Afib and pauses in pulse: Any of you have... - AF Association

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Afib and pauses in pulse

Tux18
Tux18

Any of you have pauses in heart beats? I have afib and also have 3 -4 second pauses occasionally. Just wondering if this is common with any of you?

My cardiologist says they happen when I’m going in or out of rhythm.

59 Replies
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Wow, I am wondering about this too. Can be a little unsettling!

I have thought for a while that I have pauses when I am in AF. It seems to be once about every 10 beats.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to jennydog

Actually, I have a loop implant monitor, so the Dr. knows when I've had pauses.

Most of the time I don't know I've had a pause.

Yes I think it is quite common, disturbing when you feel it, but not that unusual. If the pauses do last any longer than 2-3 seconds though it may need treatment. This is where the Kardia self monitoring can be so helpful as you can show your doctor the ECG trace. Both my husband and I needed pacemakes,, my husband’s pauses lasted for 7-9 seconds and was diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome so his heart would speed up and then go very slow with these pauses. It was a wonder that he maintained consciousness but the pacemaker has worked so it doesn’t happen now.

If you do start to have symptoms or feel faint or pass out do go to see your doctor immediately

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to CDreamer

My doctor has discussed pacemaker, but since the pauses are mostly 3 sec. he doesn't see it necessary yet. From what I'm Reading from replies pauses go along with the Afib.

7-9 seconds is a long time for a pause! My heart can do the same thing in a short period of time be very low pulse and then take off running.

Thank you for your reply. HealthUnlock has been such a help.

CDreamer
CDreamer
in reply to Tux18

My husband’s pauses were caused by sick sinus syndrome not AF, a different although probably related arrythmia.

HU is really good isn’t it as I think when you have all this stuff you think the worst and believe you are the only one and finding so many others willing to share and who have been through this and are still alive and kicking is very reassuring.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to CDreamer

Yes, HU has been very reassuring and helpful!

dmjtanner
dmjtanner
in reply to CDreamer

Yes, people writing on here in this HU forum help me to feel not so alone. You said it perfectly!

seasider18
seasider18
in reply to Tux18

My pauses were 3.7 seconds but mostly during the night and my heart rate had always been in the 40's but I was told that I needed a dual chamber pacemaker as a matter of some urgency. Somehow thy fitted a single chamber one and after repeated questions I never found out why,

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to seasider18

Is the single chamber one working to take care of the problem?

seasider18
seasider18
in reply to Tux18

It is doing something but would the other have done better ?

The EP who was supposed to fit my pacemaker had passed the job over to another who said that he had fitted what had been left for him. The original one came round with his team on ward rounds the next morning.

Conversation:

I asked why I not been fitted with the expected dual chamber pacemaker. That was a conversation killer as he had had obviously not know about it. The rest of his group stood open mouthed shuffling their feet with nothing to say. He could only say that it must have been a decision made by someone after the pre assessment. I pointed out that my heart rate was now around 30% higher that it had been in recent weeks. He asked if my AF was usually a problem to me. I said that the only times in the past that I had been aware of it was when initially noticing the heart rate increase when suddenly going in to AF. The only other time I’m aware of it is when laying on my left side. He felt it may not need treating providing that I was protected by a blood thinner.

I asked him again the next day but he had not looked into it and suggested we leave it for six months to see how I got on.

Yes I get them all the time and they make me very lightheaded, I'm slowly becoming housebound because of it.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to bantam12

Your doctor hasn't discussed a pacemaker? Very so to hear you are having so much trouble. Do hope you can get help.

I do appreciate your reply.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to Tux18

meant to say ," very sorry not "very so"

Bagrat
Bagrat
in reply to Tux18

Tux18 if you click on "more" or edit after your post you can correct finger wobble errors!

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to Bagrat

Thank you I didn’t know how to make corrections.

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to Tux18

I'm seeing the EP in Nov to talk about either ablation,which I don't want, or block and pacemaker, I'm not hopeful of anything as they don't really see it as bad enough !

dmjtanner
dmjtanner
in reply to bantam12

Sorry you are getting housebound. I often feel safer at home myself. But push myself to go out like “normal”. It can be scary!

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to dmjtanner

Thanks, I do have to walk the dogs but have fields very near so not to bad but I daren't go round the supermarket as twice I've almost passed out while shopping so that's now a major stress. Drs don't understand just how awful this is and how it affects our quality of life !

dmjtanner
dmjtanner
in reply to bantam12

You are right about that. I think all our experiences with af, pauses, etc. cause us a certain kind of PTSD in a way.

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to bantam12

I have got to the stage when I am scared to go out alone at times in case I feel faint- doctors sadly don't seem to get it but perhaps if we persist they will understand how it effects us and get us on suitable individual treatment programmes instead of treating us all the same!

