Hello, does anyone else feel heavy legged and headed when they exercise i,e just a light walk ?

I was diagnosed with a/f last year,and have been trying tablets since Xmas,but have suffered with anxiety for the last 10years at least.and was wondering if the 2 are combined in anyway?or have I been treated for anxiety instead of a/f ? I was always fit and a keen cyclist but gradually felt not well when exsercising.i,am 51yrs old. Would be glad to hear if others feel like this.

20 Replies

  • Hi Col55You do not say what medication you are on,beta blockers slow the heart down so if you are on these they could well make you feel tiered after exercise and anxierty definately does not help with AF.Keeping calm and not worrying is the key

  • Are you on bisoprolol. Just a guess.

  • Hi Col55

    I too suffer with anxiety and have done for some time. I had an ablation last year for flutter and AF which was quite successful but it has returned on a few occasions. If I get an infection it always starts my heart off, raising my BPM to nearly 200, then I have to go back on the meds for AF, I know this also affects my anxiety because I worry about it. It's hard to keep calm when you feel bad and your heart is doing somersaults!!

    I have meds for anxiety too so I'm doing ok at the moment but I often ask myself if I'll ever feel well enough to be able to come off all my meds. Doubtful but I keep hoping. Are you on warfarin for your AF?

    Hope you have a good week. X

  • I have thought for a long time that as I have a fast heart beat despite medication and do have periods of af (don't worry, I hold down a full time job and am never seen in a and e - learnt how to manage all of this over the last ten years) that this must cause bucket load of adrenaline into my system on a daily basis. So I am not sure that I am particularly anxious as I feel rather than in flight or fight mode due to the adrenaline. It's not somethign really discussed in clinic but my gp reckons that I'm right. I never ever ever worry about my af, now I am anti coagulated and on meds it isn't an issue to me as nothing really can happen to me except maybe be a bit uncomfortable sometimes. In fact safer now that before. I couldn't care a less about taking meds for the rest of my life - I fully plan to drink wine for the rest of my life so can't see much of a difference! I think I could have got somehting so much worse than af which is quite good for your lifestyle, I've had to be healthier, sleep longer, eat better and take exercise and that has helped me I am sure in the long run.

  • Now that, lizwright, is a good attitude! I'm currently on bisoprolol and warfarin and normal SR but feel tired and lifeless sometimes. Could be, as you say, a lot worse. Just look around and see where we could be in the health stakes! Best thing is to learn to accept AF and its effects, try not to worry and accept it is part of our lives. Keep taking the tablets, enjoy a glass of wine or ale and let a little sunshine in! ;-)

  • Liz, you are very lucky that you respond to meds. Some of us dont and it is no fun being in fast AF continually __ hence the visits to AE. I have been in so called rate controlled AF for 3 weeks and ended up in AE with heart failure. Sandra

  • It seems to me from what I have read on this site that Bisoprolol is the common factor for the tiredness/liflessness, I find it (tiredness) overwhelming but my GP hasn't offered any options. Comments welcome please as my quality of life is definitely not what is was two years ago due to the tiredness.

  • My GP prescribed Bisoprolol for me, and my EP said it was the wrong drug and took me off it. He was right. I need rhythm control drugs which my GP says they cannot prescribe.

    Are you seeing an EP soupersue?

  • No to EP but I live in hope that I can persuade my GP to refer me. He says I don't need rhythm control, it can be controlled with drugs. I don't really understand enough but I am learning by reading the posts on here and knowledge is power.

  • Hi soupersue, you must insist on seeing an EP, they are the experts not the GP's. It took me 12 years to find out that an EP was the one to see and that was only when I found this forum, as a result of seeing one, I am having a pacemaker fitted.

    Good luck and make sure you see an EP not just a cardiologist.


  • hi

    yes as you describe, told cardio so many times i have given up. this has gone on for 10 years. First i was on sotalol

    (160) and I cant say that it was any better than Bisoprolol (2.5) that I have been on for past 2 years. Never get offered anything else, despite the fact that i have never really had a fast heart rate, it used to be at about 85 average on 7 day holter, but I cant think that is too high. Now its true it runs at a pretty steady 65-75, which might be technically OK, but as you say, just a slight bit of walking (say 20mins or so) and my legs feel like I have played football for an hour, as well as my brain just feels like saying BYE, BYE I wanna go to sleep.

