What triggers LAF?
LAF = lone atrium fibrilleren = afib zonder een gevonden, onderliggend hartprobleem, het wordt ook paroxysmaal atrium(boezem) fibrilleren genoemd))
A comprehensive survey of afibbers (LAF patients) carried out by THE AFIB REPORT revealed that most afibbers have a vivid memory of their first LAF episode.
The most common trigger of that first one was emotional or work-related stress (26%) closely followed by physical overexertion at 24%.
Caffeine, alcohol, and ice-cold drinks were next at 10%, 6% and 8% respectively.
Other less common triggers were severe illness or a viral infection (experienced by 6% of respondents), dehydration (4%), and rest (4%).
Digestive periods, coughing and burping, pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, electromagnetic radiation,
and toxic chemicals round off the list of initial triggers with 2% (1 respondent) each.
The triggers of subsequent episodes follow in the footsteps of the first one.
The overwhelming favourite for the title of most important trigger is emotional or work-related stress. A full 50% of all respondents listed stress as a trigger.
Physical overexertion was next at 24% closely followed by alcohol (including wine) and rest at 22% each.
The digestive period following a heavy meal was a trigger for 18%, caffeine was mentioned by 16%, and an ice-cold drink by 12%.
Ten per cent reported that MSG (monosodium glutamate) was a trigger for them and 6% said that lying on the left side would set off an episode.
Aspartame (NutraSweet) was mentioned as a trigger by two respondents (4%) as was chocolate, coughing and burping, and flying (at high altitudes).
Three men over 30 years of age (6%) felt that their episodes were cyclical in nature and not related to any specific trigger.
Other triggers mentioned were aged cheese, sugar, food additives, acid indigestion, a hot bath, NyQuil (a cold remedy), electromagnetic radiation, toxic chemicals, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, and changes in weather patterns.
Please note that the percentages do not add up to 100 because many respondents listed more than one trigger.
It is clear that the triggers for LAF are many and varied and highly specific to each individual except for excessive emotional and physical stress which are pretty well universal.