General opinion on anxiety being a trigger - AF Association

AF Association
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General opinion on anxiety being a trigger

Lotty321
Lotty321

Sorry to post again and if it’s a bit long I would just like some opinions if possible. About 6-7 years ago I was diagnosed as just having ectopic beats, completely harmless had a 24 hr ecg. Shortly after maybe a couple of weeks I had a racing heart but always stopped before anything could be recorded!! Had this happen maybe 2-3 times. Now as you can see from previous post I had an attack of atrial flutter a week ago? Again been really stressed! Can you just have one offs caused by stress as this seems a really long gap between attacks? Xx

12 Replies
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From what we read here Lotty, almost everything is possible regarding AF. Stress and anxiety are major issues possibly because they often relate to high blood pressure which is known to be one of the main causes of AF. If you are in the UK, the hot weather is not helping either.....drink loads of water before they slap on a hosepipe ban!!

Stress is a trigger for sure. My first AF episodes were over 12 months apart. The first lasted about 72 hours and the second about 5-6 hours.

It’s impossible to say, some do have one off episodes but the more you have, the more likely you are to have others.

Lotty321
Lotty321
in reply to CDreamer

Thank you, it’s just confusing for me to have such a long gap, As if something triggered it, as I already know stress can worsen ectopic beats because sometimes In stressful situations mine go crazy so guessing it could cause the atrial flutter especially as when I’m really down or stressed I drink alcohol a lot more x

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to Lotty321

Alcoholic, especially binge drinking is also a big trigger and to be avoided.

May I suggest you look at anxiety coping strategies such as Mindfulness - loads of really good apps such as Calm - my favourite.

You have a window of opportunity to limit the damage at the start of an Arrythmia journey by looking very hard at lifestyle and looking at how you can improve your health by the choices you make. Further down the line it becomes much, much more difficult.

Best wishes and do ask any questions - we do as much as we can to support newbies as we have all been there and have experienced the anxiety which comes along with arrythmias.

Lotty321
Lotty321
in reply to CDreamer

Thank you so much, I will look at the calm app, I’ve also put myself on a diet as I’m quite overweight, it has given me a bit of a wake up call and it’s time to put myself first for a change if that makes sense lol xx

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to Lotty321

Exactly - it can be a real wake up call but you know many really benefit from these changes - often in quite unexpected ways. Keep posting and let us know how you get on.

You most certainly can trigger AF with stress or anxiety. I'll vouch for that! We had a similar discussion on this topic a few days ago.

Jean

Stress can be a big factor in triggering af. It's a huge trigger for me.

Yep, anxiety is the biggest trigger for me. Taking Moclobermide now to treat it. Definitely seems to help with worry and stress

Lotty321
Lotty321
in reply to Mal7896

Do you have atrial flutter? X

Yes, had an ablation done on 19th June for A Futter and A Fib

Yes Lotty321, anxiety is a big trigger for all things heart. Anger, impatience, reacting to things emotionally, worrying, etc. Also what I've discovered for myself, and it backs up scientific work on the issue, is that watching movies on TV (and any screens) is a form of stress to the nervous system, especially in the evening before bed. Even supposedly 'light' films and series. Theories are that it's the invisibly flickering blue light plus the loading of emotional and mental energy behind the content. So the old 'relax in front of the telly' is actually a lie - it's stressful putting a physically passive body through the roller-coaster of stimulation of TV and it's not good for nerve-related problems like AF, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, moodiness, etc. These days if I'm going to watch a movie at all, I aim to have it finished by around 5 pm so I can have a few hours of calming and settling activity before I go to sleep. If I don't, and I watch stuff later, especially if I also eat later, my chances of ending up going to the ED somewhere between 9:30 and 11:00 pm are greatly increased. The idea of spending a sleepless night and the following day in the ED with lines in my blood vessels, machines that keep going bing.... no TV show or night snack is good enough to be worth that!

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