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AF Association
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Newbie member - advice please

Hi everyone. I've just found this forum and am pleased to be able to talk to people with this condition. I'm 38 and was diagnosed with paroxysmal A Fib and Atrial Flutter in September after having 6 months of palpitations that made me feel dizzy and lightheaded (I was told for months it was anxiety). My consultant put me on 2.5mg of bisoprolol and touch wood I have felt great. However, over the past month I have started to feel the palpitations again. No dizziness or lightheadedness and I find it is worse when I have tummy aches or a cold. Is this normal? Any advice would be greatly received. Ive read up on the condition and am terrified for what the future holds. I'm terrified of going anywhere long distance in case the palpitations get worse.

18 Replies

Hi MIllie and welcome to the forum.

Your worry is understandable but firstly I must say to you that whilst AF may be in your life you must not let it become all of your life.. As you go through your journey of AF you should become more able to live normally and the distance thing will not be a problem. It is all about not letting it win!

Your current treatment is one of many possibilities and you don;t say what kind of consultant you are seeing. Ordinary cardiologists are not always the best people to see as an Electrophysiologist, a cardiologist who specialises in rhythm problems is better qualified to advise. You wouldn't ask a plumber to re-wire a plug would you?

Regarding the frequency of your events I'm sorry to tell you that AF begets AF so the longer you have it. most likely the more you will have it. It sounds from what you say as if your AF may be triggered by stomach or digestive problems which is not uncommon.and of course any illness can make it worse.

The condition is not life threatening although often life changing but it is important to have the right treatment. I presume that you have read all about the various possibilities including ablation which at your age would seem an attractive way forward to many people but again an EP is the person to ask about this. |There is al list by area on the main website and you should ask your GP to refer you to one near you if you wish to consider different options..

Please ask any specific question and I'm sure somebody here will be able to answer.


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hi millie , You have fortunately been diagnosed at an early stage and may be able to effect some control with changes to your diet.

I suggest you search the net and read the A FIB REPORT by hans larsen in order to find any diet triggers.

regards phil


Hi Phil, I'm a new afibber and I was hoping you may provide more information on ' a fib report' is this a book, white page or WWW article? Do you have a link?




Hi steve , afibbers.com/

His site has a large amount of information on the subject , some of which may be of use to you.

As the medical profession cannot tell you what causes your problem i think it is for the individual to search for the personal reasons that have triggered the illness . In my case , whilst being fit and normal weight, i think a poor diet has been a contributory factor.


Thanks Phil, I'm looking it up now.


Hi Millie

As Bob said just ask - even though we are all different someone here will be or have experienced similar things to what you are going through. Don't be alarmed - even though AF is a pain in the neck it can be controlled and life goes on. This forum is the best - picks you up when you feel down.

Take Bobs advice and see an EP .

Keep well



Hi Millie,

First of all welcome to the forum, I only joined up a few days ago myself and my first afib event at 39. While I cannot offer any advice at this stage, I'm still learning myself, I can vouch for this forum...the members are very supportive and respond in a very timely manner.

I'm still on the fear boat myself, cannot lock the front door when Im home alone, I must take my phone with me everywhere and I especially fear going to sleep since this is when my first event happened. I understand as I'm sure others do as well.

From what I have read so far afib on it's own is not life threatening, is either developed or genetic, and is triggered by one or more things....our journey is to find out what these triggers are. Bloating, IBS along with other digestion difficulties can also be a trigger so, as another member advised me, you may want to start a food diary so you can monitor what you eat and drink while observing 'what makes you tick' so to speak.

All the best.



Hi Millie and welcome to our forum. Members on here are great and will support you in any way you need. How often do your AF attacks last and do you feel unwell for a while after?

Wishing you well.



Hi Millie.

Lots if good advice in this thread. I'm 39 and have had AF for about 4 years now. It's been quite a journey (a very dark one at times), trying to find intervention that works for me. It may seem scary now, but you'll get to know what works for you. Others have mentioned trying to identify your triggers. This may not always be possible - I couldn't identify mine and so just accept that some days I may not feel great. My episodes can last 24 hours, but I keep in mind that I've had worse hangovers!

