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Old 09-14-2013, 01:27 PM
 
155 posts, read 266,852 times
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Hi my 73 year old mother is seeing a Cardiologist next week for a condition her PCP discovered: Heart Arrhythmia. My mother is overall healthy and currently does not take any prescription medications.

Has anyone been diagnosed with this condition?

What questions are best to ask at the Cardiologist?

What tests are best?

How do you monitor your condition?

Are there diet, nutrition, supplements and exercise regimes you have found beneficial?

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:58 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 12,841,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbless View Post
Hi my 73 year old mother is seeing a Cardiologist next week for a condition her PCP discovered: Heart Arrhythmia. My mother is overall healthy and currently does not take any prescription medications.

Has anyone been diagnosed with this condition?

What questions are best to ask at the Cardiologist?

What tests are best?

How do you monitor your condition?

Are there diet, nutrition, supplements and exercise regimes you have found beneficial?

Thanks in advance!!!
This is the easiest way to explain this condition: Atrial fibrillation - MayoClinic.com
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Durham UK
2,031 posts, read 4,502,330 times
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the commonest heart arrhythmias. Did your Mother go to her PCP complaining of symptoms of AF eg shortness of breath, palpitations etc ,or was it found on a routine check up?
On its own AF isn't particularly dangerous, but if it's persistent and very fast it can lead to problems breathing, chest pain,blackouts and other heart problems that can be more dangerous/serous.
If it's combined with other risk factors for stroke eg high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes then it carries a significantly higher stroke risk than if these risk factors aren't present.
Your Mother may just be very fit and healthy, but it's quite unusual for someone of 73 not to be on any prescription meds. Does she see her PCP regularly and has high BP or cholesterol ever been mentioned to her, or has she chosen not to take suggested meds for any of the risk factors mentioned above?
She can help by avoiding stimulants such as caffeine (also found in tea as well as coffee)and tobacco, staying hydrated especially when it's hot and taking regular excercise within her limits. An overactive thyroid can lead to AF as well as some other conditions.
Good that she's seeing a cardiologist.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,684 posts, read 45,045,110 times
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My wife was diagnosed with AF 20 years ago and is taking prescribed digoxin for it. I pill daily. She also takes a pill for a thyroid condition. She's on no special diet or special exercise regimen for AF, though she has MS and does the exercises they recommend.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: NJ
15,912 posts, read 10,962,018 times
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Default medicine is an art AND a science..Afib can be abstract art

Afib can be caused by anything from sudden altitude change to stress to ice cold drinks, caffeine and so on.

A first fib will require searching for an organic cause, in the absence of finding a physical cause the answer will be a nebulous guess and depending on the doc may be treated chemically with low BP meds, low heart rate meds, aspirin or other blood thinners.... or no treatment at all.

1st check is thyroid, BP, Thalium stress test/scan and every other test you can think of. Alert!!!! any graph, scan or exray is interpretive. In one case a pt was dx with an enlarged heart. the cardio partners all looked and agreed the patient was doomed. Ended up at the NIH and was rejected from the study because, 'there is nothing wrong with you" A thick cordae tendonae was viewed from the wrong angle and thought to be a thickened heart wall. And the partners all agreed it was an enlarged heart...... so much for a 2nd opinion by your partner.

Be your mom's patient advocate.... you don't need medical knowledge, just ask the same questions and see if you get differnt answers. Pay attention to any conflicting information. To avoid being categorized by the docs confidence in his vast experience, ask him to explain his answers carefully so he has to think about what he is saying. Otherwise you will know what it is like for a dog or cat at the vet's office.
Don't allow any questions to be ignored or provide with illogical answers.

A lone fib may be common in athletes or others and require no treatment, again depending on the individual doc and patient. a super conservative CYA approach will have you hogged tied with meds that reduce quality of life.

Make sure you get a 2nd opinion in lieu of finding an organic cause as some docs treat older patiets as just someone waiting to die rather than a living human. Recommend finding a good geriatric doc. If some doc tells you it is just old age, run Bambi run!!!!! Don't look back!

A word about meds....while generics are exponentially cheaper than brand names be aware a generic version of a brand may be totally ineffective or exacerbate symptoms. Always try a brand before you try a generic so you have a reference to judge the effectiveness of the generic.

