Atrial Fibrillation

Have any of us heard about Atrial Fibrillation?

Do we all know what Atrial Fibrillation actually is?

To bring more awareness, this article will present what Atrial Fibrillation is, the causes, the symptoms, description, how it is diagnosed and treatment.

The following section is from an official website –

Atrial Fibrillation Aware Week
18 – 24 November 2019

AF Association and Global AF Aware Week 2019 (GAFW) is an annual awareness week that brings attention to the most common arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder) – Atrial Fibrillation, which affects adults of any age.

The “Detect, Protect, Correct & Perfect” campaign aims to easily detect Atrial Fibrillation with a simple 30 second pulse check, preventing Atrial Fibrillation related stroke or heart failure.

DETECT     

atrial fibrillation with a simple pulse check

PROTECT   

 against atrial fibrillation related stroke using anti-coagulation therapy

CORRECT 

the irregular rhythm with access to appropriate treatment

PERFECT 

the patient care pathway (1)

NOTE – Atrial Fibrillation is also known as AF or AFib. (2)

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Some of us know it has something to do with our Heart1

If we live with the condition, we hope things don’t get worse.

Others may know of someone who has this irregular heartbeat.

Atrial Fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat and it means our Heart2 may not be pumping as well as it should. As a result, blood clots are more likely to form in our heart, increasing the risk of having a stroke.

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance. (3)

Our heart’s pumping action is controlled by tiny electrical messages produced by the sinus node – also known as the heart’s ‘natural pacemaker’.

Normally, the electrical messages are sent out regularly, with each message telling our heart to contract and pump blood around the body.

This would be felt as a normal, regular heartbeat or pulse.

Atrial Fibrillation happens because as well as the sinus node sending out regular electrical impulses, different places in and around the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) also produce electrical messages in an uncoordinated way.

These multiple, irregular messages make the atria quiver or twitch, which is known as fibrillation. This is felt as an irregular and sometimes fast heartbeat or pulse. (4)

To maximize the efficiency of the heart and to avoid various diseases, the upper and lower chambers of the heart need to work as a team. This does not happen during Atrial Fibrillation (2)

60 to 100 beats per minute is the normal range of our pulse when we are resting.

Heart will beat considerably more than 100 times per minute if we have Atrial Fibrillation. (3)

It could be the start of something more serious like a blood clot | stroke | heart failure | other heart-related complications.

To keep it Simple – our heart has a natural pacemaker so that tells us we did not make it or come up with it. It exists from nature, not us.

This pacemaker has a job to do and because it is natural we would feel that as normal.

However, when SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT different messages NOT in sync or rhythm happen. When this happens multiple times, a part of our heart (atria) has a sudden jerk – that is what they call Fibrillation.

This means the whole heart cannot work as it should because of this disturbance and the heart will beat a lot faster. This could then lead to something serious like a stroke or heart failure.

1.5 million diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation in England
(not including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) (1)

UK

500,000 people have undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation (5)

Atrial Fibrillation – Risk of a Stroke 5 times higher

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack.

It happens when the blood supply to part of our brain is cut off.

It can be caused by a blockage in one of the blood vessels leading to the brain or by a bleed in the brain.

Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to our brain.

Without blood our brain cells can be damaged or die.

Why does Atrial Fibrillation Increase our Risk of Stroke?

  • Atrial Fibrillation means our heart is not pumping naturally.
  • The upper chambers of our heart contract and relax in an uncoordinated and irregular way due to abnormal electrical activity.
  • If our heartbeat is irregular and fast, our heart may not have a chance to empty properly before filling up with blood again.
  • Blood can collect inside the upper chamber of the left side of the heart and this increases the risk of blood clots forming.
  • If blood clots form in our heart, there is a risk they can travel in our bloodstream towards our brain.
  • If a clot blocks one of the arteries leading to the brain, it could cause a stroke or TIA – Transient Ischaemic Attack. (3)
  • The symptoms of a Transient Ischaemic Attack are the same as those of a stroke but they only last for a few minutes or hours. (6)

What Causes Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation can happen to anyone but what increases our chances of developing it include Heart1 Disease and High Blood Pressure. (3)

It can also be caused by other conditions including an overactive thyroid gland, lung infections or a blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism).

Atrial Fibrillation is more common in older people.

The following can trigger an episode of Atrial Fibrillation:

Low levels of Alcohol consumption have been shown to increase Atrial Fibrillation. (7)

The fact that High Blood Pressure increases our chances of developing Atrial Fibrillation is telling us something.

At this point, it is well worth reading our article on this website
https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-hypertension-day/

and considering ALL the Questions presented about why and how we end up with Hypertension – also known as High Blood Pressure.

Heart disease can also increase our chances of developing Atrial Fibrillation, but we may not know much about this subject.

For a Simple but thorough understanding, read our articles about the Heart and ponder deeply on ALL the Questions presented.

https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-heart-day-part-1/
https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-heart-day-part-2/

We then need to ask a more general question as Atrial Fibrillation can be caused by other conditions as mentioned in the above section.

How are we living and breathing that we end up with a lung condition?

At what point in our life did we start breathing differently?

What happened when we found our breath was no longer natural?

Where did this start – can we get Honest and can we dig deep and keep asking Questions until we get to the root cause of where this dis-ease in our body came from?

Next

Smoking can trigger Atrial Fibrillation.

Most of us KNOW beyond doubt that smoking is a killer and there is no getting away from that fact.

For a real deep understanding – please read our book

The Real Truth about Tobacco
https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-tobacco-part-1/
https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-tobacco-part-2/
https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-tobacco-part-3/

Next

Excess Alcohol can trigger an episode of Atrial Fibrillation and so can drugs like cocaine and Amphetamines.

If we simply apply a small dose of common sense, it would be is easy to say that if a mind altering substance enters our body, then of course our heart will feel the disturbance because suddenly a poison has got in and it’s creating and sending all sorts of messages and messing up the natural rhythm in which all our organs work together.

Next

Please re-read this sentence incase it was missed above.

LOW LEVELS OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO INCREASE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

We can champion or argue that a tiny tipple at bedtime, the odd glass of wine or pint down the pub will have no effect on our heart OR we can begin to open up to the possibility that there may just be some truth here…

On that note – read The Real Truth about Alcohol
https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-alcohol/

Then read ALL the comments on the article, which expands this complete and thorough presentation about a scientific proven poison that happens to be legal – regardless of the harm it causes to the human frame.

Alcohol in excess should not be considered cardio-protective but rather cardio-toxic
Gregory Marcus MD MAS | Professor of AF research in the UCSF School of Medicine

The complete eradication of alcohol abuse could result in more than 73,000 fewer cases of Atrial Fibrillation in the United States. (7)

HELLO

Can we go back and re-read the above sentence again and again.

We are currently wasting time, money and other resources because of alcohol consumption.

If we completely stopped drinking alcohol there would be 73,000 fewer cases of Atrial Fibrillation in just one country.

ADD all other countries in our world and that tells us less healthcare costs which would reduce the financial burden on our health systems.

