The best places for helpful knowledge and support
The Internet is massive, and a quick search will turn up hundreds of pages of results on atrial fibrillation. But if you’re serious about finding high-quality information on AFib management or a positive, active support group, you might have to put in some research time.
Here’s a head start. From blogs to medical journals and popular forums, check out these resources that may help you find the answers you’ve been looking for.
Blogs to follow
Up-to-date resources are the most helpful resources, especially when it comes to managing a chronic illness. AFib treatments develop as research advances, so it’s a good idea to try and keep up with what’s happening – blogs can be good places to begin.
Whether you’re looking for some one-on-one support or some new insight into your disease management, these blogs that bring together accurate info and the human touch that can be engaging and comforting.
StopAfib.org blog. Fellow patients can be the best resources, and you might find that here on StopAfib.org’s blog. Run by a prominent heart health expert, Melanie True Hills, this blog has a newsfeed that summarizes relevant studies and keeps up with research. It may not be flashy, but it’s very comprehensive: you can easily search by category, plus access some more comprehensive articles and records. You’ll want to come here for the latest news on experimental trials, medication discounts, and conferences open to AFib patients.
Living with Atrial Fibrillation blog. This is another blog that’s run by someone who really knows the factors affecting AFib patients, and one that offers straightforward ways to better handle your symptoms and improve your prevention strategies. After Travis Van Slooten was diagnosed with AFib in 2006, he worked for nearly a decade to bring his disorder under control. Now, he shares how he lives with AFib without medication – you’ll enjoy the easy tone and clear user experience.
My AFib Experience blog. The visuals are top-notch and it’s a really easy site to navigate, which makes My AFib Experience a welcome addition to your online experience. It has discussion prompts, recent clinic news, and community announcements. It’s also easy to navigate across a variety of resources on the site. There’s always a lot happening here, so you can simply subscribe to the blog and have the resources come to you.
Technical and medical websites
Not exactly easy reading, medical journals provide important information in industry-specific terms. However, some are more accessible than others, and it can be good to visit these once in a while to get undiluted info on current AFib research.
Journal of Atrial Fibrillation (JAFIB). Overflowing with peer-reviewed research, this journal probably has something directly related to what you’re seeking. Doctors’ anecdotes and medically-supported information can help you better understand what’s behind the processes that are affecting your AFib.
A number of different sections in jafib.com means there’s a lot to explore. If you want to get right to the point, you can go to “Meet the Expert Doctor” and connect with medical professionals to sort out your unique AFib concerns in the forum.
Learn the Heart. This site is maintained by heart doctor Steven Lome, and it offers readers plenty of information – mostly from a doctor’s point of view. If you’re looking for more details and more examination of medical evidence, Learntheheart.com is a great place to start.
This site is comprehensive but very user friendly. There are quizzes and other lighthearted material that can be fun and informative.
Community support sites
A strong support network can make a huge difference in your AFib management. Feeling isolated? You’re not alone – there are many people who have struggled with their psychological and physical symptoms, and they’ve formed communities that are as welcoming as they are informative.
If you’re new to forums, try to keep a few things in mind for a better experience. First off, these aren’t doctors (though some forums are moderated by doctors), so be open-minded and tolerant but don’t take opinion as fact. Your primary care physician is who you rely on for an AFib treatment plan, and it’s important to discuss any new medication or therapy with your doctor before trying it. Even some over-the-counter meds can interfere with your AFib drugs in dangerous ways.
Next, give as much as you take. Ask helpful questions and give helpful answers, and you’ll likely find that you form a circle of like-minded online friends very quickly. Try to keep a bright attitude and suspend judgement as much as you can; these are people who may be scared, in pain, and worried about the future – feelings you’re probably familiar with.
Know you're not alone
Some days you won’t feel like talking in person, or talking much at all. The great thing about connecting on a virtual platform is that you can spend as much or as little time in the conversation as you like, and you don’t have to worry about upsetting anyone or keeping up appearances. Start using all the resources at your fingertips – the more AFib knowledge you can collect, the better.