AF Association
13,213 members16,089 posts

Potential AF when I relax

Hi everyone, need some assurance pse. I'm 48 and have been fit all my life but been experiencing a heart flutter measured almost daily now with a Kardia. Its a strange double beat; my resting heart rate normally 46. Almost always comes on at night when I'm relaxing. Still exercising but now worried as I can't seem to shake it despite resting for a few weeks. Trying to see a cardio specialist (privately) as I've given up waiting for NHS support. Not been right since Sep 17 when I had chest pains but A&E visit proved ok. Can anyone suggest anything to help me as I'm getting pretty annoyed as it affecting my running, cycling and overall lifestyle not to mention the fact that I think I might die. Kind regards Jerard

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what does the kardia say?

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Possible AFib

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Hi, 007!

Your case and my case are so much similar! My resting HR is 48 and at night, every single night, I have A-flutter or A-fibrillation. When I wake up and get active, it goes away, till the next night. What I have done and what I can advise to you, is to adjust your physical activities and to avoid all the sports that have brought you here. We, at the forum, are the bunch of people that have done all they could to keep fit and, unfortunately, we have done it wrong. Are you so much addicted to training that you could not live without it? It IS addiction, when somebody does not give up exercising despite the fact that it spoils his/her health... There are people here who go to the gym even with HR close to 200. Unbelievable!!! Be reasonable and listen to your body. Avoid alcohol and stress as much as you can, and you may come to terms wit AF, like many of us here already have... Be well!

Baraba

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It won't no doubt be welcome but your advice makes absolute sense to me. I even stopped previous sports associated with my AF and started new ones (e.g. walking basketball with not much walking involved!). Those similarly affected need to get their body back on an even keel, I was an 'accelerator & brake' person up to AF, when I sat down in the evening and during the night the trouble started. I then made a conscious effort to level out my exertions and not collapse into bed exhausted. It works along with a lot of other stuff.

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AF, if that's what it is, is very unlikely to cause death, especially if it's paroxysmal, as it sounds. Some people choose to live with AF for many years and have little more than "irritating symptoms". If your AF comes on at night that suggests the cause may be vagal. Do a Google search for vagally mediated PAF, and don't worry too much until you get the EP's opinion.

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Thanks guys, I'm getting the impression from what I'm reading is that this is probably not treatable and is with me for the long term. I think I need to figure out the triggers. Maybe I do need a rest from exercise. Problem I have though is when I stopped for a 2 wk beach holiday earlier this year the flutters got worse. Go figure. Does anyone know if you can pay for a blood test to see if everything is all right with my diet??

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Hi jerard, sorry to hear what you’re experiencing :( It’s a rotten and worrying thing to get heart arrhythmia at any age, but maybe more of a shock the younger and fitter you are.

From what you describe, I wouldn’t by any means write it off as something you’ll have for ever. There are plenty of benign causes for arrhythmias - and according to my EP, it’s common they occur at rest. (And even if AF is diagnosed, there are treatments that can work.)

Really, blood tests are the best starting point because, as you say, there could be a simple deficiency in your diet - or an imbalance of chemicals, like for instance your thyroid - that when adjusted can totally resolve palpitations.

Yes, you can pay to have blood tests done - I never have but I know some people on here do because of seeing a naturapath for holistic treatment. But if you haven’t already, I’d start by asking your GP to give you blood tests for anything that might cause arrhythmia. Im not a doctor but I understand their basic ones are FBC, U&Es, TFTs, LFTs and HbA1c. Those cover anaemia, thyroid, electrolytes etc. Then on top of that I’d be asking for my B12 and vitamin D levels to be checked. Magnesium too- but the standard tests aren’t that useful, I understand, and that’s where some people choose to go private. I’m not sure if there’s anything else that would be good in terms of diet deficiency, others on here might have better info :)

I think you’re male from your signed name, but if you were female then hormone changes can kick off palpitations- that’s another thing that can be checked by in a blood test.

My EP swears by taking omega 3 fish oil supplements as the preventer of arrhythmia - might be worth considering? And many people here have found that their arrhythmia has been helped by magnesium supplements (on the basis that we’re all short of magnesium and the heart needs it) - if you put in a search for magnesium you’ll find lots of comments and interesting info.

I really hope you can soon get a proper recording of the flutter you’re experiencing and that it turns out to be wonderfully insignificant and resolvable. Do let us know how you get on. J x

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Will do Jane, thanks for the advice. Think I will start up the omega oils again and tweak my diet. And as Baraba mentions above take up some less strenuous exercise for a few months. For now...

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I am sure you will have been told already but excessive exercise is a known cause of AF especially in endurance athletes so just maybe a few lifestyle changes to consider, As others have said AF won;t kill you but untreated it can cause long term damage to the heart. Your description of when your events take place does point towards vagal AF and this does usually need a slightly different approach to more aggressive versions. I'm sure that your EP will explain more when you see him but I suggest that you go to AF Association website and read all you can as knowledge is power and will enable you to have an educated conversation with him/her.

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You may find 'The Haywire Heart' By Dr John Mandrola of interest in trying to understand your situation better. He is an EP and also a cyclist, and has some personal experience of AF.

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Thanks Polski, just ordered the book.

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I’d definitely go back to your GP and get a referral to a cardiologist. The NHS is pretty fast when it comes to chest pains. You should get an ECG, echocardiogran and blood tests done pretty quickly. If it’s not life-threatening, it may take a while to get a permanent fix, but it’s worth the wait. I was first diagnosed with AF in March 2015 and got an ablation three weeks ago. Initially I wasn’t bothered about surgery, but living on the meds made sport and fitness training almost impossible (felt exhausted easily and couldn’t get my HR much above 100bpm, not matter how hard I tried) so opted for an ablation instead.

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OK. I need to Google an ablation. Got a GP calling me tomorrow and have an appt to get a NHS 7 day recorder fitted next moth. So let's see if we can capture the flutter. Thanks again.

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