Red faced!

 So im getting the start of AF a lot..that horrible gurgling heart racing thing we all know. So when this starts I strain as though I have really bad constipation and it goes immediately...this has worked at least 15 times and thankfully I have been alone when pulling the silly straining face!!! 

I have no idea why this works but just wanted to share as may help someone also!!

X x x

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12 Replies

  • Holding your breath and trying to blow out hard is a long standing way of stopping tachycardia so you are probably doing this. It has a name which I can't right now remember.(getting old lol )

  • Valsalva manoeuvre?  (1944 vintage )

  • Thank you!

  • I remember my gp, years ago, telling me to push downwards as if having a baby. Same thing, I guess. 

  • This also works if you have SVT (I do)  sipping ice water also helps as well start massaging the carotid (sp) artery.  Haven't needed an adenosine thrill for over five years.  I am not on medication to control this either.

  • Good Morning Booboo73!  I was sitting down feeling desperate and just catching up on the forum posts as I do every morning, when your post "Red faced" caught my eye. The first sentence describes exactly what's happening to me again this morning - hence sitting down rather than doing "stuff", going out etc. And same last evening teatime, when a nap till 8pm seemed to work. So this morning I tried your suggestion (Valsalva) 2 or 3 times and fingers crossed, it has improved tho' I am always fast and irregular - that's my norm and I cope ok. Scared to move now in case it kicks off bad again. How many times do you do the Valsalva thingy to get the bad situation to stop? But, thank you, thank you! You have given me hope for today. Tomorrow is another day. 

    Sandra x

  • Oh I do hope it not expecting miracles but anything that helps a wee bit I will try. Its really odd the breathing doesn't help but the major strain down below really seems to do something .. it seems to have worked first time but since I discovered it but I really go to town straining....oh how embarrassing haha x x x

  • It has to do with the vagus nerve. I have a friend who's a long-time cardiac care nurse. She tells her patients with AF to do just what you do - for women, she tells them to bear down like they're delivering a baby, and for men (and non-mothers) she tells them to push like they're taking a dump. She says it doesn't work even half the time, but it's consistent enough that she continues giving that advice.

    It's interesting, though - speaking from personal experience - that AF can be triggered by the same thing.

  • Yes im thrilled to bits.... im not building my hopes too much but its working better than any medications and pill in pocket so far and the only side effect is pulling muscles and its all a bit embarrassing but who cares eh !! x x x

  • Hi again! Doing that Valsalva manoevre this morning certainly worked to a good degree, given my permanent Afib, and enabled me to function. But not drive, or take the bus, I didn't push myself. I had a quiet day, hiding inside from the heat and did the Valsalva several times when the Afib noticably returned and I felt unwell. It worked well enough each time. So I say thank you, again!

    Cooler this eve so felt much better and pottered in garden. Tomorrow is another Day!

    Sandra xx

  • Hi Sandra just worked again for me..could feel the evil thumping so I started straining and back to 44bpm. I think its a matter of catching it straight away and im thrilled but as I said im scared to build up my hopes too much x have the in laws coming for lunch today so praying I dont have to do my straining over lunch haha x hope you have a good day too Sandra x x x

  • Good Morning booboo73!

    Thanks for your encouraging post this am. I've had a good night's sleep and got up feeling ok. Hope it lasts! But if not, then Valsalva to the rescue! Even if it is relatively short-lived, it removes some of that horrible feeling of utter helplessness. I'm impressed with your heart rate: 44bpm! Recently mine is around 100bpm all the time, even when I feel ok. GP is aware of it and recently raised digoxin dose to 250mcg so having blood tests regularly to check levels. Have a good day yourself. And Everyone!

    Sandra x

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