Check up - What my Doc said re: blood thinners, AFIB, supplements,, Watchman, etc.

Hi PM peeps.  Had a semi-annual cardiologist appt. yesterday, and my doc (who is always patient with me) addressed my several questions.  Keep in mind these refer to my specific situation-AFIB/Aflutter with AV Nodal Ablation & PM Dependent.

First, I'm doing great!  Implanted October 2018, and it worked to eliminate my symptoms (3 years of disability and misery).  Second, it's always nice to impress my doc -- now that I'm no longer sick, I've lost 45 pounds so far, and that helps a lot with everything.  

I asked him about the progression of AFIB from paroxysmal to persistent to chronic, and we talked about better screening.  He said that regular EKGs don't catch AFIB, and many people (not me!) don't have symptoms, so the first time they realize they have it is when they land in the hospital with a stroke.  Not optimal!  

We talked about the Watchman device - really only for people who cannot take blood thinners.  He stressed that it's vital for me to take my blood thinner every day:  "AFIB is not forgiving."

I asked him about supplements, e.g., magnesium, and he said that may have been beneficial in the beginning, but because of the AV Nodal ablation, "that ship has sailed" and I am not at risk of heart failure anymore (still at risk for stroke, though). 

I am grateful every day for the care that I've received and that little battery.  


Watchman etc..

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-24 15:16:41

I think your cardiologist is a bit behind the times (which is why you really need an EP). Watchman devices are being used for those who don't have a problem with anticoagulants too. Anticoagulants pose a risk to all who take them and a Watchman MAY eliminate the need (and risk) or at least minimize to (1/2 dose is possible).  Your other risk factors still play a role though.

He's wrong about magnesium too. It's still required for healthy heart function (and all other muscles). I was having severe PVCs until I started taking magnesium.  It's all but cured my leg cramps, as well. It may be that he's tested you magnesium levels and you're good but saying that it's for AF is nuts. Note that you still have AF, just can't feel it.


behind the times

by Violet West - 2020-01-24 15:20:51

Thanks for responding.  I do have an EP also, and will pose these questions to him, too when next I see him).  

Probably will not take magnesium.  I have a hard time taking supplements since I take so many other prescribed meds.  

Too many meds

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-24 16:32:20

I take 10 pills the morning (all prescribed by doctors but include Mg, D3, multivitamin, and turmeric) and six drugs at night (all prescription meds). Yeah, prescription drugs can get into nasty complications but they don't have to.  it is good to be able to  see, walk, and in fact, live.

Getting the proper trace elements is essential for health and even twice the necessary amount is completely harmless. Magnesium is probably the one that more are short on than the others and is quite self limiting (if not exactly pleasant). Potassium is the most easily overdosed on but few get too little in their diet.

Blood Thinners

by Joe Newbie - 2020-01-25 02:13:58


I take Xarelto 20 Mg each morning. If I read this right we don't need to be on these things if our heart is working right? I take 8 pills in the morning, 5 in the afternoon and 11 at night (3 of these are the same pill.) Then 2 inhalers twice a day wrapped up by a Bi-pap machine hooked in with Oxygen. So if I can cut out pills here and there I am all for it.


Blood thinners

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-25 11:39:18

No, you need them if your doctor prescibes them. A pacemaker does nothing for arrhythmias and you may not know when you're in Afib/flutter/whatever.  You need anticoagulation to lower your risk of stroke.  It's nothing to fool around with.  Death isn't the worst outcome.  Bad idea.

As long as all of your doctors know what you're taking, don't worry about it.  For a second check, it's a good idea to buy all the meds from the same place.  The pharmacist should be checking for interactions without you asking (that is their job) but if you specifically ask, they may do more than check the computer.  All of your doctors and pharmacist should be looking for these problems but only if they know everything you're taking, including suppliments, alcohol, and any illicit drugs.

blood thinners

by pogerm1 - 2020-02-08 17:58:24

Your doctor said that EKGs don't catch AF, that is because your doctor and some MDs don't know how to read  them when you are in AF.  An EP knows how to read them, also I send in a reading from my Pacemaker and they can tell how many AF episodes I have had.   I would get rid of that doctor.

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