#11 – Endurance Athlete’s A-Fib, Part 2

A-Fib in Endurance Athletes…part 2

Hello and welcome.  You are listening to the Wise Athletes podcast, where we invite you to join our journey to understand how older athletes can achieve high performance AND longevity in athletics…… I am Joe Lavelle with Dr Glen Winkel, and this is episode 11 of our podcast.

If you are like me, you know a disconcerting and growing number of older endurance athletes who have A-Fib, which stands for atrial fibrillation.  Perhaps you already have it, like our own Dr. Glen Winkel.  In any case, if you have been paying attention, you have legitimite questions about the possibility of too much exercise or too much high intensity exercise injuring your health.  After all, the last thing any of us want is to cause our own heart health problems through our efforts to remain strong and active. 

Today we will hear from Dr Glen Winkel in part 2 of a two-part podcast about his personal journey with A-Fib.  When Glen discovered he had A-Fib in 2004, he went deep into the science to uncover solutions that have worked for him to retain his ability to be an endurance athlete well into his 6th decade, and he’s not done yet. 

Listen in as Glen describes his experience starting with confusion and disbelief.  At first he ignored the strange feeling he had in his body, and the impact it had on his athletic performance.  Glen expected, and later merely hoped the symptoms would go away.   But as the symptoms became worse, Glen eventually accepted that he needed help.  Glen describes his symptoms and the medical treatments he eventually received:  some were helpful and others were not.  Glen describes the techniques he developed for himself and the supplements he found to manage and reduce the symptoms of A-Fib. 

The potential for A-Fib to cause strokes is a scary outcome for anyone but especially for the endurance athlete who works so hard to stay healthy, and for whom being strong and active is such an important part of life.  We present this information so all wise athletes can watch for symptoms and make good decisions in balancing risk and reward. 

In part 1 we covered (

  • What is atrial fibrillation?  Why ignoring AFib is a bad strategy.
  • What may have caused and worsen Glen’s AFib as an endurance athletes?
  • Some potential triggers for Glen’s A-Fib episodes

In part 2 we cover:

  • Supplements that have helped Glen reduce the occurrence and severity of A-Fib episodes
  • More potential triggers of Glen’s A-Fib episodes
  • Glen’s symptoms of A-Fib:  in exercise and during rest
  • What Glen would have done differently if he could get a do-over
  • Glen’s medical treatments:  some that helped, some that didn’t

This information is not offered as medical advice as we are not medical practitioners.

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The ever curious athlete who demands answers.
About the Author
Curious athlete who demands answers. Husband to Susan ( Father of 3 daughters. Athletic pursuits over time, in reverse order: cycling, skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, triathlon, golf, tennis, football.

2 comments on “#11 – Endurance Athlete’s A-Fib, Part 2

  1. Brian Heber says:

    Even if you have never experienced A-Fib, I encourage ALL to listen to both parts of this podcast! It is invaluable information to have in your back pocket! Well done, Joe and Glen!

    1. joe says:

      Thanks for the comment, Brian. A-Fib, and heart health in general, is super important to the older athlete. It pays to get informed. Glen and I will be back with a followup with more A-Fib journeys from some well known athletes.

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