Bit of background; I have been diagnosed with PAF for just over a year, have only had two definite episodes and have Flecainide PIP as treatment. I am 28yrs old and have two small children aged 2 and 3.
Had a follow up with cardiology yesterday after a recent battery of tests (72hr holter, exercise stress test, echo). I have been having unexplained bouts of sinus tachycardia, up to 160bpm resting and all the associated side effects; dizziness, breathlessness, exhaustion and some chest pains.
The doctor asked me a few questions and then explained what he thinks it is. He says that once you have had an episode of AF, the connection between your heart and brain becomes slightly damaged (for want of a better word - this isn't verbatim) and so it becomes easier for the signals to get messed up. This affects both the adrenal system, causing fast heart rate etc., and the opposite system, which I can't for the life of me think of the name of! The one that allows up to calm down, rest and sleep etc., so can cause sudden drops in blood pressure, which I had at the end of my exercise stress test.
He says that with the adrenal system, you get these palpitations for some unknown reason, which cause your brain to send out adrenaline, which then causes more palpitations and it goes on in a vicious cycle. He says that it's 'common' in people with AF, that he sees it all the time and that I have three options; live with it, try to conquer it on my own through meditation, mindfulness and yoga, or take beta blockers which will in all likeliness cause side effects that will lead to more medication.
I don't just want to live with it. I don't think that mindfulness etc. will be entirely possible with my little boys around, but I'm going to try as a first port of call. I'm not keen to go on lifelong medication if not totally necessary.
The doc didn't tell me what this thing is called (assuming that it has a name at all), and I of course am keen to do my research and look for tips on how to manage it. Does anyone have any experience of this? Can you give the beast a name??
Thanks for reading. Best wishes,