Just diagnosed with AF today


I went to my doctors today for an ECG. It appears I have AF but have no symptoms at all. The gp said I have an irregular pulse.

I know absolutely nothing about AF.

II am male 64 years old and had a heart attack in 1997 where they put a stent in my right coronery artery.

Can anybody tell me about AF. Is it safe to exercise etc

Thank you

24 Replies

  • Good to have you with us, great site for support and education. On the right side of this posting page are resources and FAQs.

  • You can probably exercise although everyone seems to be different.

    The questions you should be asking are: (1) are you in permanent AF? (2) is there a chance you can get back into sinus rhythm with medication? (either rate control such as beta blockers, or rhythm control such as flexenaide); (3) Are you on anti-coagulants such as warfarin or apixaban to protect you from stroke? You should consider it.

    You should now ask for a referral to an electrophysiologist (EP) specialist, in addition to your "general cardiologist". An electrophysiologist will know precisely how to treat your condition.

    Once your condition is managed optimally (minimize effects of AF, minimize risk of stroke), you'll be fine - and exercise is good for most. If you are in permanent AF you may find you get puffed more quickly.

    Hope this helps.

  • Hi , 3 years ago i woke up with this horrible raising heart, i went to the hospital and there i was diagnosed with AF. i was tried on 3 different tablets before finally tolerating Bisoprolol 2.5mg I had never heard of it before, i do the the occasional flip over, where my heart does a somersault, or it feels like it has stopped for about 3 seconds then jumps back into rythmn, this makes me feel light headed.

    I don't get it constantly, my last long episode was in June 2015, before that was over 2 years ago. i have now been offered the ablation but i don't know if i am bad enough yet to have it done.

    Some people are a lot worse than me getting it all the time, mine is intermitently.

    I would not exercise to much as it will bring on an attack, i do gentle walking a lot, no running. just go about your daily living but at a slower pace.

    I have to say though it's ruined my physical life with my husband as that certainly does make my heart do strange things

  • Hi hrart72

    Are you on anticoagulants ?

  • Welcome. Read up on the main AFA website and the CareAF website. Also worth reading back posts here.

    Are you on an anticoagulant?

  • AF is a problem with the heart's electrics, and the irregular beats that are generated (either occasionally or all the time) affect us all in different ways. Some people, and you may be one of them, have it all the time with no noticeable symptoms and others get an irregular beat occasionally and can't function in the usual way. It's not one size fits all. If you take exercise and it is too much I imagine you would be aware of it.

  • Roger. go to AF Association website and read all the fact sheets there if you want to understand this mongrel condition. Speak to your doctor about anticoagulation as AF makes us 5 times more at risk of stroke.

    Exercise is fine in moderation.

    You are one of the "lucky one" if you are not aware that you have AF as many people are laid very low with events. Permanent AF is often easier to live with as you don;t have those awful swings in and out.

    Three things to understand about AF !) it won't kill you. 2) it won't kill you and 3) it won't kill you. Just feels like it some times. Stroke can so please do take action re anticoagulants. There is a system known as CHADSVASC and there is a calculator on the main website where you can check your risk factor.

    Ask any question and we will try to help.


  • Hi Bob,

    Hope you are well and taking care. I have noticed that the New NICE guidelines (93) in respect of the CHADSVASC give a score 2 before you will offered AC. The calculator on the main website gives a score of.

    I believe the calculator should reflect the updated NICE guidelines.

    Best Wishes


  • Sorry Bob,

    The calculator on the AFA Website gives a score of one.

  • NICE is NICE and not necessarily the gold standard as we know. I don't make the rules. One means a personal choice. Two makes it compulsory in my view.

  • Dear Bob,

    Many thanks for your take on the matter. Much appreciated.

    Kind Regards


  • Two years ago I was like you. I have AF with no symptoms. They gave me a cardioversion which didn't work. Put on warfarin re stroke risk and bisoprolol to slow heart slightly.

    Have not seen a doctor since, still no symptoms, they just left me in AF.

    Hasn't changed my life at all except for practical problems like warfarin and travel insurance.

    Carry on as normal and good luck.

  • Definitely get your GP to refer you to an EP (electrophysiologist) to get a full assessment now and importantly get a baseline. Also key to get a full set of blood tests done now as a baseline (if you haven't had them already.

  • I was diagnosed with AF about 5 years ago. Like you, I didn't recognise any symptoms. I had cardionversion about 3 years ago and have had only one know episode of AF. Since then I have also been diagnosed with a totally blocked artery (no treatment advised) and a narrowed artery. I play golf twice a week, also work out at the gym. 1000 mtrs rowing in 5 mins. 20 mins walking. 20 mins cycling. Also various strength exercises. I stop if I feel any adverse effects. I'm 77 and 6 months. Don't let AF scare you. Live with it and exercise in moderation. Good luck.

  • Hoppy

    Are you on anticoagulants?


  • Yes. I'm on Warfarin. Currently 6mg once a day. No really bad side effects. Tend to get up for you know what about three times a night. I bruise quite badly if I have a hard knock. Just had one today. Ouch!.

  • As has already been said, EP's (Electrophysiologists, or Heart Rhythm Specialists by another name) are the experts in heart electrics. I'd ask for a referral to one. That to me is the key thing to do, alongside using this forum to learn about what to do and expect. If our GP's are anything to go by they know absolutely nothing about AF and even put me on completely the wrong drugs. EP sorted me out quickly. Some people say that you have to have a referral to a cardio, and then a referral by the cardio to the EP, but I had one direct from GP to EP, as have others on here. I'm in England.

    I've had AF for a long time and I'm still here. But it needs dealing with by someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

    Welcome by the way :-)


  • I was referred straight to an EP. When it was discovered I had 2 leaky valves EP then referred me to a heart valve specialist consultant.

  • Thank you all for your replies. I can't start the blood thinning medication until they have the results of my blood tests on Monday.

    I don't have any symptoms at all. My doctors said I have an irregular pulse that they picked up on the ecg.

    I shall keep you posted on future developments.



  • Told I had the odd blip years ago and a slow heart rate but not picked up on an ECG at the time . Joining the site is a good move . Keep an eye on things and dont get fobbed off

    good luck

  • Hi

    Went doctors today and was told I couldn't go on any anticoagulants as I have a triple AA. Abdominal aortic aneurysm ( stent fitted in abdomen 3 years ago. So it appears I'm done for.


  • hi I use to exercise before with AF , but was coming and going but now as its permanent I stop till I see specialist ,

  • Yes I am in permanent AF and to be honest I have no symptoms at all. I do get a bit breathless on over exertion but I also have copd which doesn't help.



  • I have permanent AF and symptomless, I travel and work around the world, swim and cycle but it make me breathless but that is about it. I am on Pradaxa twice a day and just for safe measures the cardiologist put me on statins, hypertension meds and beta lockers.

    The only downside i can drink as much any more, but that pleases my wife

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