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Old 05-25-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
Shannon Franklin
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Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

Recently one of my clients was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Apparently it increases the risk of stroke (for patients who already have other precursors), for which my client does.

He is about 60 pounds overweight.

His doctor told him "no more strenuous exercise".

Does anyone have experience with this either directly or indirectly?

Ray is heartbroken, as he really loves CrossFit.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

I have exercise induced afib. I've been dealing with it and crossfit for a little over a year. I'll be 63 in a couple of months. My cardiac doc tells me blood clots are an issue if you are in afib for more than 24 hours, then they want to get you in for the blood thinners. I've never been in afib for more than a couple of hours but it sure is scary. I feel every heartbeat, it feels like my heart is trying to crawl out of my chest. I don't take thinners because the vast majority of the time I'm in normal rhythm and my heart/circulatory system is very healthy. Resting heart rate close to 60, BP 110/65. About "strenuous" exercise. I think few doctors could explain very well what they mean by this. I've had tabata intervals on my airdyne put me into afib. I've also gone into afib doing Cindy and gone back into normal rhythm while doing an easy ride on the airdyne. Same exercise done differently cures the disease it causes. In my case seasonal allergies bring on the attacks. I was great all winter, this spring started acting up again. I now work out at home with an air filter to remove the dust and pollen from the air and am mostly okay. I hate this too but have managed to work around it, though I work out mostly at home now and miss my crossfit friends. Really sucks.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:53 AM   #3
Shannon Franklin
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

Wow, Michael.

Thank you for sharing your experience with a fib with me. It definitely sounds pretty hard-core and frightening.

My client has what is called "permanent" a fib. This means his episodes are ongoing, and have been so for a year or more.

I understand that someone with A fib, if they have other risk factors (such as smoking, being overweight, etc.) has 7X the normal risk of stroke.

This is clearly nothing to mess around with.

I really appreciate your insight. I am going to continue to gather information before I decide whether or not it is too much of a risk for him to continue.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

These are good sources of info about afib:

Heart Rhythm Society: hrsonline.org
Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/...tion/afib.aspx
University of Utah Cardio Unit: http://healthcare.utah.edu/cardiovas...brillation.php

One article I read was a study done on Norwegian crosscountry skiers. The senior level skiers had about an 18% rate of getting afib as they got older. Some were treated with drugs, some got a procedure called RF ablation. Mostly they just kept skiing. Best of luck to Ray.

I forgot to mention, the paleo diet helped me a lot I'm pretty sure. Helped my allergies.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

This is a good summary of AF and athletes (from "The Athletes Heart Blog"):
http://athletesheart.blogspot.com/20...hletes-in.html
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
Shannon Franklin
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

Thank you again, Michael. I am going to take a look at this information and pass it along to my client.

You rock!
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

One year update:
My afib continued to progress regardless of the supplements I took. I decided to go ahead with the rf ablation procedure. I'm two days off the table, feel pretty crappy now but I have a 90+% chance of being free of afib after the 3-4 month healing period. I had the procedure done at California Pacific Medical Center by Dr. Andrea Natale. I have mixed feelings about the experience. Everyone, I mean every single person at the hospital was great, professional and courteous, listened to my questions and explained everything a thoroughly as possible. The operating room looks like something out of Sci-Fi, so much equipment and monitors. But right now I feel completely drained. My digestive system seems to have mostly shut down. But given the odds of getting rid of the afib it was worth it. Afib can make you crazy, I couldn't do a five minute workout without worrying about going out of rhythm. Some people don't notice it much but I felt every heartbeat, I go into adrenalin mode which only makes it worse. Anyway, there is a cure for all but the most severe cases. I recommend the a-fib.com website. It is updated often, more is known almost every week about this condition. There is a genetic component I've learned recently. Best wishes to anyone trying to deal with this. I understand the sooner you deal with it the better the odds for a 100% cure. I will definitely do another update in 3-4 months when I'm off all meds and back to working out. I'm hoping to beat my 14 round PR of Cindy by the end of the year.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
Sean Rockett
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael V. Erickson View Post
One year update:
My afib continued to progress regardless of the supplements I took. I decided to go ahead with the rf ablation procedure. I'm two days off the table, feel pretty crappy now but I have a 90+% chance of being free of afib after the 3-4 month healing period. I had the procedure done at California Pacific Medical Center by Dr. Andrea Natale. I have mixed feelings about the experience. Everyone, I mean every single person at the hospital was great, professional and courteous, listened to my questions and explained everything a thoroughly as possible. The operating room looks like something out of Sci-Fi, so much equipment and monitors. But right now I feel completely drained. My digestive system seems to have mostly shut down. But given the odds of getting rid of the afib it was worth it. Afib can make you crazy, I couldn't do a five minute workout without worrying about going out of rhythm. Some people don't notice it much but I felt every heartbeat, I go into adrenalin mode which only makes it worse. Anyway, there is a cure for all but the most severe cases. I recommend the a-fib.com website. It is updated often, more is known almost every week about this condition. There is a genetic component I've learned recently. Best wishes to anyone trying to deal with this. I understand the sooner you deal with it the better the odds for a 100% cure. I will definitely do another update in 3-4 months when I'm off all meds and back to working out. I'm hoping to beat my 14 round PR of Cindy by the end of the year.
are you in a regular rhythm now?
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:02 AM   #9
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Rockett View Post
are you in a regular rhythm now?
Yes, but my pulse rate is high, around 100. The nurse practitioner explained the vagus nerve can be effected by the procedure. It can take from a few days to a year for the pulse rate to return to where it was before.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:17 AM   #10
Hollie Jacobs
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Re: Clients with Atrial Fibrillation?

This is an interesting case. But good to know anyone can still get better after this.
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