Atrial Flutter...What Next?



  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    Blimey, I've occasionally replied to this thread as I had an ablation, I'm pretty sure I ran a bit of the race with you on Saturday! I certainly spoke to someone who did 4.08 in Poland and again on Saturday so there's a good chance it could be you?
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Jugula. Thanks for dropping by again.

     Would you believe it! Yes, that was me. Same outfit as in my new (Gdansk) pic. Bib No.307 on Saturday.

    Just been out for an easy 3 miles with my daughter. (She is working her way through the C25K. Now ready to move on to wk.7.)   Glad to say that all my bits are still working, but it will take a few days for the quads to be 100%. That towpath is hard on my legs. But it was a great day, and an enjoyable run. All the best.

  • Hi All? It's October and the last post is August. Before I describe my situation I just want to check there is somebody to correspond with. This forum has given me some hope that I can run.
  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    Hi Geoff, I'm still here.
  • Hi Jugula

    I am reading all the posts but I think I may be at the start of the journey the other contributers have been giving.

    I was told by my GP to self monitor my blood pressure pending modification of my medication for high blood pressure. I did as asked. My blood pressure was too high and my RHR was 52. I was running for an hour alternate days gradually improving my pace albeit considerably slower than performances earlier in my athletic career (even allowing for ageing).

    Then I felt a bit ill one night and from then the RHR was extremely high ie over 120 and the blood pressure was all over the place. I wouldn't have known these were odd except I was self monitoring. I even went to buy a second machine as I thought the first machine was random!

    After three days a doctor sent me to A&E where ECG etc lead to atrial flutter diagnosis.

    Leaving hospital I was prescribed Bisoprolol to get HR down.

    My research on the Internet led me to conclude that the causes of my condition were a combination of indulging in endurance sports, drinking too much alcohol and high blood pressure. So I thought I would have to stop running.

    Yesterday I found this thread and wondered if I could run. So I tried and couldn't even manage a minute before breathing heavily, heavy muscles and discomfort in chest. I walked and tried to run again a few times with the same result.

    I am to see a cardiologist on 18 Nov . I don't know whether to try again to run. The alternative is to get fat and go insane!!

    Now I am wondering if I have had A Fib for a long time My training used to be based on HRM and it now occurs to me that some of the spurious readings it was giving me were down to this!

    Any comments welcome as I seek fellow runners to get to grips with this.
  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    I had AF for a long time without it being an issue probably caused by abusing alcohol in my younger days. A combination of bisoprolol and flecainide controlled it but I felt lethargic all the time so opted for an ablation which terrified me! Don't give up Geoff, see what the cardiologist says, they are used to trying to get people out of their arm chairs and know the benefits of exercise so I'm sure he/she will support you in trying to continue running.
  • Thanks. I will read through your earlier posts so that I don't ask points you've already addressed. I understand that bisoprolol makes one lethargic and I am experiencing that. Until I see the cardiologist I will keep takingthe medicine.
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Hi. I've been out of the country for six weeks so far. Have not been able to get on this web-site for most of that time, but have just managed. And have seen your posts.

    If you are still there Geoff, I hope that you've found some of my story helpful. Next week marks a whole year since my catheter ablation, and I haven't looked back. Hope that you are getting some encouragement from the specialists; they too seem to be a varied group, with different ideas about runners!

    Your situation appears to be quite different from mine, and as I've said before, No two experiences seem to be the same. But, try to stay positive, And I hope that all goes well for you.

    I'm still enjoying my running, but work (albeit voluntary work) gets in the way far too often. We've been in Penang and Yangon, and have just arrived in Colombo. So the weather is a big challenge.  Hope to get out for a run tomorrow. Now that our internet appears to be better I may be able to check this site more often. All the best.

  • Thanks for that MrM2. I am still trying to work out what triggers my episodes of arrhythmia. I had built up to 30 mins running but had a bad day Tuesday so haven't run the last couple of days. Now I am zero alcohol, caffeine etc and when I've had a couple of good days will try introducing exercise in an attempt to isolate the cause.

    If anyone can offer advise on this procedure I am keen to hear.

    It's great to hear your running goes well and it has inspired me to hope I can get back to it.
  • Hi MrM2 and all other contributors

    I have really enjoyed and appreciated all your contributions, especially as I am about to join the atrial flutter ablation club. Now 70, I have a lifetime’s running behind me, very intensively as a club runner for 20 years, but for the last 20 years less intensively as an orienteer. After a good running year this year, with some enjoyable parkruns and good orienteering results, I suddenly found I was out of breath about 6/7 weeks ago and couldn’t run up hills. From 26.52 for a parkrun I was suddenly shuffling and feeling dizzy. What is more, my pulse had dropped from its regular 44-46 bpm to 28-34 bpm. After a 24hr ECG monitor, I saw an electro-cardiologist in Bristol, himself a runner, and got the atrial flutter diagnosis (right atrium) immediately. He hopes to get me in for the ablation in c. 2 months after a period on warfarin.

