Newby: Thanks to all that replied to my first... - AF Association

AF Association
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7164
7164

Thanks to all that replied to my first posting. Can I trouble you all again to make it clear to me what Afib symptoms I can expect.

Do we all or mostly all get an Afib event that includes a HB of 130 plus, slight dizziness and a feeling of anxiety. I feel that there must be a reason why this is happening? I know some of you have said there is no reason. I had massive illhealth stress (my wife) over the last three years, moved house and job and certainly drank too much wine (white) to help. After the first attack I dropped the wine and got rid of 90 % of the stress but the Afib events are becoming more regular. The gp wants to up the Bisoprolol to 3.75 to help. I am too heavy so dieting and exercising but it happened again yesterday.

This board understands and I would value your help

26 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi

Losing weight will help a lot and make sure your blood pressure is normal. If you are dieting, ensure you still have enough potassium and magnesium in your diet as if these drop it will contribute to AF. A plant based diet is good for AF and avoid sugary stuff too!

7164
7164
in reply to rosyG

Rosyg thank you

dleppard60
dleppard60
in reply to 7164

I agree. A plant based diet is the way to go. Watch forks over knives and prepare to be amazed by REAL facts and cold hard numbers.

Hi, what you are describing is what is called AF with RVR (rapid ventricular response). Some people have slower AF, some higher. Some feel very ill with higher rates but it does seem to vary a lot from person to person, fortunately your symptoms don't seem too bad by comparison but losing weight should definitely help. I am not sure what tests you have had so far but they should cover your heart's 'plumbing' as a small problem there can encourage AF, eg I have a leaky mitral valve which is fairly common at my age but does affect AF. Some people swear they have 'triggers' for episodes such as alcohol or certain foods but others can't find any and unless there's an obvious sequence of events it's probably better to look after your general health well than searching for a trigger. I hope that helps.

7164
7164
in reply to Buffafly

Buffafly

Thank you

7164
7164
in reply to Buffafly

Buffafly

Thank you

You ask what symptoms to expect.

Many of us have rhythm problems without much of a rate increase.

I generally feel lousy, maybe breathless and need to rest. This has to be because my heart is pumping erratically and oxygenated blood is not getting round as it should. One important symptom is the production of vast amounts of urine. We are talking Niagara Falls.

With time you will learn how to best manage episodes. It's no fun and it undermines your confidence as you can never guarantee that you will be up-and- running.

Try to avoid triggers such as stress.

7164
7164
in reply to jennydog

Jenny

Thank you

Yes lots of urine. Too weird😊

Symptoms vary from person to person - some have no symptoms and don’t even know they have AF whilst others can be incapacitated by the symptoms of breathlessness and fatigue. if you have syncope or near syncope (fainting or feeling faint), dizzy, light headed or anything like that you should go see your doctor as there may be many reasons for this - in my case my BP would drop very low but it can be caused by your heart pausing which can be picked up easily on an ECG.

My resting HR in NSR would be 60-65 whilst in AF anything up to 200 so 130 would not be unusual whilst in AF - often my HR would go up before the AF started so if I were able to calm it, then I could avoid AF.

Anxiety is very definately a symptom of AF and the trouble is that worrying about the physical symptoms of AF make the AF worse so I found that a daily practice of Mindfulness really helps. Learning how to be an observer of our symptoms rather than getting overly involved with them allows you to manage them.

Well done for dropping the wine which can be a big antagonist and do lose the weight as studies have shown that weight loss is as affective as ablation in managing AF.

Nobody really knows how or why AF starts although there are some known underlying conditions such as thyroid which if are sorted, AF may disappear so the first thing is to treat known underlying conditions, work on life-style - getting enough good quality sleep is paramount -sleep apnea is also a known underlying condition which causes AF which can be easily treated. You need 7-8 hours of good quality sleep and don’t settle for less.

Keep BMI under 27, manage stress and take moderate exercise. If none of above help then consider treatments but having coped with AF for 13 years now - my advice would be to avoid meds and interventions for as long as possible and only as a last rather than first resort. Just my personal opinion based upon my experience.

Best wishes CD

7164
7164
in reply to CDreamer

CDreamer

How good and helpful is this reply

More that my doctors have told me

Thank you

PS - Bisoprolol can make you feel very breathless anyway - all of the time and it can also stop you from losing weight, Be aware that many of the drugs used to manage AF have side affects and again the helpfulness or not of these drugs is variable.

We all seem to have af symptoms as individual as we are. Have you seen an electrophysiologist or cardiologist referred by your GP and had a full work up to see your general heart health. If not perhaps it's time to get specialist help so they can make a plan best suited to you.

Everyone here has given excellent advice to follow. Read all you can on the forum there is some first class information there. Best wishes.

7164
7164
in reply to meadfoot

Meadfoot

Thank you

My cardiologist just looked at the ecg and the ultrasound and said you have AF that was it.

Take this bisoprol and off you go.

I had no attack for 3 months but wasn’t right. Went back to him and he reduced me to 1.25 then two days another Af. !!

meadfoot
meadfoot
in reply to 7164

If you don't feel right ask to see someone again, you deserve the best possible care.

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to 7164

Bisoprolol just reduces heart rate and I found that the 1.25mg dose was a no no. When, after 3 days I consulted the pharmacist, he told me to stop taking it and the doctor agreed ( it brought my heart rate down dangerously low) but failed to provide anything else. So I consulted an EP privately who prescribed flecainide which I used as a PIP for over a year very successfully (it stopped the AF episodes within two hours) but as episodes became more frequent, he suggested taking the fllecainide regularly which I am doing now ( with side effects of loss of energy etc as happened after taking it as a PIP). I'm hoping that this is just temporary and that I will eventually get my life back. Good luck with finding what is right for you- we are all different! All the best!

