Newly diagnosed with A Fib and worried!

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Hi all. I went to the doc a few days ago with palpitations and anxiety attacks that had started waking me through the night over a few days. She gave me propranalol and i had an ECG. Bloods came back normal apart from hormones which said i was i. Menopause & possible cause of palpitations. ECG showed minor A Fib. Doc said she needed clarification from cardiologist so been waiting to hear back & feeling very anxious. Also light headed and unsteady on feet which is hopefully the change in BP from betablockers. History...increasing anxiety for 18 mths (menopause?) as well as chronic digestive (gas) issue for a cple yrs (ibs? All tests negative), palpitations sporadic over 2 years coinciding with excess gas, leading to panic attacks. Over Xmas, more stomach upset due to eating richer foods...panic attacks and 'palpitations' at night (waking me up many times), then diagnosis of minor A Fib. Any support would be much appreciated, thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julia reading this as made me double think my afib now and just how much is anxiety etc as the other day I felt like I was going into afib .. heart picking up speed light headed but my granddaughter turn up really upset in the conversation that followed I realised my heart was normal for me 47/51 and it was because I didn't have time to think about it ? I'm on bisoparol and blood pressure tablets and thyroxine , I'm beginning to think it might be 80% anxiety and 20% afib , I'm on the fodmap diet too so do feel better in myself now ( hope that keeps up) and I hope you have more answers now and feeling better it's a scary thing at first but ppl on this site are really helpful and knowledgeable 👍 X

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    • Posted

      Thank you Bea. Yes I'm the same, when I think about the AFib i get anxiety symptoms. I dont know if its possible that my anxiety and overproducing adrenaline for 18mths started the AFib off? I've never had anxiety before...I'm putting it down to the menopause. Im on betablockers now so that should help, but no bloodthinners as docs figuring out what to do, which worries me!

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    • Posted

      Julie if you look on some of the threads about the vagal nerve that connects the heart ,stomach, brain it makes so much sense I googled it too learnt so much and the fodmap diet is amazing , most ppl who have afib tend to have stomach problems too I hope this helps , Bea
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  • Posted

    Hi Julie, there seems to be a lot of anxiety there and rightly so as you are worried. There does seem to be a link to stomach and acidity and A Fib and certainly since I have been going through the menopause it does happen more frequently. It is just a case of seeing how it goes and if it gets worse there are things that can be tried as well as the drugs route. If you can stay calm that may help you relax more. I know it can be a worry but I am sure the Cardiologist will find the best treatment for you. Do you lie on your right or left side? It seems to be happening to people more who sleep on the right side and it is more noticeable in the posts I have followed over the years. Might be worth changing if you do and see if your sleep is better.
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    • Posted

      Hi Mazieboo , I thought it was when you slept on your heart side it caused it and for the last 2 years iv slept on my right side 😐 It's great to learn new things to help cope with this awful thing , thank you x

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    • Posted

      Hi Bea, i was told it was a strain for the heart sleeping on your right side and each time I was awoken with AF it has been when I have been on my right hand side but it is interesting to see what other links and common symptoms we all get. There is definitely a link with digestive problems due to the Vagus nerve that connects both and any upset to that area seems to trigger AF.
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    • Posted

      Hi Mazie, i used to sleep on back or left side but it triggers the palps now so i sleep on back or right side, propped up on a few pillows. Yes Ive read about the connection between stomach and heart via the vagus nerve.... I suppose i feel in limbo cos i know ive got the AFs but dont know yet if it lone AF or if theres any disease there. Thank you for your support
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie, when it first used to happen that awful fluttering where you think your heart is not going to carry on beating it scares you so much that the anxiety kicks in and you panic which does not help. I have had mine since 2006 and have to carry what the doctor termed as a "pocket tablet" so if within 15 minutes I am not back in sinus rhythm I have to get help. I spend a lot of time on my own too and that is scary but we all have phones to reach someone and if you panic about it you realise you are not living your life, just wondering when it is going to happen next and that is not good for you. I am now on warfarin I as I am diabetic and they two things put me at risk so taking the blood thinning medication should prevent any nasty clots forming when it does happen. I think you will find many of us on here when we first had it happen felt the same as you but as time goes on you just live with it as others have said. I hope when you get your proper diagnosis you will feel more at ease.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Maziboo. I dont like to bother people in the night and actually yesterday i was feeling very unsteady in the morning (possibly getting used to betablockers?) and was thinking about going to A&E. I spoke to my mum who said not to, its not an emergency, and my dad came and picked me up and gave me a lecture for thinking of wasting A&E time! Ive only been to A&E once in my life. They dont understand that until i know the extent of the AFib , im gonna worry when i feel weird especially as no one would notice for ages!