ADD to that ALL the other costs related to alcohol and bingo we have put an end not only to a poison, which was never created for humans, but also an end to the high rising costs of the harm in society that alcohol causes and continues to do so.

We could bring this to the next World AGM but remember that Alcohol plays a big part in the distractions we seek and desire.

Another point worth noting is that those in positions who make the decisions for the masses may not be ready to give up their own Alcohol consumption so in truth, we the individual need to make our own changes and then reflect to others what is possible.

The author of this article is one such living example.

NEXT

Caffeine consumption can also increase risk for Atrial Fibrillation. (2)

Our world lives on Coffee, energy drinks and all the other things on offer which contain the legal drug known as caffeine.

Read our book – The Real Truth about Caffeine
https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-caffeine/

We can no longer be complacent, ignore or pretend that the way we are choosing to live is working.

Have we ever stopped to Question WHY coffee is the 2nd highest traded commodity in the world and has remained there for a very long time?

We are consuming a drug that is legal which alters our natural state.

We have no idea how many foods and drinks now contain caffeine.

We are addicted to it and most of us don’t know what we can do.

Coming off it has consequences that we call withdrawal symptoms.

Deep down we know we need it simply to exist in life and we find Excuses or our mind is fed with thoughts that confirm it’s ok for now…

But what if it really is not OK and SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT because our body tells us so.

That means our body communicates to us with a racy mind, highs and lows when it comes to moods or all the other side effects mentioned in our book, which is well worth reading.

Abnormalities or damage to the heart’s structure are the most common cause of Atrial Fibrillation. (2)

How serious is this that the structure of our heart can have damage because we have developed Atrial Fibrillation?

How bad do things have to get for us to pay attention to what our body is communicating to us?

When do we Stop, really stop and take a moment to pause and ask –

How on earth did it get to this point?

Our heart is constructed where ALL the parts work in a way that brings harmony, not disturbance.

Something happens and our heart starts to beat faster – WHY?

What happened, how did it happen, what was our response?

If we don’t give ourselves the space to ever stop and ask these pertinent Questions, we could end up with Atrial Fibrillation that can lead to even more serious stuff like a heart attack.

NEXT

Atrial Fibrillation likely to develop with the following conditions –

Note
Pericarditis is inflammation of the protective sac around the heart (8)

Other risk factors include advancing age (9)

With a dose of Honesty here, how many of us have one of the above or we are aware that if we continue with our current lifestyle choices, chances are we are heading there?

What if it really is up to us what road we want to go on because we are in the driving seat, so to speak?

Example – there is enough research telling us the link between Obesity and Diabetes. We know that our lifestyle choices plays a huge part in WHY and HOW we end up with these dis-eases?

Are we then surprised if we find out that we have Atrial Fibrillation simply because we have developed Obesity?

What if the common sense department from our body told us –
“Yep, you keep putting on weight and never checking in how the heart department is coping, then what do you expect?

You use food to push down your feelings that hurt then you stop Expressing, so this brings in extra pressure now for the heart department”

Whilst this is a serious subject and the author respects ALL that the medical world is doing, there has to be some light too, in the form of common sense, as many are able to relate in this way.

At this point, it is worth making a note of another 2 books on this website which present a thorough understanding and bring awareness to the reader about these worldwide modern day epidemics.

The Real Truth about Obesity
The Real Truth about Diabetes

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

      • Palpitations – being aware of our heart beating fast
      • Breathlessness
      • Chest pain
      • Fatigue (3)
      • Dizziness (10)
      • Faintness
      • Confusion (2)
      • Lightheadedness (9)

If you have chest pain, feel pressure in your chest or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately. (2)

Note – some people do not have any symptoms at all and Atrial Fibrillation is often only diagnosed during a medical check-up or after a stroke.

Stroke and Heart failure can be the first manifestation of Atrial Fibrillation.

Although Atrial Fibrillation can be completely asymptomatic, about two-thirds of patients experience at least intermittent symptoms, which can be disabling and markedly impair health-related quality of life.

Atrial Fibrillation related symptoms and complications, as well as underlying cardiovascular diseases, lead to unplanned hospital admissions in a substantial number of patients every year.

Inpatient Atrial Fibrillation care accounts for more than two-thirds of the annual direct costs of Atrial Fibrillation and is the major cost driver. (11)

This is worth noting – we may not even get any symptoms that we have Atrial Fibrillation, so this could be a worry for some.

But what if we do know that our heart is not feeling natural because our body feels different or our breathing is not how it used to be?

What if we could make sure we do not end up being one of those unplanned admissions in hospital by simply learning how to Plug in and Connect to our body?

For more information read our light hearted blog called PLUG IN AND CONNECT

What if learning how to stay connected to our body holds the key to empowering ourselves once again.

This means we can FEEL what is going on inside us and begin to question or seek help when we know SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

Description of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is usually described by how long it has lasted

Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation comes and goes – it is not there all the time.
Our heart goes back to normal rhythm without any treatment within 48 hours.

Persistent Atrial Fibrillation is where Atrial Fibrillation episodes last more than 7 days and unlikely they will stop.

Treatment may be needed to restore normal heart rhythm.

Long-standing Persistent Atrial Fibrillation means continual Atrial Fibrillation for a year or longer.

Permanent Atrial Fibrillation is diagnosed if the condition is more than one year and treatment with cardioversion has not helped.

Lone Atrial Fibrillation used to describe when doctors cannot find what is causing the Atrial Fibrillation or there are no risk factors for it. (3)

At the time of first diagnosis, some patients already have persistent Atrial Fibrillation.

Registry data showed that patients with progression from Paroxysmal to more sustained Atrial Fibrillation were more frequently admitted to hospital due to Cardiovascular cases and had more strokes. They were older patients who had a larger number of underlying comorbidities such as Hypertension, Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and previous Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA). (11)

1 in 5 patients progress in 1 year from Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation to Persistent Atrial Fibrillation. (12)

What is Atrial Flutter?

With Atrial Flutter our upper heart chambers beat very fast but regularly.

Our heart can beat up to 150 times a minute and this causes similar symptoms to Atrial Fibrillation such as shortness of breath and fatigue.

Similar tests and treatments for Atrial Fibrillation are also used for Atrial Flutter.

Atrial Flutter – similar condition to Atrial Fibrillation and both can be at the same time. (3)

Atrial Flutter is less common than Atrial Fibrillation but shares the same symptoms, causes and complications.

One third who have Atrial Flutter also have Atrial Fibrillation. (10)

How is Atrial Fibrillation Diagnosed?

Atrial Fibrillation can sometimes be detected by a healthcare professional checking our pulse.

If the pulse feels irregular or very fast, we could have any of the following tests:

      • Electrocardiogram (ECG) tests the electrical activity of our heart
        Painless and takes about 10 minutes
        Carried out by GP or in hospital

      • Echocardiogram uses sound waves to check heart structure and how it is working
      • Blood tests check for conditions that can cause Atrial Fibrillation like anaemia, overactive thyroid gland or problems with Kidney
      • Chest X-ray to check if lung problem could have caused Atrial Fibrillation

How is Atrial Fibrillation Treated?