I could not tolerste even 1.5 mg bisprolol. I was asleep for 4 hours after every tablet plus lots if other symptoms

It was put on verapamil Instead( a calcium channel blocker). I knew it was the bisop as I was completely asymptomatic in high rate afib 190 resting and have seen 243 when running shown on my Garmin HR but I could not feel anything and it did not seem to effect the running.

I also had no triggers that I could find but it could have been stress as I was working long and hard at the time on a problematic project with impossible timescales.

AF has a lot of individual variations I symptoms.

7164
7164
in reply to KMRobbo

Thank you

Are you saying that you were 190 -243 HR and did not feel it? I hit 130 and feel a basketball game in my chest? No sense to this!

Yes I was only aware I had AFIB as once when I was running I got a fluttery feeling in my throat for 5 seconds and I noticed on my Garmin hr trace I had a spike from 155 to 195 bpm. Two months later sitting at my pc I got a similar feeling , my hr monitor was plugged Into my pc so I put it on - 165 sat still. I tried it on my wife - 55bpm. I was tired so I went to bed wearing the monitor. I was 145 to 165 all night and was still in the morning but felt fine. Was going to work but my wife rang 111. Should I go to hospital or go to work? Neither we have sent an ambulance! The ecg showed afib and 165 varying. To hospital I went!

For the next 20 months I found i could combat afib by running. If I got afib i took an extra verapamil and went for a run . After 7 to 10 mins the high hr of the run somehow forced my heart into NSR. it went very high then slowed back to 150 ish. Sadly after a dozen attacks this trick stopped working and was 130 to 195 resting for 8 days and only got rid of the afib by getting cardioverted by flecainide infusion in the CCU of my loc hospital. Then i was on flecainide and diltiazem for 10 months until my ablation. Too many side effects with the drugs.

estrennen
estrennen
in reply to KMRobbo

Interesting that running would cause you to go into NSR. How have you been doing post-ablation?

KMRobbo
KMRobbo
in reply to estrennen

Several other people on this forum also reported using exercise to stop afib. These will be in my older posts or replies.

Postablation is Fine (so far!). Do running and cycling but I have a voluntary hr limit of 155 .. if it goes above my Garmin beeps and I slow the pace mostly. Sometime when I run I get a very high hr in 40 yards. I slow down or stop till it reduces. Sometimes takes a few attempts to get going but it always settles down .EP not concerned. He thinks the ablation scars that stop the rougue signals also impede control signals possibly so my heart takes a bit to get used to its higher rate. I also sometimes get ectopics of 3 levels , thumping ones that last seconds, ones that cause a fluttery feeling in my neck that last minutes and ones similar that are irritating an last hours sometimes up to eight ish. These are very rare but come in clumps. My EP is unconcerned as the hr apart from the false missing or extra beat is regular when I feel the pulse in my neck. I just try to ignore them and I am being succesful in this mostly.

I also must stay that I do not know for sure that I did not have them before afib. A fib makes you oversensitive to your heart. I got to the stage in could hear my heart beat most off the time. Thankfully I have trained myself to mostly ignore it again! Worry makes Afib worse so try not too! I never had any triggers except maybe job stress and tiredness. Since my ablations i have only gone back to 4 day weeks although they can be long days. I have Wednesdays off. I commute 106 miles a day, so I have long days. I lost a over a stone in weight but have put 5lbs back on over the summer. I drink less than I did. I eat fairly healthily ( but i did before afib). I take magnesium by spray but cant tell you it stops afib but I noticed I slept better when I tried it so carried on spraying nightly. 2 years now. More sleep = less stress. Not being on any prescription drugs i think helps. I have not taken anything except a few parcetamol since the ablation. No nurifen as I read that can encourage afib. I dont drink anything with artificial sweeteners but do use sucralose in my tea. I was takiing this before I read arrtificial sweeteners can trigger afib. Think aspartame is the worst. Don't know they ever did trigger me but why risk it?

7164
7164
in reply to KMRobbo

Thanks for the information

No idea how you did not feel terrible with that sort of high rate?

Hope you are well now

KMRobbo
KMRobbo
in reply to 7164

Yes fine now. I was fine in afib except for the drugs side effects.

The 3 weeks I had flutter was the opposite. Rate was 140 but I could not walk into the kitchen for a brew without getting breathless. I spent the most part of the 3 weeks lying down

SandiBee
SandiBee
in reply to KMRobbo

Gosh! Your experiences certainly trump mine- we really are all very different ! And has the ablation sorted it? We read of so many people who have had several and it does seem a fairly dramatic operation!

KMRobbo
KMRobbo
in reply to SandiBee

Yes all sorted just the ectopics and the occasional extreme Hr response to starting running 188 bpm in 40 srides on monday! I just slow down or stop. Took half a dozen stops in the first 1/3 mile before it stopped being silly .

I am not sure about "trump" . I consider I have been really lucky so far ( and with a bit of effort from me) to be out of AF and drugless (Well So far!)

Losing weight can help a lot, but you can forget weight loss while you're on that beta blocker; you may even gain weight. It's frustrating. Anxiety and afib go hand in hand, so that's to be expected, especially when you're new to this experience. Learn all you can about afib and once you've become more knowledgeable you will become more relaxed about your condition.

I'm sure I am not the only one who has never been overweight and has always eaten healthily and has still got it!!

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