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    • Posted

      Once you have seen someone I am sure you will feel better about it. Anxiety can cause a lot of stress so difficult to attribute what is stress related and what is AF related. I remember feeling exactly the same Julie, especially in the night when rational thoughts go out of your mind when it scares you. I always take water to bed and the colder the better so sometimes if it starts up I take a few sips and it goes off it seems to trigger back into a proper rhythm. Compared to how I felt when I first got the symptoms and was told what it was, I look upon it as a blip that comes and goes and carry on doing more now than I ever did and I think less about it as I am so busy which is good to take your mind of dwelling on it although I know it is always there due to the feeling I get it is unmissable but I shrug it off and carry on with whatever I am doing.
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  • Posted

    Hi Julie, I was diagnosed 6 years ago and since then I've discovered a lot about my A Fib. It can be so different for everyone. With me it's truly a food, and irritated vagus nerve thing. With a stress component thrown in there. I'm also on the FODMAP diet and it's a miracle for me. I'm very strict with it and it works! Over Christmas I was eating many foods I shouldn't as we all do at this time of year and sure enough I had 2 mini attacks that self corrected. Thank God as I was too busy to go for a cardioversion lol.

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    • Posted

      Hi again Sandie I was wondering how you were getting on with the fodmap diet I think it's great and hopefully the Moore weight I get of the better il feel , iv had a few non starting afibs but am feeling lots better than I was 🤗

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    • Posted

      Once you know it's not a disease of the heart and more an electrical malfunction you'll be able to relax a bit. It does get easier but I think how it feels physically when it happens is what freaks most people out. I wish sometimes I was one of those A Fib people like my dad who don't even know their in A Fib. They feel nothing. Oh I wish lol.

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    • Posted

      Sandiishealthy - that is a good point about some people not knowing they are in AF.    AF and being on all the tabs has turned me into a weak wreck and I know instantly when it flips  but the good thing is I don't panic and get anxious when I get the AF  I remain perfectly calm because I want it to correct and save myself a trip to A&E.    Lots of people have AF but it affects us all differently.  But agree it is just the electrics and  with careful managment of the fuse when it blows you do get used to it.   Or do I mean learn to live with it!!! 

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    • Posted

      Julie - It varies for all but I have had AF since 2011 and have had about 15 hospitalisations and lots of self managed episodes.    I had an echo and scan the other day in prep for ablation and all above episodes have been happening in a 'structurally sound heart' so please don't panic and make adjustments where you know it will help. 

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    • Posted

      Yes it's a horrible feeling and then for me the panic ensues and living on my own, I find it hard with no support. Ive been on betablockers for a week but feel a bit dizzy, unsteady on feet, so I've not been shopping in days. I was walking 10miles a week before xmas, now I feel I should wait to hear more before I exercise. So then im not getting any feel good chemicals either :-(

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kate, my main problem is stress reaction...now Im on betablockers hopefully i shouldnt get the adrenaline dump on the heart, maybe things will settle. Sorry to hear you've had a rough ride with it.

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    • Posted

      Although you don't say what dose you are on I would ring GP get an appoitnment or at least ask to speak to them and tell them you are unstready on your feet.    I get this with drugs too.  I find I can take lower doses of some drugs than others  - beta blockers in particular.  I take just 1.25 a day (half the losest dose tablet)    Drugs do take a bit of getting used to but you shouldn't have gone from 10 miles to nil.     I live on my own I do understand but even when I feel terrible and can hardly put one foot in front the other I make myself walk  in the fresh air a short distance  - sometimes I have felt horrendous but I have ALWAYS got back home safely.  Sometimes my pace is very slow because I have such weakness but I need the walk to get the toxins released.   It makes such a difference.  

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    • Posted

      Im taking 3x40 mg propranalol (for 7 days), hopefully my doc should be ringing with update on where to go from here and I'll mention the dizziness, thanks for your advice and yes I will make sure I get out to the shop tomorrow...need milk lol

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    • Posted

      I used to be on propranalol but cannot remember the dose now.  I'm not on bisopropol.     Def sound like it might be worth talking to GP about taking less and see if you get your legs back.    But rest assured I know the feeling. Good Luck. 

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