runningin mud

Running in A Fib is Like Running in Mud

It turns out atrial fibrillation is pretty common in middle-aged endurance athletes. I went into persistent atrial fibrillation in April of 2012 and was surprised to find out how common it was in athletes, but also surprised to find out there weren’t a lot of resources on the web other than a single report here and there. I am writing this blog in order to provide information about atrial fibrillation for athletes from an athlete’s point of view only.

My purpose is not to give medical advice. I am a podiatrist employed at Klamath Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic in Klamath Falls, Oregon (I also work part time at the Klamath Tribal Health and Wellness Center in Chiloquin, Oregon on a diabetic foot care grant) – my podiatry practice is limited to the treatment of the foot and ankle – not the heart. Cardiology is not in my scope of practice.


I am Michael McCullough, a 53-year-old distance runner and mountain biker living in Klamath Falls, Oregon, who is in persistent atrial fibrillation – meaning that I do not go in and out of atrial fibrillation, like some athletes; but that I’m in atrial fibrillation all the time and I’m not expected to ever be out of atrial fibrillation. I am more or less asymptomatic, except for palpitations and, of course,  a slower pace, and do not take any specific treatment except for a blood thinner (Pradaxa).

I continue to enjoy marathoning, trail running, mountain biking, hiking, and any other outdoor activity for that matter. I am not sure how many marathons I have completed, but probably around fifteen. I have trained for two 50K runs, but was only able to run one of them. I was discouraged to participate in my first 50K by my electrophysiologist (more on that later). That was before he actually saw me as a patient.

My recent events include the Vancouver USA Marathon, the Peterson Ridge Rumble, a 20 mile trail run in Sisters, Oregon (that allows dogs!), Lake of the Woods 15K, and the SOB Trail Run. Upcoming events include Bizz Johnson 50K in October.


I strongly encourage comments on this blog. I can only write about my own experience – please share yours.

95 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Running My First Marathon While In Persistent Atrial Fibrillation | A Fib Runner – Distance Running and Mountain Biking With Atrial Fibrillation

  2. Fabulous blog – encouraging for those with A-Fib. My husband, Steve Ryan, is a runner too. He developed A-fib in 1997. He found his cure, a catheter ablation, in Bordeaux France in 1998. He started http://www.A-Fib.com to share what he learned about finding your cure. Last year, we wrote a book. Would you like a copy to read and review? Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, by Steve S. Ryan, PhD. Email me if interested at: pattijryan(at)a-fib.com.

    • I am in persistent a fib and my cardiologist (electrophysiologist) recommended I try cardioversion at least once, and I did. I was in normal sinus rhythm for 31 days but eventually reverted back to a fib. I think it was a good idea for me and worth a try. I have a blog entry about it here somewhere – there’s even a video of a man being cardioverted.

      • Update.. I had a cardioversion last October and felt GREAT for 10 months.. but now.. IT’S BBBBAAAACCCKKKK, darn it. I have another appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow but I’m leaning now toward “living with it”..

      • Also tried cardioversion, did not workout. Have Afib, long distance runner, 61 yrs young looking for a blog to help me thru this.

  3. Question – does your heart rate go high sometimes when you are at rest? That is the scary thing for me with my a fib…I ran marathons and 50Ks prior to my a fib. I passed out on the finish line at a trail run and that is how I was diagnosed with a fib. Since then, I have been pretty scared to run. Also, the meds I am on keep my not feeling so great.

    • Hello, Thanks for your comment. My personal experience is that my heart rate stays within normal range. It is still a bit higher than normal, but not much. My cardiologist has not recommended any meds to lower my heart rate. So far – so good. It sounds like you have a fast heart rate – or at least episodes of a fast heart rate. I feel I am very fortunate that I am not on any meds to control my heart rate because I think that would very much limit my ability to run.

  4. Yes, that is correct. Before A fib, my heart rate was normal and even a little slow. Post A Fib, I have had problems controlling the rate. I am on beta blocker and calcium blocker to control the rate and it makes me tired. Now I am headed toward an ablation. I want to get my life back…

    • Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. A beta blocker reduces your maximum heart rate. Twenty years ago, way before I ever had a fib, and before I had my surgery to repair my leaky mitral valve, I was on atenolol (beta blocker) and it significantly lowered my maximum heart rate. Back then I mostly mountain biked and it killed my ability to get up a hill with any type of speed. Most people aren’t athletes and probably NEVER notice this effect of taking a beta blocker – but if you are a runner or cyclist it is devastating.

      • Say JoAnna – if you’d like to write about your experience at the trail run where you actually passed out as a result of the undiagnosed a fib I would love to post it on this blog. How would you feel about being a guest blogger?

  5. I would very much like to write about my experience. I think it would be therapeutic. The worst thing about this condition is the unpredictable nature and how to cope with that. The race was in March and now it is the first of October and I am still processing everything. It takes time. I will work on a blog and maybe you can help me with some editing. I have never blogged before…

      • Hi, again. I wrote my story but put it aside for awhile. It brought up a lot of issues for me. I got an ablation in early November for my A Fib and so far my heart is beating normally! I hope to return to running soon – I am still a little fearful after passing out in the race and being hospitalized for 2.5 days. I will reread the blog post I wrote and send to you soon.

  6. Hi Michael,
    My name is Kathleen Engel and I am an editor at Health Monitor Network in Montvale, NJ. My company publishes guides on various health conditions that are distributed free to patients through doctors’ offices. (You can see our site at healthmonitor.com.)

    I am working on a guide to living with afib and would love to chat with you by phone about your experiences. If you’re willing to be interviewed for a story in the guide, please let me know and we can set up a time at your convenience. I am also happy to send you a PDF or two of other guides we have done, so you see what these look like.