Treatment to reduce the risk of stroke is to be discussed with our doctor.

If we require treatment to help our heart beat more effectively, we may be prescribed medication to regulate our heart rate or treatments to change our heart rhythm back to normal. (3)

What is the Difference between Heart Rate and Heart Rhythm?

The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in a minute.
This is the number of times it pumps to push blood around the body.

The heart rhythm is the pattern in which the heart beats
It can be described as regular | irregular | fast | slow (13)

Regulating our Heart Rate

Atrial Fibrillation can make our heart beat too quickly and if this is the case, we will usually be offered medication to control our heart rate. This means our heart beats at a normal speed, although it may still beat irregularly.

The aim of this type of treatment is to help our heart to work more effectively.

Most medication used to regulate our heart rate will not change the rhythm back to normal.

Note – some types of medication used to control our heart rate are the same as those used to control our heart rhythm, including some types of beta blocker.

Regulating our Heart Rhythm

Antiarrhythmic drugs are prescribed to get our heart beating with a normal rhythm.

There are different types and they work in different ways.

Cardioversion treatment uses medication or a brief electrical shock (sometimes both) to help the heart return to its normal rhythm.

It is more likely to work if we have not had Atrial Fibrillation for very long and there is a risk that Atrial Fibrillation will return.

Other Treatments

Other treatments for Atrial Fibrillation include surgical procedures such as catheter ablation where radio frequency energy is used to remove the area of the heart causing the abnormal rhythm. (3)

A pacemaker may need to be fitted after to help the heart beat regularly. (10)

Maze surgery is an option generally reserved for people who already need some type of heart surgery. Small cuts are made in the atria so that chaotic electrical signals cannot get through.

As part of the treatment – advice given is to maintain a heart-healthy diet.

Regular exercise is an important part of heart health. (2)

Hello

What is our own definition of a heart-healthy diet?

Are we simply seeking what we want to find with Google?

Are we flicking TV channels and eating at the same time while we ask ourselves – what on earth is all this heart-healthy diet stuff about?

Are we never going to give up the Fast Food diet?

Are we craving even more unhealthy foods now?

Are we going to pretend to keep to doc happy?

Are we going to ask others as that’s easy to do?

Are we going to have a go at that Stop Smoking thing?

Are we going to cut back on the Alcohol until our Holiday?

Are we going to puff out Empty Words but take no True Action?

Are we loving the comfort that our current unhealthy heart diet gives us and so we have no intention of making real changes?

Are we anywhere near ready to really begin to make small steps to change our diet, as our heart is telling us so?

Are we struggling with being Real, upfront and Honest about what is going on for us in our life that got us to this heart condition?

Global Rising Trends of Atrial Fibrillation – Major Public Health Concern

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia worldwide (14)

Atrial Fibrillation is a new millennium epidemic that affects millions of lives – mostly middle-age and elderly. (12)

33.5 million individuals had Atrial Fibrillation in 2010 (14)

Hello

WHY is Atrial Fibrillation a global rising trend?

How are we living that gives rise to this illness?

WHY are we calling it a millennium epidemic?

Is it because our heart is showing us that there is something about the way we are living human life that is not natural?

What happens in early life that brings on Atrial Fibrillation in middle-age?

The prevalence is likely underestimated as a large proportion of asymptomatic individuals and those having transient symptoms remain undiagnosed. (14)

Hello – do we get what this is saying?

The figures are not accurate because we have lots of people who are not diagnosed as they do not have the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation.

It is recognised as a global public health problem due to its significant burden of morbidity and mortality resulting from embolic stroke, congestive heart failure and acute coronary syndrome.

Atrial Fibrillation may affect functional status and impairs the quality of life.

Atrial Fibrillation has tremendous implications on the economy and public health.

Numerous studies have reported Atrial Fibrillation as a growing epidemic with an expected doubling of its prevalence by 2030.

Note – most of these studies were conducted in the western world and epidemiological studies of Atrial Fibrillation in the Asian continent are scarce. (14)

EUROPE

11 million people affected by Atrial Fibrillation.

866,000 new cases every year.

AF is almost as common as Stroke and Cancer in UK | France | Italy | Germany
€660 – €3,286 million

Cost of Atrial Fibrillation financial burden on the healthcare system.

70% increase expected in number of people with Atrial Fibrillation by 2030.

Europe projected to have greatest increase in Atrial Fibrillation by 2050.

With increase in patients suffering with Atrial Fibrillation, the rate of Stroke, hospitalisations and doctor visits are expected to rise.

80% of Atrial Fibrillation patients have another condition or Cardiac Disease (11)

Urgent action is needed to prevent, detect and treat Atrial Fibrillation to stop a substantial rise in disabling Strokes.
Main message of paper published on 6 June 2019 in
EP Europace – a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Strokes due to Atrial Fibrillation are more disabling and more often fatal than strokes with other causes.

7.6 million over age 65 in the EU had Atrial Fibrillation in 2016.

Atrial Fibrillation patients over 80 have even greater risks of stroke so this shift in demography has enormous implications for the EU.
Older patients also have more comorbidities linked to Atrial Fibrillation such as heart failure and cognitive impairment.
Dr. Antonio Di Carlo – Study Author Italian Research Council, Florence, Italy

Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation is the same as for other cardiovascular conditions.
This includes not smoking, exercise, healthy diet, keeping Alcohol under moderation and controlling Blood Pressure and Diabetes. (15)

Screening for Atrial Fibrillation is important because oral anticoagulation effectively prevents strokes in these patients.

GPs should opportunistically screen for Atrial Fibrillation by performing pulse palpation during every consultation.

Patients with an irregular pulse would have an electrocardiogram (ECG) for confirmation. (15)

Atrial Fibrillation develops from structural changes to the heart due to lifestyle, other chronic conditions and non-modifiable factors. (12)

So here we have it – a confirmation that our lifestyle can develop structural changes to the heart.

We seem to be bombarded with information and news stories telling us that our lifestyle choices are a major contributory factor for illness and disease but yet we do not seem to have the movements to take any real action and make true changes.

Why is that?

Note

Atrial Fibrillation – the Current Epidemic

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia diagnosed in clinical practice.

The consequences of Atrial Fibrillation have been clearly established in multiple large observational cohort studies and include increased stroke and systemic embolism rates if no oral anticoagulation is prescribed, with increased morbidity and mortality.
With the worldwide aging of the population characterized by a large influx of “baby boomers” with or without risk factors for developing Atrial Fibrillation, an epidemic is forecasted within the next 10 to 20 years.

It is clear Atrial Fibrillation is on the rise and a significant amount of health resources are invested in detecting and managing Atrial Fibrillation. (16)

Hello

A significant amount of health resources are invested to detect and then manage Atrial Fibrillation and yet we are not investing in HOW and WHY we get AF in the first place?

Imagine getting to the root cause of this illness so we no longer need to find ways to manage it.

