What type of AF do you have

A recent post on here asked when to go to A+E when in AF. Lots of very different replies were given which has made me wonder whether we are all talking about different types of AF. As I see it AF is when the heart is beating out of rhythm and isn't necessarily racing. However because I have Paroxysmal AF - where my heart 'sometimes' constantly races up to 180bpm and makes me feel really ill I always view those words AF as meaning that, which is probably quite wrong. In between my attacks my heart beats fairly normal.

Are there any people on this site who talk about going to A+E when their heart beat is out of sync, but not necessarily going very fast?

What type of AF do others on this forum have?

24 Replies

  • Morning Jeanjeannie

    I think there are only two types if I am honest, but will stand corrected if anyone thinks differently.

    Paroxysmal, where the heart goes in and out of AF, the differences then are the severity of the episodes, for some they hardly notice and for others they range from maybe one hour of severe attacks, to some people having long term attacks which need the intervention of an A & E department or similar. Remember of course that some people carry pill in the pocket for these episodes which does calm them down. The severity of the episodes seems to then drive the various treatment options.

    Persistent (like me) where my heart is in AF 24/7 literally never back in a normal beat but to be honest apart from the fact I am in AF I have virtually no other symptoms. Some of course get persistent AF with dreadful symptoms, and those will need intervention pretty quickly. There is no real point in going to A&E if you are in AF but symptomless, what are they going to do?

    So I understand you view AF as those "episodes" me? it's just my all day every day state of life.

    Be well


  • Hi Ian - Do you take any medication, other than warfarin? If not , perhaps that's why you feel so normal with your AF.

  • Yes Jean I take diltiazem, aspirin (for a high free calcium count) and also statins.

    Don't be too hard on the drugs for most of us in AF they are completely necessary however much maligned.


  • Until last year my A.F. was present for around 75% of the time but heart rate stayed under 100 . Then more recently it kept spiking to around 140 which was much more unpleasant and frightening. However it has usually gone down again so I have not been to A. And E. This unpleasant change did however prompt me into seeing an E.P. and am now on medication which has stopped it happening! Unfortunately lots of side effects so now awaiting ablation.x

  • Yes, I'm sometimes horrified at the side effects drugs give me. I feel I'm very prone to them.

  • Hi Jean I'm like you have had problems with most medications other than ibersartan and wafarin. I think I will just accept this AF rather than feel sick and I'll all the time.

  • Mine only at first palpitated a couple of times and the second palpitation took me into full blown AF. Having recognisd it from 10 years ago I took myself down to the emergency department because I knew it wasn't going to stop there. Since then I'm not sure what I've had other than what I can now see on my little gadget as a disturbed heart rhythm (but saying stable waveform) with a higher rate but yesterday I had what felt like a disturbed heart rate but at 75/BPM. It obviously was disturbed in some way because I took pill in the pocked and it settled down. So apart from obvious AF I still cannot figure out what it is/was I had/have because I'm not an expert in reading ECGs but will make sure I ask at my follow up with the trials doc in September because zI want to know for certain what that irregular rhythm is on my ECG as the T wave from what I can see seems to either benot there at all or more than once or all over the place! Whatever it is I'm aware of it.

  • My heart sometimes does what I call 'plonking', a very strong beat which can't be ignored. At this time taking my pulse shows the beat to be at a normal rate. It's usually when I first get into bed at night and lasts for about half an hour.

    I would never have believed that a heart rate between 80 and 90 could make someone feel ill until I experienced it. My heart always raced up to 180ish and I used to think how can they have problems with such a low rate. After ablations and cardioversions when my heart went back to it's normal 62ish. Should it now rise over 80 it makes me feel very tired and lethargic. It sometimes appears we have to experience something to understand.

  • Love the 'plonking' description, I do know what you mean. I used to get it after meals before I had treatment.

