Afib: What causes an episode? What if I don't notice?

Posted by dfelix @dfelix, Jan 27, 2019

yesterday I had episodes of afib. I was just laying down when my heart started beating fast. Over 100 beats per min, What are possible casues of these occurances?

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@afrobin

Right now this must all be scary but rest assured, you sound ok. You'll be going to your grandson's wedding one day. It sounds like your lifestyle (except for the wine) is perfect. Can you give it up for a while plus any stimulants until you get the issue resolved?
I'm sorry to hear that you have had to go through such a terrible experience as carbon monoxide poisoning. I did a quick check and there are cardiac residual effects. But this was 4 years ago so I can't imagine you would suffer any residual effects at this point. I think you are right; all that wine was too much, especially the one evening of excess and that was an assault on your body.
When I first saw the cardiologist with my wild heartbeat, he was alarmed and he told me that of 10 people who go to see him with an arrhythmia, he only medicates 1. And I was that one. He told me that unless an irregular heartbeat compromises one's quality of life, he does not medicate. In my case it did as I suffered from air hunger…needing to constantly take breaths to get enough oxygen and feeling faint. I really couldn't function well. You mentioned that your heart rate was 84 bpm. That is absolutely normal.
Suggestion: sleep on your left side to prevent irregular or pounding beats. I found that helpful. If your heart really does race (e.g. 120 bpm), bearing down as if you are doing a BM can really help.
Some of this could be hormonal. When my Afib was at its worst, I took estrogen as an alternative to beta blockers and it completely stopped. But when I added progesterone (which one needs to do), the Afib returned in part. I take Vagifem and bioidentical progesterone…both creams. Not that I am suggesting you do. But keep these things in mind as options to explore.
And in the meantime, don't worry until you see your doctor next Tuesday. While you are waiting for your cardiology appointment, live a 'clean life'. Your body needs a break from stress, alcohol, toxic environments and any stimulants. Go for big walks (with the baby?) and breathe in the fresh almost spring air. GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you fare.

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BTW, I feel a hunger for oxygen also. I feel I cannot get enough air. I've felt that way for about a year. The doc thought it was because of my acid reflux. I'm tired a lot. I used to have so much energy that this is totally uncharacteristic for me. Once upon a time I worked/raised a family/did all the cooking & housework, and found time to sew clothes for myself and my girls. Now it's hard to get through the day. But, hopefully after I see the cardiologist I will have more answers.

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@afrobin

Right now this must all be scary but rest assured, you sound ok. You'll be going to your grandson's wedding one day. It sounds like your lifestyle (except for the wine) is perfect. Can you give it up for a while plus any stimulants until you get the issue resolved?
I'm sorry to hear that you have had to go through such a terrible experience as carbon monoxide poisoning. I did a quick check and there are cardiac residual effects. But this was 4 years ago so I can't imagine you would suffer any residual effects at this point. I think you are right; all that wine was too much, especially the one evening of excess and that was an assault on your body.
When I first saw the cardiologist with my wild heartbeat, he was alarmed and he told me that of 10 people who go to see him with an arrhythmia, he only medicates 1. And I was that one. He told me that unless an irregular heartbeat compromises one's quality of life, he does not medicate. In my case it did as I suffered from air hunger…needing to constantly take breaths to get enough oxygen and feeling faint. I really couldn't function well. You mentioned that your heart rate was 84 bpm. That is absolutely normal.
Suggestion: sleep on your left side to prevent irregular or pounding beats. I found that helpful. If your heart really does race (e.g. 120 bpm), bearing down as if you are doing a BM can really help.
Some of this could be hormonal. When my Afib was at its worst, I took estrogen as an alternative to beta blockers and it completely stopped. But when I added progesterone (which one needs to do), the Afib returned in part. I take Vagifem and bioidentical progesterone…both creams. Not that I am suggesting you do. But keep these things in mind as options to explore.
And in the meantime, don't worry until you see your doctor next Tuesday. While you are waiting for your cardiology appointment, live a 'clean life'. Your body needs a break from stress, alcohol, toxic environments and any stimulants. Go for big walks (with the baby?) and breathe in the fresh almost spring air. GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you fare.

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I have a question. Did the doc tell you why you couldn't breathe good? I have thought over the past year my breathing issues were because of either acid reflux or the smoke inhalation I suffered. I have thought it was my lungs. Was your breathing problem because of your heart?

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I have had a abnormal heart rate for about two weeks..when i take my pulse it very irregular ex. beat beat beat then 3-5 very fast beats than slow to three or so beats than maybe a pause than back to 4-5 very rapid beats on and on and usually 130 avg beats per min. I have a history of paroxysmal afib which is usually controlled..occasional i go into afib but doesn't last more than 24 hours and usually not rapid heart rate . i take a beta blocker and propafenone and have for years any ideas / really worried about fast heart rate as this has not happen before for this long….I just went to dr office and saw another provider as mine on vacation…they did multiple EKG's all with hr 130-145 not sure on rhythm could be fib or flutter increased my beta blocke and put on blood thinner …….any ideas what is going on has this happen to others ??
..