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to SandiBee

We live in hope ! When I see the EP in Nov I'm not leaving until he comes up with a plan, life as it is right now is hardly worth living ☹️

I hope you get some help soon x

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to bantam12

I'm trying cbd oil!

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to SandiBee

I had thought of that, be very interesting to hear if it's helps, good luck.

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to bantam12

We have bantam chickens (and cockerals) and a bantam bike- do you?

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to SandiBee

Yep I've got free range pekin bantams, a cockeral , lemon sablepoot and a bantam odd bod, I usually let them hatch their eggs but decided not this year, we also have 2 Indian runners who are a pain as given the chance they chase the chickens and dogs 😡

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to bantam12

But not the bike then- it's my husband's actually though he hardly ever uses it and the only time I agreed to go pillion we had to stop a short way down the lane as I couldn't stand it!!!

He let the hens sit when they go broody which is how we got the bantams in the first place (the only fertile eggs available) but they have multiplied considerably!

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to SandiBee

Not a Bantam bike but we had a Moto Guzzi which we toured around France on, to old for that game now ☹️

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to bantam12

Very impressive- know what you mean about ageing- I'm 75 but was really fit and healthy before this diagnosis almost 2 years ago ( and shingles a year before). It will be great to get treatment sorted so don't have to worry about it!

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to SandiBee

Yes will be interesting to know if you have positive results.

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to Tux18

Only a few days yet and I have also started taking flecainide regularly to see if it stops the AF episodes as they are getting more frequent. Shall report back on that too but as our slogan goes "we are all different"!

Yes I have them and they are awful. Last week I had an echo while at my consultation and got the results of my holter monitor. As always happens though I didn't have pauses while being monitored argh. EP seems unconcerned and thinks in my case there is a stomach issue too causing pausing issues which is being investigated. Too soon for a pacemaker at this point they pauses are so distressing.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to meadfoot

Interesting that the EP thinks the pauses could have something to do with your stomach.

Thank you for your response. I learn so much from those on this website.

Yes I have. If they happen as you transition from AF to NSR that is considered normal though very unpleasant. If they happen randomly that is different and need investigation.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to Buffafly

One reason I wanted information from what others have experiened is that one EP wanted me to have a pacemaker immediately. Then went to another one and he said what you just stated that is is common during transition. From information I'm getting on this group the second EP is right in not jumping to give me a pacemaker.

Thanks for you reply.

I had it happen when in persistent AF,

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to baba

So it doesn't happen when y1ou are transitioning. So it's just part of your Afib.

Thank you for your response

Hi Tux :-) like a few others I have experienced this too and it seems to happen before an episode of P-AF sometimes hours before and I now think of it as my heart having a 'practice run' before the real thing by being irregular for a moment.

It doesn't bother me now, I am used to my heart playing games which experience has shown I am powerless to change so I ignore it and take slow deep breaths all part of 'staying calm at all times' philosophy.

Tux18
Tux18
in reply to doodle68

Thanks doodle68, your advise to stay calm and it seems you are keeping a good attitude. I totally agree it helps. When all this crazy stuff (Afib) started happening I would panic, which made everything worse and then end up going to ER. Have learned to accept and do various things that keep me calm. It can be so scary especially when you don't know what to expect and often don't get too much information from cardiologist as to how to live with Afib episodes.

Appreciate your response!

L5621
L5621
in reply to Tux18

Calm is good I just had my potassium checked it's 4 normal iv started some new medicines for blood thinning for stents.

I thought it could be those

I get a miss beat then or extra beat then pause a few seconds later

If I relax it eases or goes for days

I'm wondering if too much potassium intake

dmjtanner
dmjtanner
in reply to L5621

I would think 4 is good. Whenever I have been in the hospital with afib, they always gave me potassium because they want cardiac patients potassium to be 4 or above.

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to dmjtanner

So I wonder why one of the drugs offered to prevent AF is a potassium channel blocker!

dmjtanner
dmjtanner
in reply to SandiBee

Good question! It might have to do with serum blood levels of potassium and the actual synapses in the heart where blocking potassium helps block the rapid firing of the heart. Good question for Dr Sanjay Gupta.

Good Morning all, yes, when I am in AF my heart skips about one in three it is all up and down. You can check it better on your wrist. Try and get used to what you can feel. Check it when it is normal and when in AF. Mine when normal is a nice steady bump bump bump then when in AF it is like a gentle tap tap tap then it misses a beat. It's like it's got no strength. It is so lovely when you feel it and it's normal again. X

That is a brilliant description and such good advice. Thank you.

Oh, I get that when I have short runs - you know, when your heart goes out for a few seconds, like going over a rumble strip in a car? Then it's like the darn thing goes 'wait for it, wait for it!' before it drops back into sinus rhythm. Very odd feeling...

