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A question about atrial fibrillation

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Old 01-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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gladfish HB User
Arrow A question about atrial fibrillation

Hi all! I'm new to the forum and have a question about heart conditions.

I am a 29 yr old, male, smoker, 155lbs (70kg), 6ft (180cm). For about a 5 years now, I've had some extra heartbeats here and there on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes worse than other times, but fairly constant. I've had several ekgs and holter monitors, and they have been registered, but the doctor assured me that there is nothing to worry about. My blood work comes back normal, and there has been no signs of ischemia. I am unsure of if they are PVCs or PACs. Nevertheless, I've learned to live with them as a mere annoyance and I go about my day without much botheration due to them now.

On new years eve, I had a particularly hard drinking evening and was very hungover the next day, but made it though. I was still a bit woozy in the stomach the day after as well, but it faded as the day went on and I had a small glass of scotch with ice that evening. The next morning, I awoke with a rapid and irregular heartbeat and went immediately to my doctor who took an ekg and informed I had a-fib and sent me to a nearby hospital. After an IV was placed with saline solution, about 45 minutes later my heart had returned to sinus rhythm. No beta blockers were given and I was released.

I will not be speaking to my doctor until the middle of this week, and I don't want to jump the gun, but I would like some expertise from those who have experienced this.

As saline solution seemed to help, could my a fib be brought on by dehydration after drinking on new years? even if it was 2 days after?

Do I now have a chronic disease because of this episode? or is episodic A fib something that can come and go like a cold? What can I expect to happen in the future with a fib?

Since my heart has returned to sinus rhythm, I feel no different than normal. Does one still have a-fib when you have a normal sinus rhythm?

I realize the smoking has to stop, but am I able to enjoy a few beers now or must I be a teetotaler?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: A question about atrial fibrillation

Hi gladfish,
I don't know much about a-fib maybe others can answer your questions better than I can but..........

I had an attack of a-fib after bypass surgery in 2009, they also gave me an iv to return my heart beat back to normal - a-fib can be scary.
I was put on beta blockers and haven't had an episode since.

If you're experiencing a-fib on a regular basis I think you should ask for a referral to a cardiologist to find out why this is happening.

You really should stop smoking but I guess you already know that.
Alcohol also makes your heart beat faster.

I asked my cardiologist about drinking and he said it was ok in moderation so you don't have to become a teetotaller.

Good Luck.

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Re: A question about atrial fibrillation

Some people do experience intermittent episodes of afib. It is a common arrythmia, but you are rather young to be experiencing it. It may not recur, The PVC's and PACs can definitely be related to the smoking, and afib is related too. It may be that when you were drinking you were also smoking more than usual. That, plus the dehydration alcohol produces may have triggered it. If it becomes recurrent, you will need to be on a medication to prevent blood clots that can cause strokes. A cardiologist would also want to do additional tests like an echocardiogram to get more information on the cause of it. Your arrythmias could stop if you quit smoking (no guarantees of course), and if you stick to the no more than 2 drinks at a time, you should be ok, as long as that isn't daily.

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Old 01-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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taz502 HB User
Re: A question about atrial fibrillation

I know that lack of potassium has been proven to cause heart rhythm issues. Since alcohol is a diuretic, you may have urinated all of your potassium out. If it was just this one episode I would not put too much thought into it. I drink heavy sometimes as well and I do often get palpitations with this and also when I eat high sodium foods.

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