Hi. I was just wondering while I’m waiting for my referral which is in September I have only had blood tests and blood pressure taken so far and I’m now worried that they will say something is wrong with my heart and that’s what has caused the atrial flutter?!! Has anyone on here been diagnosed with atrial flutter/fibrillation But has nothing wrong with the heart etc and it was just one of those things? Thank you x
Hi sorry me again!! : Hi. I was just... - AF Association
You will not doubt at some point have an echo cardiogram (ultra sound scan) which will likely show no mechanical or plumbing problems like most of us. AF and Afl are electrical problems and can and do appear in otherwise perfectly healthy hearts.
As to the cause, Lotty, if we knew that we would be rich. Sometimes it is genetic and often due to long term abuse of the poor organ (endurance athletes etc) or binge drinking. Things go wrong with the body from time to time and to be honest while this is I agree , upsetting, there are far worse things to happen.
Many of us have nothing wrong with our hearts apart from the fact that the electrics go bonkers now and then - or often or all the time.
With Atrial Fibrillation, having one's heart frequently going off the rails can eventually lead to enlargement of one of the chambers. The good news here is that the enlargement can decrease if there's no fast and erratic activity. I'm not sure what the situation is with Atrial Flutter which (I think) is a less significant condition and affects the other side of the heart. Others will know more than I do!
I've had both AF and AFL for many years (13) and am still here to tell the tale.
I remember when first being diagnosed feeling shocked that I had a problem with my heart. I paid to have an echocardiogram, couldn't wait for the NHS one as I thought the condition didn't bode well and I had to act quick. It was money wasted, because other than my AF and AFL there was nothing physically wrong as is the case in most sufferers. It can feel scary when you have an attack, but it's really not a condition to worry about too much. It took me many years to accept that and you may well be the same. So many people have AF as they get older and it's just part of life and we carry on. Once you've had a few tests you will begin to relax more. As Bob has said there are far worse things we could have.
Know that we are here for you, understand just how you are feeling, and will give you any support we can.
Hi Lotty I had an echocardiogram just after my diagnosis for P-AF and was a bit scared they would find 'something nasty' to cause such horrible symptoms that made me think I was dying but it was ok. The letter just said 'no significant abnormalities'.
I asked the cardiologist's assistant when I saw him a year later if there was any enlargement of the left atrium which seems to occur in people with AF and he just said 'everyone gets a bit of enlargement as they age'.
Try not to worry about it, that is the best thing you can do to help your heart
It’s natural to worry, Lotty - we probably all have at some time or other - but it is very common to have AF or AFlutter with a perfectly normal heart, normal BP, normal body weight and no other illnesses at all. Describing myself there and I really felt miffed at having ‘a heart condition’!
I’ve had PAF for about 11 years - 6 of them undiagnosed. When I had my cardiologist appointments I had an echocardiogram, x-rays, ECG, stress test and an array of blood tests. They found nothing (not even my elusive PAF!) except for mild enlargement of both atria - probably caused by the AF.
Try not to worry - easier said than done, I know. Seeing a consultant is a good step forward - do read up all you can before your appointment, so that you know which questions to ask.
Hi Lotty, if they thought there might be something seriously wrong physically with your heart I don't think they'll be waiting until September to at least book more tests. I have several physical things slightly wrong with my heart, basically because it is old but I'm still here 17 years later and digging up irises, not pushing up daisies!
I understand your initial shock and that you find the symptoms disconcerting when they occur but you should try your best not to dwell on it as this will feed your anxiety. As has been mentioned above, it is most likely benign electrical activity and not anything to do with your heart’s ‘plumbing’. A great many people have these arrhythmias and a large proportion are not even aware. The fact that your referral appointment is in September reflects the fact that your doctors do not consider your condition to be dangerous. I am not aware of any treatments that would require heart surgery. If they are offered to you, the usual treatment procedures are generally considered to be painless.
My advice to you is sit back, relax and enjoy the good things in your life. Worrying about something you have no control over will achieve nothing good.
Oh poor you, I totally understand what you are feeling, all this is such a huge shock , I was just as bewildered as you....scared, tearful, thought my life was over as I knew it..... but I am just like the rest of the others that answered...the cardio on my first visit told me my heart was strong and fine.....I thought eh??? Why am I diagnosed then with a heart condition?.....but I did not then understand it at first....the afib is the electrics going crazy sometimes....my cardiologist calls it “ the crazy’s”. Try not to overthink it all as I did and I thought about it all the time.....but it doesn’t help....once you see someone you will feel so much better.....I’ve been helped by reading what others write that have been with this a long time.....I’m a newbie.....but I now see life can be normal and with the tablets these crazy’s aren’t the end of my life, they are a very scary, draining , uncomfortable, inconvenience......lotty try not to worry.
I was diagnosed with paroxysmal AF but when I went for an echocardiogram about seven weeks later- after walking a fair bit to the hospital - my heart was found to be in perfect working order! I thought I'd get the opportunity to talk about that with a cardiologist but that only happened months later at my request. Like so many others, I did not get on with the prescribed drugs and now just take flecainide as a PIP on the odd occasions when I get a short episode (I was persuaded to get a Kardia and i-phone to check) and you can get a machine from Boots to check your own blood pressure if you are concerned about that. Good Luck- eventually it will be realised that we are all different.