AF Association
14,050 members16,986 posts

Feeling down

It’s difficult to describe... I’ve had a lot of exercise recently but feel really depleted, more than I think I should. Excess muscle farigue too. Plus there’s a kind of feeling of breathlessness but I’m not actually breathless and some awareness of my heartbeat. I had an ablation for occasional Afib about a year ago and it’s seemed successful so far. I detect no irregularity or particularly fast beat. I’m considering taking a flecanaide. Is there any point? Any opinions out there please? I’ve had sufficient experience to not be panicking or rushing to a doc unless it continues tomorrow or worsens.

17 Replies
oldestnewest

If you haven't had your thyroid checked recently then please do so. I felt like you do for ages and put it all down to my AF, but a new blood test (had been having these tests for a few years after taking Amiodarone) showed I was hypothyroid and needed medication. I started taking tablets for it last August and feel so much better and have energy again. I feel a bit annoyed with my GP as I had been well over the limit of needing help for a long time and it took a consultant testing my blood to tell him I must have medication.

Jean

3 likes
Reply

Yes indeed, thyroid can be a major player. I had mine out many years ago and don’t usually have problems now although I have changed levels of meds with regular tests. However I’m aware the docs can’t always get things right as that’s a complicated problem. I’ll go see them soon, I’m on holiday in France at the moment. I don’t know if you’re aware but the small print in levothyroxine indicates that an overdose of it can cause all the symptoms of afib that I have experienced, referred to by my doc as a thyroid storm.

Anyway, thanks for your message, I’ll follow up ASAP and good luck to you. Colin.

1 like
Reply

Hi lacolyn, sorry to hear you’re feeling like this. I certainly can relate to feeling depleted (tho in my case without the exercise!) and muscle fatigue, and breathlessness without actually being breathless, and an awareness of heartbeat stuff without actually being in AF or tachycardia. It’s rubbish, isn’t it?!

The tricky thing is that there must be numerous potential causes for symptoms like this, including side effects of medication, having a slight virus, depression or anxiety, some chemical deficiency (or imbalance), or of course specific medical conditions.

I make the mistake of carrying on feeling well below par like this the whole time. My advice to you (and to myself!) would be to go to your GP, explain things, and as a starting point, get a whole raft of blood tests to see if they can shine any light on what’s going on. And keep pushing til you get some answers or feel better :)

Really hope you feel better soon. Do let us know how you get on xx

Reply

I really appreciate your concern. I agree totally and will get in the case when I go back home in a week. I’m feeling a bit improved this morning but a few tests wouldn’t go amiss. It’s a complicated thing, health! I’ve been doing a lot of excercise and perhaps have simply overdone it. However, as a lifelong runner etc I’m used to how it feels and it does feel different. Perhaps thyroid. I’ll certainly follow up. Getting older doesn’t help either! Take care Jane. Colin.

1 like
Reply

Jane, why are you not taking your own advice? You sound sensible. If must investigate and persist to find a way to perk yourself up, you deserve it. Cx

1 like
Reply

Thank you Colin - you’re right, actually seeing those symptoms written down like that did make me think ‘why have I just let this become normal?’ I think I’ve mentioned all these symptoms separately at least to my GP, but never the full effect, and I haven’t had blood tests in a while. Thanks for giving me the shove I need :)

Sorry to hear you’re feeling like this on holiday. Hope it isn’t spoiling it too much... Whereabouts in France are you? We’re off on holiday in a couple of weeks, probably to France tho not booked yet. (Btw I assume you’re not in much higher altitude than usual? That might do the symptoms! But being sporty you sound like you might be a skiier - in the right season- so you’d know all about high altitudes !)

J x

Reply

We are not far from Gap/Grenoble. Yes to skiing. We have a holiday home. Yes I know about altitude, I’ve climbed in the Himalaya. I am at altitude now but not VERY high. I do know I get exaggerated symptoms up here and both my big afib episides have been here. Co-incidence maybe, no way to tell.

Go get yourself checked again. Things change. You feel you’re being a nag and “wasting” your gp’s time but it’s important, if one is feeling bad there always a reason.

