What is the difference please ?

I have had another episode of very fast heartbeat ( 200) which was very frightening , but when I used my alive cor/ Kardia it said normal ! Isn't that atrial fibrillation ? I do know that when in afib the heart is very irregular , which was my original diagnosis, so what is this ? My question is , does all the wonderful advice and comfort I've received on this site apply to this event also? ie, it won't kill me , and it's safe to sit it out it home unless I have chest pains ...I'm about to get myself together and take that holiday , but anxiety ( which is never far away for me) has grabbed me again . Is a very fast heartbeat without the irregular gaps not afib? But the treatment and advice the same ? Hope someone knows what I mean . Thank you

12 Replies

  • I would advise that you get advice from your doctor if your heart beat went to 200 as that is very high and would suggest atrial tachycardia. . Best to be on the safe side.

  • Hi Janna, it could be atrial tachycardia rather than atrial fibrillation if it is fast and regular. Difficult to tell without seeing an ECG but basically frightening enough but won't kill you. Usual advice. any pain or passing out seek help . Whatever drugs you are on should help it just the same so take that holiday would be my advice.

  • Thank you , seems like a double whammy ...can you tell me , is atrial tachycardia part of Afib or a seperate problem? I'd had quite a period of calm before that hit .

  • The difference between Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Tachycardia can be easiest described in one word... IRREGULARITY.

  • it is an arrhythmia just as AF is. They often go hand in hand.

  • Thank you Bob, another part of it I need to come to terms with. Hopefully won't happen too often ...

  • Janna501, Atrial Tachycardia rarely causes death. If you experience chest pains, shortness of breath or feel faint you should dial 999... do not wait: Anything over 100 bpm is a Tachycardia... this can rise to up to 400 bpm. 200 bpm can compromise you heart's pumping ability. There are simple methods that can be learnt to help yourself to try to reduce the heart rate. Like Atrial Fibrillation, the duration can be very short lived or continue for hours or days. If you are feeling unwell, get to see a Doctor, a Medical Centre or Hospital... so that an ECG can prove or discount any heart irregularities on the Rhythm Strip. Most times the problem resolves itself prior to an ECG. Your Doctor will assess the severity of the problem and come up with a plan of action for you. If you are aware the heart is very fast, have pain ,breathing problems or feel faint... Dial 999.... If in doubt, call them out. The paramedic responder will check your signs ,symptoms and act accordingly.

  • How did you know your HR was 200? Did you do it manually or use a monitor. I say that because a certain make of monitor for some people when they are in AF, will max out at 200 even though their heart rate may be nowhere near that. It just gets confused.

  • Hi, I have an alivecor/ Kardia , since I was diagnosed with Afib ,but this was another , different scare...and I didn't know how to deal with it, same as Afib ?

    Thanks for the reply

  • If you would like, you can email the PDF strip to me at drdave@alivecor.com and I will review it. 200 bpm should have been called unclassified not normal. I am happy to help. Thanks

  • Thank you so much. I have just looked and it isn't there, I was in such a state that I couldn't have tapped the " saved" button .If it happens again I will email it to you ( I know it's against the odds , but I hope not !) Thank you again . By the way , what would " unclassified " signify ? Would it have meant I was off the scale and should have got a doctor ??

  • There is no "off the scale" as we measure heart rates up to 300 bpm. I am happy to try and help you.

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