    Thanks, Michael! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kathleen Engel
    Editor, Health Monitor Network

    • Hi Kathleen
      I am living right in River Vale NJ.
      I was just diagnosed with A-Fib and Atrial Flutter
      I am an avid cyclist and runner. I do not want to take meds and would prefer to avoid the ablation.
      I predict I have had this condition for a minimum of 5 years and I just never put it together.
      99% of the time it has always been exercised induced. I just thought I was tired, dehydrated or over training.
      It would come on with no predictability. At some point of exertion My h.r. could exceed190 and sometimes even over 200. It would come down but remain over 140. If this would happen during the exercise, normally for the remaining portion of the ride ( more so with cycling than running) I would really never had the power/wattage to keep up with the ride pace.
      I would love the opportunity for any alternative information or help you can provide

      I am still running and cycling

      • Hi Phil, of course you want to avoid ablation and medications, but the reality is, in doing so you are exposing yourself to some dangers. While you are exerting yourself, your demand for Oxygen obviously increases and your heart rate increases. The problem with Atrial Fib is that it causes changes in the timing of the Atria and Ventricle contractions which leads to poor blood flow. As this insufficient pumping occurs, there are areas of low blood movement, whenever blood stagnates, it can form a clot. Obviously clots are bad as they cause strokes and other issues. This inefficient pumping action is apparent to you when you feel that you don’t have the power/wattage to keep your desired pace. Because of the risk of clotting is the reason why physicians often prescribe anti-coagulants. I’m personally taking 20mg/day of Rivaroxiban(Xarelto). As heart rate increases so does this inefficiency can increase, so some physicians will also use a Beta Blocker such as Metoprolol. This helps to keep my average heart rate lower, usually under 100bmp, rather than the 220bpm I can see.
        If you are worried about ablations, while there are risks, it does work well. Ihad one in 2003 and will be having another one shortly.

      • Hi Kathleen,
        My original post was from January and your reply was August. I actually had an ablation in April. I had two cardioversions after the ablation along with 6 weeks of amiodarone and 20 mg of Zeralto. Three months later I am happy to report I have been in normal sinus rhythm since May 16 and off all meds. Lets hope that it stays that way. I have resumed all exercise activity

  7. I’ve just read your blog and I can’t tell you how pleased I am – not that you’re in persistent AF, but that you’re a runner with a heart arrythmnia. I honestly thought I was the only one in the world. I have an intermittent arrythmnia which is triggered by exercise.. I first noticed it in December 2012 and eventually saw a cardiologist in March 2013. My 24 hour heart monitor didn’t mention AF, but the cardiologist did. He told me to carry on training as I have been. Shortly after I saw him, things improved and I was back doing my usual interval training. Then in July, it got so I’d only start the most gentle of jogs and it would start. I blamed the hot weather which started at the same time and the only two runs I did free of AF during the summer were when it was a bit cooler. Since September, things have got a little better. I now find that if I do a 13-14 minute mile to begin with, then a 12 minute mile, then 11 minute mile, I can keep the heart under control and after I’ve done 5 miles, I can speed up a bit – but I wouldn’t dare do tempo or interval work. I don’t run 5K’s any more as everyone would have gone home by the time I’ve warmed up. I did manage a slow New York Marathon a month ago and managed to keep the heart in check.
    I get quite down about it sometimes, especially when I have to go so slowly at the start of a run, when my legs, lungs and head are telling me to speed up, However, I know I’m lucky to be able to run even slowly and I try not to look back at old paces. My name is Sue, I’m 57 and I live in London.

  8. I am inspired by your blog. I’ve just been diagnosed with persistent afib and was shocked to get this news I am 56 years old and have done 6 marathons, countless half marathons and 10k races. I also play competitive tennis in usta leagues. My doctor has me taking multaq and eliqus and I feel like its unnecessary because I feel worse taking the meds yet I’m scared not to. How do you know you’re in afib? I couldn’t detect it other than I started getting really exhausted playing tennis and running. The exhaustion was not equal to the exertion. Still struggling to handle this news and how best to deal with it. I’m not a big believer in meds and am more into the body’s ability to heal itself.

    • Thanks for your kind words. It sounds like you are going in and out of a fib. I stay in a fib – I’m not sure but I don’t think I ever go out of it any more. Fortunately I am not very symptomatic and am able to run and bicycle with friends. I recall earlier when I went into a fib I was pretty exhausted and in general didn’t feel well. A couple of time (I now realize) this happened during races and I felt like total crap and did a lot of walking. In a way I’m lucky – I’d hate to feel that way all the time. Distance running is well suited to a fib – more so than tennis. I haven’t tried any sports with anaerobic bursts like that since being in a fib. Good luck, my friend!

  9. Great forum! Long overdue. I wonder if any of your afib suffering correspondents have addressed or attempted to determine what their aerobic threshold heart rate is for training purposes. As a younger man in my 40’s (non-afib) my aerobic rate was about 140bpm (above this rate I was training anaerobically something I had measured via blood lactic acid sampling done on a treadmill in a lab). Now at 67 diagnosed with afib, at a perceived level of exertion equivalent I think to my previous aerobic threshold exertion level, my heart rate is 155-165. But I have no way of knowing if this is truly my aerobic threshold. I wonder if any of your readers have thought about the same problem and how to solve it.

    In other words is there to determine aerobic training thresholds for afib patients? Or is it just a matter of listening to your body and leaving it at that?

    Keep up the great work.


  10. Hi Michael,

    I am wondering if you use a heart rate monitor when you run, and if so, how high does your heart rate get, or is it very accurate? I have persistent a-fib (resting HR ~ 85 bpm), and when I go into a light jog, the Garmin monitor I have says that my HR goes to like 190, but I do not feel like its that high. I’m 32 yrs. old, 6’2″ and about 210 lbs. I’ve never been a long-distance runner, but when I was not in a-fib, I could do a 9:00 mile with some decent training, and when I was in a-fib that dropped to probably 12-13 min/mile, but I could do it and feel good about it. I’ve never had an a-fib “attack” that just floored me, just an overall reduction in my abilities, which is why it took me a while to recognize that something was wrong. Anyway, I will be getting an ablation in a few weeks, but in the mean time have a hiking trip and I am debating whether to trust the readings from this monitor or just go with how I feel.

    I’ve really enjoyed the blog! Thanks for writing!

    • Thanks for your comment. I hope your ablation is a success!

      I had open heart surgery twenty years ago to repair a leaky mitral valve. The only bad result I have had is my xiphoid process (the little bone at the bottom of the sternum) now sticks out and bulges in such a way that the band on my heart rate monitor is very uncomfortable. So, no, I don’t use a heart rate monitor.

      I suspect a heart rate monitor doesn’t work when you’re in a fib, because the heart rate is so irregular. I’m not sure how the heart rate monitor works but I think that it measures time between beats, which is highly variable with a fib – so it has trouble nailing an accurate heart rate. I can recall having my heart rate monitor malfunction – just get stuck and blink on 175 or whatever, even after I was done running. I thought the monitor was broken but now I’m guessing I was going into a fib an I just didn’t know it at the time.

    • Matt – I hope your ablation goes well. I had mine 5 weeks ago and other than a few runs of AF in the first 10 days or so (which is to be expected, I’ve been fine. I’m back training with so far, no AF. Please let us know how you get on.

