Reading Richard75's recent post titled "Light at the end of the AF tunnel - a success story" has really opened my mind about the role of anxiety within AF.
Prior to my AF, I was lucky to have never suffered from anxiety, stress or depression. And so my latest theory is that all of the worry I have experienced since being diagnosed with AF has activated my anxiety response, and could explain a lot of my strange symptoms of late, some of which don't seem to fit with AF.
My thoughts have further crystallized this evening when I went for a gentle bike ride. My heart stayed in good rhythm aside from the occasional thump of a PAC or a PVC. But as my HR rose with exertion, so did my adrenaline. Within 10 minutes, my entire body was humming with adrenaline. Not quite as severe as a "fight or flight" situation, but unpleasant and disturbing nonetheless. I got home after 30 minutes and my heart was still in good rhythm, although it took some conscious effort to not let the anxiety take over and send my heart racing (deep breathing, lying down etc).
The bit that I struggle to comprehend is that this response is entirely subconscious. I don't get on my bike consciously thinking that I am going to have a problem, but it seems my subconscious does.
Of course, this could all be complete nonsense and someone is going to tell me that my underlying AF is causing the adrenaline release. I plan on getting my GP's opinion on this tomorrow, and from there, look at how I can eliminate or learn to control this subconscious response.
Would love to hear if anyone has any thoughts or experience on this subject.