Anyone ran after discovering an irregular heart beat?

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Sep 2012
11:45am, 22 Sep 2012
446 posts
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The question about continuing running after developing lone Atrial Fibrillation (i.e AF no due to some other identifiable abnormality affecting the heart) is not easy to answer. There is a quite large body of evidence that indicates that extensive aerobic exercise such as running or cross-country skiing, increases the risk of AF in men. The mechanism is likely to be a change in the electrical conduction system due to the re-modelling associated with increase in volume of muscle fibres produced by training, but this is not proven. The big question is whether or not mortality is increased. My own view of the evidence is that the cardiac benefits of running outweigh any increase in risk from AF, though this might not be the case for excessive amount of running (eg many marathons per year for many years).

I became aware of these issues after my heart rate monitor showed chaotic rhythms. I was not otherwise aware of the irregularity. I have described my own experiences and also the evidence from research on the topic, on my blog over the past few years. I am in the ambiguous situation where medical investigation revealed nothing abnormal, apart for a large ‘athletes’ heart with a slow resting rate, but the investigations were done at a time when my HRM also provided no evidence of any problem. The chaotic rhythms in the HRM recording have occurred since but, I still do not know how much of this is due to poor electrode contact – despite my best efforts to achieve good contact. I have decided to continue running, and I continue to use the HRM. I do not regard the HRM as a good device for providing definite answers about the nature of the problem, but I think it is a good to keep an eye on whether or not the frequency of chaotic rhythms is increasing.
Sep 2012
1:16pm, 22 Sep 2012
989 posts
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I had a lot of issues with SVT which I only detetced by using a heart rate monitor (HR would shoot up to 220-240 bpm, and stay there for several minutes, despite my "real" max HR being 178). The Garmin traces were very useful for getting the GP and cardiolgists onboard ... I eventually had an ablation and have not had any issue since.
Mar 2015
6:32pm, 30 Mar 2015
8,808 posts
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Giving this one a bump. Still got AF on and off (am in regular heartbeat the moment but on warfarin and amiodarone) and am waiting for an ablation. Have an appointment next month with cardiologist which will involve having an MRI to make sure I'm ready then just a case of waiting for the ablation.

Wondering how people are doing? Especially keen to hear from those who have had ablations done.
Mar 2015
8:00pm, 30 Mar 2015
2,540 posts
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Hi Somb - hope you're OK. There's another thread, specifically about AF which is a bit more active:

I had a PVI a couple of years ago and after a few epidodes in the first couple of months have been AF-free. I don't run as much as I used to, so am nowhere near as fit, but that's more to do with life changes and age rather than AF problems, although I would be wary of trying to step up to the amount and intensity of training that I did a few years ago

Hope you get to have your ablation soon and it all works out OK
Mar 2015
8:30pm, 30 Mar 2015
8,811 posts
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cheers R4R, I'll take a look.

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Maintained by Sombrero-ho-ho-ho
I've been in hospital the last couple of nights, they've let me out for the night to get some slee...

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