Do I or dont I????

I for the life of me fathom out what it is that is wrong with me. I am 72 years of age, active have just moved to a\ new flat.etc etc. I had a few chest pains months ago and it was not heart attack, not angina had all then test done that could be done on the heart etc. As they could not give me a possible diagnosis for what caused these chest pains, (I put it down to indigestion) they told me to go on warfarin as I could have possible AF. Well took their

word for it. But coming on here and readin what some of you go through I think I was right in the beginning and put it down to bad indigestion and possibly stress. I have appointment with gp next week and I am asking her to take me off warfarin so I can get back to a normal life. Has anyone done this before and been wrongly diganosed ?????


22 Replies

  • Oh boy! I wish! Mine is the reverse, five years ago I was told, after extensive tests, that I had ectopic beats. It now appears that I might have had a heart attack or some virus which has damaged my heart and given rise to heart failure + af. So if you're asking do they get it wrong....yes they do, big time.

  • Hi Dott

    If I were you? I would ask them for a halter monitor to check the ECG of the heart over a period and see if you have AF or not, I agree do not need to be treated for it unless you actually have it, but worth double checking first.

    Be well


  • Hi Ian, I had the ECG monitor for 24 hours and all was clar but can they realy tell if there something wrong in that time. When I was hospitalised I was 24/7 on monitor and nothing showed anything on there so why do they assume that I have AF dont understand it. But I will get to the bottom of it. I have had major ops so why was nothing picked up then.

  • Now that is interesting because my cardio refuses to use 24-hour monitoring for patients with PAF. That's the thing about this type of AF which only occurs now and then (I haven't had an episode fir about 10 months ). You run the risk of getting a normal ECG result and so the assumption is that all is well, when you know very well it isn't!

  • Did you have a positive e.c.g. ? If so I would say that the diagnosis is accurate and if not well, it's anybody's guess and might well have been stress. Just keep in mind that something unpleasant was going on so I would keep pursuing it even if it turns out to be indigestion.x

  • Hi I was on ecg monitor for a week when I was hospitalised and nothing showed up on the graphs. I had every cardio test going and nothing untoward was discovered. I do not know what a AF attack is. As regards to the indigestion, I suffer from sponilitis and the pain I had in the arm was similar to that of the pain of that when it flairs up. But I will get to the bottom of it.

  • Hi I have had only one documented case of AF and that was in the doctor's office during a regular exam. I had an ECG and it showed AF. Since then had another ECG and a 2-week heart monitor and everything was normal. I do not have and never had any symptoms...and I, too...think that I am glad I do not have the episodes that many on this forum have. But with other risk factors I am taking Xarelto and so far so good.

  • Always worth asking for a second opinion, especially if the diagnosis was uncertain. I asked my GP for referral to a second cardiologist as the local cardiology department was clearly having trouble interpreting the results of my echocardiograms. It took all the courage I had as I was effectively criticising another doctor.

  • This is something I will following up on, as I have had every cardio test going, dont know what more they can check me on. I am even thinking of paying privately to find out. Will keep you updated.

  • Good luck.x

  • I have had three holter monitors, one 24 hour and two 7 day, and two treadmill tests but none of them have ever showed anything. One the other hand I have also had numerous episodes of AF with rates of up to 240, and durations up to 34 hours, and there have been over a dozen ECGs printed during those. I've also had a perfusion scan and a couple of echoes but they're not designed to detect AF anyway.

  • I had my first episode of AF about 10 years ago, my heart was racing, thumping and felt irregular. I was on. Sailboat in the middle of the Atlantic so no docs to go to. It removed itself after about 3hours so I forgot about it and had nothing for about 12 months, then several episodes but it took a long time to get it captured on the ECG, despite wearing several mobile monitors. I have never experienced pain though, just a sort of dull ache that felt like muscle fatigue in my heart after a long episode.

    So frustrating not knowing, hope you get a definitive diagnosis soon. But doesn't it take so much energy and time going for all these tests and appointments!

  • Difficult one, get a second opinion change your GP, do whatever it takes...AF can be elusive..I've gone down to A&E feeling like hell and all tests have been normal.

  • Having read what you have said about all of the tests you have had Dott, I think you are right to ask your GP about coming off Warfarin. With me, I used to feel the odd "missed beat" every now and again for at least a decade before I had what I call my first AF episode - I mentioned them to my GP and was told it was nothing to worry about, we all have them. However, thinking back, these missed beats often tended to happen on Friday afternoons a few hours after I'd had a couple of pints in my lunchtime and alcohol has probably been my biggest trigger for an AF episode over the past few years, so I now think that those missed beats were the beginnings of my AF.

