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AFIB and Exercise

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  • AFIB and Exercise

    Fortunately, I do not have AFIB but noted Dr. Brewer's discussions on this topic.

    I recall atrial fibrillation being alluded to in a book published in the 1970s called "Walk, Don't Die" and again in Dr. Ken Cooper's book the "Anti-Oxidant Revolution" in the 90s, which created quite a bit of controversy. Fast forward to the 2000s and more evidence has come to light regarding AFIB and marathons...wondering if Dr. Brewer has considered this as a possible root cause? eg

  • #2
    Exercise has been shown to reduce or eliminate many of the risk factors (high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, sedentarism and others) associated with AFIB. In people with advanced age or who have a genetic or physiologic risk predisposition for AFIB, high intensity exercise can trigger AFIB episodes. Many ultra-athletes have to come to grips with that and tone down their intensity.


    • #3
      Yes. I did note in a couple of videos that I have a couple of strong risk factors for A fib. I am 4q25 homozygous. And I have done several marathons - and an ultramarathon. Yes, I have toned down the intense, marathon-level work.


      • #4
        Here is an excellent book I read some time ago that really gives a detailed look into AFIB and exercise.:

        The Haywire Heart: How too much exercise can kill you, and what you can do to protect your heart

        The Haywire Heart shares the developing research into a group of conditions known as “athlete’s heart”, starting with a wide-ranging look at the warning signs, symptoms, and how to recognize your potential risk. It is written in part by Dr. John Mandrola who is a notable electrophysiologist, competitive cyclist and Afibber. Dr. Mandrola explains why many doctors misdiagnose heart conditions in athletes and offers an invaluable guide on how to talk with your doctor about your condition and its proven treatments. He covers known heart irritants, training and rest modifications, effective medicines, and safe supplements that can reduce the likelihood of heart damage from exercise.


        • #5
          I wish we'd known about this 20 years ago. I wouldn't have done the marathons and the ultra. At least I don't think so. I'd have continued playing basketball, though. It was just too much fun. And anyway, I didn't know I was at risk for Afib at the time.


          • #6
            Yes, but then again there is plenty of research that shows a lack of exercise and being sedentary is more damaging than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.