  11. Well, the ablation was done Monday, and I came home Tuesday. The EP said it went well, but had to do more ablating than he thought (about 300 spots/burns). My chest cavity was very sore for a few days and I couldn’t sleep laying flat. That has mostly gone away now, but the catheter entry sites are still quite sore. Hurts to walk for very long. So far, my heart has been in rhythm, although I am getting quite a few “skipped beats,” which are probably PACs or PAVs from what I have read. I am on flecainide for the 3-month healing period, and haven’t noticed any weird side effects.

  12. Hi Michael, we would love for you to share your story in EP Lab Digest. Please contact the editor at jelrod at hmpcommunications dot com for more information! Thanks!

  13. I have been in persistent AFIB for 12 months now, i have decided to live with it, i run 30 to 40 miles a week, my rest pulse is an uneven 55 can drop to 36, when i run if i don’t warm the heart up can rise to 205 but i keep it at about 190, running definantly helps get the heart more in rythym but i think only because its going so fast, soon drops if i slow down, just run a 5 k in 22 mins and was hilly, last week did a very hilly half marathon in 1 hour 45, i am nearly 59 and have been running since 1982, live in England. I take no pills whatsoever betablockers went straight down the toilet, have been told by the doctor to have the electric shock treatment but giving it a miss as dont want to take the blood thinning drugs as i Mountain race alot and constantly cutting myself so would probably bleed to death!! lol. lost about 2 stone in weight since being afib but that could be due to cycling long distance.

    • Thanks for your kind comment. Our situations have a lot in common except that I am struggling through taking the anticoagulant (all dressed and ready to go on a mountain bike ride {on an actual mountain} as I type), and taking the beta blocker (which slows me to a ridiculous climbing pace – but I think it is actually doing what it is supposed to do). I’d love to hear more from you. If you’d like to write a guest article that’d be great to get a “rebel’s” point of view.

    • Hi i was gutted when i found out recently i had Paf.A fellow mountain runner reduce to flatish local runs etc,
      and live in wales.Intrested how its going now for you Charles
      as i am anti medication.


      • Harry be very careful, your A Fib greatly increases your chances of stroke. Is your personal belief of not taking medications worth the possibility of death, or worse, not being able to care for yourself due to brain injury? The blood thinners have no effect on performance.

  14. Hi Michael. My name is Tim. I had paroxysmal AFib starting in 2002, not recurring until 2007. My only option was an ablation as my resting HR was always in the low 30’s, sometimes upper 20’s. Something my docs missed however was my ventricular rate in AFib was only 50-70 bpm. It has been 4 years since my ablation with no more AFib, just some palpitations now and then. However, I did end up with a pacemaker for Sick Sinus Syndrome. I was an avid runner with a serious cycling problem before all this happened. I completed 9 marathons and countless races of half marathons and shorter distances. Now, with my pacemaker on board to keep my resting heart rate at 45 bpm and to increase it about 115bpm when I exercise I am back to running. Of course I blame most of my declining performance on the aging process but I am running my 3rd ultra this Sunday. I’m waiting for a race to make a “pacemaker” division so I can finally win something!!!

  15. Michael:

    I saw that you commented on my blog and have been meaning to follow up with you. I’m not an endurance athlete by any means but I do have paroxysmal afib and I have always worked out for years. I’m fascinated how you endurance guys can keep up your activity levels while being in afib. When I have an episode, I’m highly symptomatic so I can’t do much of anything other than sit down. As you did with my readers, I encourage your readers to check out my blog as I talk about my experiences with atrial fibrillation and afib in general. My blog is: http://www.livingwithatrialfibrillation.com

    If you are interested, Michael, I would love it if you could do a guest blog post for my blog. If you’re interested, please contact me through my blog or through the email address attached to this comment. I’d also like to connect you with another afib blogger I know who is an endurance runner as well.



  16. Michael:

    I tried to leave a comment and I got an error so I apologize if you’re getting a duplicate comment here as I try this one more time. You left a comment on my blog and I’ve been meaning to follow up with you. I have paroxysmal atrial fibrillation so I’m not in constant afib like you are. When I do have an episode, however, I’m highly symptomatic and can’t do much of anything but sit or stand still. I don’t know how you athletes stay so active while you’re in afib. It’s amazing!

    As you did on my blog, I would like to encourage your readers to check out my blog where
    I write about my own experiences with afib and about atrial fibrillation in general. The blog is:

    If you’re interested, I would love it if you could write a guest blog post for my blog. You can contact me through my blog or the email tied to this comment if you’d like to pursue that. I’d also like to connect you with another afib blogger I know who is also an endurance runner.



  17. Michael, thanks for the Blog, like you I am a middle age (concept I am still fighting) athlete and have Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (diagnosed 3 weeks ago) and am missing running climbing and biking. I am on diltiazem and it works but I go in and out of a-fib quite a bit. As an athlete who always wears a HRM I have discovered a quirk in the HRM’s. When I am out of a-fib HRM works perfect, but in a-fib I find my HRM is off by about 20 to 30 beats bpm as compared to my iphone pulse monitor. I know you are not giving medical advise and all a-fib is different for each person, but you run like I do, do you use a HRM and if so does it record higher when in a-fib? I ask because I am going to slowly start getting back into climbing, then biking to work then running. I want to get an estimate of my “mutant” heart rate when in afib and running especially on the heart rate drug. Curious technical question that NONE of the HRM manufactures will admit due to liability issues.

    • Thanks for your kind words.

      Clearly your heart rate is going to be elevated when you are in a fib. I have suspected, for some time, however, that heart rate monitors are inaccurate when in a fib. I think, but really am not sure, that the HRM estimates heart rate based on the time interval between individual beats. Since that is highly variable while in a fib, basically the HRM is not going to work well.

      I don’t use one because I had open heart surgery over 20 years ago and the band around my chest irritates my xiphoid process ( bottom section of sternum).

  18. I started getting afib attacks several years ago. Recently they started happening every night and I started getting so worried. I also noticed that my prostrate was acting up. I am only 45 so I was thinking that I am too young for all this. I bought a book called “A healthy prostrate in 90 days” and started doing his suggestions straight away. The first thing he recommends is an 8 day fast in which a special lemonade is consumed all day and fiber drinks mixed with bentonite clay are consumed 4 or 5 times per day. By the second night I didn’t have any afib attack, but I noticed when I awoke at 3 a.m. that my heart was doing irregular slow beats. This happened the next two nights. After 5 days of the fast I had no more afib or irregular heart beats. I have been off the fast for 2 weeks now and haven’t had any heart issues. I am so happy and full of optimism now! My prostrate is feeling normal as well. I was so depressed before this. I want to share this with as many people as I can and would love to hear if it helps someone else. One thing I did during the fast that was not mentioned in the book (the book is about the prostrate) is that I took 500mg of hawthorn berry suppliment on the 6th through 8th days of te fast and continue to do that now.

