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Why do I have afib?
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Why do I have afib?

I'm a 32 year old man, kind of a worry wart type of person.  Feb of 2010 i started experiencing heart rythum problems and was diagnosed with afib.  I'm currently taking propafenone for that problem, and seems to work very well.  However I seem to have some sharp chest pains now (have had kind of dull, pressue chest pain for probably around 12 years that would come around pretty rarely) that never last long, very short, which i never had before.  I've been doing some reading through the forums and it appears that a sharp chest pain doesn't have anything to do with heart and is probably stress.  Or could this be the meds?  If this is just stress related I would believe it, we have had deaths in the family, bought first house and several other struggles.  Could my afib diagnosis be triggered by stress too?  My afib started right in the funeral home.  This was the first thing I asked my heart doctor, and didn't really comment much.  Does anyone else seem to think so?  If so what would be my best direction to pursue for my problem.  One more thing, i have done a sleep study and they found a very, very light case of apnea and was told it wasn't bad enough to stop the study and put me on a machine.  Any comments to sleep apnea being an afib culprit?

Thanks

Scuba
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1137980_tn?1281289046
I totally understand what you are going thru w. the a fib and the answer to your question in regards to stress setting it off is definately yes.  A fib is usually electrically based in our bodies but let me tell you a little over three years ago i was going thru a couple of things, burning the candle at both ends as they say with work and teaching and i was right in the middle of teaching a group of doctors and nurses Advanced CPR and BOOM that was one for the books. I guess i couldn't have been with a better group of people that i was teaching but i'll tell you what the paramedics caught my pulse at over 300 and you can pretty much figure where it went from there.  Sleep apnea is when your breathing is effected or stops during sleep and a fib is electrically based from what i understand....however there is a higher incident of atrial fib and other heart related issues with people who suffer from sleep apnea and puts you in a higher risk group....i would seriously talk to the heart doc and ask him/her what you can do to minimize your risks ...there is nothing worse than the feeling when we are asleep and wake up in atrial fib.  I absolutely hated it when it happened because i had no control with dealing with it......call the doc.....
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Avatar_n_tn
Scuba,

Yes, stress can bring on afib, and sleep apnea is also a major afib trigger. Here are a couple of articles that may give you more info:

1) Does Stress Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

(Please also read the comments - it's a popular topic so there are 88 comments)

2) Sleep Apnea Multiplies Risk of Arrhythmias Like Atrial Fibrillation


Hope this helps.

Mellanie True Hills
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Avatar_n_tn
Apparently links work differently here, so let me try again:

1) Does Stress Cause Atrial Fibrillation?
http://atrialfibrillationblog.com/does-stress-cause-atrial-fibrillation/
(Please also read the comments - it's a popular topic so there are 88 comments)

2) Sleep Apnea Multiplies Risk of Arrhythmias Like Atrial Fibrillation
http://www.stopafib.org/newsitem.cfm/NEWSID/211

Mellanie
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Avatar_f_tn
I am completely convinced that stress was a huge contributer to me going into to afib.  The first time was the day after I found out my husband had to have a quadruple bypass, the second time was shortly after he came home from the hospital.  I also have sleep apnea and my EP thinks that is also a contributor.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks so much for your responses, it's nice sometimes to know i'm not the only one having troubles, and the fact we can share this with one another.

Does anyone ever experience short sharp heart pains because of AF, or does this tend to be just stress related only, i do have a slightly enlarged left atrium, but the doc said he wasn't concerned of this.  Here recently my AF has been attacking me again, almost 4 whole months of nothing since i started my medication, and now it is happening again.  Almost everytime it does it now, it is at night when i lay down for sleep, it will be normal for about a half hour and then it starts, and it's very rythmatic in it's own way, it does a long stretch of semi fast (130-140 beats per second), which is about 8 beats, and then it changes over to 3 short slow beats the repeats.  Very strange to me and this time it isn't bothering me because it doesn't as eratic as before.  All i have to do is cough hard and it is gone for the night and everything is good.  Could my medicine be causing these symptons.  Also with this recent odd string of AF i have experienced these short sharp pains in my chest, that happen whenever.  Does anybody have an idea on this stuff?  While this time everything is happening slowly for me and i am able to deal with it this time compared to the first time, i'm trying to put together list of different scenarios, from different testimonies that i can present to my heart doctor when i go back, which i will because of this last go around of AF.  Thanks for reading probably long and boring.

Scuba96
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Avatar_f_tn
I would call your doctor and tell him what your heart is doing at night.  Mine did something very similar..I would lie down to go to sleep and it would start acting all crazy.  It did it every single night.  I was talking sotolol when it was happening and my EP told me to stop taking it and put me on another medication and it stopped.  I would definitely call.
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