Newly diagnosed with Atrial Fibrilation

I've just been diagnosed with AF. I can feel my heart beating and at different rhythms.

I've started on blood thinners.

Been referred to a Cardiologist who I'm seeing on Thursday, but I find the whole thing really frightening.

I'm sure that's making me worse as I'm worried about it constantly.

Is there anything I can do to try to relax and tell myself that I will be fine?



11 Replies

  • Hello Kwaka, sorry to hear of your diagnosis. there is more information on Atrial Fibrilation on the BHF site here It is frightening and I fully understand your apprehension, positives are you have it diagnosed and you have a cardiologist appointment soon. I would advise make a list of questions as while you are n the appointment things tend to be forgotten, I have lost count of the number of questions I meant to ask, this way you will gather loads more useful information for you and for your medication and treatment.

    Hopefully one of the BHF nurses or a member will come along shortly with some more information/personal experiences.

  • Hi Kwaka, building in relaxation is important we all have different switches that enable our mind to relax.

    Although I use relaxation techniques I found the total body guided relaxation audio files on Youtube a help and then I developed my own - personally don't like the self hypnosis guides. Used muscle group approach starting with back, moving to the large muscle groups and by the time I had reached the torso I had my breathing in full control.

    So use the relaxation tools to control the breathing and that will improve your management of anxiety.

    This can be done at any time and in position.

  • Thanks both for your wise words. Feels worse today so will try some techniques to relax.

  • Hi Dave - I can definitely understand why you're feeling worried. We often don't really think about how regularly our hearts normally beat, so when they go out of rhythm it can be really frightening for people. It's great that you've got a cardiology appointment so quickly and that you're not waiting too long to find out what the next steps are.

    Medications to help slow down and re-regulate your heart rhythm are quite common, and sometimes we carry out procedures to try and revert the heart back to a normal rhythm. One of the most common and first line treatments is cardioversion, which you read a little more about here:

    I hope this helps. If you'd like to chat to one of our helpline nurses you can call 0300 330 3300 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

    Take care, Chris

  • Thanks Chris really appreciate the reply and support number. I don't want to bother the doctors as they've said it's not life threatening, but that doesn't stop my head thinking it is constantly! :-)

  • Hi, I have also been put on blood thinners and beta blockers have cardioversion treatment on 29th Nov and then having another echo after 6/8 weeks as have leaking valve

  • Good luck. With a cardio fit programme well underway and cbt treatment fir anxiety I’m doing well.

  • Hiya Dave,

    Good luck on getting results you are after today ☺

  • Thank you. Appt is at 4... can't come soon enough!

  • Hi there , I was also diagnosed recently with AF and fully appreciate how frightening it is - I sincerely hope you get the answers you want from your appointment with the Consultant - when I turned up for mine I was given an Echo Cardiogram and told the results would be sent to my Consultant and he would call me in to discuss them - 4 weeks later my results ended up with my GP. I went to see him and was told that the hospital had advised no further appointments were required - I had AF and I was to continue with the medication I was given at A&E when I had been rushed in with a dangerously high heart beat. To say I felt let down and isolated doesn't even come close - so I found my way here to this site, - and I am so glad I did - I have had more good and sound advice since coming on here than I have had from anywhere else.

    As I said I hope you got the answers you were looking for, and I hope too that you are feeling much better - but whatever happened please know that you are NOT alone, this site and the people on it are marvellous - all the best.

    Babs x

  • Thought I'd just update on how I got on for other people.

    I've been misdiagnosed by my GP and also by an A&E doctor. I don't have AF, I have an irregular heartbeat with ectopic beats. I ended up in A&E after having a panic attack, much to my embarrassment!

    After seeing the cardiologist, having a 3 day monitoring tape and being monitored whilst on a treadmill and exercising, it's been discovered that my ectopic beats and irregular heartbeat clears up when I exercise. So that's good news and it should be reversible.

    However my cardiologist has now suggested a 10 week intensive exercise programme! Should be finding out more this week. He says I'll be a different person in 10 weeks! <gulp>

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