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@samtobias1968

I have had a abnormal heart rate for about two weeks..when i take my pulse it very irregular ex. beat beat beat then 3-5 very fast beats than slow to three or so beats than maybe a pause than back to 4-5 very rapid beats on and on and usually 130 avg beats per min. I have a history of paroxysmal afib which is usually controlled..occasional i go into afib but doesn't last more than 24 hours and usually not rapid heart rate . i take a beta blocker and propafenone and have for years any ideas / really worried about fast heart rate as this has not happen before for this long….I just went to dr office and saw another provider as mine on vacation…they did multiple EKG's all with hr 130-145 not sure on rhythm could be fib or flutter increased my beta blocke and put on blood thinner …….any ideas what is going on has this happen to others ??
..

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That's too bad that your Afib has taken this turn. I have said this before and I will say it again; cut out ALL stimulants such as coffee (not even 1 cup), tea, alcohol, stress, chocolate, dental medications etc.. When I had Afib (I cured myself of the worst case the cardiologist had ever seen) I was told not to EVER have those stimulants again in my life….and I listened. That could certainly help you BIG TIME! Good luck!

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@afrobin

That's too bad that your Afib has taken this turn. I have said this before and I will say it again; cut out ALL stimulants such as coffee (not even 1 cup), tea, alcohol, stress, chocolate, dental medications etc.. When I had Afib (I cured myself of the worst case the cardiologist had ever seen) I was told not to EVER have those stimulants again in my life….and I listened. That could certainly help you BIG TIME! Good luck!

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thank you and I am working on cutting stimulants even though never bothered me before…

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@samtobias1968

I have had a abnormal heart rate for about two weeks..when i take my pulse it very irregular ex. beat beat beat then 3-5 very fast beats than slow to three or so beats than maybe a pause than back to 4-5 very rapid beats on and on and usually 130 avg beats per min. I have a history of paroxysmal afib which is usually controlled..occasional i go into afib but doesn't last more than 24 hours and usually not rapid heart rate . i take a beta blocker and propafenone and have for years any ideas / really worried about fast heart rate as this has not happen before for this long….I just went to dr office and saw another provider as mine on vacation…they did multiple EKG's all with hr 130-145 not sure on rhythm could be fib or flutter increased my beta blocke and put on blood thinner …….any ideas what is going on has this happen to others ??
..

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Thanks, all but chocolate are long gone. I thought that dark chocolate has some good properties. Interesting about dental medications. Stress-hmm…Do you still eat any sugar treats? Ice cream?

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@samtobias1968

I have had a abnormal heart rate for about two weeks..when i take my pulse it very irregular ex. beat beat beat then 3-5 very fast beats than slow to three or so beats than maybe a pause than back to 4-5 very rapid beats on and on and usually 130 avg beats per min. I have a history of paroxysmal afib which is usually controlled..occasional i go into afib but doesn't last more than 24 hours and usually not rapid heart rate . i take a beta blocker and propafenone and have for years any ideas / really worried about fast heart rate as this has not happen before for this long….I just went to dr office and saw another provider as mine on vacation…they did multiple EKG's all with hr 130-145 not sure on rhythm could be fib or flutter increased my beta blocke and put on blood thinner …….any ideas what is going on has this happen to others ??
..

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Remember how important it is to stay on blood thinners. It largely eliminates the danger of stroke.

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@soph

Remember how important it is to stay on blood thinners. It largely eliminates the danger of stroke.

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long ago was on warfarin but then took off as told not standard of care just baby asa. started today on XARELTO

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I have permanent afib brought on by high blood pressure. My doctor says there is no treatment for me. I'm devastated. How do I cope with this?

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@kates1221

I have permanent afib brought on by high blood pressure. My doctor says there is no treatment for me. I'm devastated. How do I cope with this?

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@kates1221, I too have permanent A-fib brought on by high blood pressure and have been under treatment for it for more than five-and-a-half years. Troubling as it has been, I have never been frightened by my arrhythmic heart beats, because I have been under medical treatment for it since mid-2014. My confidence is probably bolstered by the fact that 1) I rarely feel my irregular heart beats (although they show up on my BP meter every time I measure my blood pressure), and 2) constant medical treatment has kept my fears at bay.

Treatment started with Coumadin to prevent formation of clots in my atrial chambers. At the same time, dampening my heart beats was helped, first, by calcium channel blockers and, later, by the beta blocker Carvedilol. My cardiologist (an electrophysiologist) is prepared to prescribe other medications that provide "cardioversion" to overcome irregular heart beats that are more threatening. He also described the surgical procedure, "ablation," that he'd perform for even more serious and resistant heart rhythm problems.

My main threats come from hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and stroke — not from A-fib or any other heart ailment. So in addition to a Cardiologist, my medical team includes a Nephrologist (treating BP and kidney disease), a Neurologist to deal with strokes, and a Pharmacy PhD who helps me manage my Coumadin anticoagulant.

I hope your conditions are not more trouble than mine. Would you mind sharing why your doctor feels there is no treatment for your A-fib? Have you had the chance to discuss with your doctor any of the possibilities that have helped me?

Martin

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@kates1221

I have permanent afib brought on by high blood pressure. My doctor says there is no treatment for me. I'm devastated. How do I cope with this?

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Did he offer to put u on any meds?

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@chris24

Stress will sometimes bring my on. Or sometimes I wake up with it. I think each person is a little different. Try eliminating caffeine if you drink it.

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Definitely for me is stress. I was under a lot of stress recently and, when I lay down in bed, Afib started. It is the first time I have felt it even though the doc said I have it. I just went to sleep and, when I woke later on, it was gone. I also had just eaten a spicy pizza so that may have had something to do with it.

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