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Hi, I started with random episodes of AF last Dec which came out of the blue. Never had anything like this before, 52 female, relatively fit, ex smoker. Within weeks, Episodes got longer and more frequent, can't breathe, go very dizzy, sweat and have blacked out once leaving me with a right shiner! Rushed to A & E twice with HR of 276 .Each admission followed by a stay on CCU to monitor and stabilise HR. Whilst on CCU had numerous episodes of AF with SVT. Cardiologist of the opinion it was viral !!!!' Eventually discharged on 7.5 Bisoprolol which seem to be managing symptons altho i still feel flutters daily albeit theyr very mild. Investigations ongoing as to establish an underlying cause.

Iv had a CT scan - clear, Echocardiogram - clear, just had MRI last week and booked in for EP Tests mid march. I've read up loads on AF and still trying to get my head round it all - could be hundreds of things causing it. Im more perplexed that the echo has come back clear - although this is good news, im now wondering what happens if MRI results show nothing either - surely there must be a reason this has suddenly started? Id welcome any views on similar experiences.

19 Replies

  • When no underlying cause can be found they call it lone paroxysmal atrial fibrilation. There are many people on here who are in this category myself included and it took me a long time to get used to the idea that apart from the A.F. My heart and arteries were apparently in tip top condition. There are all sorts of theories as to why we develop it and I will leave someone more knowledgeable to enlighten you. Apart from that, welcome to this forum, it has been the saving of my sanity, you have made the first step forward. Whenever you have a question, ask away on here and someone will always answer. X

  • Thankyou dedottie

  • AF suddenly starts and then suddenly stops. This is the reason why it does not show up on tests if your heart is not fibrillating during the tests. This is also the reason why I would never agree to a monitor for less than 7 days duration.

    Good luck with your EP consultation.

  • Thanks jennydog. Fortunately i was in hospital when many of the episodes happened and i was able to have echs there and then. The bisoprosol is keeping things calm at the moment.

  • My first bad episode of AF was caused by a virus, and viruses do upset my heart. I think it is a bit like IBS, maybe should call it IHS! There is a theory that some people have a predisposition to AF which is triggered by an an extreme event or long-term stress on the heart reaching a critical level.

    It sounds as though you have just been unlucky, so I hope it won't be the start of many episodes. I had a gap of several years before I had more AF. What is a great improvement since then is the information and support available now! Hope you're much better soon.

  • Thankyou buffafly.

  • Hi Bevaalaar and welcome

    Yes this AF is a mongrel of a condition, it is so hard to pinpoint what causes it, and even if you can sometimes that can change. Don't get too hung up on the cause, do try and focus on the treatment.

    See what your cardiologist says, but it sounds like you should consider early ablation, young, no other conditions, clear echo you'd have a very high chance of success.

    And the best thing, is that you are positive, that's really important.

    Be well


  • Thankyou ian, good to have found a place where people understand what its like!

  • Hi I'm the same was 49 fit then felt a little unwell had all tests all back normal MRI showed normal heart angiogram normal so sent home with 2.5 bisopropol and an asprin that was 2 years ago !

  • Hi 1964 - so did you have AF symptons?

  • Hi no had no symptoms just felt a little unwell went to dr said its menopause !!! I have small bursts that last seconds didn't exercise for 18 months also not on any blood thinner as only 51 with no other risk factors so spent most of the 18 months scared stiff would have a stroke then at new year decided to just live again and so now back in the gym and trying not to worry !!

  • Hi Hi-1964, my GP used to tell me my AF was me going through the change too! I'm a 1964 baby too lol! Diagnosed just over 12 months ago but undiagnosed fir around 7 years before that! Same symptoms but GP always said menopause, until I passed out and ended up in A&E with heart rate of 272bpm! Said it was supraventricular tachycardia then said atrial fibrillation. Kept me in for 2 days, discharged with 2.5 Bisoprolol! I don't take it daily though due to side effects so just take as and when!

    Great you've joined this forum, good advice and information from others who know and appreciate what you're going through!

  • As you too have normal heart! I wish have u been prescribed blood thinner or were u told the same not needed as no other risk factors will look again when 65 !!

  • Good attitude to take

  • Bevaalaar, your tale is a bit like mine. No symptoms (that I recognized) but I was finishing grad school and dealing with a major illness in the family so all issues were chalked up to "stress." My GP kept talking about how I was getting older (just turned 50) and that we all go through "changes" which all seemed like buzz words for menopause (which I have no other symptoms doubtful).

    I kept having nausea and feeling lightheaded, but assumed it was stress. Then I landed in the ER hitting 220+ for extended periods of time. My heart was fine - no blockages, issues, etc. The cardiologist studied my MRI and other test results and declared that my heart looked like it was 30, not 50. This was really frustrating because I wanted answers as to why! Once I saw a great electro-physiologist, he told me to give up the quest for "why" and instead go for "what," as in "what to do now."

    Meds simply did not work for me. I had major reactions and side effects from everything they tried. I ended up having cardiac ablation which worked like a dream.

    I was told by the EP managing my care that if meds work, it is best for patients to stick with those. If they don't, and subject is otherwise healthy (I am) then cardiac ablation is the best bet.

    Something to think about...good luck to you!

  • Thanks cdeterra, reassuring to know i'm not going mad! After finding this site and reading lots of posts im beginning to realise that there doesnt have to be an underlying cause, suppose thats the best kind of result to know all tests show healthy heart. Sounds like catheter ablation may be an option - booked in mid march for EP studies so guess i'll find out then. Does the ablation put heart back into normal rythm?

  • It did for me, but I need to stress that it took a bit of recovery first. I wasn't completely "normal" until September and I had the procedure in July. However, I was WAY better right after the procedure, and only went as high as 110 or so when I did have short bursts. Now my resting heart rate is in the high 60's, low 70's, and I feel great.

    As I've said before, I'm not sure I'm the norm, but the ablation worked for me. I'm just hoping that it is a long-term fix!

  • Thats great to hear. Fingers crossed its same for me!

  • I was given the option of meds or ablation shortly after diagnosis. After lots of discussion with ep and others on here, opted for ablation. This was 15 months ago and after initial 5 months of bumps/flutters all settled down and no more AF. Now ep says may be coming back as last ECG showed short episode of AF. May need another ablation but if I do will be happy to have it done. So I would say if offered it consider it very carefully as seems to be the best option for most people, especially at the early stage with no other heart issues and relatively young! Good luck .

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