I understand what AF is but none has ever ... - AF Association

AF Association
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I understand what AF is but none has ever explained 2me what it feels like when AF is happening I take ramipril, bisoprolol & apixaban

silvertiffy
silvertiffy
β€’20 Replies

What should I be aware of?

20 Replies
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charlwood35

Many sufferers are symptomatic so we feel the heart going fast and arrhythmic and generally crazy. Asymptomatic suffers like you are more likely to take your cues from perhaps feeling slightly unwell or breathless. It might be an idea to invest in the Kardia ECG device, much mentioned in this forum, which would quickly tell you whether you were in AF or not....

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silvertiffy

Thank you for replying I have not heard of the kardia ecg device, but have thought that maybe I should investigate if there are any applications I could buy for my phone. I will now have a look around.

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Buffafly

If you buy a Kardia you download an app to go with it. Be aware that other phone apps don't impress doctors but the Kardia is recognised as reliable - my cardiologist recommended it. You need to check if it is compatible with your phone before splashing out. If you only want to check whether you are in AF or not it would be a waste of money as you can do that by following Finvola's directions.

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silvertiffy

Thanks

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Buffafly

It may be that you have permanent AF which seems to have symptoms as charlwood35 described. If you feel your pulse at your wrist or neck you should be able to feel the random irregularity of AF. People with paroxysmal AF have palpitations - a heartbeat that is very noticeable and unpleasantly irregular, usually very fast too.

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bantam12
bantam12
in reply to Buffafly

Can we have AFib with regular beats but lots of bumps and pauses ? I know I have Wenkebach but was also told PAF but I just can't tell the difference when I get it so have never taken my pill in pocket !

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Buffafly
Buffafly
in reply to bantam12

I've been confused in the same way - when I had a treadmill test I thought I was having bad AF but the nurse doing it mentioned 'lots of ectopics'. My episodes have sometimes started with a swarm (my term!) of ectopics then settled into AF which is less bumpy. I should just take the PIP when you have palpitations and see what happens πŸ˜€

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bantam12
bantam12
in reply to Buffafly

Thanks, there seem to be to many names for what appears to be variations of the same thing πŸ˜† hmm it's the seeing what happens that keeps my pill in my pocket ! I don't generally react well to meds πŸ˜•

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silvertiffy

Thank you, I'm not very good at finding my pulse

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Finvola

For those of us who are too aware of symptoms, it's great to read that you are asymptomatic!

Symptoms can vary from one person to another and I found they vary according to the severity of the episode and what triggered it (adrenaline being the worst for me). Breathlessness, severe pressure inward on chest as if someone was trying to push my lungs together, inability to open lungs to breathe, galloping heart with pauses and very erratic, burping, flatulence and diarrhea - in other words, the perfect dinner guest!

I agree that a Kardia is a great diagnostic device but if you can feel your carotid pulse (centre front side of neck halfway from jaw and halfway from adam's apple) you will detect the chaos of the heartbeat.

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silvertiffy
silvertiffy
in reply to Finvola

Thank you for the reply I do suffer with breathlessness, heart pounding, fatigue more often now than I used to so I assume they must be part of my way if life now, unfortunately

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Beffohol
Beffohol
in reply to Finvola

Oh my....you have described my own symptoms during an episode exactly!!! Thanks for making me feel "normal"/ not alone

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silvertiffy

I know exactly what you mean by say 'normal' understanding how others experience AF is strangely reassuring

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Finvola
Finvola
in reply to Beffohol

Aw Beffohol - awful to be β€˜normal’ sometimes. ☹️

I forgot to mention weeing - AF stretches the atria and our bodies respond by releasing an enzyme which rids the body of salt - so during episodes many of us run to the toilet every 20 minutes or so to wee like crazy. This causes dehydration (which can cause more AF) so it’s important to keep hydrated.

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Beffohol
Beffohol
in reply to Finvola

Tick to the weeing.........Great bit of advice (grabbing glass of water) πŸ‘πŸ‘

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doodle68

Hi Silver Tiffy :-) we are all different . I know instantly when I am having an episode of P-AF,

my heart starts beating rapidly and chaotically,

I become breathless,

my legs feel weak and shaky,

doing the smallest tasks takes a lot of effort,

I can't think with my usual clarity,

I often have a strange sensation in my throat,

I can feel my heart 'misbehaving' in the pulse in my wrist and in my neck (in the carotid artery). Now I know the symptoms are caused by my heart failing to pump oxygenated blood around by body efficiently it seems logical that they occur and no longer scares me .

To help my heart cope I do slow deep breathing exercises and a minimum of tasks at a gentle pace resting as much as I can. My episodes last between 8-15 hours , an inconvenience but I am used to them now :-)

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silvertiffy

Wow 8-15 hours! Reading everyone's experiences I think mine last for about 20 minutes, yesterday the Dr informed me that I have intermittent AF it's still scary tho, thank you for responding

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doodle68

Hi ST :-) I would say the Doctor means 'Paroxismal Atrial Fibrillation ',

''AF falls into three categories, which also help to describe the progression of the dsease.

Paroxysmal AF – (PAF) episodes that stop within 7 days without treatment;

Persistent AF – episodes lasting longer than 7 days, or less when treated;

Permanent or longstanding persistent AF – continuous AF which has occurred for more than one year.''

Have you seen this information here on our main site...

heartrhythmalliance.org/afa...

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mavisrich

if you don't know what it feels like you are extremely fortunate and don't worry about it. x

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Samazeuilh

The experience is different for different people. Basically you get an irregular heartbeat which is rapid (say from 85 to 150+). Duration can be long or short. Some people might not even be aware of this. You might or might not get breathlessness and dizziness. Basically, just check your pulse for irregularity at intervals. There are different types of arrhythmia, so you might not necessarily have AF.

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