  • That bye bye I want to go to sleep is absolutely typical of af. I used to describe it as falling down a pit and when I slept I didn't move and woke up in same position as I started. That's a typical af sleep.

  • I have in fact had the added issue of having had 2 blocked arteries, which were both stented at Papworth, back in 2006, and the other remaining one still with a partial blockage, so it becomes difficult to know which problem is the cause of my tiredness, both mentally and physically. I am in fact having my femoral arteries checked by doppler scan next week to see if there are any blockages in them, as when I walk I do now get a pain in the thigh. I also think its difficult for other non AFers to really understand, as we look pretty normal with no outward signs of any issues, until there is an incline to walk up, but even then I have never found any sympathy from anyone

  • Actually I spent the first two years mostly in fast af. I was told by one hospital I wasn't worth treating as I didn't know when I was in af (not true but I'd been in it so long I didn't know what was normal) and I am permanently tachychardic despite meds. Amorodroine gave me thyriod problem so had to go to flecanide. I don't think I am lucky at all but I have persevered and thanks to wonderful Papworth and learning to manage better, I am at last ten years on, really managing to life life to the full -w ith af which I will have forever and be on meds forever. My adv ice to anyone is to be less passive than I was at the beginning as their is a solution for most people but as we are all different then it won't be the same for everyone. I know I will never be 100% or anything like it but I can do most things I want to do now and know how to pace myself to accomplish other things. I still don't liike walking with people as walking, talking and breathing difficult and I don't like walking up hill. I have largely avoided a and e as I feel that staying at home is better for me. Good luck in finding the right pathway to cope with yours - I am sure there is one out there for all of us.

  • Hi Liz --Sorry ! I can see that you haven't had as much luck as I had assumed ! Are you still on flec.?I was also on Amiodarone 20 years ago & more recently for just 3 months prior to my 3rd ablation but I have had thyroid & other problems with it. Unfortunately Flec. did nothing for me. Well done for managing your life so well -- you must have kept v fit to cope with all your horses! Like you I accept that I will never be 100% or anything near & agree it is a matter of pacing yourself. In fact I have never regained my energy levels since my 2nd ablation .

    When my AF started in 1993 there was very little help or info available. I had to source my info from textbooks in my local library. Consequently until I discovered AFA in 2009 mine was a very lonely & at times frightening journey. I would have benefited greatly from advice & support at that time.


  • I am still on flecanide which my gp helpfully described as a drug he wouldn't give to a dog but I don't have any issues with it. It has taken me ages to get energy and even now that does depend on me sleeping between 8-10 hours a night. I get tired easily esp walking and talking. I was diagonose din 2005 and things have moved on such a lot since then. It was hard to find out anything then so I reallyl sympathise. People now have so much more information.

  • Thanks for your replies,I am on daronadrone since Xmas ,and aspirin ,the dr,s say I am a very low risk patient concerning strokes as my blood pressure is v.good and cholesterol is 3.5.my heart beat is 45-58 normally but at night can go down to mid 30,s.it has only shot up to maybe 110 on 2occasions.my a/f happens 20 or so times a day I.e missing beats and palpitations.i have noticed most people,s goes very high compared to the symptoms I get.ive had a low heart beat all my life and always wondered if that's what made me a tired individual.

  • I have a naturally fast heart rate and if I'm given drugs to slow it down too much, I have no energy and feel lifeless. I'm an energetic person, and always wondered if the two go together?

    Re your doctor saying you're a low risk because of BP, cholesterol etc. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you have AF then your risk of a stroke is 4-5 times higher than someone who doesn't have AF? And the strokes are likely to be worse. I'm not sure that BP and cholesterol really come into that equation, but assume may be additional factors.


  • LOl....am pretty confident that what you say re AF being a large contributing factor for a stroke, is correct.

    the other issues mentioned are more associated with other heart problems, like blocked arteries.

  • Complicated isn't it,so how can a dr say that I am low risk when in fact we are all 4-5times more likely to have a stroke,! I have just had word that I am going for a pulmonary vein ablation on the 13th march ,can't wait,getting sick of the a/f's now ,so made a decision to have it done.

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