AF Association

Afib or not afib

Since being diagnosed with PAF back in March 2014 it has been somewhat of a turbulent journey to say the least. I have tried different Sotalol and bisoprolol and neither seemed to have much effect. I have been prescribed Flecainide as a PIP which I haven't used yet as normally my episodes revert in about an hour or so. My challenge is more when I'm in afib. To my knowledge when I'm in afib I can feel my heart jumping about all over the place yet on more than one occasion I have suffered very similar symptoms to afib like sweating, lightheadedness, tight chest, etc but checking my pulse I do not seem to be in afib? I also get a fullness sensation in my ears which is not a classi sign of afib. I have seen a cardiologist an EP yet still feel as bad as I did 9 months ago.

To sum up I suppose my query is can you be in afib and not know your in afib even by checking your pulse?

9 Replies

I get the light headed, sweating symptoms when my heart converts back to rhythm after an episode of AF (real dip in the heart rate), possibly that is what is happening to you if you revert back naturally? Obviously at that stage your pulse would have returned to normal. I have an Alivecor thingy on the phone now and can easily check what's happening when I feel odd. Turns out I'm in AF more than I think and I only feel the fast stuff.

That's just my experience.



Thanks Jo, that's really useful information. I do have an Alivecor so will start to carry it with me so I can check what's happening.


I can relate to what HappyJo says.

My EP said that he thought that I was having more episodes of AF than I realised. Sure enough a 7 day monitor showed a 36hr event which did not tally with the diary which I'd written during the 7 days..

I'm to have another 7 day loop monitor fitted now that I'm 5 months post ablation. They rang yesterday to make arrangements. 9.30 on December 31st. Oh well at least I'll find out what's going on and right now I suspect the answer is NOTHING.

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Just to let you and everyone else know NICE are saying Sotolol is no longer apperpriate for AF.

I had to tell my GP he had no idea about that ! .... so pass the word round !


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I wonder why? I've seen people here really recommend it... I will go see if I can find any info...



I was put on Flec in March 2014, first 100mgs/day, which didn't work, then 200mgs /day which did work, dreaded it but no side effects.

I would have preferred PIP but with hindsight my cardio has been right so far. His advice was you need to stop all episodes as having some even short ones in the majority of people will only lead to more as the heart gets into bad habits.

Good Luck and a Healthy Christmas!


I am a Post PVI A fibber. When my PAF first started I was put on Sotalol without any success. It was some time later when I had been put on Flecainide that I found out that Sotalol is for rate control and not rhythm control. Flecainide is a rhythm control drug and should have a much greater impact at controlling your AF.

Apparently some people cannot feel their AF. I found this rather difficult to understand as I am strongly symptomatic but whilst discussing my symptoms with another patient, expecting to have their ablation , they were unaware they had AFib until they had an ECG for another matter.

It follows that perhaps there are episodes of AF that can't be felt probably because what you are actually feeling when in AF is the erratic ventricular response ( Supra ventricular SVT) whilst your atria is fibrillating, whereas there are other periods when the ventricular response is subdued but the atria is fibrillating but does not induce the (SVT). As the atria beat is so much weaker that the ventricular beat you can't feel the atria actually fibrillating but get symptoms that you feel are similar to when your ventricular rhythm is erratic.

I have had A Fib for 15 years but now 5 years post PVI and had a lot of time to analyse what is happening in my chest. I am now on PIP regime.

Please note AF begets AF and good rhythm control with Flecainide will make daily life so much better.

Hope this helps

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Thanks Jumper, I guess I have been fooling myself about not needing a daily drug to help me get through. The advise on here has been wonderful and I will be in touch with my EP on Monday.

My local doctor said I would need blood tests if I was put on Flecainide but my EP seem to think that this wasn't neccessary. Has anyone else been told this?


I was officially diagnosed with Afib March 2014 prepared for colonoscopy to begin when doc called it off due to flutter/fib showing up. I had no idea. I had been tired a lot with little energy, had gained weight. Blamed it on trouble sleeping and getting out of shape. Cut to 9 months later -4 months post pvi ablation - and I realize all the little times I felt odd beats, rapid pulse etc that I blamed on anxiety was most likely afib. I've worn several 30 day monitors and became more in tune with heart. I'm down to 50 mg Flecainide twice a day, Diltiazam and baby aspirin. Only issue now is having trouble knowing if the irregular beats are back to afib or PAC's etc. so wondering if I should invest in alivecor.


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