    One of the maddening things about AF is that it is not the same for everyone and so it's difficult to come to hard and fast conclusions about it - for example, I know for sure within about ten seconds of one of my AF episodes starting that I'm having one, but that's not true of everyone, their hearts could be going at 200 beats per minute, but they are unaware of it.

    If you have noticed those missed beats from time to time, then it may be a signal that you have AF. I say that knowing that stress and paying more attention to what your heart is doing could also cause the very things you are checking for, but, overall, with all of those clear tests and an absence of the sort of symptoms you often see mentioned on here, the balance of probability seems to be that you don't have AF and I'd be asking about whether I need to be on Warfarin if I was in your position.

  • Thanks for that info I will take on board what you have said and keep you posted on the outcome.

  • Hi Dotti - it's a very strange position to be in, where doctors have given you warfarin as a precaution without actually pinning it down as AF. Usually it's the other way round and they won't do anything until they're absolutely convinced, and that can take some doing. Like you, if I thought they were doing something wrong I'd pursue it, it would be much better to have a solid diagnosis but we know how difficult that can be with AF. If I were you I would check my pulse when I had pains or felt under par, or just check several times a day anyway, because not everyone feels AF. I hope that they manage to pin it down for you - it can be darned elusive, AF!


  • Hi Lis thanks for that. As I have high blood pressure I have to check it daily and I also get a reading of pulse etc. My heart rate is a slow one anyway, but my blood pressure was fne until they took me off the felpadine and put me on warfarin and ramipril, but its still a little high. Will keep you informed.


  • Just be cautious before you quit warfarin. I can well understand your feelings BUT ........ !

    If you haven't already done so do take the time to research AF and how it can manifest itself and particularly how AF can generate a stroke. To my non medical/non scientific experience you can only say you have AF if it is picked up on an ECG. Others can actually feel it AND others like me can often be in AF AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT !

    So, what if you have it, what if it has not yet been picked up on ECG, and what if you have it and like me don't know it. To go and bin Warfarin is lining yourself up for a stroke, hopefully not, but I wouldn't mind betting all this is at the back of their minds when prescribing warfarin.

    The times I could feel I was in AF I had some discomfort in the chest but mainly it was like having a squadron of butterflies banging around the heart/chest, or, a mob of octopuses wriggling away trying to get out of Alcatraz or a hive of bees in my chest (not the sound of buzzing) but like you have bees running over your skin.

    Next, there is such a beast as the vagal nerve (read up on it) and it controls both the heart and the digestive system, so your complaining of indigestion may well, may well indicate AF originating with the vagal nerve. I accepted my lot, warafrin et al, but went down the track of diet and in addition to my medication I have been following a specific food programme for the last 3 & half years and now cannot recall an AF event - given that I may have had one and not know it. I was diagnosed at 65 and am now coming up to 70, I still work, driving buses part time and man handling passengers baggage, I still drink alcohol but in less quantities than before AF and remain totally active.

    AF is such a bloody mongrel condition that it is so different in all of us.

    I would caution against coming off warfarin but its your call.

    Good luck,

    Aussie John

  • I totally agree with Aussiejohn

  • I'm in the States and am currently wearing a monitor for 3 weeks. Before I was diagnosed I probably had Afib episodes about once a month. Only in to see Dr. for another matter; he took my pulse and sent me immediately to cardiologist since I was in Afib. A 24 or 48 hr. monitor wouldn't have picked up anything. Agree that you should use caution on coming off warfaarin.

    Heather R

  • I think I would want a more complete diagnosis before taking any drug. Any time I have had AF, I can feel it in my pulse and I can verify it with the ECG device that I have or the blood pressure cuff which tells me I have an irregular heart beat but does not read the beats correctly. If it is AF caused by indigestion, some of the antiarrhythmic drugs prescribed by some doctors have been shown in studies to make AF worse. This happened to me. It seems like the doctor is prescribing medication for something you may have as some doctors do for antibiotic treatment of a perceived infection. This is not a good practice. Keep pushing for a better answer.

  • Thanks for that i will certainly cintinue with it as I was prescribed a tab for angine before I left hospital and said but I do not have angina they told me that it would help. But taking it twic e a day made me feel like I did have indigestion, so my GP told me to stop tking it and have felt better since. But I do get some indigestion but a little glkass of soda water soon gets rid of that. Will keep all informed as appointment on monday with GP.


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