     I continue to try run very slowly, and it seems to work if I warm up gently for 10 mins or so. The cardio explained that the AV node can be warmed up and it might actually work a little more efficiently. I also do some weights and exercise bike in the gym.

     Looking back I think this has been coming on for some time. But it suddenly got a lot worse several weeks back. Now that I know what has been happening, it explains a lot about my running and also my inability to retain fitness for very long. And I don’t think any of that is all to do with age.

     Could I ask you all for any comments on taking warfarin, and also how best to prepare for the ablation. I am up for doing as much running/walking as I can get away with.

     All the best


  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    Hi Howard, I didn't take warfarin as my cardiologist suggested aspirin.

    As regards preparation for the ablation, I ran until the day before and took vitamin e for healing and vitamin c for improved immune system. So I was in pretty good nick when I went in. I also prepared mentally for it by looking at the positives, the main one being free of medication as I didn't like the side effects.
  • Hi Jugula, Many thanks for your feedback and encouragement to keep in shape.  Following your tip, I shall look into vitamin supplements. At the moment I am very psitive mentally about the procedure as running seems to be getting harder. My problem is a very low pulse (I think a lot of posters here have had the opposite problem) which does not increase quickly enough to allow sensible running, and which drops very quickly as soon as I ease off (in practice from shuffle speed to stop!), and of course with so little oxygen going around the system, I'm out of breath a lot.

    But I'll crack on and report back in a few days. H

  • Hi all, with a particular thank you to MrM2, Geoff and Jugula - apologies if I've missed anyone out but I've just skimmed this thread and saw a lot that gave me hope.

    I've been having heart 'wobbles' for 15 years or so, looking back, including a few episodes where I thought I was going over: heart feels like it is doing about 30bpm HARD, Garmin says 210, breathing seems to not do anything. On one recent occasion my Garmin said 206, 207... 0... I gave a bloody good hard cough and it felt like I'd been punched in the chest by a big lad, then it picked up at 205bpm. Called the doc and she told me to hang up and call 999!!

    Anyway, the long and short is a probable Supra-ventricular Tachycardia issue. I've had a monitor on for two weeks and I made sure I gave them some good stuff to look at (!) but the most likely outcome is an Ablation procedure.

    It is REALLY encouraging to hear you guys getting it sorted then cracking on with your running. To be honest, the reason I registered here was to see how late I could leave it before starting training for VLM off my current fitness assuming the doc gives me the all clear. Given that I'm unlikely to have the ablation before xmas and I'm being 'careful' with my training right now, your recovery stories tell me that it will all be OK but I'm not doing VLM in April.

    I registered on this site to ask for marathon training advice if you have only 12 weeks to train... I was SO pleased to immediately see a thread on EXACTLY the cardiac issues I'm having.

    Looking forwards to your thoughts and advice!

  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    I ran a 10k race 2 weeks after ablation, the doc said 2 weeks rest to allow groin to heal.
  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Hi everyone.


    I had a single bout of AFib over two years ago, brought on I think by overtraining coming up to a marathon. It was rectified in a few days by a combination of drugs and since then I've not had another episode. 

    Until New Years Eve.

    I had been on my turbo and felt rough when I got off. When I checked my pulse it was very eratic. This was about 8 pm and I held off going into hospital until the following morning as i felt they'd be busy enough patching up drunks, but spent 8 hours in casualty on New Years Day. Great. 

    They've put me back on the same drugs i was on last time and im hoping that it'll be fixed soon, but I'm finding it depressing as I'm worried that it'll become more frequent. 

    At least reading this thread has made me realise that you can continue running afterwards.



  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    What Meds are you on?
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Really pleased to get onto the forum again, after several weeks. Glad that Jugula has been able to give some encouragement to others with heart issues.

    Still working in the Tropics; now in Madagascar. Need to be out before 6 in the morning to survive the heat. And then it is still a challenge. My pace here is a minute + slower than it was in UK, and I put it down to the heat, and higher heart rate.

    My average pace for a seven mile run this morning was 9:55, and the heart rate was high. Two days ago I ran 13.5 miles, and it took me almost 2:20. That is 20 minutes longer than I was taking, back home. But I'm not complaining.

