if they bring you back again.
The try can be up to 8 hours under radiation in the catheterization laboratory.
Surgical miniMaze is much more effective-80-90%, but there are cuts on the chest and more pain.
I talked to few of my friends in medical field.
They say that the best option is combination of surgical and cutaneous approach.
but, this is available in the very few places.

Last edited by hb-mod; 12-08-2009 at 01:14 AM. Reason: Removed quote. Please use Quick Reply instead of Quote Reply. Thanks.

 
Old 12-07-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Thirty some odd years ago I wrote Dr. Cox who had developed the Maze procedure. He called me on a Saturday morning. I am sure he was working on this at the University of St. Louis. After talking he felt since the procedure was in it's infancy. It was open heart surgery and not perfected. He told me he felt at my age I should continue taking medication.

In 1998 my primary suggested a radio ablation. Really it was done with a lazer. I had never felt such pain in my life and I was completely sedated. I could hear doctors talking, When the laser fired I saw a light so bright that it was almost blinding. I was not to talk. The sad thing was it didn't work. I have a pacemaker and am completely dependent on it. I am now on my 3rd. - Sam

 
Old 12-11-2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

My friend has surgery for atrial fibrillation in Chicago area.
The doctor actually did minimally invasive Maze procedure. He is free of atrial fibrillaiton now. It was truly amazing. He thought he is dying when he has symptoms.
His doctor is at MacNeal Hospital in Cicero, western subs of Chicago.
His incision is really small and he had not had that much of the pain, because they used epidural.
I visit the hospital. It is kind of dumpy place - , but it is amazing what do they do there.

 
Old 02-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Get an ablation because they say if you get an ablation for A-Fib early on in the disease you have a much higher hope for a cure. I had an ablation for AVNRT and I'm cured. I know someone that got one for A-Fib early on it took two ablations but now they are cured. I've been told if you wait you will not have nearly as high likelihood of a cure with A-Fib.

 
Old 03-01-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Unfortunately, afib ablation isn't all that successful. I thought about it but rejected the idea.

I've had afib since about 1996. It was the end result of an earlier severe MI with 100% blockage of the LAD, followed later by 6 bypasses.

After a particularly scary bout of afib (which seemed to have had the effect of lowering my ejection fraction to 25%), my cardiologist hospitalized me and started Sotalol HCl, along with warfarin. Sotalol held off the afib but made my heart beat slow to 48 - 50 bpm. Still, it was a miracle medicine to me for about 5 years. Then afib set in again.

So the cardiologist hospitalized me again and started me on Tikosyn. (Starting Sotalol and Tikosyn both require continuous monitoring for three days.)

So I've been on that for 3 years without further afib incidents. I have since also acquired an ICD because of the low ejection fraction.

I'm just grateful that medicine has so far stopped further incidents of atrial fibrillation.

Last edited by Fizzickle; 03-01-2010 at 07:13 PM.

 
Old 03-02-2010, 01:15 AM   #13
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Long term survival is unknown, after an AV Node ablation for the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation. The Ablation permanently disconnects both routes of electric signals between the Atrium and the Ventricles.

Plus..... a permanent electronic pacemaker is inserted into one's body, which one is then dependent upon for the rest of their life. The day after an ablation, a new procedure or medication could come along which would be a miracle cure, and the patient would probably not be able to take advantage of the new, much better "cure".

I am not saying that an expensive ablation should not be considered, even though, for my Atrial Fibrillation, because it is complicated by other health problems, such as my Immune Dysfunction, ablation would be the last option I would consider. Everything should be carefully weighed, and all options considered, and heart specialists consulted prior to having this life-long altering surgery.

Keep in mind that Heart Specialists make the most money from expensive surgeries, so their opinions could possibly be biased.

Many who have had AV-Node ablation and claim to be cured, only have found out shortly thereafter that their heart rhythm problems either come back with a vengeance later on, or they start to get other heart rhythm problems; or they have to continue to take heart medications anyway.

Most medical sources suggest first exploring a medication approach prior to considering an ablation.

In my case, Digoxin .25mg has almost completely stopped my permanent Atrial Fibrillation from causing Tachycardia; and most of the time my heart beats damn good. I've just got to be very careful to avoid the things that irritate my heart and "excite" my permanent Atrial Fibrillation into doing things I would rather not experience.
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 03-03-2010 at 01:57 AM.

 
Old 03-03-2010, 05:54 AM   #14
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Quote:
Originally Posted by lltomich View Post
Get an ablation because they say if you get an ablation for A-Fib early on in the disease you have a much higher hope for a cure.
You are suggesting that a 19 year old, with Atrial Fibrillation, undergo an extremely complex, risky surgery?

AFib is usually not location specific, like AVNRT, and an A-Fib ablation can be quite a long lasting, complex, risky operation.

Quote:
I had an ablation for AVNRT and I'm cured.
How long has your cure lasted? Heart rhythm problems can come back with a vengeance within a year or two after the ablation.

Plus...... AVNRT and Atrial Fibrillation are two completely different problems.

Quote:
I know someone that got one for A-Fib early on it took two ablations but now they are cured.
How long have they been "cured" and how does their A-Fib differ from Patrick's A-Fib, if at all?

Could Patrick have a more complex, more difficult to treat A-Fib? Could Patrick have other health issues would could further complicate an ablation?

Quote:
I've been told if you wait you will not have nearly as high likelihood of a cure with A-Fib.
At the same time, one should not rush into any surgery which will permanently alter the electrical signals in their heart; until extensive examination and consultations with extremely qualified medical professionals.
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 03-03-2010 at 05:55 AM.

 
Old 03-04-2010, 06:00 AM   #15
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Re: 19 years old, atrial fibulation, chest pain for months

Please note I'm not on here to play an amateur doctor. If I was 19 years old and having A-Fib I would try and get an appointment, at least one appointment with the best doctor I could find anywhere near me. Since every case is different I wouldn't rule out any treatment but rather explore them all indepth. When I said I was told that A-Fib when allowed to continue for too long would be far less likely to cure with an ablation later that was simply from me doing medical research (and a lot of it) so I'm just sharing not diagnosing. At 19, you have to check out every option because you have a long life ahead of you and if you can fix something that could be chronic and harm your quality of life that is very sad. You sound very athletic and someone that wants to live a normal and happy life and to rule out anything including something that could be a permanent fix based on what any lay person says on this board would be ashame! I would instead get a number of opinions from some very good doctors. Appointments are far less expensive then procedures so even if your dad isn't working hopefully you can find a way to get some of those in so you can plan your treatment whenever it is affordable. I wish you the very best, I have a 20 year old daughter and if she was in your position I would want her to get several solid opinions on her treatment asap.

 
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