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Question:

I have AFib with Heart Failure and my doctor is recommending a defibrillator implant. Should I get a second opinion? 

I was diagnosed with AFib in 2008 and have taken metroprolol and Pradaxa since then. I have just had an arteriogram (no blockage whatsoever) and cardioversion. I have also just been diagnosed with CHF and am taking Amiodarone, Coreg, Paradax, Lasix, and a potassium supplement. My doctor is pressing me to have a special pacemaker/defibrillator implanted. He does not want to talk to me about nutritional blood testing or supplements. He has not determined a cause for the underlying AFib -- is the CHF maybe from a virus since there are no other indicators of cause? Might micronutrient testing be useful at this point or would it be taking too big a risk to wait on a pacemaker/defib implant? Would you recommend a second opinion?

submitted by Randie from Houston, Texas on 4/5/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott Sherron, MD  

Scott R. Sherron, MDA viral cardiomyopathy is always a concern for weak heart muscle when no evidence of blockage is present. Although there are clearly areas of medicine that are not fully understood and micronutrient testing might prove informative, it is not likely to prevent the need for a defibrillator if your heart muscle is weakened regardless of the cause. At this point, insufficient evidence is present to suggest that correction of a micronutrient deficiency would be expected to reverse cardiomyopathy although it may be an area worthy of future investigation. THI is actively researching many avenues of treatment for cardiomyopathy, especially stem cell research. Finally, it is always reasonable and prudent to seek a second opinion regarding major medical decisions & most doctors will welcome it.

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Updated April 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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