(08-20-2013 04:52 PM)dgossman Wrote: About a year ago I started developing afib events at night. After about 6 months of doctors prescribing the wrong treatment (beta blockers) I found out through my own research (and after a clean bill of health from a cardiologist and hematologist) that I had vagal afib. The condition was instigated in the middle of the night and after acquiring a recording pulse oximeter I was able to determine that I was having instances of low oxygen (and low heart rate) that correlated with the onset of the afib. I have developed a two pronged approach to dealing with the condition (with the cooperation of my family doctor). (Along with the afib we found that I had high levels of hemoglobin - like I was living at altitude - but I don't.)
I now take a medication at night to suppress the parasympathetic tone and this has helped to keep my pulse rate in the mid 50s or higher (dropping below 50 seemed to be correlated with triggering afib).
I now take 1 gram of C when I go to bed and another in the middle of the night whenever I wake up to reduce my blood pH. (Vitamin C has a relatively short half life in the blood and that is the reason for the second dose in the middle of the night). This seems to have significantly reduced the number of instances when my blood dissolved oxygen levels drop below 90. I now stay at 94-96 for most of the night whereas without this treatment I was in the low 90s with instances dropping into the mid 80s. I also seem to have had my hemoglobin levels not increase as fast as they were before. I suspect the low O2 conditions at night were pushing them up and the higher viscosity of the blood may have also been a factor in the afib susceptibility.
I am wondering if there is anyone else with this sort of experience? I have also heard of taking vinegar as a way of treating central sleep apnea and it may work via the same blood pH shift mechanism so anyone who has tried that I would be curious to hear from as well.
Thank you so much for this post. I developed afib about 7 years ago and have been to a number of cardiologists the most recent of whom prescribed an automatic CPAP machine that I am having a lot of trouble with. (I have had the machine a week now and am having a terrible time with the pressure which seems to be ramping up so high that it cannot be contained in the mask. I haven't had a wink of sleep the nights I have tried to use it and constantly burp and have a sore abdomen from the air that seems to get trapped there. I joined the board to try to get information on how to solve my issues.) At least this cardiologist is looking at something different. I also was put on beta blockers by previous cardiologists that didn't help my condition. My current cardiologist believes strongly in following a diet that cuts out caffeine (which was impeding my sleep, I now know) and fructose. The diet is high in non-sweet vegetables (for example, potatoes are allowed, but not sweet potatoes or corn) and lean protein. (I have no weight problem. That is why I am allowed non-sugary carbohydrates.) He does not believe in most vitamins, however, the exceptions being Fish Oil and Vitamin D.
I have long suspected that I am a lazy breather and will get a recording pulse oximeter to see if I have low oxygen. I know that I will have periods of time where I have a low heart rate in the day time (50's and low 60's) so perhaps it is lower when I am sleeping. I will try the Vitamin C therapy to see if it seems to make a difference. Also, what kind of medication are you taking at night to keep your pulse rate in the mid-50's?
In any case, I am perusing the board to see if I can find answers to my issue with the APAP machine. I was suspecting that because I breathe so shallowly, it keeps ramping up the pressure to an intolerable level.
Again, thanks for your post.