Imagine the benefits to society as a whole if we could nail just one illness at the root and once we got that, we move on to WHY and HOW anyone gets Diabetes and so on…

We only have to study this website to know that things are getting worse.

How we are choosing to live our life is showing up with symptoms in our body and yet we continue down the ill road and accept it is as part of life.

What if1 we refused to accept life as it is and start by asking some Real sensible Questions with a dose of common sense?

What if2 there is another way and this is WHY Simple Living Global presented the very first blog on this website called –

IS THERE ANOTHER WAY?

What if3 every article on this monumental website is presenting another way to live human life on earth?

USA

2.7 – 6.1 million prevalence range of Atrial Fibrillation.

12.1 million estimated rise by 2030.

750,000 hospitalisations occur each year because of Atrial Fibrillation according to the CDC.

130,000 deaths each year.

The death rate from Atrial Fibrillation as the primary or a contributing cause of death has been rising for more than two decades. (2)

$6 billion annual cost for Atrial Fibrillation

$8,705 additional medical cost for people who have Atrial Fibrillation (9)

What if we looked at this with some simple common sense and wisdom?

Not to negate the seriousness of what the medics tell us but just Another Way to consider how we are living that may contribute to whether things get better or worse.

As an observer of human life, the author has first-hand experience talking to those with this condition and it seems that anyone at any time could end up with an irregular heartbeat.

So, what if we start with these 4 words – SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT?

Then give ourselves the time and space to reflect with Honesty about our health as it is very important, regardless of whether we have been diagnosed with a medical condition or not.

Then asking some common sense Questions that might support us.

When did the irregular heart beat start for us?

What triggered it and can we pinpoint it to something that happened?

Did we overdo it with our work or push the body way past its limits?

Did we ignore all the signs that were telling us ‘something does not feel right’ with our breathing?

Did we only find out because we had to have a medical examination for work purposes?

Could it be possible that the Atrial Fibrillation went under the radar, undiagnosed for years?

Did our heart go off track – out of sync and not beat in its natural rhythm – because our heart was communicating a message at that moment and saying “listen up, time to pay attention, things are not right’?

What if our Heart1 does have an Intelligence1 that is way ahead of what we know it to be?

What if our Heart2 does feel even the tiniest disturbance because it is designed to be super sensitive?

Have we grown up not allowing ourselves to feel what our heart is communicating?

Have we somewhere along the line learnt how to ignore our heart’s messages?

Have we got into the habit of always ignoring our body and not paying much attention to it?

Back to Atrial Fibrillation – what if we made the choice to put our hand on our heart and ask what is going on?

What if we did this every day in a truly caring way without any demand or expectation?

What if we considered how are we working, sleeping, resting and exercising?

Can we feel where we might be adding to the heart staying ‘off track’?

In other words, what lifestyle choices are adding to the Atrial Fibrillation and what could we do in a very practical way to perhaps support this out of rhythm heart condition we have ended up with?

What if our reactions really affect our heart and harm it in some way?
In other words, when we react to something, our heart instantly feels it and cannot be in its natural state.

What if living our life with tension inside our body hardens our heart?

What if our reactions are the start of Stress – read the full article
https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-stress/

What if these daily stressors lead to poor food and drink choices?

What if this way of living means we end up taking prescribed drugs?

What if our heart department then signals to other departments, like liver, Kidney and Lungs and they all start to get complications as they were relying on Heart HQ to keep things ticking in a natural order and rhythm?

What if everything that we do in life has an affect on our heart in some way – good or not good?

What if there is Another Way to live but it requires us to get Real, get Honest, so that we can get to the Truth?

What if doing something short term to get a result may not work as we cannot Fool our body, even if we think we can with our mind?

What if telling ourselves we are going to change at some date in the future because right now we are way too busy with work, this and that, may not be what our heart wants or needs?

What if taking small practical steps and asking Questions may just get our heart back on track, or at the very least not allow the condition to worsen?

What if a wise move would be to consider and ponder deeply on what this article and this website are presenting in the name of health and wellbeing?

And Finally –

Next year we have World Heart Rhythm Week in June and Simple Living Global will present information in the form of real education about the topic of Arrhythmia, to bring more awareness in a Simple and easy to read way.

World Heart Rhythm Week
1 – 7  June 2020 (5)

 

References

(1) (2019). Global AF Aware Week. www.heartrhythmalliance.org. Retrieved November 7, 2019 from
http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/global-af-aware-week-uk-2019

(2) (n.d). Atrial Fibrillation: Facts, Statistics, and You. Healthline. Retrieved November 9, 2019 from
https://www.healthline.com/health/living-with-atrial-fibrillation/facts-statistics-infographic#1

(3) (2019). Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Stroke. Stroke Association. Retrieved October 23, 2019 from
https://www.stroke.org.uk/sites/default/files/media-root/f26_atrial_fibrillation_and_stroke_v4_web.pdf

(4) (n.d). Atrial Fibrillation (AF). British Heart Foundation. Retrieved October 26, 2019 from
https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/atrial-fibrillation

(5) World Heart Rhythm Week 2019. www.heartrhythmalliance.org Retrieved November 18, 2019 from
http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/heart-rhythm-week

(6) (2019, August 15). Symptoms – Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA). NHS. Retrieved October 23, 2019 from
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transient-ischaemic-attack-tia/symptoms/

(7) Maier, S. (2017, January 2). Alcohol Abuse Increases Risk of Heart Attack, Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Failure. UCSF. Retrieved November 9, 2019 from
https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2017/01/405346/alcohol-abuse-increases-risk-heart-attack-atrial-fibrillation-and-heart-failure

(8) (n.d). Pericarditis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. British Heart Foundation. Retrieved November 11, 2019 from
https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/pericarditis

(9) (2017, August 22). Atrial Fibrillation Fact Sheet. CDC. Retrieved November 10, 2019 from
https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_atrial_fibrillation.htm

(10) (2019, April 24). Atrial Fibrillation. NHS. Retrieved October 26, 2019 from
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/atrial-fibrillation/

(11) Brandes, A., Smit, M., Nguyen, B.O., Reinstra, M., & Van Gelder, I.C. (2018). Risk Factor Management in Atrial Fibrillation. Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review, 7(2) Retrieved November 7, 2019 from
https://www.aerjournal.com/articles/risk-factor-management-atrial-fibrillation

(12) (2018). The Burden of Atrial Fibrillation. Jnjmedicaldevices.com. Retrieved November 7, 2019 from
https://www.jnjmedicaldevices.com/sites/default/files/user_uploaded_assets/pdf_assets/2018-11/AF_Full_Report_DIGITAL_095102-2509.pdf

(13) (2013). Heart Rhythms. British Heart Foundation. p.9

(14) Patel, N.J., Atti, V., Mitrani, R., Viles-Gonzalez, J. & Goldberger, J. (2018, April 17). Global Rising Trends of Atrial Fibrillation: A Major Public Health Concern. www.heart.bmj.com. Retrieved November 3, 2019 from
https://heart.bmj.com/content/104/24/1989

(15) (2019, June 6). Atrial Fibrillation Set to Affect More Than 14 Million Over 65s in the EU by 2060. European Society of Cardiology. Retrieved November 9, 2019 from
https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/Atrial-fibrillation-set-to-affect-more-than-14-million-over-65s-in-the-EU-by-2060

(16) Morillo, C.A., Banerjee, A., Perel, P., Wood, D., & Jouven, X. (2017, March). Atrial Fibrillation: the Current Epidemic. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Retrieved November 8, 2019 from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460066/

 

 

 

Share

Comments 14

  1. Thank you, Simple Living Global, for this in-depth analysis on Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

    As someone that has this condition, this blog is truly close to my heart, and yes, pun intended.