Good luck. As Bob has said, don't let it become you.



Hi Millie and welcome to the forum,

You will find that this is a great place to come for help and advice, everyone is really friendly and supportive, and knowledgeable too - Bob's advice is always very wise. It's helped me get past the initial terror to realise I can live with it, and that it's not going to kill me, and I hope it helps you too. Once you read up a bit (the AFA website is a great source of information) you will find you gain the confidence to start living your life again. You're still really young and there are lots of options, so be of good cheer!



Welcome Millie

My advice would be that you make sure you are seeing an Electrophysiologist and not an ordinary cardiologist as they are the experts in electrics. Then ask about ablation as a lot of the evidence is that the earlier it is done the moe successful it will be. I was given the option - medication or ablation and opted for ablation. I was on bisoprolol for a few months whilst waiting. I now seem to be clear of AF and off all meds except warfarin.

I know it may come back but if it does I will have another ablation.

Also are you anticoagulated. I know you may not be a high risk but ask your EP for recommendation.

Good luck and try not to worry. Marie

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Thank you everyone for your helpful advice. I am seeing a cardiologist and he has referred me to see a electrophysiologist. He has discussed my case with the electrophysiologist and they have both agreed that at this stage my Afib doesn't warrant ablation yet as I am doing okay on the bisoprolol (I am also taking asprin). I have heard ablation is best done early but he said the risks are too high at this stage. I'm thinking of getting a second opinion listening to what other people have put on this forum. I have tried to find my triggers. I have had a lot of stress over the past year (student nurse, recently a singe mother to 3 girls - my one daughter also has recently gone through a kidney transplant) so don't know whether this contributed towards it. Before my diagnosis I was told I had anxiety and to "relax". Not realistic when the palpitations are so scary and I felt as if I was going to back out. I had to give up nursing as I was not fit to work and have gone back to office work. I feel at the moment as though it is ruining my life. I know I have to get over this fear and live life to the full and I am getting there slowly. Its nice to know others know how I feel. I'm looking at my diet. I don't drink or smoke - walk more and am trying to eat more healthy.


Adversity can be a great improver. One finds one's inner strengths, one overcomes and triumphs. A woeful experience 20 years ago that seemed to be ruining one's life at the time can provide the means to deal more positively with the challenges of today. We can envy people whose lives run smoothly - and feel sorry for them because they have not had opportunities to learn the hard way and achieve and become a fuller person.


Oh Rellim I so agree with you! I know that it is very hard now Millie, sounds like you have so much on your plate, any of those things on their own is tough but all at once, wow!

try remember when at your lowest, the only way is up.

Do hope that you have a good support system around you?


Hi Millie, Hang in there...you have been through a rough time but it will get better. You right in that these users know how AF feels, you are no longer alone...you have us! :)


Hi Millie

Firstly and your cardiologist should know this aspirin is no good at all for af. All the latest recommendations are for anticoagulants not aspirin. I have never found a trigger for my af so far and that is after 12years.

Good luck with your journey, the anxiety will get better as time goes buy. I have been to New Zealand since my af started

All the best




I to have just been told i have af but i do not have any symtoms ?i went in to hospital with a dog bite. Had a small operation on my nose. Then the doctor said you have af with flutter ??

The hospital has canceled my cardioverision for tommorow ? I have to wait another month now.

I am 48 and overweight but since

i was told i have lost 3.5 stone. I am confused as i do not feel ill or do not have any attacks of any sort any advise ?



Hi Millie and welcome, what you need to check first is, like me is Afib the only problem with your heart, as many people on this site have other related heart conditions and I have to say this will massively affect the replies you receive. My condition is both genetic and alcohol driven, my father is 81 has had Afib since his 40's and still goes to the gym 3 times a week. My cardiologist says to me 'take an asprin a day and we'll monitor you annually, now go and get on with your life' !!. I truly understand and sympathise with the folks on here who have additional heart problems, but my only advise would be, keep clear of the drugs, as once on them you'll never stop.


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