Case in point was my mom inlaws experience with a med used for bladder cntrol ...brand worked fine, but she was later given a generic which caused symptoms to worsen. If it hadn't been checked into, she would have complained to the doc the brand name med was not working.

While a single experience does not translate to a rule, there are enough cases of brands and generics not being equal so be alert to the differences especially with heart meds.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,752,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kracer View Post
A word about meds....while generics are exponentially cheaper than brand names be aware a generic version of a brand may be totally ineffective or exacerbate symptoms. Always try a brand before you try a generic so you have a reference to judge the effectiveness of the generic.

Case in point was my mom inlaws experience with a med used for bladder cntrol ...brand worked fine, but she was later given a generic which caused symptoms to worsen. If it hadn't been checked into, she would have complained to the doc the brand name med was not working.

While a single experience does not translate to a rule, there are enough cases of brands and generics not being equal so be alert to the differences especially with heart meds.
I agree with most everything Kracer said regarding Afib (my husband was diagnosed with it 8 years ago at 35 yrs old). I do not agree with his opinion of brand name vs. generic medications. The FDA regulates all prescription medications. For a generic to be passed for usage, it has to contain the exact ingredients in the exact dosages as the generic product. It is possible to develope a resistance to any medication (as may have been the case with the above mentioned MIL) - brand name or generic. Chemically speaking...there is NO DIFFERENCE between generic and brand name - except price.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabinerose View Post
Chemically speaking...there is NO DIFFERENCE between generic and brand name - except price.
Yes there is. Fillers for example, several doctors have told us that the big difference between the 2 are what kind of fillers and binders are used and how much is used in generics to make them effective or in-effective. And generics are usually produced by various manufacturers and they all use different fillers/binders.

There are plenty of medical websites explaining this.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Durham UK
2,031 posts, read 4,502,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
Yes there is. Fillers for example, several doctors have told us that the big difference between the 2 are what kind of fillers and binders are used and how much is used in generics to make them effective or in-effective. And generics are usually produced by various manufacturers and they all use different fillers/binders.

There are plenty of medical websites explaining this.
Can you post the link to such a website-because to me it's BS. your docs are telling you that cos they want to prescribe the brand names-probably getting loads of freebies from the drug company.
In the UK we use nothing but generics(unless not available yet) and have better survival rates and outcomes for most things than in the US.

1st check is thyroid, BP, Thalium stress test/scan and every other test you can think of- what's your background Kracer?
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:49 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,449 posts, read 6,460,651 times
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At 40 I had a lone episode of AF...I didn't convert back with medicine, so they had to shock my heart back. It worked and for the last ten years I have been on sotolol (2x daily) and baby aspirin. I have not had another episode since.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,684 posts, read 45,045,110 times
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[quote=Whatsthenews;31446954]Can you post the link to such a website-because to me it's BS. your docs are telling you that cos they want to prescribe the brand names-probably getting loads of freebies from the drug company.
In the UK we use nothing but generics(unless not available yet) and have better survival rates and outcomes for most things than in the US.


Not BS. I was on Lipitor for several years until a generic version came out. The Doc said I could try it because I asked him to let me do it to save some money. After about 30 days on the generic I started having muscle spasms all over my body. Called the doc and he said to stop for a few days and try again. Several days after I stopped using the generics my spasms disappeared. Waited a few more days tried the generic's again, boom spasms start all over. Doc said to quit the generics and go back to brand name Lipitor which I'm doing now with no more problems.
3 different docs told me the same thing, that the generics are mostly made in 3rd world countries and many do not have the same oversights that those in the US do. They use a lot of fillers/binders that could be contaminated or useless. The FDA here in the USA only spot checks manufacturers of drugs and they only requires that those drugs have an minimum 80% effective rate. Many have been found to have less than 80%.
Here are some websites referring to this problem:
What You Need to Know About Generic Drugs | The Dr. Oz Show
Are generics really the same as branded drugs? - Fortune Management
Those Generic Drugs May Not Have Been What You Thought They Were - The Daily Beast

There are dozens more articles if you desire to explore the internet.
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