Kardia now diagnosed Afib

Hi everyone - thanks so much for all your responses when I first posted a couple of months ago, which were all so helpful.

I am a 48 year old woman and have been having symptoms (mostly increasing palpitations and some racing heart) on and off for 18 months - most intensely in the last few months. Since I posted I have had the kardia app installed on my phone and have had pretty much permanent palpitations (every heart beat) for weeks at a time. This last run has been going on for 10 days and in the last week I have had 2 readings for Afib and could see the ECG in the second one was dramatically all over the place. I have also caught my racing heart (Kardia cannot read over 100 but I can take it to the consultant) which is why I got the Kardia app. My heart races randomly when I'm at rest - I have had this a handful of times over the last year - going from resting around 65 to between 100 and 110 (I know this is not high compared to a lot of people with AF symptoms but it's high for me). My original consultant was hopeless and I have had a referral to someone else here in Scotland on the NHS who is known in the Afib world and I am waiting for an appt to see him which may be a few months. As I've had permanent palpitations now for the so long and I also now have these readings I am also planning on seeing someone private (as I can do this in the next week or so) to confirm the diagnosis and get a sense of what the options are. I want to know as quickly as possible what I need to do - I am scared at the moment that I am having these intense symptoms but I am not under the care of a doctor - should I go and see my GP again? not sure what she can do without me seeing a consultant. As I'm 48 when I was last in A and E with a racing heart (they didn't catch it) the doctor there said that if they had caught Afib all they would do is put me on aspirin, which I've started taking in the last few days - not sure how much? I've read that early diagnosis is good but I'm not sure why, does anyone know? Also given I've been having symptoms but nothing detected in the last year - how early would my diagnosis be considered to be? I feel shocked that I have a heart condition and I'm only 48 and have been fit all my life. I wonder what the prognosis is and if anyone else my age is going through the same thing? Lots of questions I know - but I would really appreciate your thoughts and help and a sense of what I should expect now. Thanks so much everyone.

6 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi,I'm 41 and have had AF for four years. I'm not sure why you are on aspirin maybe someone else can explain but it does seem to get mentioned on here a lot with people questioning it. I would see a GP so that you can begin to build a relationship with them and they know your story. I only ever see one GP at our doctors now as I know she has a good understanding of me. If you are not waiting to see a cardiologist you need to get that started as soon as possible - if you can afford private go for it. AF is progressive i.e. It gets worse as it goes on without treatment. The quicker it can be reverted to sinus rhythm the easier it can be. This can be through cardio version, drugs or ablation - lots of information on the AF association site. Read up so you can go with lots of information and questions. As for the prognosis: it's not life threatening however the symptoms can impact on daily life. The good news is there are lots of ways to control it and let you move on. Lifestyle changes can help too: reduce cafine, reduce alcohol, reduce stress, drink lots of water, eat healthy and try to exercise. Keep coming back here for support too!

  • Hi Richard thanks. When I went to A and E with a racing heart a couple of months ago, they said that if they did find AF (it had gone back to normal by time I got there) , given my age, health etc all they would do is put me on aspirin, which is fine at my age - but not so good for an older age group apparently. I have a GP who knows all about my symptoms and I'm seeing her later today but as she confirmed, it's a consultant I now need to see with these readings to get a concrete diagnosis. I'm fit and healthy with a good diet. I exercise and I'm not a big drinker (1 small glass of wine a few nights a week) or caffeine drinker. My work is stressful but it always has been. It's the palpitations that bother me so much as they are permanent at the moment - although I am not in permanent AF - I have had 2 readings in the last 3 days - the rest of the readings have been normal, despite the palpitations. I'm waiting to see an NHS cardiologist up here who is on the board of the Afib Association - but now I have these readings I think it would be good to get a diagnosis asap with a private doctor. I've read the stuff re drugs and cardio version and ablation which all seem to directly address the racing heart symptoms of AF but not the palpitations - and I'm wondering how these can be addressed. Do you mind me asking what your symptoms are and how you manage them? Thanks

  • Hi again.

    As I said, a chat with a cardiologist is the key for you so that they can begin to help you understand what is happening and get you the right drugs to help. There are drugs which can help slow your heart rate down and also drugs which can help with the rhythm. I don't think aspirin does this for you. You are now hyper aware of your heart rate and now monitoring it all the time (very natural - we all do it). You may have had palpitations for a long time but wasn't aware - it may not be getting worse. Also anxiety can cause palpitations so it maybe more anxiety induced than anything.

    My symptoms are dizziness and fatigue - at the moment I am in sinus. When I go into AF the symptoms become worse and struggle to get on with my life. My dilemma at the moment is what causes the symptoms when I'm in AF - is it side effects of the drugs, the hearts functions or my ever increasing anxiety. At the moment I am swapping drugs and completing some anxiety counselling to try and relieve the symptoms.

  • Forget aspirin it is no good for AF and can even cause problems like stomach disorders whilst doing nothing for you. Read all you can on AF Association website and then go see your P and ask to be referred asap.

  • Hi, I'm just 50 having been diagnosed at 48. I am (was) fit and first presented at A&E who confirmed afib and sent me to see the GP. I did not understand the emergency and waited 5 days to get to the GP. The first thing they did was put me on blood thinners and beta blockers until i then saw a cardiologist. I then had two cardioversion. This took 3 weeks on the blood thinners before they would do anything. Aspirin i was told was no good. I was however in AF and now have persistent AF. If you are in sinus rhythm and with palpitations you may not need the blood thinner but you need you GP to guide you. Mine rang and spoke to a cardiologist to get a steer on what to do and put me onto the meds in the interim. There are meds that can cardiovert you back and at least hold the heart in sinus while you wait.

    I am now post 2 ablations and have a lot of palpitations (which many people do). I want to be drug free and able to live life as before. I have made lifestyle changes and am alcohol free and caffeine free and eating healthy to ensure i reduce the potential triggers.

    I think your private option will give the guidance to the GP until to see someone in the NHS but the GP i would of thought will be able to start you on the right track, even if it is to ask them for a 24hr monitor to see you heart rate. I asked and had one of these for a week. I think even if you are seen in private clinic you will need to be referred through the NHS unless you plan for your treatment to be private, but I'm not sure on this.

    Best wishes

    Jonty

  • Thanks Jonty

You may also like...