Can you purchase any sort of monitor to record an irregular heart beat?

I have recently been diagnosed as having PAF & after about 3 episodes I was refered to an EP re the constant symptoms I was having- I wore a montior for 7 days but sods law I had a great week & it was all clear. Due to this the EP was not convinced that my PAF was what was causing the extreme fatigue,constant chest tighness & feeling of having weight on my chest all of which seem present at least 90% of the time, In the past having an attack of AF was always very noticable re the racing heart rate, the - but EP referred me back to cardiologist & she still thinks that my symptoms seem like AF related hence another referral to the EP.

I am begining to feel a bit like a ping pong ball with no real answers - could I be having AF attacks without noticing the increased heart rate or episodes that are short & go unnoticed by me so this is what is causing the symptoms?? I have read about silent AF but this seems to be where you don't have any symptoms.

I was wondering if there is any sort of pulse monitor which I could purchase to keep a check on whether my heart rate is ever irregular without me being aware.

this is all still very scary & the fear seems to be taking over my life. I have got a history of heart problems having had mitral stenosis (which may explain the AF) & heart attack 2 years ago.

I know that I should be getting answers from the Dr's but all this is very frightening & stressful and best people who understand are you guys - my fellow sufferers.

All your questions & comments cetainly helped me understand exactly what this beast was

I hope this all makes sense.

9 Replies

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  • Hi Walke and welcome to the forum. What you are going through is quite common in that AF only shows up on an ECG where it is instantly recognisable to anybody who understands those wiggly lines.. Pulse monitors will not convince anybody. You need those wiggles!

    It is sods law that you had a good week and quite normal which is why there are solutions. There is a thing called an implantable loop recorder which can be inserted into your chest and hooked up to the heart which will watch and record over time but that in my view is a long term thing and it is too early to worry about that right now.

    Do you know how to take your own pulse? There is a good guide on AFA main website. If you do then a fast (or slow) irregular pulse is a good indication of AF but don;t be confused by ectopic beats which is where you get the missed feeling. AF is very distinct and totally without rhythm.

    Are you on any drugs by the way as many used to treat AF can produce tiredness and fatigue? If you have seen a cardiologist and an EP have you had your stroke risk assessed as AF makes a patient five times more at stroke risk than the average bloke in the street so proper anticoagulation (not aspirin which is of no value in AF) should be given if there is a risk. Again details on main website. Please read up as much as you can about the subject as knowledge is power.

    I do hope that you get support and help from the site. When I started my AF journey back in 04 there was nothing but now you should never feel as alone as I did then.

    BobD

  • Yep - on bisopolol 5mg, warfarin & a statin.

    thank you for the support

  • Walke.. Welcome to the world of AF. That sneaky little condition really knows how to hide. I had never caught it on many 1, 3 or 7 day monitors and finally was given a 30 day event monitor and got him.

    There are many new devices out that connect to smart phones that will work also they have a home ECG device that works through the iPhone or iPad. Here is a link to one that I just saw a few weeks ago.

    youtube.com/watch_popup?v=r...

    Also I use a Blood Pressure monitor that records my BP, Pulse and also reports irregular heart rate. You connect it to the computer and download the data and you can print out a report to take with you to the EP. They still need to see an ECG to properly diagnose but this at least shows that it is happening and how often. Here is a link to it on Amazon:

    amazon.com/Omron-BP791IT-Up...

    Hope you can catch it...

    Tim

  • This is very interesting and can see that it woud be very useful. mBut I can see it being a hypochondriacs paradise. Like self monitoring I don't think it would be for everyone.

    Eileen

  • Yes Eileen, I can see how these devices could be a real hypochondriacs dream.

    Tim

  • Handheld ECG device .

  • I see you are in the UK. My GP told me just to pop in and ask the nurse to run an ECG when my heart rate monitor suggested I may be in Paroxymal AF. When my next event happened when I was near to home I did that and was seen and recorded straight away. I would be surprised if your GP's surgery would not do do the same.

  • There are numerous devices you can purchase. Check out amazon.com. The have everything. I bought my Dad a finger oxygen monitor for very little and it gave him peace of mind and he felt Ike he had more control over his condition. Good luck.

  • As a retired critical care nurse who has AF I would feel lost without my small heart rhythm monitor. Look on e-bay, they can be purchased new directly from China for about £100. Mine is a Prince180B, did not pay any import duty. Whilst walking the dog today felt quite dizzy, thought maybe my heart rate was high but on returning home check on the monitor and my rate was only 65.

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