Blood pressure and afib

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I heard that when you’re in afib, that taking your blood pressure at home will not give you an accurate reading because you’re In. Afib. Is this true ? 

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  • Posted

    Sometimes when we are in "silent afib" (we are in afib but can't feel it), a good home blood pressure monitor with irregular heartbeat indicator will a) indicate that we are in afib, and b) we will get really inconsistent BP readings.  Especially with atrial flutter, hemodynamic instability (unstable, fluctuating BP) is common.  So, If I take my BP at home and note that 2 or 3 readings are really different, then I know that I'm in afib. 

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  • Posted

    Well yes. When I was in AF I always used to take three or even five readings in succession, then average out the Systolic and Diastolic BP readings and the HR reading. They were usually all over the place, but the average meant something, at least to me! But if you want a reliable BP reading, take it when you are not in AF. I usually found that my average BP readings while in AF were lower than my norm, while the HR was higher.
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  • Posted

    Last week I went into flutter.. I woke up in the middle of the night to pee and basically fainted.  Later that day my BP was 85/56.. and later that day it was 140/101...  After 4 days I finally settled back to 117/67 which is about normal for me.. 
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    • Posted

      From the  web: "Normally, the top chambers (atria) contract and push blood into the bottom chambers (ventricles). In atrial fibrillation, the atria beat irregularly. In atrial flutter, the atria beat regularly, but faster than usual and more often than the ventricles, so you may have four atrial beats to every one ventricular beat."   The symptoms are more severe... Very very tired... 

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    • Posted

      Neither would I!!!  It showed up on my ECG!!  The pattern is different and my doc said to me you are not in afib but flutter, I want you in the hospital now!!!  The specialist told me that he thought the flecainide was part of the cause and they pulled me off.  Flecainide can cause flutter in people with afib.  The 2 are  not the same.  Often they can ablate to correct the flutter and then you wind up back with afib!!  Normally, the top chambers (atria) contract and push blood into the bottom chambers (ventricles). In atrial fibrillation, the atria beat irregularly. In atrial flutter, the atria beat regularly, but faster than usual and more often than the ventricles, so you may have four atrial beats to every one ventricular beat.
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  • Posted

    As far as I am aware Flutter is just a less formal name for AF.
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  • Posted

    Afib isn't the same with everyone, and that is probably true with the accuracy of blood pressure readings as well. In my case my afib always presents with a very fast HR (tachycardia) over 160 and very low blood pressure. When I take dilitiazem (cardizem) to bring my HR down, my blood pressure then comes back to normal.

    Someone mentioned they can tell they are in afib because their blood pressure machine has an "irregular beat" function. This is not a reliable way to tell if you're in afib. My blood pressure machine registers "irregular beats" all the time but 99.9% of the time they are benign PACs and not afib.

    Afib and atrial flutter are two related but different arrhythmias and present differently with an EKG.

    Jim

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    • Posted

      Useful post, Jim, but please explain your acronyms! PAC, PCP, EKG (is this like an ECG?).

      I have (or had before my ablation) a high correlation between my BP machine saying "irregular beats", experience of AF symptoms (principally weakness), and the low BP/ high HR combination. But that's just my experience.

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    • Posted

      ECG and EKG are both abbreviations for Electrocardiograrm. Same thing.

      PACs are Premature Atrial Contractions which are often benign and can be mistaken for afib sometimes even by EKG if the doctor or nurse is inexperienced.

      PVCs are Premature Ventrical Contractions which are often benign and can be mistaken for afib sometimes even by EKG if the doctor or nurse is inexperienced.

      Chances are your blood pressure machine will show "irregular beats" if you're in afib, but it will also probably show "irregular beats" if you have PACs or PVCs. The only definitive way to know is by EKG read preferably by an EP (electrophisiologist). I'm not saying symptons aren't important, but in general relying on something like "weakness" can be unreliable. I suggest something like the Kardia Mobile if you want to know at home if you're really in afib or not.

      Jim

       

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