AF Association
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Heart soon after diagnosed AF?

I have had very short episodes of heart palpitations since I was in my twenties (I'm now 64) and was told I had an irregular heartbeat when in my early forties.  Ever since I contracted a nasty virus 8 weeks ago, I have been in AF.  This wasn't diagnosed by my Doctor until 4 weeks ago as he wasn't convinced until I had my third ECG.  I am being monitored with Warfarin and I'm taking Diltiazem which has only decreased my heart rate to around 90 bpm.  I'm getting really worried because the promised heart scan hasn't come through yet and I know the longer I am in AF the harder it is to get out of it.  Maybe I was being optimistic when I thought I would be given a scan almost straight away!  I keep hoping I will suddenly come out of AF but, as the days go by, I'm losing that hope.  I'm also worried that there could be something wrong with my heart....that hasn't been looked at yet.  Any advice?

6 Replies

I am presuming that you have only been seen by your GP ? Where in the world are you?  In UK, NICE guidelines are that you be seen by an arrhythmia specialist within four weeks but that is often easier said than done. The choice of diltiazem is perhaps unusual since most first interventions are with Bisoprolol. a beta blocker,  unless the patient is asthmatic.

I am pleased that you are on Warfarin as stroke prevention is a serious consideration if one has AF. It does seem that you may need a cardioversion to return normal sinus rhythm which could be chemical or  electrical. and if the latter you will need to have been on warfarin with an INR between 2 and 3 for at least four weeks prior to the event so please don't worry .  It would be normal at some stage to have some tests to check your heart including various blood tests and an echocardiogram.

AF is very often the only thing wrong with a person's heart which can be fine mechanically. It is just an electrical malfunction like a dodgy printed circuit board on a computer. Please go to AF Association main website and read all you can of the fact sheets there as the more you know the less you will worry.

I do think you need to stay on top of this doctor of yours though.



I just had echocardiogram and waited approximately 6 weeks for

my appointment.


Thank you so much for your replies.  It really does clarify things for me.  Yes, I am asthmatic (completely controlled by meds), hence the Diltiazem.  I hope it's as good as Bisoprolol.  I will ensure that I see my Doctor next week, well-informed from all the information on this site and the main website.  I'm so glad I found you...


Just got my echo appointment in after about 21 weeks!!


So, I may have a bit longer to wait, then.....doh.  I hope it goes well for you, Nannie-C  and you are given the best treatment for your condition.


Many thanks, bigleg.  I have done some research and will continue to do more.  I think I should be taking a magnesium supplement, as advised on more than one of the sites I have looked at.


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