Fear: Hi Guys, my first experience of AF at... - AF Association

AF Association
19,751 members24,137 posts



Hi Guys, my first experience of AF at the age of 48 was on my holidays in Mexico. Long story 2 stays in Hospital and had to be accompanied by a consultant who was flown from the Uk as they wouldn’t let me fly home otherwise. Insurance covered everything thank goodness. But my main concern for me is I can tolerate the AF and have been to A&E a few times because of it without much panic but it is the chest and left arm pain that comes with it scares me a lot and each time they say there is nothing wrong with the heart. I feel evert time this happens I am taking a huge risk by not going to A&E all the time but feel am wasting their time as they say the same thing the heart is fine. Just wondering has anyone on here ever experience this pain with AF. My medication is Bisoprolol 1.25mg Apixaban 5mg twice a day and Flecainide 50mg twice a day. Thanks

10 Replies

I often have chest pain with AF but there is a blood test that can show if there is a problem with your heart apart from the electrics. Mine came up positive once and I had an angiogram which was reassuring as it showed my arteries were fine. My GP said I must always go to A&E with chest pain but if I do (I usually don't!) I also feel as though I am wasting their time. Perhaps if you go again you could ask if they did the Troponin test, if they did and it was negative you can be reassured, if not I would ask why not. Hope that helps.

in reply to Buffafly

Hi Buffafly, thanks for the reply. Each time I go to A&E they do a blood test to check the heart and offer me paracetamol for the chest and arm pain which clearly does not help. Was hoping to see if they should be investigating this pain as it is having a profound effect on my daily life and to be honest I am sometimes fearful that if I don’t act each time it happens that maybe one day I’ll regret it.

in reply to Trotters70

Are you under a cardiologist or EP consultant? Might be worth asking for a referral if not?

I get chest pain when I'm in Atrial Flutter ,but not when I'm in AFib. It was picked up on an ECG,and I'm awaiting an ablation.

Best wishes

in reply to wilsond

Hi wilsond seeing cardiologist today hoping for some kind of explanation so it takes the fear away. But can’t imagine continuing life the same way as when it happens it does debilitate me and effects my life big time.

How long have you had afib and been taking bisoprolol? Did the chest pain start prior to you having bisoprolol?

I ask as I was initially put onto bisoprolol when I was diagnosed afib. I could not tolerate the bisoprolol for a number of reasons but one of the symptoms was upper chest and arm pain. I never associated the pain with the heart as I was asymptomatic with A fib even with HR over 180 but it started when I woke up after my first bisoprolol 1.25mg tablet. Bisoprolol would put me to sleep in 40 minutes I could not keep my eyes open.

in reply to KMRobbo

Hi KMRobbo, have AF since September 2017 and have been taking Bisoprolol from the start. Seen cardiologist on Wednesday and he going to do a CT scan of heart and arteries in case they have missed something so to get to the bottom of the chest and arm pain. He has suggested Ablation which am know waiting on and he has upped my Flecainide to 100mg twice a day. Gave me great reassurance that it’s not something serious and says to ring him directly if the pain persists.

Hopefully you will be referred for an angiogram, as this is the gold standard for diagnosing coronary artery blockages. I wouldn’t settle for the many different nuclear stress tests as they are not accurate if you have many vessels with blockages. While it is not uncommon to have chest pressure with rapid AF, having chest pain and pain that radiates to your neck and arm is concerning and should be worked up with angiography.

Troponin tests will only pick up myocardial damage at the 6 hour mark. Having a normal level prior to that does not mean your heart is normal.

So, have an angiogram. It is a relatively quick and painless test that will tell you with 100% accuracy exactly what your coronary artery status is. And it could save your life. Good luck to you!!!

Thanks Quiafizz you seem very knowledgeable and my cardiologist has ordered this very test and an ablation. So hoping this comes around quickly as I hate the way AF has affected my quality of life.

I keep harping on chiropractic treatment with not much uptake. Nevertheless, since you do have AF, and in my opinion it can be caused by neck or back nerve impingement, these impingements can also cause the chest and arm pain that you are having. Try bending your head and body to the right and/or the left for a minute or two at a time and see if the pain goes away. It could and if it does you know you need to see a chiropractor. Even if it does not, you should get this possibility checked out. You need to find a chiropractor who takes x-rays and who determines if you have an issue and not one who just asks what you think is wrong with you. Because you will not necessarily know if you have neck and back issues. I have read that 90% of the nerves in the back and neck do not have "feeling" so you don't consciously know that you have a problem. Your brain does though and tries to mitigate the problem; and in your case may be doing this by telling you that you have chest and arm pain.

Bodies are very complicated and looking at only one part of a compartmentalized medical approach may miss the big picture.

Thanks EngMac. I do have nerve pain down the left arm stemming from poor posture and tight shoulder muscles. Have took your advice and I have an appointment to see a chiropractor next week.

You may also like...