  19. I’m so happy to have found this blog. I’m a 35 year old woman, married with 3 children. Up until may 2013 I was a very fit and healthy person who absolutely loved running, it was a big part of my life, it was something my husband n I enjoyed doing together, it gave me a sense of achievement and as there is heart disease and other health issues within my family I always thought it essential to keep fit. However in may 2013 I collapsed at home and was admitted to hospital, I was found to have AF (I had gone to my gp previous with symptoms but wasn’t taken seriously), to find out that there was something wrong with my heart was devastating. Since then I have not run at all, my cardiologist has said ‘exercise but if you feel breathless stop’. It frightens me and it frightens my husband that I may collapse while out running and it puts me off trying, I think of my children and wonder am I being selfish to even consider going out running incase something happens to me. Like I said it was a huge part of my life and unless you’ve been a runner and had it taken away from you I don’t think you can fully understand how it feels, I’m sure some people think I’m crazy to actually miss something like this so badly!

  20. Hi Michael,

    I am happy to inform you that your blog has made Healthline’s list of the Best Atrial Fibrillation Blogs of 2015! Healthline’s editors carefully selected each winner based on quality, frequency of updates and contribution to the community. You can see the full list here: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-afib-blogs

    We created a badge to help you publicize your achievement: http://www.healthline.com/health/atrial-fibrillation/best-blogs-badge-2015 We encourage you to embed this badge on your site and share your status with your followers.

    Thank you again for providing a great resource to the Atrial Fibrillation community! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.



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  21. Hi Michael,

    Thank yo u so much for your blog… it is extremely informative!

    I’m 54 and have been running for 5 years now, peaking with a 50 miler and a full ironman. After taking a year off from racing and just doing about 20 miles/week, I got an Apple Watch for xmas. I had used a Garmin with a strap when I was more competitive and know what my ranges are. And I know my resting HR is around 43.

    I took my new watch on an easy social run and at one point it was feeling tougher than it should have and I saw my HR was in the 170s. I know from past experience that I need to be going close to all out to hit this level, so I thought it was the wrist sensor was just not accurate (which it isn’t that great BTW). So next run 2 days later, I used my garmin and strap and I hit 191! A HR that I’d never seen before. Then 2 days later, I ran again and when I came to a hill about 1 mile in, my HR started to climb, but when I went back down, it didn’t. It was 198. So I turned around and started to walk back and my HR came down to the 130’s (still very high). then I did a little jog and my heart raced to 251!!! So my running buddies made me stop and forced me to see a doctor.

    So, after seeing the doc, I’ve been diagnosed with Atrial flutter. They had me on blood thinnner and a beta blocker (and that just wiped me out). So after giving it serious thought and the fact that I didn’t want to be on drugs, or be limited in my activities, I am scheduled for an Atrial Flutter catheter ablation (less intense than for afib with a 90%+ success rate).

    Now I’m trying to figure out what to do post procedure. It seems like, according to the literature, endurance athletes have about a 50% chance of getting afib after having aflutter. And I’m 6’6″ and digging into the research, because of my height, it appears that I’m 2x-3x more likely to get afib than the general public.

    I know you live with afib. Have you had an ablation for the afib? How hard do you push yourself? Do you know people with aflutter and their experiences? I’m trying to come up with a game plan and believe it’s gonna be hard to curtail my running and biking (swimming is easy to curtail as I only do it so I can be in triathlons 😉 ). Did you wrestle with these questions or know of others that did? It seems like the odds are that I’ll end up in afib at some point whether I curtail or not, so I’m weighing my options of limiting myself to try to avoid the almost inevitable or just plowing forward and when the afib comes get that ablated too.

    • Thanks for your kind comments. I haven’t had an ablation and don’t plan on it because, for my situation, it is unlikely to help. As you stated the likelihood of success for atrial flutter is more favorable, plus you have not been in the arrhythmia for years like I have. I have a friend who has had atrial flutter and he has told me it is quite uncomfortable, as opposed to my a fib, which I barely notice.

      One theory about endurance athletes and a fib is that we tend to train a lot and don’t have adequate recovery which sets up chronic inflammation in the atrium, leading to fibrosis and disruption of the conduction pathways. I’m not sure if this is exactly what happens, but that’s one theory. With that in mind the answer to your question seems to be train but allow rest days or recovery days.

      By the way, if you’d be willing to expand your comment and write about your experience I’d love to have you be a guest blogger for afibrunner. Let me know.

    • Michael…..Just some thoughts on your post. I am a 65 year old who has been running 41 years, has run bostons, JFK 50 milers, and probably over 600 races in my career. I am also tall at 6’3″, and come from a family of folks that have struggled with afib. On Nov 7th, I went into both afib and arterial flutter. My garmin numbers during easy running went from the usual 125 to maniac numbers like yours. Went on xeralto and have remained on it since. Had a failed electro cardioversion on Jan 2nd of this year which kept me in rhythm only four hours. Tried three of the toxic rhythm meds to no avail. on February 14th I had an ablation for both flutter and afib. First six weeks were horrible, but then things started to settle down. They implanted a small stick in my chest that will record my heart for the next three years. At my last visit, my afib was down to around half of one percent of the time. May improve, may not, may get worse. No one knows. I am back at the gym lifting weights and on the recumbent. That goes very well. I am at the walk jog stage, and usually have some short afib moments in the first five minutes which disappear, and then jog my heart up to 125, and walk it back to 105, and do that for an hour 4 days a week. I am improving, and am doing more jogging than walking at this time. My only goal is to try to get to an hour of running on those 4 days a week I am not at the gym. My wife made me promise not to try to race any more, and I have agreed to that. I, probably like you, never learned to do a race for fun…..it was always to my limits. As far as ablations, they are very safe with very few risks if done at high volume centers. I had mine done thru texas cardiac arythmia in el paso. If over time my afib were to return to an uncomfortable level, I would definitely do it again. Hope this helps…….Tom

      • Wow – that’s an excellent result. And a wise decision to stay on the Xarelto, because, well, you never know. Given my anatomy I was told the procedure was likely doomed; but then again I’m sure it wouldn’t take much doctor shopping to find somebody who would do the procedure!

  22. I’m a trail/ ultra runner and I’ve just been diagnosed with A-Fib, after having a scary episode. Trying to get the lay of this new landscape. Where do I start reading/ researching?

