why does bending over provoke worst AFib dizziness?

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Why is AFib dizziness worst upon standing upright after bending over for 20+ seconds? Example tying laces. I consistently feel close to blacking out (again). Scary 30-seconds-to-death mention on British tv documentary 'GPs: Behind Closed Doors' on Feb 1st.

Sadly, my (UK based) cardiologist department wiped my 24-hour heart-rate Holter tape-recording without downloading the data or analysing it. Batteries ran out on 2nd try before I did normal daily activities. A month ago I asked my GP to ask them to try again. No response. 5 months since learning I have constant AFib. Apparently started 21 years ago in my 30s when I was dropped onto my front.

I am keen to know whether I can get back, now, to pushing myself to bend over, lift things, walk up slopes with shopping - my triggers for increased dizziness + palpitations.

Understanding the science of why bending provokes the worst sudden dizziness may help me (+ others?) invent coping methods. I want to get active in the garden, after this 5-month wait, and 21-year health challenges. The NHS leaves me feeling rather alone. Thanks if YOU can help, folks.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Liz,

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma, sounds like you need a couple of second opinions from different GP & Cardilogist.

    Sounds to me like your experience with dizziness could be your blood pressure is to low.

    LHope you get sorted L.

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  • Posted

    Its postural Hypotension Liz. This can happen in NSR with people with low blood pressure. But when in AF the hearts output is less efficient. So when you straighten up quickly, the blood supply to the brain drops, causing you to feel faint/dizzy. A normal heart will compensate quickly. But one in AF will not.  

     

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    • Posted

      Linda + Terence, thanks for your replies. Interesting you both cite low BP. Unmedicated, mine has always been within Normal Range, though whereas at 20yrs it was at the lower end of normal, it's risen towards the higher end (approx 140/80) but fluctuates widely, and is often 10-15 different between Left + Right arms.

      My rather slap-dash cardiologist wanted me to take high BP BP medication (to slow down my rapid, erratic AFib heart-rate) but so far I have declined. When my GP, earlier, had me for 6 weeks on Verapamil it gave me progressively low BP (eg 80/46) and all-over swelling.

      Alas, my cardiologist + GP both declare home BP kits are 'inaccurate'. So they are ignoring my 7am + 11pm daily readings for 2 months which show wide variation in readings, from day to day, and arm to arm. I've learned my friend's kit that I use was calibrated by his GP, so I'll convey this info at next GP appt.

      Anyone know if a person with low blood pressure can, under some circumstances of being in constant AFib actually read as high BP - perhaps heart trying to compensate for erratic beats? This could account for my 4-stone (56pounds for US readers) of water retention I gained very rapidly upon my mid-30s injury, despite not increasing calorie intake or drastically reducing physical output (walking, pottering around, not couch-potatoeing).

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    • Posted

      Hi Liz,

      I questioned it when I was told I needed 1.25mg of Bisoporol beta blocker to control heart rate as I have never in my life had high blood pressure never higher than 120/65 so you can imaine since starting bisoporol mine is often as low as 105/60 and sometimes lower so I often suffer with postural hypotension, and always get up slowly from sitting..with refernce to blood pressure monitor here in the UK you can get one from bristish heart foundation that also tells you if you are in Afib, it is very good and tried and tested it takes your blood pressure 3 times and gives you an overall figure.

      L.

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    • Posted

      Liz I take atenolol a beta blocker for what  started out to be premature ventricular beats and premature atrial contractions I had that for probably about 20 years and then one day I got atrial fib I was diagnosed with that three years ago  I already had low blood pressure now my blood pressure is 96/60 and I have to be very careful I'm always dizzy and I take my blood pressure constantly but these GPs and even the cardiologist that I have he takes  everything I say so lightly because he's not in our shoes if he was he would stand up and listen.I tell him about my blood pressure that I take it home and he says well it may be low at home but it's not low here so he doesn't even take that seriously I am so frustrated with this atrial fib and these doctors who don't understand because they've never had it

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda + Diana,

      Thanks for input, and good luck to both of you in coping with AFIb.

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  • Posted

    Hi Liz, just wondering if you take yor BP at the same of day? I only ask this because when I was taking more meds than I currently am, I would occasionally get those dizzy spells when standing upright a bit too quickly. It turned out that My blood pressure was a bit on the low end of things after my morning meds had been digested. I figured this out one day when I had a morning cardiologist appointment, and he remarked that my BP was a bit on the lower end of acceptable ( When it had been fine a couple of earlier).
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    • Posted

      Hi Simon, glad you worked out effect on your BP according to how long ago meds consumed. My home readings were fairly strictly 7am (upon waking) + 11pm (directly before bedtime). Very erratic BP. Neither my GP nor the cardiologist I have seen (only once) believe eating withn 2 hours pre BP-reading;  or exercise within 30 minutes;  has any effect on the numbers. I, however, am of the view blood going to the stomach or muscles is likely to be relevant. Perhaps I'm wrong...?

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    • Posted

      LizUK I think your right on the money regarding BP numbers eating etc does have an effect.
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