AF Association

How can I know that I'm having a flutter? I'm confused

I had been diagnosed of atrial flutter after getting it recorded for two times now within a year time

But still I'm having symptoms like short of breath , chess tightness , strong heart beats , low pulse , dizziness , light head , but when I get to emergency and still sick the ECG doesn't show any flutter just some irregular or extra beats

So are there AF attacks ?

Because when I was on atrial flutter I didn't have all those bad symptoms! Since my flutter last for two weeks till I had the cardiversion

I'm afraid that after having the ablation those symptoms may remain and from something else and not only the flutter itself!

I'm so confused sines I met two doctors one of them believe that I'm having atrial vib. also but not recorded and should be treated as well

Any advise?



8 Replies

Hi Maitha

I was confused at the start as I have over time had all the different beats going but I was it seems, long term before being diagnosed. I have had at least 9 cardiversions and 3 ablations and a multitude of medicine combinations changed again last week. I have gone to the doctors when I have persistent attacks sometimes they have suggested hospital but after rest at home it will settle. Which is more or less what they do if admitted.

The best advice I can give is "Try to rule IT not IT rule you" Relax and put your mind in a good place deep breaths in and hold slow release.

You are not alone.

Be Well



Hi, I am able to feel when I'm in AFib since it feels like a fish flapping around in my chest. Atrial Flutter feels more like a butterfly, sometimes with that feeling you get when you're in a fast lift. I can also feel the adrenaline go through my veins which happens at the same time for me. You sound as though you're not able to tell so maybe one of those little devices that joggers wear to check on their pulse might be useful for you? Hope you soon make some progress and get a reliable way of treating your symptoms. They can be very scary, but I keep being told that unless the AF goes on at a very high pulse rate for a very long time, there is no immediate danger but phone 999 if it goes on for more than half an hour at, say 120-200 beats per minute. Try to get some clear guidelines for you personally from your physician. Bes wishes


Hi, I am fairly new to my P.A .F not responding to instant treatment and have for the last 3 weeks been in some distress. I am waiting for a cardioversion but am hoping that my heart beat will return to normal rhythm on it's own.

I have had lots of support from the responses to my questions from all of you I have settled into trying to relax and as Maitha states, rule IT, not the other way round. I am sorry that there is such a miserable condition such as A.F. and I pray that with all the research into A.F there may be a wonderful cure around the corner. In the meantime every piece of advise from people with A.F. is worth it's weight in gold


Maitha, Atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation are two quiet different things. Flutter is usually confined to the right atria and fibrillation to the left. Both are termed arrhythmias since they are abnormal heart rhythms. Flutter is easier to ablate for reasons I will not confuse you with. Flutter can lead to fibrillation in some case but not always.

Another type of arrhythmia is ectopic beats which you feel as extra beats but this is not what happens. The ventricle or pumping chamber contracts when there is no blood there to pump so when the next one comes along it feels like a sudden jolt or extra beat. Everybody gets loads of these every day but most people don;t notice them. It is we AFers who are so sensitive to our hearts that find them so troubling.

If your pulse is irregular then it may well be atrial fibrillation but you need to get a long term monitor and log any experiences so that your doctor can see the ECG traces and compare them with what you write down as feeling. This should enable a proper diagnosis. In the meantime do try and relax as has been mentioned above as worrying all the time will only make things worse.


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All good advice here, Maitha. It is confusing - mainly because we are all different and experience differing symptoms. We assume we are all getting the right treatment from our practitioners, once a diagnosis has been made. However, sometimes the treatment can be more disconcerting than the problem itself and this, as far as I can see, is where the 'balancing act' comes in. In my case I seem to have been steadied at something around 90 bpm pulse rate (always erratic) and a BP of 95/63. I am not distressed by the AF itself but am very fatigued and weary all the time, painful legs and dizziness at times. I am seeing my GP this week to check whether my BP is too low and needs adjusting. Happily, there must be a point where I can carry on a reasonably normal lifestyle and have the AF under control. We shall see. I hope you soon find some answers and peace of mind.

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Thank you all

I really need to relax and forget my syptoms can someone let my symptoms to forget me ;)

I had been admitted to Icu and cardiologist here disgnosed me as asthma patient

He think that asthma is triggering my flutter not the opposite , hope so since most of my symptoms are related to asthma like chess tightness dizziness light head short breath rather from occasional flutter

Im under montoring while treating asthma since flutter maybe triggered here

Thank alot bob it is clear for me now what is atrial flutter and fib

My records showed flutter earlier but my UK doctor insist that I had also vib even not recorded he may have some indication in mind

Hope if my adthma is better less attack may acur and may forget about ablation

Thank you all for support



Vave you found the flutter/fast more when you take your inhalers? It did me.


Hi off cut

I started the inhaler today , I'm having palpitations from time to time but my BP is very low 85/40 and pulse around 50 but the doctor said it is ok and wants me to keep on using inhaler for three months

He prescribed two types one for long term and the other only when I feel blockage in my chess

I'm afraid it will trigger the flutter but the doctor think that the tightness in the lungs triggering the flutter and causing me the discomfort symptoms, hope he is right

I was thinking that heaviness and tightening in the chess with short breaths are flutter symptoms that is why I was confused

I don't know what to believe , I'm trying everything to be better



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