  23. At age 65, after 41 years of running, i went into Afib a week ago monday for now a continuous 9 days. my doctor took an ekg and immediately sent my to a cardiologist who told me i was in persistent Afib with arterial flutter, and i am now on a blood thinner scheduled for an electrical cardioversion on november 28th. i have read that since this is my first Afib event, there is about a 50-50 chance of long term success by having it done within first 30 days. i recognize that this may or may not solve my problem long term. may need an ablation down the line. my question is, if the doctor wants to put me on any kind of rhythm medication, is there any that will allow me to still run, or should i just stay on a blood thinner forever and just go back to my running and weightlifting and if i have more afib, just move onto ablation. i have read that the rhythm meds make you feel like a zombie and have lots of side effects that are actually harmful to your heart. Not asking for you to make a medical decision for me, just wanting to know what your personal experience has been with any of these meds…..thanks tom

    • Thanks for your comment. Honestly I have no knowledge regarding antiarrhythmics. I’ve never taken one. Hopefully some other readers will chime in. I can tell you that my experience with beta blockers (carvedilol) is that they take the wind out of my sails but I continue on – slowly!

  24. I had a abaltion in april 2016. So far so good. My surgeon was Dr Vivek Reddy.
    I was on a blood thinner for a short period of time before and after the ablation.
    I was on amiodarone for aprox six weeks as well to help my heart stay in NSR.
    I am 50 years old and exercise daily
    Bike and run

  25. Hi Michael,
    I’m a bit late to this site so not sure if it’s still active?
    I was interested to read your blog. We came across it as my wife has a burning desire to climb Kilimanjaro and reach the top, I’m more it’s the journey than the destination type but fancied going along. My wife was concerned that it might cause me a problem as I am in constant Afib. Such a drag getting the body bag back through customs! There is so much confusing information out there and it seems there is certainly not a one case fits all scenario. I have been in constant Afib for about 5 years now and am approaching the number 1 on the CHAD scale at the age of 65. I am not taking any anticoagulants even though I got a letter from my MD the other day – no words just a prescription for aspirin. This is probably as I asked him does anyone you see exist with this condition without taking any medication and his answer was no! I’m anti medication at all costs but if I really really thought it would help and wasn’t just ‘what the doctor has to do’ then I would.
    I have read research that says in many situations it doesn’t help. What you are always looking for is someone with your exact symptoms, age and lifestyle and then see how they are dealing with it. This site is the closest I have got to that so thanks.
    I feel good. I don’t run anymore though I was never a distance runner just around the park a few times or on holiday early morning whilst the rest of the family slept, that did it for me and I really did enjoy it. I had to stop playing football as my playing mates thought I was going to have a heart attack and being out of breath was no fun. I stopped all sport for a while but now have a routine of a bit of gym work and then several lengths on the pool which really seems to suit me very well. I have been a racquet and football player all of my life but a shoulder injury and more recently the Afib have stopped all that. I used to miss it but not anymore. Love swimming outdoors.
    Not much is mentioned re diet though I have developed a way of eating over the years that started as paleo and then transposed into lots of vegetables, salads and fish with less meat and no milk. Last two years no bread but lately sourdough has crept in to the diet. In general I have found that eating what is good for the microbiome is where it is at for me. My weight is steady and I feel great most of the time. The other biggest contribution to me feeling good is a healthy hydration regime. I have obviously neglected this all my life as whenever I went for a medical they would always say drink more water. It’s only after I developed Afib and actually managed to pass out twice that I put two and two together and made hydration a serious part of my daily routine, sine then I noticed so many benefits. No more passing out if I stand up too fast but also no more dizzy spells which I have experienced all through my life at times. I have a fairly slow heart rate – and still have. So even with continuous Afib I’m still around the 60 mark or less most of the time.
    I have seen two specialists and the results are the same no underlying problem, no plaque, no high blood pressure but constant Afib. The various medical procedures were gone through on a risk reward basis and since I feel good and am in general good health then the risks are not, at this time, worth it. You talk of mild stroke and recovery which sounds a bit scary.
    I would be happy to carry on as I am but I know that I am going to be under increased pressure to take aspirin or some other anticoagulant. I asked silly questions like if I stand on my head for a while each day will that stop any coagulation and other desperate suggestions.

    Can I ask when you started taking anticoagulants? It’s probably in the blog but I missed it. Was there a time when you took none or are there many others on this blog who don’t take any? There are certain foods that help thin the blood but I know they are not as effective as say Aspirin. My hydration regime is what I rely on in general along with the regular exercise. Am I kidding myself and can you feel perfectly fine, look after your diet and still get the dreaded blood clot forming? Like you I don’t really notice the Afib and only monitor it from time to time out of curiosity. All other aspects of my life are normal. I will do Kilimanjaro and don’t expect to have any more problems than most.

    • Hello. Thanks for kind and interesting comment.

      I started anticoagulant (Pradaxa) as soon as I was diagnosed and had a small stroke never the less. If you look at the numbers your chance of stroke is clearly decreased, but never eliminated, if you are anticoagulated no matter what your CHADS2 score is. I recommend aspirin at the very least. As far as diet I can’t figure out what is best but it is important that you remain well hydrated. As for me I am a vegetarian although that’s neither here nor there.

      We did a trek in the Andes while I was in a fib and I did fine, but my xperience may not necessarily apply to others.

      BTW after I had a small stroke while on Pradaxa I was switched to warfarin and aspirin and remain on the combination.

      Best wishes,


  26. Thank you for this informative site.

    Me: 58 years old, 3x Boston finisher, Ironman finisher. Had noticed that I no longer have zip in my legs and thought it was simply lack of conditioning/training = probably not with the below assessment.

    Diagnosed 30 days ago with afib….went on Eliquis and then had my first cardioversion five days ago.
    Follow up EKG late this week and then appointment with doc two weeks later. Think I’m already back out of rhythm based upon my own observation and a short run yesterday (thinking that may have prompted the recurrence)?

    Here’s my question: I’ve heard of multiple cardioversion treatments, (> ten)…any discussion of this, and if the first procedure isn’t successful have there been instances of subsequent procedures working?

    Appreciate reading the comments from the group

    • Thanks for your kind comment and for your question. I hope somebody van answer it because I have no idea. I had cardioversion once with the understanding that, for my situation, it was unlikely to work, but was worth a try. My electrophysiologist described it as a “one strike and you’re out” plan. I stayed in sinus rhythm for 33 days.

      I hope other people have had more favorable results.