    I didn’t know I had AF until a regular medical picked it up. As a vocational driver, every five years over the age of 45 I must have a medical to see if I am fit to drive. I had this medical in March 2018 and it was picked up then, so it could have started anytime after my previous medical in 2013.

    I say I didn’t know I had AF simply because I have no outwardly symptoms that indicated to me that anything was wrong and even now I don’t have any symptoms. The only thing that tells me I have this condition is when I check my pulse and I can feel the irregularity of my heartbeat.

    Looking at the descriptions of AF in this blog, I could possibly be categorised as being in between:

    Permanent Atrial Fibrillation – is diagnosed if the condition is more than one year and treatment with cardioversion has not helped.

    Lone Atrial Fibrillation – used to describe when doctors cannot find what is causing the Atrial Fibrillation or there are no risk factors for it.

    I am between these categories because I had a cardioversion in September 2018, and although the procedure put my heart back into its normal sinus rhythm, it only lasted a few days and then subsequently went back into AF.

    As I said, I have no outward symptoms that are usually associated with this condition i.e. fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, breathlessness etc. and I do not have any other illness or disease listed in this blog. I do not consume alcohol or caffeine. I do not smoke. I have lost over 12 stone in weight. Although I am still overweight, I exercise regularly and the weight loss is slow but continuous.

    Having said that, the simple fact is my heart is not well. It is in AF for a reason and I feel that that reason is the way I live my life.

    Having attended the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, he presents that “everything is energy and everything is because of energy”.

    Simply put, I feel that this means that whatever happens in our lives

    is not because it was meant to be
    it is not because it was fate
    it is not because it was an accident

    but because of how we live our lives.

    This means that illness and disease does not come ‘to us’ but ‘from us’. We are the creators of our lives through the daily choices we make in living life.

    As this blog states, the heart is very intelligent and is very sensitive and it feels everything that is not love, from driving it too hard, being abusive to ourselves and others, reacting to other people’s behaviour etc. All of these have a negative effect our heart and over time it will build up and, as everything is energy, it could manifest itself into an illness or disease.

    It makes sense to me as to why I have this condition. Because I am very sensitive, I react a lot if someone says something to me that I don’t like. Instead of expressing the truth of what I have felt, which will be healing for my heart, I go into the reaction of it and it comes out as anger or frustration, which will naturally harm my heart. This then stops me from opening my heart to that person and, through choice, I stop love coming to me and stop love coming from me.

    Because of the lack of love I allow into my life and the lack of love I give to the world, the energy has to do something, it has to go somewhere and in my case, I feel it has manifested into AF to wake me up to this and allow me to start to open up my heart to everyone and keep it open.

    I would like to say that, doing that is going to be hard work but in fact, it is not.

    Even though I have no outward symptoms and or associated illnesses, I cannot afford to be complacent. As I say, my heart is not well and if I choose not to listen to that fact, at any time it could manifest as a stroke.

    I can choose to allow love in or out, or I can choose to restrict the love coming in
    or out.

    Like everything in life, it comes down to a choice, albeit one we may not be willing to take.

  2. The Telegraph – 29th May 2019

    Energy Drinks Risking Potentially Fatal Heart Rhythm Disruption

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/05/29/energy-drinks-risking-potentially-fatal-heart-rhythm-disruption/

    A study has found that energy drinks are causing potentially fatal heart disorders that are not explained by their high caffeine content.

    A trial of participants revealed the speed at which the heart resets itself after eating was altered at least four hours after consuming an energy drink.

    However, while the drinks tested were high in caffeine – between 304 and 320 milligrams per 32 fluid ounces – scientists would not expect to see electrocardiographic changes at doses under 400 milligrams.

    Instead, scientists believe the disturbance to the heart is being caused by an ingredient or combination of ingredients they do not yet understand.

    34 healthy participants were given either an energy drink or a placebo on three separate days. The research team at the university measured the electrical activity of the volunteers’ hearts by electrocardiogram. They also recorded their blood pressure.

    Measurements were taken at the start of the study and every 30 minutes for four hours after consumption.

    In those who consumed an energy drink, the time taken for the lower chambers of the heart to prepare to beat again was between six and 7.7 milliseconds higher four hours after drinking than those on the placebo.

    If the time interval – known as the QT interval – is too short or long, it can cause arrhythmia, which can be life threatening. The scientists also found statistically significant increases in blood pressure.

    The professor who led the research said: “We urgently need to investigate the particular ingredient or combination of ingredients in different types of energy drinks that might explain the findings seen in our clinical trial. The public should be aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body especially if they have other underlying health conditions.”

    Last year the Government announced children will be banned from buying energy drinks under plans to tackle disruptive behaviour in schools.

    An assistant professor of nutrition published a paper that said: “We summarise the consequences of energy drink consumption, which include heart, kidney and dental problems as well as risk seeking behaviour and poor mental health.”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171115124519.htm

    The first energy drink was created in 1960 by a Japanese pharmaceutical company and was introduced as a medicinal tonic drink. It contained a mix of essential vitamins and also taurine and niacin which are metabolic agents proven to boost things such as energy and concentration.

    1987 – a well known energy drink was created. Caffeine and sugar was added to this drink and it was named after the taurine amino acid it contained.

    2002 – another leading energy drink was created and by 2005/6, the energy drink market exploded.

    2012 – 13 deaths were reported over the previous four years as a result of one brand of energy drink and in 2013, a US state began legislation to ban energy drinks to persons under 18 years old.
    https://www.preceden.com/timelines/66113-the-history-of-energy-drinks

    Energy drinks have been around for a considerable amount of time – why is it only now that this sort of research has been completed?

    Why wasn’t this research done when these companies started to put these products in the marketplace?

    There are proposed bans on the sale of these drinks only to children and adolescents.
    Why only children or adolescents?

    Is it possible that these drinks will also have an adverse effect on anyone over the age of 18?

    Heart disease and strokes are the biggest killers in the world. These drinks have a huge potential to contributing to someone getting heart disease.

    If scientists don’t know what is in these drinks and what harm they may potentially cause, is it possible that age is no barrier to the harm-full consequences of consuming these drinks?

  3. Mail Online – 27 March 2020

    Clocks went forward and scientists are telling us that losing an hour may be dangerous for millions of people with heart problems due to the loss of sleep.

    This is according to a major study which says there are increases in hospital admissions for Atrial Fibrillation (AF), a serious hearth rhythm condition.

