Does this sound like AF?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Dear All,

History of DVT's and three PE's. Now taking lifelong Apixaban.

Since Tuesday 27th December, I have been experiencing significant chest palpitations, flutterings, shortness of breath and a dry cough. Accompanied by general lethargy.

I have experienced similar symptoms in the past, but a range of extensive investigations including a stress echocardiogram, ruled out any heart issues.

However, my current symptoms are more chronic in their severity and are showing no signs of subsiding.

I have a GP appointment next Wednesday-the earliest that I could see him.

Do such symptoms suggest the possible onset of AF? Any other suggestions? I do feel quite poorly.

Best wishes


0 likes, 22 replies

22 Replies

  • Posted

    AF is a possibility but you need to have an ECG when you have the palpitations so go to your A&E when you have an episode. Your heart would look normal between episodes as mine does as I have Pafib.

    • Posted

      Thank you Marco,

      Symptoms still persist.

      Excuse my ignorance, but what is Pafib?



    • Posted

      Pafib is Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, which means it comes and goes and mine is self-terminating. When I'm not in Paf my heart appears perfectly normal which is why it is important to get an ECG record when you have an episode, as in my experience doctors only believe what they can see not what they can hear from a patient.

  • Posted

    You need to go to your local a&e for an ECG this sounds very much like af

    • Posted

      Thanks Sue,

      Although my symptoms still persist (today has been particularly bad) I will try to hang on until I see my GP on Wednesday.

      About twelve months ago, I did have a full range of extensive tests, including ECG, Echocardiogram and Stress Echocardiogram.

      All results were assessed as being 'normal'!

      However, as Marco has pointed out, at the time of the medical tests, I was not experiencing any symptoms.

      Interestingly, during the episodes today, for the first time, I actually took my own pulse - which was so blatantly erratic!

      Perhaps I will attend A&E tomorrow.

      Many thanks.


    • Posted

      My AF started last August, I was taken into Hospital with a pulse rate of 178 and put on apixaban, bisoprolol and digoxin. The meds have been adjusted slightly since then and i feel fine now although i did get some side effects. I will have the AF for life but it won't stop me doing anything as long as its controlled you can live a normal life. I hope you get sorted very soon.

    • Posted

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      My pulse does not race as such. I was checking it last night at various stages during my fluttering episodes and it appeared to 'miss' beats.

      Does this happen with AF?

      Will keep you posted!

      Best wishes


  • Posted

    I visited my GP this morning.

    He feels that my symptoms are potentially indicative of AF. He arranged for me to set up an appointment with one of my local hospitals to have a 24 hour ECG Machine attached to establish heart rhythm readings.

    Frustratingly, my earliest hospital appointment is go 02 February!!!!

    Too long for me to wait, so I am considering paying to have a private Consult with a Cardiologist who specialised in AF.

    I need to establish the cause of my symptoms!

    • Posted

      Problem with that is if your heart is normal over the 24 hour holter period it won't tell you or your doctor anything about your possible afib which is why I would advise visit to A&E when you have an episode. When I was in similar situation my GP gave me a letter requesting an emergency ECG at A&E.

    • Posted

      Hi Marco,

      You are right! I appreciate you sharing your experience.

      My wife purchased a blood pressure machine for me (one of the more expensive ones) and the reading immediately detected an abnormal heart beat.

      I am not one for placing our over stretched A and E Department under more strain so have decided to act on your advice.

      My symptoms are showing no signs of stopping.

      Tomorrow, if I continue to experience the same symptoms, my wife will drive me straight to A and E.

      Thank you for your help!


    • Posted

      That's what A & E are for, be prepared to stay in at least 24 hours whilst they monitor you and medicate if necessary . AF will be explained and you can ask any questions you may have if that's what's diagnosed. Hope you go on ok

    • Posted

      Many thanks Sue,

      It certainly looks like a visit to A and E is in order.

      I will keep you and Marco updated with the outcome. After all, I think that it is good to share our experiences!

      Best wishes


  • Posted

    Hi Nigel,

    like Marco I suffer with P afib. Never had an episode longer than 12 hours. I too don't get a racing pulse but extremely erratic like a car backfiring. Or jungle drums as someone once said. Mine has always self righted.

    I have suffered with episodes like you and they ended up giving me a holter monitor for a week. I had an episode which proved it to be AF.

    my doc wants me to increase my drugs but I reckon the drugs can make you feel worse. I am now trying to improve my condition by lifestyle/dietary changes.

    there some interesting discussions in this forum about diet and  the vagus nerve you might like to look up

    • Posted

      Hi Reginald,

      I am reluctant to add further medication and will indeed research the impact of diet and lifestyle on the vagus nerve.

      Has anyone any knowledge of the use of Hawthorn to ease the effects of AF?

      Best wishes


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