Atrial Fibrillation

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hi

i've had AF for 4 years now but a recent X-ray showed lung congestion which they think is being caused by the heart.  I also get excesdive facial sweating - does anyone else suffer these symptoms.  Also I am breathless going uphills and stairs which is a new development although I can walk miles on the flat.  When is AF just AF & not a heart attack?

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  • Posted

    Hi Lindsay, I have had mine 8 years now but a big gap to next one which was this time last year. I have had echo scan and 24 ECG and it is showing I will need to go on warfarin. I don't get the racing heartbeat as much as I get the misssed beats and then a pause which makes me feel strainge till it beats again. I am sure AF is linked to digestive problems i.e. the Vagas Nerve so if you get acid reflux or gurgling and IBS it seems to cause a lot of this. Also being Diabetic you are 40% more likely to get AF which I only found out recently so seems to be a few things that trigger it off. Doctor told me it is more likely to suffer a stroke than anything else with AF. I too can walk very far on the flat but an incline or stairs can make me breathless. Regarding the sweating face I do get this although I do not perspire from anywhere else so I thought this might be just the way it comes out of me but I do get it a lot.
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    • Posted

      Thanks your kind report Mazie.   I do sometimes feel my digestive system is upset during AF but normally feel well again when it clears.   I had quite a long gap without any incidents but they have started up again!   I am on warfarin and bisopropal and feel less anxious about the stroke but more worried about the lung congestion as I was told long term AF weakens the heart muscle.   I have never smoked & drink little but my weight is climbing up at 59 years of age!   

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Lindsay, I find when I eat something I feel better with the AF and then food seems to take a long time to digest and once it has been digested and whilst waiting for it go totally through my system that it starts to get bad again. I take Lanzoprozole for the reflux problem which did help the reflux.

      I keep Bisopropal with me as the doctor said it is a "pocket tablet" so if it starts up I have to take one straight away and within an hour the beat should be back to normal which it does seem to do but every day now i get missed beats which the doctors says are ectopic beats and they are scary as you are waiting for it to beat again and you feel light headed.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mazie

      nice to hear from you and know there is support out there.   I am already on bisopropal and warfarin and my Attucks were limited to ever3-4 weeks but with this newly developed lung congestion and my hyperthyroidism it makes things more complicated to work out.  I am awaiting a heart echo test and breathing tests.   I have been in AF 3 days now which is the longest I've ever been and just wondering what's different this time? The thought of cardio aversion terrifies me!   

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    • Posted

      Hi Lindsay, the echo scan, which I also had 8 years ago and was normal, has apparently shown the valves are working as the doctor said if there was any enlargement I would need to have that sorted so when I get the proper report on 25th November she will let me know what is going on.

      I has pneumonia last year and was out of action for a month. The coughing was horrendous and there were blood clots. I was rattling with the tablets such as steroids and different Antibiotics, I had nebulisers every couple of days as it started my asthma off and I am sure the constant coughing did not help and lead to the episode from last year.I don't like the thought of cardio version, they were going to do that with me 8 years ago but the blood being taken out of my arm set the heart rythym back again to normal.

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    • Posted

      It sounds like you 've had a rough time Mazie and I sympathise as it is all quite scary.  I, too, had the echo when mine started 4 years ago but they want me to have another one to see what's causing the lung congestion and I don't have asthma or pneumonia or infection.  It's all a mystery but I do have sub clinical hyperthyroidism which can cause AF but then again , the Consultant doesn't think it's caused by the thyroid (although I've just had radio iodine treatment.  I don't know about you, but I get very confused about all the conflicting symptoms! 
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    • Posted

      Yes lots of contradicting advice depending on which doctor or department you see. Hopefully the Echo Scan will throw something up. I was told that the acid reflux if it causes problems to all the soft tissue can lead to breathing problems so I had to have a long mirror down my throat to see if there was any problems with food going down the wrong way and into the respiritory system but they said it looked clear.
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    • Posted

      Interesting! I, too have swallowing difficulties but wax putting that down to goitre on neck (which contributes to the hyperthyroidism).  Thanks for your support Mazie - it's good to know there are other people out there with the same anxieties.  I live in Edinburgh & have been trying to find a support group but nothing so far!
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    • Posted

      Lindsay,

      I would think that an ablation would be more of a long term solution to your A-fib then a cardio version. I have had about 10 cardio versions and 2  failed abaltions (2004,2006) but your success rate should be about 90 % since you are in and out of A-fib . If I were you I would do this sooner than later so you can live your life A-fib free. I keep my eye on new treatments here in the US but nothing has a proven success rate with my long standing (25 years) A-fib. I would also switch to an Alkaline diet to avoid acid reflux.  

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    • Posted

      There is nothing to fear from cardioversion. It is a safe procedure often just done by nurses. Sedation knocks you out and ten minutes later you are wheeled back to the ward. A cup of tea and off home. First time I went out in the afternoon. The second time they must have given me more sedation as I felt tired. I laid down for half an hour before dinner and woke up about six hours later.Wish that I could sleep like that at night.
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  • Posted

    Lindsay,

    I am 53 male and have been in chronic a-fib for 25 years.I take an aspirin a day as well as 240 mg of verapamil ( blood pressure, rate control). I hike and play 2 man beach volleyball and am in very good shape. My questions would be  why did you need an X-ray, were you not feeling well ?.Could it be a touch of pnuemonia they are seeing in your lungs.My cardioligist has always told me A-fib itself will not kill you.My suggestion to you would be to eat properly, exercise regularly and your endurance and wind will improve. My father is 86 and has had a-fib for 15 years and his health has been up and down over those 15 years. about a year ago he gave up all sugar and whites(processed food ,bread ,pasta) and he is doing great .

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    • Posted

      Hi there

      thanks for responding.  I, too, have always been fit and used to play a lot of tennis.  Ironically since the AF started 4 years ago my weight has creeped up but the hospital thought this was due to hyperthyroidism which I have suffered in tandem with the AF.  However I have had radio iodine treatment for thus and hopefully there will be dome improvements in my symptoms.   I have never smoked & drink little but starting to be addicted yo sugar so will take your advice and try to cut out white processed foods and sugar.  I walk a lot but at 59 years of age am slowing down!   I had a chest X-ray because I had shortness of breath and was told I had some lung congestion but no pulmonary oedema.  I have always considered the stroke risks of AF and not thought about the heart muscle weakening with continuing attacks but the hospital think the heart is causing the lung congestion!   Good to hear you are going strong and leading an energetic life.  Very encouraging!   Lindsay

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  • Posted

    Hi Lindsay,

    Following on posts/comments about Vagus Nerve and digestive issues. About 4 - 5 months after being diagnosed with AF I made the connection between the start of AF and digestive issues. My GP had me checked out for IBS and Coaliac Disease but got the all clear. I then consulted a nutritionist who set me up on Probiotic powder VSL #3, suggested I go Gluten Free and suggested I consider the FODMAPS diet. (suggest you Google it) I now cannot remember my last AF event after now some 4 and half years.

    Good luck.

    John

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that John - definitely worth checking out.  T's interesting that during an attack I always feel like I have some digestive issue!!!!

      lindsay

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    • Posted

      Quite a few people on this forum have found that. My GERD/acid reflux often gives me cardiac like chest pains.
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