    I'm now 14 months post ablation, and have had no sign of a problem. Happy!

    Looking forward to possibly being back in UK in May, and enjoying some lower temperatures. Looks like I'll be looking for another Summer marathon?!

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭



    Atecor, Xarelto and Cordarone.

  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    I'm not familiar with those, I had bisoprolol and flecainide, my cardiologist said as long as I took aspirin to thin my blood the rest of it was optional.

    I had a bout last month, stress induced I think but I kept running although much slower and after a couple of weeks it passed.
  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    According to Dr Google, Bisoprolol & Atecor are both beta blockers, flecainide and cordoarone are to restore rhythm, so pretty much he same idea, just different meds.

    Xarelto is a blood thinner, but is 400x more expensive than asprin (and that's not an exaggeration) . I think I'll have a word with my GP about that one.



  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Sorry, I meant to say that I don't think that I could run through this. I'm finding that even a gentle walk is leaving me out of breath and a more rigorous walk in the country which involved some gradients, made me think that I was going to pass out.

    I think that mine was brought on by a combination of too much booze and coffee over Christmas, a bad cold (for the first time in a couple of years) and missing my meds for a couple of days, which combined with a hard training session on the turbo pushed me over the edge.

    We live and learn.

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    So, my GP called me today and is arranging for me to see the cardio specialist in the next day or two. She reckons if I'm not back on track by the time I see him, then he'll defibrillate me.

    Excellent service it has to be said. I'll be back training by the weekend and may get to run Manchester yet ....image

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    I had a meeting with my consultant yesterday.

    I still have AFib which is now 13 days after it started. Last time it cleared after 6 days. The consultant wants to do a cardioversion next week and then an ablation fairly soon afterwards.

    Can't say that I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.


  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Hi Redjeep.

    Glad to hear that things are moving. Hopefully you'll find the treatments sort out your heart problems, and you'll be back on track.

    Not sure what you mean by 'fairly soon' but it usually takes a few weeks to get the blood-test readings (INR?) to the required level, and then they like it to be stable for a couple of weeks before the ablation. Or perhaps your medication is already sorting that out for you?

    Let us know how you get on. 

  • JugulaJugula ✭✭✭
    Which hospital are you having the treatment at?
  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Thanks MrM2 & Jugula.


    I don't know when I'll be getting the ablation either, the consultant wasn't very specific, but I felt he meant weeks rather than months. I'm already on loads of meds such as blood thinners, beta blockers and rhythm enhancers. 


    I'll be having it at a hospital in Dublin.

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Well I had the cardio version on Thursday as planned, and all went well and I went back to my regular self.

    But today it's gone back to irregular. I feel pretty sh!tty now.

    I guess I'm just going to have to wait until the ablation now. I met the surgeon who's going to do it and he said he wants to wait 6 weeks after the CV.

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭

    Hi Redjeep. Sorry to hear that you are back to square 1, but given your history I'm a bit surprised that the CV was thought appropriate. But what do I know? In my case, although it was mentioned as an option, the specialist ruled it out in the same breath.

    So be patient, and I hope that it will all come good for you after the Ablation.

    We've just arrived in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and the prospects for a good run seem remote. Have to be thankful that I got some good runs in while we were in Madagascar, for the last few weeks. The temperatures still slow me down by a minute/mile. Hope I'll feel the benefit when I get home in May (?) Then I'll have to get working on my 5k pace, and start increasing the distance, to be ready for a Marathon some time. Probably August, again. Any ideas? All the best.

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    MrM2, I'd say that my next marathon is going to be Dublin at the end of October as I can't see me getting back in time for anything else. It'll be my third time.

    However I am rather tempted to find something different as my comeback ! I'll have to look at what's available.

    Here's a list of all the UK and Irish marathons this year.

  • Well it looks back to square one for me.

    I had atrial tachycardia for about 20 years. I always put it down to alcohol and smoking. I quit them 5 years ago and took up running. The tachycardia then got worse and finally went to my GP and was referred to the cardiologist, where the diagnosis was made. Had a catheter ablation last August and at first all was good with no events at all. Then just before Christmas they stated again. Not as bad as they were before the procedure (they used to last hours then) and are mainly running induced I've been back to have a holter monitor this week and managed to catch 4 events on it. I'm hoping that he will do the procedure again as at the time he thought that he might have missed a bit I've also read that it is possible that the heart might heal the burn and the pathway starts firing again

    I've always used the running as a medicine for the depression and to keep me off the booze. I'm a bit worried at the moment so maybe that a why I'm getting a few attacks

    My question is has anyone found any diet changes or supplements help with the tachycardia?
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