    Symptoms include chest pain, dizziness and fatigue, but a significant number of sufferers have no idea they are ill until they have stroke.

    The study, by experts at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York backs up previous research suggesting heart attacks spike in the days after the clocks going forward.

    However, when clocks go back in the autumn, it does not have the same effect.

    The study tracked 6,000 patients in their 60s over a 7 year period and all had AF that was treated with prescription medicines.

    The results published in the journal Sleep Medicine, found hospital admissions with heart rhythm complications jumped around 25% in the days following the clocks changing.

    How do we get disturbed to the point where our circadian rhythm is affected due to a one hour change in time?

    How are we living daily and does our lifestyle choices have something to do with this?

    This blog and the other 2 on this website about the human heart are well worth reading as much is being presented to consider, contemplate and ponder on.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-heart-day-part-1/
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-heart-day-part-2/

    ADD to that ALL the blogs in our stupendous Sleep category and here we have a mini basic library presenting another way to live.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/category/sleep/

    What if there is more communication from our heart that we are simply not aware of, but we are not stopping to ask questions and so we are limited by our own choices to not find out, not know and that means no expansion in our awareness?

  4. American Heart Association News – 29 July 2021

    https://www.heart.org/en/news/2021/07/29/deaths-related-to-irregular-heart-rhythm-may-be-rising-especially-among-younger-people

    Deaths related to Atrial Fibrillation appear to be on the rise, especially among younger adults, a new study suggests.

    As this blog presents Atrial Fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular complications. The condition is increasingly common.

    12.1 million people in the United States are expected to have it in 2030.

    The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    276,373 people aged 35 to 84 who died between 2011 and 2018 from cardiovascular disease was related to Atrial Fibrillation.

    Dr. Yoshihiro Tanaka – the study’s lead author said the research is saying that Atrial Fibrillation could be contributing to the increase in deaths. The findings are troubling, especially the rising Atrial Fibrillation related death rate for younger adults aged 35 to 64. Prevention and treatment are also very important. He pointed out that more education about Atrial Fibrillation and easier access to care were needed “to encourage younger and vulnerable populations to get treatment, possibly for free or at discounted prices.”

    “Ten years ago, Atrial Fibrillation was predominantly a disease of the old. Now I am seeing more people in their 30’s who have it. Atrial Fibrillation is as much a lifestyle problem as it is a cardiac problem.” Dr. Rakesh Gopinathannair, Cardiologist at Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute in Missouri.

    Recommended lifestyle changes include maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stop smoking, regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.

    Gopinathannair, who was not involved in the study said the findings underscore the importance of early detection of Atrial Fibrillation. He also says that patients in their late 30’s should be asking themselves how to become healthier because by doing the simple stuff, it not only helps with Atrial Fibrillation, it also helps to reduce our risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease as a whole.

    Dear World,

    We seem to be hearing more about how our lifestyle choices have a direct effect on our heart health and other dis-eases in the body, like Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.

    What we do know is that our own definition of what ‘healthy’ means can differ vastly. Some say drinking alcohol in moderation is ok and part of a healthy lifestyle. Others would not call alcohol, which is a scientific proven poison to be placed anywhere near the health category.

    On that note, we have plenty of research studies and facts telling us that alcohol actually changes our internal state of being. That means we are altered from our natural state and this in turn tells us we have a heart rhythm that is out of sync. This is just a simple and basic summation to consider at this juncture.

    What if we carried out Independent studies, which means no funding from those that profit or stand to gain and could have a bias result? We get our researchers to observe the heart rhythm of those that choose to drink alcohol, even if it is not daily or excess amounts. We then dig deeper and examine what is going on in their life or in their past, when they started drinking. It is common knowledge that many drinkers say they drink alcohol to numb what they are feeling and it works. So WHY is what we need our scientists to find out.

    What are they burying, denying, negating and avoiding in their life that takes them to the point where alcohol is used to suppress what they are feeling?

    What happened, when and is there a link to that time in the past where they changed their lifestyle choices, like started taking up smoking or alcohol?

    It is at this point, we must make further enquiry by way of study and explore the correlation with the heart rhythm. Does alcohol alter in any way whatsoever the natural rhythm of the heart and if so, then let’s keep asking questions. We cannot move on until we get to the root of this matter.

    The masses, let’s call that the majority of us are consuming alcohol now as part of a lifestyle choice. It is a legal poison and some of us have realised this and others prefer not to be unpopular if they do know this to be true. But we are here in the name of people education, so let’s help them in full where we can and if we can.

    This blog is a start to real education about Atrial Fibrillation.

    This website is FULL of articles relating to human life and our lifestyle choices.

  5. Fox News – 1 September 2021

    https://www.foxnews.com/health/alcohol-risk-irregular-heartbeat-study-suggests

    A single alcoholic drink was associated with a 2 fold increased risk of Atrial Fibrillation or irregular heartbeat, according to a new research study.

    The findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine and appear to contradict the perception that alcohol can be “cardioprotective” according to the University of California San Francisco.

    In a statement from Dr. Gregory Marcus, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at UCSF – “Contrary to a common belief that atrial fibrillation is associated with heavy alcohol consumption, it appears that even one alcohol drink may be enough to increase the risk.

    Our results show that the occurrence of atrial fibrillation might be neither random nor unpredictable. Instead, they may be identifiable and modifiable ways of preventing an acute heart arrhythmia episode.”

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – “Atrial Fibrillation, often called AFib or AF is the most common type of treated heart arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way”.

    Dear World

    What is this telling us and are we ready to listen up and pay attention?

    How serious is this and do we really have the time to fob it off as we love our alcohol?

    Are we going to get down the road and wake up one day with a lot of regret or are we liking the alcohol too much to stop now for the benefits of our heart health?

    The point of this comment is to simply highlight the dangers of even one alcoholic drink and how it can affect the human heart.

    It would be a wise move for any reader right now to visit our Alcohol blog on this website and then follow through to read over 250 comments, then move on to our well researched blog called Alcohol Awareness.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-real-truth-about-alcohol/
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/alcohol-awareness/

    After following through the above suggestions, sit and ponder on why we even created a toxic poison to be consumed and who actually benefits?

    Ask those that have alcohol ruining their families, their communities, their work and their health systems. Society as a whole, suffers greatly from something that can easily be avoided.

    And Finally, if our heart could communicate and we were ready to listen – what would it have to say about our un-necessary abusive behaviour?

    Time we woke up and got real – this is going on and this is why we have research studies of this kind. To inform us, to alert us and to make us aware that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

  6. UPI Health News – 19 October 2022

    https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2022/10/19/-ablation-atrial-fibrillation-women/2981666187166/

    There is a common non-drug treatment called Ablation which exists for the condition known as Atrial Fibrillation (a-fib) and a new study has found that the procedure can be more problematic in women than men.

    AF is a chaotic electrical pattern in the upper chambers of the heart and affects up to 20% of Americans during their lifetime. It can be dangerous and raises the odds for a stroke.