  • This interests me too. First few episodes were a very fast heart rate for 24-36 hours, last one that I had E.C.G for as well was different not as fast 95bpm but very irregular. Never felt irregular before. After a month or so of what turned out to be ectopics earlier on this year not A.F. I experienced what I can only describe as a fluttery, wobbly feeling in my chest,which lasted a few days on and off, I have absolutely no idea what that was but was unlike either of other episodes. I started taking Magnesium tablets and have since had little flutters and the odd missed beat but nothing too much. So I don't have a clue what is going on. It also doesn't help when you go to G.P thinking you are in A.F to be told they won't do E.C.G there and then as you have A.F!!! just got a referral to cardiologist who has discharged me again. G.P. won't refer to E.P. It feels like an A.F. journey of discovery but not finding out very much.

  • Hi Cat - Interesting that you feel the magnesium has helped your AF. What type do you take? I took magnesium citrate years ago, but it made my stomach sore.

  • Hi, I bought some from Holland and barrett it just says magnesium 250mg think it's magnesium oxide. I believe this is not absorbed the best but have been taking it since March and feel there has been some benefit over last couple of months, on the other hand it might just be that I have been trying to keep calmer, whichever I will carry on with them. I had my first episode of A.F when we lived in Germany and the Dr. straight away prescribed a magnesium and potassium tablet but since coming back to the U.k I hadn't taken any. They do take a more holistic approach over there. Totally unrelated but for sinusitis had Myrtle oil capsules prescribed, worked a treat breath did smell myrtely though. I am sure our health issues should be looked at as a whole body issue more than it is. best wishes kath

  • Hi cat55 how did you find out you had ectopics karen

  • Hi Karen. I had a 24 hour E.C.G.Got very worked up about the whole thing and the what I am told were ectopics returned with a vengeance. The cardiologist said there had been 900 which I believe isn't too bad but I know most were in the morning as I think I felt every one. They came thick and fast as I had a stressful morning at work, so now I don't really have a clue what is what. Kath

  • Thanks kath for your reply I just hate this af karen

  • I've had all sorts. The latest, and strangest, was a couple of years ago when I had a teeny-weeny tickling under my left armpit that you could easy ignore. Like an eye muscle twitching every now and again, but not in my eye. Because it kept on happening, I mentioned to about 5 different GP's over the next year, who said it was probably nothing, or didn't even respond. Eventually, I just asked for a private referral to an EP, probably £150 wasted I thought, but no, it was AF and they did another ablation to "nip it in the bud".

  • Interesting that both you and Loo had this same experience. I wonder if there are any other things like this that happen to people with AF that no one is aware of yet. If you hadn't mentioned this I don't suppose Loo would have as it is such an obscure thing to relate to AF.

  • How strange. 3 Cardio-versions and 3 ablations (last one 2008). I too had itchy armpit which i scratched gently for relief for years. Never associated it with AF or anything else for that matter & could never identify a cause. But after reading these last posts and tbh thinking "rubbish" i went back and reread the posts and now wonder if there is a connection. The itchiness is stroñg while it lasts but goes off after a while, with no recurrence for periods of time.

  • You know Koll odd that you mention this because I was thinking about that today and I had the same thing for a long long time I was always scratching my left armpit so chances are It must have coincided with AF but I was unaware I had it :-) :-)

  • Hi Loo - Just replied to Koll re this. Strange that you both had that obscure tickle. Wonder if there are any other things like this that people with AF have but are unaware is related to the condition.

  • Yes it is odd Jean I was scratching under that arm for years because it always seemed to be tickling it was just so irritating but never thought it could be related to AF. I thought it was just that...a tickle! Interesting to see if I get it back after my ablations.

  • How are you feeling now and when do you think you will you go back to work?

  • Well Jean I'm going back to work on Thursday and Im going to stress the importance of taking it easy for the first 3 months but if they have me jumping up and down like a cat on a hotplate then I will either go back off or get a letter sent to them from my EP.

  • Are you feeling o.k. now?

You may also like...