    • James, I’m a 66 year old runner of 41 years who started with afib 15 months ago. first off, order and read the haywire heart. there are millions of us lifelong endurance athletes who have developed afib. the theory is that the scarring of your heart from insufficient healing during all those years of training pre supposes you to this disorder. cardiodiversion never lasts….less than nine percent are in rhythm a year later. I have had two ablations since, and although that works for over 80% of folks, I have been able to reduce my afib to less than half of one percent, but not knock it completely out. I also have sick sinus syndrome, from scarring on my AV node. I will be getting a pacemaker soon, and that will at least keep my HR from crashing after every attempt to run or ride a bike. So stay on the blood thinners, get an ablation, hope for the best, but above all, don’t go the route of those toxic rhythm medicines. They are fine short term, but are not a cure, and have too many nasty side effects. This won’t kill you, but will change your life. The longer you have it, the worse it is for your heart. It will remodel how it functions and make it harder to fix in the future. You can only do what you can do, and just now all you can do is find yourself the best Electro Physiologist heart doctor that is anywhere near to you and discuss step one…..an ablation. Best of luck….Tom

  27. I just discovered your blog thank goodness! Your discussion about running with beta blockers has given me hope. I’ve been running basically my entire life, but more short distances, like a 50.3 second 400 meters, certainly not great but at least okay. Then as I got older, I moved up to the usual 10k’s and 10 milers, and could eventually run them at low 6 minute per mile pace. That pace gradually slowed down over the last twenty years as I entered my 60’s. Then early last year at age 65 my EKG somewhat alarmingly showed skipped/missed beats, and I was diagnosed with second degree AV heart block and left bundle branch block, and had a pacemaker implanted. I have been able to continue running at a reduced pace. Then my two most recent echos showed a reduced ejection fraction, something around 45% to 50%, so I was first put on lisinopril, and when my pumping function didn’t improve, I was put on the beta blocker bisoprolol. In the six weeks since then, my running has become pathetic! I can usually push through by taking two minute walking breaks, or by walking up steep hills. It is just so much harder than it used to be, almost to the point of not being worth it. But I was searching about running while taking beta blockers and found your blog. Now I have at least some hope that my ejection fraction might improve, and the fatigue and very slow running might have some long run value! Thanks!

    • Thanks for your kind words. Yeah – beta blockers really have taken a lot of the wind out of my sails – but my ejection fraction, last time we checked, was actually higher than it ever has been – higher than it was before I was in A fib! My cardiologist said it was because my heart was so protected!

  28. Hi,
    This blog is awesome!

    I recently found out I might have AFib. I am a marathon runner (completed around 20 marathons) and I am currently training for a marathon. I am 33 and very nervous I won’t be able to run marathons. I really want a doctor who understands my passion for running. I would love a cardiologist who is also a runner. I read an article you wrote in which you talked about your cousin who is an electrophysiologist in Chicago. I live near Chicago, can you give me his name?

    Thanks so much for your help and for this blog!


    • Thanks for the kind reply, and I hope the best for you. It is indeed challenging dealing with cardiologists who don’t understand what we do. My cousin Chuckie has ran marathons, I’m not sure if is still doing that. Anyway – his name is Charles Kinder, MD and I imagine that nobody calls him Chuckie at work! I’m not sure where his clinic is but in this computer age it won’t take you long to find him. Best wishes!

  29. Pingback: Whatever Happened to AFIB Ultrarunner? | A Fib Runner – Distance Running and Mountain Biking With Atrial Fibrillation

  30. Good Morning,

    I am glad I found this blog. I am sitting here at the moment having some form of unconfirmed arrhythmia and scheduled for a 14M run with my friends at 8 today. I am going to back out of the run partially due to fear and partially as I don’t want to have problems high on the trails scaring my friends and embarrassing myself. I am also running Canyons next weekend. I have had PAC/AF for years and I have a EP doc who has suggested the ablation but I have resisted. It seems like when I see him I have been asymptomatic so I don’t feel the need. My symptoms may be persistent for months and then mostly disappear for a year. I have been reassured with stress tests and every test possible that structurally I am fine. I had an ultrasound and a stress test just a few months ago. I am 51 and tired of the anxiety this brings every time. I have my regular DR apt tomorrow but I think I am going to push forward with the ablation and hope for the best.

    I just want to run normal and continue what I love without having that nagging anxiety in the back of my mind when I become short of breath on the trail. Everyone is short of breath too but a little fear takes over and ruins my enjoyment of the run.

    • Wow – I think I understand what you’re going through my friend. I just want to run trails! I don’t want to even try to influence your decision, but I’ll just say this – if I was told an ablation would likely be helpful I’d seriously consider doing it.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. I will talk with my GP tomorrow and be frank with him. My worst symptom is the anxiety. The anxiety that develops when I try to go to sleep and I only feel palpitations. The anxiety on a ridiculously steep climb and I have trouble breathing but everyone else does too. I know mine are sometimes cardiac in origin but with just a few short minutes of rest I feel better. My symptoms are generally self limiting and I only take beta blockers as needed. I think if I get the nod for a high probability of success I think ill give it a go. I trust my EP. He is a runner and cyclist to an extent, he teaches classes on the athletes heart here to the running community. He is not a fan of ultra events nor is he discouraging but thinks there is a correlation with long term runners and my symptoms. He gently reminds us 30-45 minutes is plenty for cardiac health.

  31. I know what you mean about anxiety – for me it’s usually about whether or not I’m having a stroke. Every time I wake up and my hand is numb, or if I mispronounce a word – I become very alarmed.

  32. Pingback: Guest Blogger Request | A Fib Runner – Distance Running and Mountain Biking With Atrial Fibrillation

  33. Michael, it’s great to find your website. I’m a 50 yr old internal medicine physician and avid mountain/road biker. I live in the mountains of Western NC. I’ve always enjoyed long rides- road centuries and epic backcountry MTB adventures. I suffered a weird midbrain stroke last year that affected vertical gaze, but I was extremely fortunate to have complete resolution of symptoms. After testing, they found a PFO (hole in the heart). Following much back and forth, I decided to have it closed. The procedure generally entails 6 months of aspirin and plavix, but it also carries 3-6% risk of afib (usually brief and periop). Anyway, mine decided to occur 2 weeks later, requiring 2 cardioversions, followed by initiation of flecainide (anti-arrhythmic) and eliquis (in addition to aspirin). I had about a month of frequent afib, PACs, and bigeminy- highly symptomatic with all of this. Finally, the afib settled down, and I’ve been asymptomatic for about 7 weeks. I’m hoping that’s the end of this, but time will tell. In the meantime, I’ll be on aspirin and eliquis longer, but duration not yet clear. I’ve started gravel riding on my MTB again, but I plan to stay off the road or technical trails for now. I still get alarmed with any sense of palpitations, and I’m also paranoid with any questionable neurologic symptoms.