    As with every study we read – further and more research is needed.

    For this study, 59,000 patients across 150 sites in the United States were followed between January 2016 and September 2020.

    The findings suggest that there is an opportunity for cardiologists to treat women earlier in the course of their disease than they currently are.

    Women tend to go in and out of Atrial Fibrillation, while also having more symptoms such as heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue and dizziness.

    Women were also more likely to experience a range of complications after the ablation, including pericardial effusion, which happens when the heart is perforated and blood builds up around it. They were also more likely to experience slow heart rates that required a permanent pacemaker.

    Women were also likely to have vascular injury and bleeding in the adjacent groin area that required surgery, as well. They had more fluid build-up in the lungs, which can cause shortness of breath or heart failure. Treatment requires medication to remove the fluid and extends their hospital stay.

    “Despite awareness around the complications of ablation, we are still seeing persistent complications. Time and time again, these procedures are improving patients’ quality of life and symptom burden but we must continue our efforts to mitigate the risk.”
    Dr. James Freeman – Associate Professor of Medicine (cardiology) at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

  7. JAHA Journal of the American Heart Association – 12 January 2023

    Elevated Uric Acid is Associated with New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation

    https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.122.027089

    The role of uric acid is gaining increasing importance in the evaluation of cardiovascular disease, but its relationship with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is unclear.

    Uric acid is the final product of purine metabolism, catalysed by xanthine oxidase. Its role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cardiometabolic disorders is gaining increasing importance, and elevated uric acid is associated with a higher risk of Hypertension, Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).

    1985 – 1996
    339,604 individuals age 30 to 60 and free from cardiovascular disease at baseline in the Swedish AMORIS cohort were followed until December 2019.

    Among those who developed incident Atrial Fibrillation
    69.4% also developed incident Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart Failure or Coronary Heart Disease.

    The conclusion is that elevated uric acid was associated with an increased risk of AF, not only among people with cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors but also among those without.

    Elevated uric acid may not only operate through cardiovascular pathways to increase the risk of AF, it may also have a direct influence on the development of AF via other mechanisms.

    AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in old age, with an increasing incidence and prevalence worldwide. Many studies have been conducted aiming at stroke prevention in patients with AF, whereas less is known about primary prevention of AF in the general population.

    Mounting evidence has shown that conventional cardiovascular risk factors (Older Age, Male Sex, Smoking, Obesity, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia, and Diabetes) are unable to fully explain the development of AF.

    Uric acid is a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Purines are normally produced in the body and are also found in some foods and drinks. Foods with high content of purines include liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and beer.

    Most uric acid dissolves in blood and travels to the kidneys. From there, it passes out in urine. If our body produces too much uric acid or does not remove enough of it, we can get sick. A high level of uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia.

    Uric acid causes gout.

    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003476.htm

  8. American Heart Association – 8 February 2023

    Irregular Heart Rhythms Detected in 1 in 5 Stroke Survivors, Increasing Risk of New Stroke.

    https://newsroom.heart.org/news/irregular-heart-rhythms-detected-in-1-in-5-stroke-survivors-increasing-risk-of-new-stroke

    Research found that:

    • People who survive a stroke when atherosclerosis leads to a blood clot in the brain are not routinely monitored for irregular heart rhythms, which may lead to another stroke.

    • 1 in 5 stroke survivors were found to experience irregular heart rhythms – known as Atrial Fibrillation – during cardiac monitoring for 3 years after a stroke.

    • Insertable cardiac monitors frequently detected episodes of abnormal heart rhythms lasting more than 10 minutes, a significant risk for stroke.

    Survivors of ischemic strokes that were caused by atherosclerosis (or hardening) of the brain arteries, and not by a blood clot travelling from the heart to the brain, do not typically receive continuous cardiac monitoring after discharge.

    However, unrecognised irregular heart rhythms may increase the risk of another stroke caused by a blood clot formed in the heart that travels to the brain.

    Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. This analysis is a 3 year follow up to the Stroke AF study, which monitored heart rhythms in this type of stroke survivor in one year.

    This follow up study explored whether the incidence of AF would continue to increase over the full 3 years of follow up after the first stroke.

    492 participants had an ischemic stroke caused by a clot that formed in a diseased artery, instead of one originating in the heart, and who had no diagnosis of AF.

    The study found:

    The continuous cardiac monitoring device detected AF in more than 20% of the participants during 3 years after the first stroke. Standard follow-up care detected AF in about 2.5% of participants – representing a 10-fold increased detection rate when using the 24 hour monitoring device.

    Among participants who had AF detected via the insertable cardiac monitor –
    50% experienced an irregular heart rhythm episode of 10 minutes or more.
    66% of them having an episode lasting greater than 1 hour.
    6 minutes of AF significantly increases risk of stroke.

    Symptoms of AF may include:

    • Heart palpitations
    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath

    Still, many people do not notice any symptoms.

  9. Eurekalert – 23rd February 2023

    Lifelong Bachelors Face Poorest Prognosis with Heart Failure.

    https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/980474

    According to a new study, men who never married were more than twice as likely to die within five years of heart failure compared with women of any marital status or men who were previously married.

    Lifelong bachelors were about 2.2 times more likely to die than men who were married, but men who were widowed, divorced or separated did not have an increased risk of death compared with married men. Marital status was not a significant predictor of death among women.

    The study offers new evidence that a person’s gender and marital status can influence their heart disease risk and prognosis.

    Heart failure, when the heart muscle becomes too weak or stiff to pump blood to the body effectively, is a leading cause of cardiovascular illness and death and currently affects over 6 million people in the U.S.

    Research based on data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis – a prospective study of 6,800 American adults between 45-84 years old.

    Among the 94 study participants with heart failure at year 10 of the study, researchers compared survival rates from the time of heart failure diagnosis by gender and marital status over an average follow-up period of 4.7 years.

    Potential drivers could include social interaction or isolation, which can play an important role in mood and overall health, access to caregiver support for help with home health monitoring, medication adherence and transportation to medical appointments; or differences in health behaviours such as diet, exercise and alcohol intake.

    To separate the role of marital status from other known risk factors, researchers adjusted for age to account for the naturally elevated rate of death among older people and mood status to account for the known impacts of depression and other mood disorders on heart failure survival.

    There is no cure for heart failure, but medications, dietary modifications and regular physical activity can help patients live longer and reduce common symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling.

    It seems that the advice given here is pretty much common sense and should, in truth, be the way we live before the heart disease starts to take a stronger hold.

    But what if we need to look a bit deeper, what if we need to look at illness and disease in another way?

    What if illness and disease is something that we have more to do with than we could ever imagine?

    Is it possible that illness and disease, instead of coming ‘to’ us comes ‘from’ us?

    Instead of us ‘getting’ an illness or disease, is it possible that all illnesses and diseases:

    • starts with us
    • starts with the way we live our lives
    • starts with our behaviours
    • starts with our mindset
    • starts with our attitudes
    • starts with our beliefs

    I have a heart condition which is called Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

    The British Heart Foundation says that AF is a common abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. It causes your heart to beat abnormally, which might feel like your heart is fluttering.

