Atrial fibrillation and feeling panicky

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hello everyone I'm John I'm 35 3 days ago I was diagnosed with afib and had to go to hospital as my heart was jumping all over the place and have been put in beta blockers and a blood thinner to help calm it down but still have bad palpitations at the moment and it has been making me feel very panicky and tired sort of feel like jelly no energy before this happen I was going to the gym twice a day and feeling very fit now I don't feel like I don't have any energy what so ever and it making me very panicky doesn't feel like had gone away just hart slowed down if this make sense sorry for poor spelling

1 like, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey John, I've had A Fib for six years now and yes the palpitations or PVC's can be quite unnerving. I try to stay as calm as possible although it can be hard sometimes. I found that the beta blockers made them much worse for me. So I was switched to flecainide and I feel much better even when I do get PVC'S it seems to lessen the feeling of them. If you don't respond soon to the medication I would go back to your doctor and have them try you on something else. I've had two ablations for flutter so that is fixed but the actual A Fib is not. My belief is that it is food intolerances/vagus nerve/stress related. I can control things for the most part through removing food issues, stress etc. Although sometimes I will still get breakthroughs. Do you have any stomach issues or food sensitivities? Hang in there my A Fib friend.

    • Posted

      Thank you for the replay no I don't have any stomach problems and I don't think I have with food been trying to eat healthy stay off cups of tea etc but I just feel so tired and flat at the moment I've been reading up as much as I can about afib but there is so much info it is a bit overwhelming at the moment I'm going to see my gp on Monday if I'm still feeling like this

  • Posted

    Hi John, I'm 37, so of a similar age.

    I have also had recurrent afib episodes, I know entirely how you feel.

    No energy at all (I felt like I was running at 50% maximum), worried about the constant flipping in your chest etc. The last time it happened to me for a long period (4 months), I really couldn't live my life properly. 

    The bad news is that because 48 hours have passed since the onset, the hospital would not be able to do a cardioversion right now(where basically, your heart is shocked back into the correct rhythm - it's not scary and is an immediate short term fix for your problem). So you will need to wait until approx 4 weeks before they will consider doing a cardioversion.

    The good news is that you are in no real danger, but (for me) it is a massive inconvenience.

    What blood thinners are you on? If it is warfarin, this may significantly increase your waiting time for cardioversion because it really does take quite some time for it to become effective. Hopefully you are on something else such as Rivaroxiban,

    If you are experiencing symptoms, and unable to live your life properly (eg go to work, play with your kids, have a "normal" social life), then I suggest that you make this known immediately with your GP and ask to be referred to your cardiologist asap. Because AF is not a life threatening disease, the NHS are in no hurry to treat you. You HAVE to make sure they know that it is affecting your life in a bad way.

    Long term, there are a few ptions available to you to reduce the likelihood of this happening in future. You will no doubt hear more about these over the coming weeks and months, so I won't go through all of them here.

    Hope you get sorted soon.


    • Posted

      Hi thanks for the reply Dom I'm on Rivaroxiban and hopefully going in for a cardio version in around 4 weeks thats what they have said at the hospital anyway I don't have any energy at the moment I'm definatly going to the gps on Monday thanks

  • Posted

    I am surprised that they let you go home without converting you back in normal sinus either by cardioversion or chemical (drugs)pavel
    • Posted

      Hi I'm still very much in the dark with the procedures trying to find out all I can going to the gps Monday I'm on Rivaroxiban and apparently going in for a cardiovarsion in 4 weeks I'm still have bad palpitations and lack of energy tho my heart rate has slowed with the beta blockers

  • Posted

    John, I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. The rest of this is upbeat. I am 78 years old and have had afib for forty years - episodic at first then chronic (all the time) for about twenty years. In the early stages I explored every treatment I could, I took four or five different rhythm control drugs, I had a right sided ablation, and I worried myself sick. Here's the deal: this stuff won't kill you. You can live to be 100 if you have the genes for it, you can exercise within your limits (my wife and I take a bicycling vacation every year), and the longer you live with the condition the less it intrudes on your life. You must control your anticoagulation which lessens your risk of stroke. There is a device called a Watchman, which is a plug which a surgeon can put into the left atrial appendix to keep clots from forming, but I have opted for medical anticoagulation and a MedAlert bracelet so the ambulance personnel will know why I am bleeding so copiously when I fall off the bicycle. Hasn't happened yet, though. Afib people run marathons from time to time (can't imagine why, though), and perform all sorts of feats. 