    It’s been an interesting journey, but it’s led to more empathy and connection to my patients. They share similar concern about so many other problems that are often much more serious than mine.

    Anyway, I’ll definitely follow your blog and wish you the best in your health and recreation journey.

    • Thanks for the comment and the kind words. I completely commiserate regarding what you are saying. My rides now are basically “gravel grinder” type rides with very little, if any, technical stuff. And road riding makes me nervous as well. Road rash doesn’t sound good with anticoagulants on board. Also, waking up in the night with numbness in my hand, or developing something as simple as a blepharospasm, totally freaks me out now!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I’m curious what were the initial symptoms of your mid brain stroke? How long did it take for you to recover? Do you think the patent foramen ovale contributed to causing the stroke? And one more question, I’m curious why both Eliquis and aspirin at this point?

      I look forward to hearing more from you and your journey.

      • I woke up unable to look up or down (lost vertical gaze). The stroke affected a small area in the pretectal midbrain, causing a rare constellation of findings called “Parinaud syndrome.” I couldn’t see straight and was very unsteady on my feet. Most of my gaze issues corrected within about 24 hrs, but I still had some issues with depth perception and balance for a couple weeks.

        PFOs are fairly common (maybe 25% or so of people have one), but they do confer a higher than average risk of stroke. The question is whether closing the PFO lowers the risk. For a long time, the data was unfavorable. A couple studies recently showed benefit to closing PFOs in select patients with cryptogenic strokes (strokes without another known cause). My doctors did a fairly exhaustive search for other causes and found nothing. I even had a long term linq heart monitor implanted in my chest to look for occult afib (afib that I wasn’t aware of). If they found afib then I’d need eliquis anyway, and there would benefit to closing the PFO. Anyway, the linq showed no afib for more than 6 months, so the neurologist recommended that I go ahead and have the PFO closed. Everything in medicine involves risk and benefits, and we felt that the procedure was indicated. One of the side effects of the procedure is afib, with is usually transient. Mine ended up being a recurring issue.

        Normally, after having a PFO closed, you have to take aspirin and plavix for about 6 months, then aspirin alone (for the rest of your life). The need for these meds relates to the device. Now that I have developed paroxysmal afib, my cardiologist recommends both eliquis and aspirin. If the afib resolves for long enough, I should be able to drop the eliquis at some point. We will see…

        The irony of this is that I had a procedure to lower stroke risk, but developed a complication that increases stroke risk 🙂

        For now, I’m just glad to be feeling better.

        Sorry for the long winded reply. It feels really good to connect on this blog.

  34. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I’m curious what were the initial symptoms of your mid brain stroke? How long did it take for you to recover? Do you think the patent foramen ovale contributed to causing the stroke? And one more question, I’m curious why both Eliquis and aspirin at this point?

    I look forward to hearing more from you and your journey.

    • Oh my gosh this sounds like such an incredibly frightening experience! When you awoke with these symptoms, did you go to the emergency room? With symptoms so atypical of a stroke, I am imaginr it took a while for doctors to arrive at a diagnosis. What a relief that the major symptoms resolved within 24 hours. I’m assuming a stroke of this sort cannot be treated with a clot buster?

      I am a retired physician myself, and had to re-read about Paranaud syndrome. It certainly isn’t anything I have thought about or seen in the past 40 years.

      As you say this is so ironic that you underwent a procedure to decrease stroke risk and no still have an increased progress because of sequelae from the procedure.

      I had bouts of a fib in 2008 and 2009. I was treated with Flecken eyed and in 2014 developed a prolonged QT and some pretty serious arrhythmias. It nearly killed me.

      I am no longer on an anti-arrhythmic, just metoprolol. When I turn 65 in 2015 I started Eliquis since the turning 65 increased my chad score.

      I have not had any symptomatic a fib in a long long time. I get occasional runs of some type of activity. I have a new cardiologist and I’m going to request a heart monitor. I had just been thinking of a 30 day but perhaps this implantable device might be the way to go. I would really like to get off the Eliquis if possible. I’m having a tremendous problem with bleeding and bruising.

      This condition is so perplexing. It almost seems many treatments make things worse. And sometimes I’m just not sure how to proceed. I may get a second opinion. I’m retired from the Navy, and ran into a colleague from many many years ago who has now retired from the Navy and set up practice in my town. I have great respect for him. I also have great respect for the new cardiologist I started seeing recently.

      • Sorry for all the typos. I pressed enter too quickly, and I’m not sure how to edit. Now that I am retired, I am hoping to have better continuity of care. The problem in the military is changing every 2 to 3 years due to transfers. I have seen my new civilian cardiologist just one time, and he did not want to change anything at that point. At my next appointment, I am scheduled for an echo and I will ask him then about a 30 day or implantable monitor to see what is actually going on with these occasional periods of ectopy I’m feeling. Also I have not had a stress test since 2010, and I’m noticing some decrease in my Fitness. It may just be aging from 60 to 69.

        I wish you all the best. I am very interested to continue hearing how you are doing and what the decision will be regarding the Eliquis. Do you think there’s a chance your a fib will resolve?

  35. No worry about the typos, and I hadn’t even heard of Parinauds before this happened.

    In terms of the event, I’d been on call the night before and was pretty tired. When I woke up late that morning, my vision was double. I thought (hoped) it was just exhaustion and fell back asleep. I was still seeing double when I woke up again, stumbled to the bathroom, and tried to examine myself. What I’ve now learned is that you cannot see your eyes move when looking in the mirror 🙂

    I did eventually conclude that it was an eye movement issue though. I first called my ophthalmology office and asked for an urgent appointment. Within about 10 minutes, I’d concluded that it was more serious and had my wife drive me to the ED. I was hoping that it was either a complicated migraine or stress (conversion symptoms).

    It did take awhile for them to figure out the diagnosis – MRI without contrast, then CTA head/neck, MRI with contrast, and even an LP (they were considering multiple sclerosis). I received a fair amount of conflicting input from local neurologists, but really trusted one. After discussing things with him (and with his blessing), I went to Emory for a second opinion.

    I hope my afib has resolved. It’s probably caused by the procedure– and the closure device between my atria). As my PFO epithelializes and heals, the afib may go away. Even if it does, I suspect my risk of recurrence is higher than average. Unfortunately, my CHADS-VASc is impacted by the prior stroke, even though it was probably PFO related as opposed to afib related.