I wonder where you’ll go on holiday? Cx

1 like
Reply

Thank you, I will. And I really hope you feel well enough to enjoy the rest of the holiday unshadowed. Do let us know how you get on x

Btw, no idea where we’ll go!! Wherever we can find a last minute bargain air b&b pribably :) x

Reply

Well, I thought “why not try the flecanaide”, as it was originally prescribed and later recommended as a Pill in the Pocket? As I said, I didn’t consider my symptoms serious but something was ‘wrong’, maybe it was afib related I thought. Awareness of deeper breathing but not breathless as such, some heart and chest ‘sensations’ but not noticeably afib, muscle aches, fatigue and feeling very low.

So I took one at 9:30 this morning. After about 3 hours I was feeling much better and soon was skiing happily.

I cannot say with any certainty at all what caused the big improvement. It might have been the pill, it might have been the improved weather and the company of friends, whatever was the matter may have just passed but I’ll discuss it with my doc when I get back home to UK.

All the best, Colin.

PS I would recommend our place to stay in France as it was on Airbnb butvits in the mountains, quite southerly, and no shops etc! Enjoy your break.

1 like
Reply

Oh I’m so glad to hear that - whether it was the flecainide that helped, or whatever! Really hope you can enjoy feeling more like yourself for the rest of the holiday :) x

PS I’d absolutely love to stay in the mountains - but I’m too much of a scaredy cat to risk the altitude at this point in my AF ‘adventure’ :) I’m not able to take any rhythm meds like flecainide and my average rate in AF is 180. Once this is sorted I’d be there like a shot :) x

Reply

Good for you. Good luck getting it sorted. Cx

1 like
Reply

I wouldn’t take any drug unless you know what you are taking it for and unless you know you are in AF it’s not going to help, if anything make you feel worse.

Thyroid is a possibility as Jean says but those symptoms are so vague it could be anything from a virus to an autoimmune disease.

Maybe it’s just your body saying you need to slow down and rest more? That in itself can be restorative.

Reply

Well, I thought “why not try the flecanaide”, as it was originally prescribed and later recommended as a Pill in the Pocket? As I said, I didn’t consider my symptoms serious but something was ‘wrong’, maybe it was afib related I thought. Awareness of deeper breathing but not breathless as such, some heart and chest ‘sensations’ but not noticeably afib, muscle aches, fatigue zbdcfeeling very low.

So I took one at 9:30 this morning. After about 3 hours I was feeling much better and soon was skiing happily.

I cannot say with any certainty at all what caused the big improvement. It might have been the pill, it might have been the improved weather and the company of friends, whatever was the matter may have just passed but I’ll discuss it with my doc when I get back home to UK.

All the best, Colin.

Reply

Very true. It’s no excuse, but when you’ve had a lifetime of pushing limits it’s hard to slow down. I also envy people who are able to say no, seemingly without a conscience. I should be skiing with my daughter this morning and on top of not feeling great now feel doubly bad as I’ve said I’ll not go, so she’s skiing alone.

I must be more grateful I’m skiing at all! Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. Colin.

Reply

lacolyn, a little bit of "food for thought", so to speak.

Back some years ago a work colleague was looking rather dejected, I asked him what was wrong? He had been to his doctors who told him his (blood pressure) was too low! It worried him because all of his life he had been a runner, priding himself on his fitness. I enquired as to how old he was, (something that I felt that I could do, as I was obviously much older), he was 42 years of age. My next question was; do/can you still run like when you were 19 years of age? answering, I try to I'm not far off!

When I put it to him that he was NOT going to make the Olympic team, and that he should now at his age be aiming for a general maintenance of fitness ie slow down a bit, his eyes opened widely as if in thought. The point being is that fitness is not (totally) elasticated. To take it to a silly point; you would accept at say 60 years of age that you cannot do your PB any longer! Approaching (I know you are a long way off of that) that age, there will be factors creeping in that you will not instantaneously recognise. So, be fit but do not injure your health doing it. To quote yourself....."but when you have had a lifetime of pushing limits"!!!! Think about what you have said re your own lifestyle.

1 like
Reply

Thank John. I had a similar talking to by my wife today and of course you are both right, I know that. I need to grow up. I guess I have too high expectations. An old friend once said, “you can’t retain the same level of fitness but you can always be the fittest you can be for your age and your circumstances”. Quite right, but I still have to convince my inner self that comparisons with my former levels is not productive. I’ll try. Thanks again. Colin.

1 like
Reply

Being ‘fit’ doesn’t equate with being well. Take some getting used to though.

Reply

You may also like...