    I would never suggest that you quit exploring all treatment alternatives, but if they all fail, you will be left with a life that is just fine for going the distance. Try to spend as little time as possible worrying about death because you have a very long time to wait for it. Hang in there.

    • Posted

      Thank you very much for reply really appreciate it I think I've Gotta really start thinking positive as I've been really dwelling on it I think it's making me feel worse for doing thanks

    • Posted

      Hello sir and thank you very much for your input about this monster Afib.

      If i may ask with what simtomps did u live day after day in permanent afib for so many years after meds stoped working. Can you also name the 5 drugs you took...and maybe your thoughts for a person like me that is 62 years old disgnosed with afib 8 years ago, in and out of afib, cardioversions, Multag, Sotalol and now on Tycosin which slowly loses effectivness, and i am contemplating ablation for a couple of years. What is holding me back besides the possible risk of the procedure is my EP which is a great doctor takes his time with me on all appointments but i feel that latly is pushing me for the ablation saying THAT MY WINDOW FOR EFFECTIVE ABLATION IS CLOSSING. I do not know why he would say that, is there an age when ablation is not working anymore( i thought i read the people as old as 80 were ablated). Give me your 5 cents on all this that i described in my post.

      Thanks and wish you and your wife many more healthy years.


    • Posted

      Pavel, my most distressing symptom has been shortness of breath after mild exertion. When I climb a couple of flights I am hard put to conduct a conversation for about a minute. I cannot remember all the meds, Flecainide and Amiodarone were two, but none of them worked, nor did the right sided ablation. In fairness many people report success with left sided ablations done by practitioners who have done thousands of procedures. It has been my personal choice to opt out of heart surgery for a condition with which I can satisfactorily live. Other people could reasonably choose a different course.

      It is a risk-aversion analysis: am I willing to take a small risk of getting much worse to improve a situation in which I am quite comfortable? It is an easy answer for me, but if I have an afib related stroke in spite of my close attention to proper anti coagulation I admit I shall probably second guess my decision. I am not sure there is a right answer that fits everyone.

      If you decide to have the ablation procedure, do not be shy about asking direct questions of the doctor. How many has he/she done? How many complications? Infections? How many required repeat procedures? How many failed to eliminate the afib?

      Good luck, Pavel. Welcome to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Angst.

    • Posted


      Your comments, reassurance, positive attitude, and perspective have REALLY encouraged me. Thank You!

  • Posted

    Hello John!

    I can well imagine how anxious and panicky you can feel about this. Anxiety (especially GAD- General Anxiety Dirsorder) can leave you feeling very tired and low. I'm writing to reassure you because I have had very much the same responses to the AFib diagnosis as you are.

    Be reassured though. Unless you have some clear and measurable heart-defect (and it sounds as if you don't), this is something that might even clear and go away of its own accord or you will come to accept and realise that this is NOT the end of the world and that you can and WILL have a pretty normal life with it.

    Two things to check.


    ARE you likely to have anxiety problems? If this is the case try CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I'm a cynic about things like this but worked for me and has done wonders.


    Is there some connection between this incident and general stress and worry like work or home-life and are you having any tummy issues with the AF? There is mounting evidence that tummy disorders, especially those connected with stress can irritate the Vagus Nerve and that this in turn can lead to episodes of AF. There is a forum here dedicated to that.

    I'm 73 and have had ectopic episodes for 30 years and episodes of AF for almost 4 years. I have had no procedures and feel basically as fit as a fiddle. Try to relax and get some help with that anxiety of yours! EXCERISE is fantastic for helping with anxoiety AND good tummy and heart states!

    Best of luck!!



  • Posted

    Hi John I think the panic comes in because you can't control it I have afb and a heart flutter mine hit 225 beats a minute it's normal to feel scared I've been admitted twice I get really down as I was very active

  • Posted

    Hiya John - I was 35 when I first found out I had af so I know exactly where you are right now - people can tell you not to worry until there blue in the face but that probably is'nt going to make you stop worrying - I found the biggest battle was the psychological one and the best advice I can give you on that is to get plenty of sleep, eat and drink heathy and get out walking/running - I started with walking about a mile every day - take it easy and go from there - after a month I was running a few miles every day - Id never run before and didn't particularly enjoy it but I found it a massive benefit to my state of mind as I no longer felt vulnerable, I knew that if I could run 2 miles without a problem then my heart was good, I just had a rythsm problem - good luck mate - stay calm, stay strong 👍

    • Posted

      Hi Steve thanks for the reply really appreciate it have been worrying a lot but am trying to keep my self calm cheers mate

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