    AF means the top chambers of your heart (the atria) quiver or twitch, which is known as fibrillation. If this happens your heart may beat irregularly, with no set pattern.

    https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/atrial-fibrillation

    If all illness and disease comes from us, is it possible then that my AF is due to me not being willing to open my heart fully to everyone?

    Is it possible that my AF is due to me not fully expressing my love outwardly and inwardly?

    Is all heart disease simply a contraction of our innate love that we choose to keep locked up inside of us?

    I know for me the above is true and although I have no outward symptoms of my AF, (apart from feeling the irregularity of my pulse when I check it), I know it is still there which means I am still not willing to open myself up to others in full.

  10. The Guardian – 25 August 2023

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/aug/25/sleep-apnoea-greatly-increases-risk-of-stroke-us-scientists-find-stanford-atrial-fibrillation

    Stanford study shows that people with the common sleep disorder, sleep apnoea are also 5 times more likely to develop Atrial Fibrillation and 60% more likely to experience a stroke later in life.

    Snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep could leave people at an increased risk of a stroke.

    Hundreds of millions of people globally have sleep apnoea, a disorder with symptoms including stopping and starting breathing, making snorting noises, waking up a lot and loud snoring. Many have the condition but are undiagnosed.

    The condition is already know to heighten the risk of serious health problems such as High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes and Depression.
    Now U.S. researchers have uncovered more evidence about its impact on the heart.

    Sleep apnoea significantly raises the risk of Atrial Fibrillation and stroke, they say.

  11. American Heart Association – 30 August 2023

    https://newsroom.heart.org/news/stress-and-insomnia-linked-to-irregular-heart-rhythms-after-menopause

    Stress and Insomnia linked to irregular Heart Rhythms after Menopause.

    1 in 4 women could develop irregular heart rhythms, known as Atrial Fibrillation after menopause, with stressful life events and poor sleep being leading factors, according to a new research study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

    83,000 questionnaires by women ages 50 to 79 found –

    25% developed Atrial Fibrillation, which can increase their risk for stroke and heart failure.

    Stressful life events and insomnia were strongly linked to the development of Atrial Fibrillation, highlighting the need for mental well-being evaluations to be included with physical health examinations.

    12 million people in the United States will develop Atrial Fibrillation by 2030.

    “In my general cardiology practice, I see many post-menopausal women with picture perfect physical health who struggle with poor sleep and negative psychological emotional feelings or experience, which we know may put them at risk for developing Atrial Fibrillation. I strongly believe that psychosocial factors are the missing piece to the puzzle of the genesis of Atrial Fibrillation.”
    Susan X. Zhao – M.D., Cardiologist, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, California.

    Researchers noted that stressful life events, poor sleep and feelings, such as depression and anxiety or feeling overwhelmed by one’s circumstances are often inter-related. It is difficult to know whether these factors accumulate gradually over the years to increase the risk of Atrial Fibrillation as women age.

  12. The Guardian – 5 March 2024

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/mar/05/artificial-sweeteners-diet-soda-heart-condition-study

    Artificially sweetened drinks linked to risk of irregular heartbeat

    A new study from China reports that consuming more than 2 litres of diet soda or other artificially sweetened drinks a week could increase the risk of a dangerous irregular heartbeat – Atrial Fibrillation (AF) – by 20% compared with people who drink none.
    https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCEP.123.012145

    A healthy diet and exercise have been shown to decrease recurrence rates of AF.

    Symptoms of AF include fatigue, shortness of breath and palpitations.

    AF can also lead to blood clots, strokes and other heart-related complications.

    The US’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability and AF is the leading cause of stroke in the United States.

    Those above 65 are at greater risk for heart conditions such as AF and stroke.

    Whatever the medical reasons that are cited for having AF, is it possible that AF or, in fact, any other heart condition we ‘get’, is more to do with how open and loving we are with ourselves and other people?

    Is it possible that, if we live our lives closed off to humanity and not willing to love others or allow others to love us, then the only possible response is for our heart to manifest some form of ill?

    As someone that has lived with AF for the last several years, I know that being closed off to the world, not allowing myself to let the love in, not allowing myself to let the love out, not allowing myself to be open, holding back what I feel, has manifested this illness in me.

    And, of course, if I have manifested this illness in myself through my choices, I know I can make different choices to truly heal myself.

  13. European Society of Cardiology – 7 April 2024

    https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/New-evidence-links-passive-smoking-with-dangerous-heart-rhythm-disorder

    New evidence links passive smoking with dangerous heart rhythm disorder.

    Exposure to second-hand smoke – even in small amounts is linked with GREATER RISK of a serious heart rhythm disorder.

    The likelihood of Atrial Fibrillation increased as the duration of passive smoking lengthened.

    400,493 adults were included in the analyses.

    “The dangers of second-hand smoke were significant regardless of whether individuals were at home, outdoors or at work, indicating that exposure universally elevates the risk of Atrial Fibrillation.
    We should make every effort to avoid spending time in smoky environments.”
    According to our study, once exposed to second-hand smoke, the likelihood of developing Atrial Fibrillation begins to increase, with the risk escalating significantly as the exposure time lengthens.”
    Dr. Kyung-Yeon Lee – Seoul National University Hospital, Republic of Korea

    It is well established that passive smoking is linked to coronary artery disease and premature death.

  14. Nursing Times – 18 April 2024

    Heart Failure ‘most common’ complication of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

    https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/cardiovascular/heart-failure-most-common-complication-of-atrial-fibrillation-18-04-2024/

    Researchers found that the lifetime risk of developing AF – irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate heart rhythm – has increased from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3 over the last 20 years.

    Although AF guidelines principally focus on stroke prevention, the findings indicate that heart failure was the major complication.

    Among those with the condition, 2 in 5 were found to be likely to develop heart failure over their remaining lifetime and one in five a stroke.

    NHS in England – more new cases of AF were diagnosed each year than the 4 most common causes of cancer combined.

    I have just read an article about how younger women are more likely to have heart disease if they also have mental health conditions.

    With AF diagnosis now becoming more prevalent as well, there seems to be an overall increase in heart conditions being diagnosed and those being diagnosed are not what can be considered to be the norm.

    Why is that?

    Why are there more and more heart related illnesses being diagnosed?

    Having lived with AF myself for the last several years, I feel that my diagnosis was due to the fact that I had closed my heart off.

    Although I was friendly and outgoing, the truth is I was withdrawn and contracted when it came to letting the love in from others, and also, just as importantly, letting the love that was in me, out.

    Does it not make sense, that if we have closed off our hearts, then that closing down of the heart, has to manifest somewhere in the body? – hence heart disease.

    Surely, looking at all illness and disease as something that we manifest in our bodies because of our daily choices, is a mature and responsible way of dealing with life?

    If we look at illness and disease as something we ‘get’ rather than something that comes ‘from’ us, is it possible that we will never get to the true cause of why we have an illness or disease?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *