Recently doing some research for my upcoming doctors visit. I am determined to be prepared and not dismissed, the whole stress and anxiety is getting old to me. I actually had to convince the cardio assistant on my first visit it was a-fib by reminding him to read the ekg. I don't fit the typical mold for a-fib, but seem to keep getting it.
Okay, so my question is this. I read about "silent a-fib". I'm concerned about this due to the recurrence of symptoms I tend to have (light headed, dizzy, short of breath). Doctors love to blame this on anxiety... Anyway, if you are in silent a-fib, will you still have the irregular heart beats? The info I read tonight made it sound like you would be in a-fib with NO signs or symptoms. I was taught, the a-fib would ALWAYS cause an irregular heartbeat. It should be rapid, but not always... but certainly will ALWAYS be irregular. Help?! I see the EP in 4 days and absolutely can not wait. :)
My understanding is that afib, except for a few rare cases, always displays an irregular pulse.
I have silent afib, which is defined as having few or no apparent sysmptoms... but if I feel my pulse, my rythm is all over the place. When in normal sinus rythm, the pulse is very regular, ticking like a clock.. and beating stronger. In afib, the pulses definitely do not have this regular character (and are weaker -- no atrial kick) -- even when they may seem regularly paced, which happens during quiet periods ..most of the time the rate is wildly varying - 1/2 sec between pulses, 2 seconds between pulses ... all in less than a minute. In my case the average rate is less than 70 but does peak up to 100 at rest on occassion.
BTW, if you get dizzy and are short of breath..those are symptoms and the afib is not really silent.
Thank you so much for sharing your information! My ekg's have caught the a-fib in the past. With one exception; on my first occurance, I had no symptoms other than feeling hot flashes. I never once thought to check my pulse. I happened to be in the hospital for the birth of our son, and the nurse was able to run an ekg immediately. My heartbeat was in the 140's and jumped up to about 200 before I self converted. The ekg result was quite a suprise to everyone. Episodes in the following were quite noticable... all the typical symptoms.
Am I correct in thinking your silent a-fib only pushed your heartbeat to the 70 - 100 bpm range?
"Am I correct in thinking your silent a-fib only pushed your heartbeat to the 70 - 100 bpm range?"
Yes. That's why I have few symptoms. I had been taking a calcium channel blocker (cardizem) for high BP and that's often prescribed to also lower heart rate during afib (affects the AV node onduction time and so reduces the number of electrical pulses reaching the ventricles). So I lucked out. My afib was so silent that I had been in it continuously for about 6 months about 5 years ago. The rythmol I take for afib alo lowers the rate. My resting heart rate is typically 50-60 when in normal sinus rhythm.
I'm actually in afib/flutter at the moment (and unfortunately have been for the last two weeks) and really don't feel any different. I have a cardioversion scheduled for three weeks from now (delayed until the cardio sees four weekly INR readings of 2 or above --- today's was 2.8).
I have paroxysmal (sporadic) A-Fib caused by LBBB and SSS,and my only symtom,as well as the erratic pulse 95-115 bpm range,that I would define as feeling uncomfortable.They have tried to stop,without success, these weekly events with heart slowing medication. I have a pacemaker to avoid bradicardy,and have just started taking a drug of the Rythmol family.None of this really affects my daily life.
When I have had rapid AF, with a rate of 230's, it is a regular rhythm. Usually AF would be an irregularly irregular rhythm. I think mine has also been aflutter which deteriorates into AF, but the rate has always been regular, like an SVT, only a lot faster than the SVT I get, 160 or so. (I don't know if this is making any sense at all!). Anyway, at rates of 230's I DO get very lightheaded immediately b/c my BP drops out to 60 palp. Hope this helps some........
Thanks to each of you for the kindness and for sharing your personal stories with me!!
Tony, I will certainly be praying for you and your upcoming cardioversion. I can't imagine being in a constant state of a-fib/flutter. My longest documented episode was just over 6 hours and it terrified me, to say the least. I wish I could be as calm towards it as many others seem to be. I suppose I was very symptomatic for the first few hours and being only 2 months postpartum didn't help. My mother would say, where is your faith?!
I just can't imagine why I have a-fib. No clear, definitive reason has been detected by the testing I have had thus far. Educating myself can only help. I thank each of you for helping me with that. Sometimes, personal experience teaches more than textbooks. Besides, I'd like to stick around for awhile. :)
I am considering an athletic type heart monitor "watch" I have recently read up on. Has anyone tried to use it? It couldn't hurt to know if/when I am having non-symptomatic episodes during the day. My initial doctor (family practioner) felt that was the case. No one else really has. They think I am "too young" (mid 30's). I would agree, if I didn't have several EKG strips stating a-fib, inferior ischemia, st and t wave abnormalities...
I often feel I am sitting on a fence waiting for the medical community to push me one way or the other. The straddling can feel very stressful.
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