AF Association

time in AF and when to seek help

I have had AF for several years and have had several medications. I would be very grateful if you could share with me how you manage your episodes of AF. I have not attended A&E for many year during an episode. My episodes can last from 4 to 24 hours I just lay down till it goes off. what is your management strategy. Do you have any self help advice/ Just joined the group.

6 Replies

G'day Paul,

Well - for me it all happened in stages. Firstly - I've had no underlying health problems. In my adult years I've only had a knee cartilidge removed, ongoing digestive issues since my mid 30's - and the usual run of DIY incidents which have put me in A & E from time to time. So I was really surprised to be diagnosed with AF . Firstly I went online to find out what it was all about, then found this website and set about learning more and more. I have been fortunate in that at the time my GP and East Surrey A & E team were in the 21st century and not in the dark ages and I was diagnosed and had treatment started within 9 hours of onset. I was already on a statin, and Ramipril for high blood pressure. After AF was diagnosed I was in addition put on Warfarin and Bisoprolol - and with all 4 drugs my dose now is the same as it has always been. I learned to listen to my body and after 15 months from diagnosis I connected the onset of an AF event with digestive issues. My GP eliminated any possibility of IBS and Coeliac Disease and I consulted a Nutrionist and we went for the diet factor. Nowadays I'm still on meds, gradually getting back to normal food that I haven't been able to eat for years, stable INR, retired but still working driving buses part time (yes, pass my DVLA medical each year), travel in Britain, Europe and to Australia AND don't give it a second thought. BUT - it is a bloody mongrel condition make no mistake - a real bloody mongrel and you can never ever, ever, say I've beaten it 'cos it'll rear its ugly head at any time it suits - its a multi headed monster and affects it everyone in different ways. So as you'll now appreciate - its a journey and you can never trust it. This is the way I've dealt with it but having learnt what it is, having learnt what affects it, having found ways of dealing with it I've got a reasonable quality of life back and now I seldom think of it - unless offering my thoughts on this website.

Hope this helps.


Aussie John

1 like

Hi Paul,

I think you will find from the replies that there are many different management strategies, as there are many different presentations of AF. It sounds like your disease is much like mine, and I have never gone to the ER since the very first episode. Since I am on an anticoagulant, it is safe to stay at home, or wherever I am, and just ride it out.

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Hi John and Grandma, it is is good to read your positive attitude about AF. I was diagnosed with AF in 2004 and apart form a few horrible episodes I try to get on with life.

Since August 2013 I am now beginning to slip in and out of AF and am trying to do my best to manage same.

I find that the family get very distressed when I am out of kilter.

I always ask them to read the Healthunlocked forum and, your type of comments help them to understand the nature of AF, it does appear to take the fear out of their concerns for me.

Once again, thank you, and good luck in your AF journey.


I asked this question at the patients day in London. What was basically said was that unless you feared for your life do not go to a&e. If you have been properly diagnosed and treated and you are anti coagulated then you are safer at home. In a&e you can be treated by someone who knows little about af and may even change your medication when they should not. So I stay at home and try to relax - or I did but have had ablation and seems to be working. Good luck and be well. Marie


I have had AF for nearly two years now. Your question is the same one that I have always asked. My cardiologist says that if you have AF for longer than 30 minutes I should call an ambulance. He says that the heart is not pumping blood in the correct way, this could cause pooling in the lower chamber of the heart. therefore a clot may form which could cause a stroke. I have already had a stroke from AF. The doctors will do a blood test to check your Treponin levels to make sure there has been no damage to the heart.

Kind regards



I have just joined,Like you have no idea how you cope with A/f,,It started five years ago gone from 2hrs to20 ,It always happens after food no particular food,,always starts afternoon,mine is called lone A/f as I only get 2-3 a month,Im 70

and still have a morning job,but it now intrudes in to that so I will have to leave,Its so frightening dizziness breathless,,pressure in my head a very heavy weight in my chest, I tried to keep on the move but feel like im going to pass out ,Just had one on Wed,tried to lye down,but could not breath,Saw my Dr yesterday he says I must go to Hosp next time,Have been in once,seeing specialist again,Im on Wafarin and beta-blocker.Is there anyone with an answer to this ,Question.


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