    I wore a 30 day ACT monitor first, but then had the Linq monitor placed. The 30 day monitor was a bit of a pain, but not that bad. I just had to keep the wires hooked to 3 electrodes, and the monitor unit would go in my pocket (or on my belt). The implanted Linq is typically good for at least a year, and transmits wirelessly every night (the transmitter just needs to next to the bed). The Linq is under the skin on by left chest wall, about two finger breadths above and medial to the nipple. I think the size is about like two matches stuck together. It not very noticeable, and it doesn’t have to be removed when the battery runs out. I’ll probably have mine taken out at some point.

    For your case, if the symptoms occur very often, you may be able to pick it up with the 30 day monitor. If it’s less frequent or you want more certainly about the presence or absence of afib, then you may need the implanted monitor.

    I hear you in terms of wanting to be off eliquis. That’s my hope also. I do think it’s as good or slightly superior when compared to warfarin, and at least now there is a reversal product on the market. It still carries risk.

    • I think I would try the external 30 day monitor again to begin with. My symptoms do seem to come on every month. That external one is a pain, especially while wearing a CPAP device. I feel kind of claustrophobic. But it’s worth it to get a correct diagnosis.

      I was wondering whether you ended up going to a large medical center. I would think for some thing as rare, that would be critical.

      I sure hope is your device epithelialize is over your a fib will disappear. Being on the anticoagulant is no fun. Even with the reversal agent, from what I have heard my local hospitals do not carry it. Even so, I still have the name of the medication and the dosing in my phone.

      It sounds as though your emergency department was on the ball. I live in a small town with small community hospitals. It’s kind of scary. The facilities are just nowhere near the larger cities I have lived in. No capability for clamping or coiling a hemorrhagic stroke. Mobile is the largest medical center near me and is about an hour drive away so I would imagine a short helicopter ride.

      Are you back to exercising? I have resumed running but have been sidelined the last several months with orthopedic issues. Before the knee and hip pain I was running 3 to 4 miles four days a week. Much less than I was doing 10 years ago. The decrease in mileage is mainly due to orthopedic concerns rather than the heart. But the more I read on this forum lower mileage is probably better for our condition.

      Thank you again for sharing. I look forward to following your progress. And I wish you all the best!


      Sent from my iPhone


      • Hello, I used to suffer regular afib. It came on gradually and got pretty bad. It’s an awful feeling so,I was pretty frustrated. I was diagnosed with Lone Afib. I started reading everything I could find and the meds didn’t seem like a cure from what I read. Only temporary. So I researched night and day and bought massive amounts of various supplements and tried many things. It took me a year to get it under control.
        I want to say that I know every body is different and also afib from a known health problem is not what I had. The doctors couldn’t find the issue with my health. I just feel like if people heal themselves and then move on then maybe there is one person who I could have helped but didn’t. Here is what I found to help:
        After many supplements I happened to try the maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne fast for 6 days. I noticed that within a day or so I no longer had any afib for the rest of the fast. That got me thinking a lot about why did that help. Is it something with my body chemistry that is causing it? From the 12 Steps of afib list I tried paleo and that helped. Then I read on a forum that someone noticed that if they had bananas it would aggravate the I was having a banana every morning in my smoothie so I stopped that. Also at the same time I started taking Taurine and Arganine. That seemed to all help. At this point I was getting it much less frequently. Then I started doing this green powder that said it was also alkalizing. I was doing it for the wheat grass, and other greens in the powder. I had once read a Doctor’s statement that the body keeps its own PH in the right range and things that people say are alkalizing is just BS. His theory sounded plausible to me. I wasn’t really drinking it for PH. Just for some greens in my life. Regardless I noticed on the mornings that I did all the other things I mentioned and also the “alkalizing” green drink in the morning that I would not get any Afib. If I stopped all this stuff and especially the green drink then it would creep back into my life. All I know is that I don’t have to do all these things now but I do take them about once a week. I don’t have any more afib. I can even drink alcohol if a want and that used to really make it kick in. But I do eat more paleo now but not strictly and do the supplements a few times per week and the green drink 2-3 times per week.
        I am of the opinion that maybe we can become too acidic and that somehow effects the electric in our hearts. I have read that working out increases acid levels in the body also. Just maybe there is something to do with acidic chemistry? After all, it’s possible to make electrical current with some acid and metal. This is all just my own wonderment so I can’t make any claims at all except that I am so happy I am not plagued with the afib anymore. So my suggestion if you want to experiment is to try paleo, eat lots of extra Virgin olive oil tested for high polyphenols,(real EVOO smells like fresh cut grass, not like oil). Oleocanthal is amazing and also the science based studies say that real EVOO cuts stroke risk 41%.
        Try Taurine, Arginine and Cayenne. Also avoid too much potassium from bananas etc. and find a green powder drink that says it’s alkalizing from the health food store. By the way, I did experiment with bananas and it did seem like if I ate them everyday then my risk would go up. This was contrary to what I had believed, thinking I needed more potassium for afib. Magnesium didn’t seem to help either but didn’t seem to make it worse. Also like probably 50 other things had tried didn’t seem to help. Oh also maybe, just maybe, hawthorn berry helps a little. But overall I think for me it was a matter of body chemistry being off from years of normal western diet and by changing my habits (it was hard) I managed to stop it.
        Please let me know if you try this and do have success.
        All the best,

      • The one I got is from Garden of Life. It says Raw Organic Perfect Food. Alkalizer & Detoxifier. Juiced Green Superfood. I am assuming that it doesn’t have to be this exact brand. Just similar ingredients.

  36. Michael:

    I don’t know if you’re still maintaining this blog or not as there haven’t been any posts for a long time nor do I see many replies from you lately. Either way, I’m going to leave this comment and hope you get it.

    I own the blog, http://www.LivingWithAtrialFibrillation.com, and I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a guest blog post? I get a lot of people visiting my site looking for info on running with afib so it would be great to get your insights on the topic.

    If you’re interested, please email me (my email was left with my comments) or contact me via my contact page on my blog.



    P.S. Sorry to leave this kind of message via the comments on your blog but I looked high and low throughout your blog and couldn’t find a contact us page or an email to contact you directly.

  37. I got a feeling I may have permanent afib. My resting heartrate is fine as is blood pressure. But according to my Polar Verity Sense my heartrate spikes when I run/walk fast unfortunately. How I found out about this afib was a diagnosis of a Pulmonary Embolism. Very frustrating. I’d like to know how to improve my fitness without spiking my heartrate.

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