Wonderful description 😂

Hi,

A month after my Ablation, i have what I could only describe as 'pauses'.

I had these checked out in A&E as it was making me lightheaded and the throbbing in my chest/throat felt very powerful, I'm unsure as to whether it is what you have experienced but I found out from the A& E consultant (and via the ECG/EKG monitor on me at the time) , I was experiencing bigeminy and sometimes trigeminy 'ectopic' beats.

I'd never experienced these before and was and still is quite unnerving when they happen... mine appear to be controlled by flecainide and a little bisoprolol.

I know when they happen now, mainly due to tiredness I feel or adrenalin... My wife bought me an Apple watch and the ECG on that shows them perfectly... (I'll try to add a screenshot of them to this post).

Hope this helps

Craig

There is clearly a group of AF sufferers like me that do not have the clearly worrying high HRs that many report that require CVs and ablations and our AF carries on - intermittent or more likely persistent or permanent and we take our low dose beta blockers and anticoagulants and on we go.

Some of us will get these HR pauses that manifest as near faints ( a second or two) or even blackouts (much longer pauses) These are not missed beats or rapid sequences but could well be Cardiac induced syncope (CIS).....

In answer to an earlier post, (CIS) could be amplified by the beta blocker - especially if your resting HR is already low but that is probably not the whole picture. A Holter may pick up an episode but they are usually unpredictable and intermittent. A loop recorder will identify these stoppages and their length - as did mine - and is a simple procedure . Remember the medics are looking for evidence, before authorising spending, that the fainting and blackouts is indeed CIS and not vasovagal or postural syncope or (imaginary!)

Until you have a firm diagnosis avoid driving and take care crossing roads! The fainting is scary and the blackouts are worse.

Once a pacemaker is installed you will still have AF but the PM cuts in when your HR drops (60bpm in my case) - and I am totally unaware of this and was amazed at my annual checkup when I was told it was cutting in 25% of the time.

So watch what is going on and take care - but make sure that you get a Loop Recorder if the 24hr or longer Holter fails to catch one of these episodes - as they inevitably do.....

Yes my husband had a 5/6 second pause which was picked up from s patch that our EP was trying out.

When he got the reading by email (he was in France in holiday) he rang us and advised us not to drive to Spain )car loaded and ready to go when we got the call) and advised us that my husband’s heart had paused 5/6 secs. We wanted him to have a pacemaker ASAP. Which is what he did last April. Won’t be pausing anymore thank goodness because that is quite worrying. How did you find out ?

I was having between 300 & 400 pauses between 5 & 6 seconds they weren’t to concerned till they started to happen in the day time that’s when put in a single chamber pace maker which works about 20% off the time.

I had holter monitor in April but result came through in June and EP recommended dual chamber pacemaker.My heart rate was down to 26 and there was 3 seconds pauses. Pacemaker fitted last week. Since then my PAFbeen more frequent

I have exactly the same pauses and have only had once incidence of afib in the past 3 years,,am on warfarin and metroprolol despite no more afib,,,,but those pauses are bothersome at times,,,have been told I probably have sick sinus rhythm and a pacemaker has been suggested,,,,I still hesitate to get that pacemaker,,,,,,just afraid of more complications in life,,,feel light headed rarely but have had a few times when I felt very ill for a few hours and then ok,,,,a holter monitor has not showed anything alarming,,,I guess I’m waiting for some monumental event to spur me toward that pacemaker,,,my EP feels it is safe to wait until I have more symptoms and am bothered more by the pauses

I sometimes experience this. I was told that at times, it is because my heart is actually doing extra beats. - PVCs.

Yes I do get these pauses when going back into NSR after AF - in transition as already said above. I like to think of it as my heart doing its own cardioversion. It's a lurching feeling a bit like someone described as speed bumps. The EP says don't worry till they get to 4 or 5 secs and you feel faint (which I don't) . In which case a pacemaker would be the answer. I think this is pretty common.

I had cardioversion in June for atrial flutter resulting in sinus bradycardia and runs of bigeminy. No one bothered to explain what this meant. I believe rightly or wrongly it is slow heart rate and ectopic beats. Taking pulse it beats for a bit and then stops for a bit then seems like couple of extra beats. Maybe that's what you are experiencing too. Felt better for a while and then the tiredness has returned and still get palpitations

I had such pauses with afib beginning in 2017. The pauses were only occasional but got longer over time. Began to faint as the pauses got longer until I fell and broke two ankle bones this past February. (Had a heart monitor on). Cardiologist said I needed a pacemaker. Since pacemaker in March have not had such pauses and only one short episode of afib. Hopefully I am fixed.

Yes, truly hope you are fixed! Too bad you had to go through such fall, but wonderful that now you don’t have to think about another pause.

Suppose if my pauses become longer or too frequent I’ll end up with pacemaker.

Best to you!

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