Afib: What causes an episode? What if I don't notice?
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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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.
Thanks. That is very helpful. I am used to sleeping on my tummy, but will try to modify my sleeping position. I am OK not drinking wine. I've been winding down anyway over the past couple years due to acid reflux. Giving up coffee was actually a little bit harder. I had a headache for a couple days, but there could be a couple reasons for that, as my BP went up to 144/75 when I had my first scary episode.
I tried a technique the last ER doc told me about. I put a straw in my mouth and covered the other end and blew really, really hard, until I felt I was going to pass out. It didn't stop the episode though. I also splashed my face with cold water. That stopped it for about 10 minutes but then it came back. This was at about 1 or 2 am.
I just talked to my mom and she said she's had a irregular heartbeat for over twenty years. So hers started when she was my age. She has dementia, which could be a consequence of the afib. Her sisters did not/do not have dementia, nor did/do any of her brothers, and one of them has been an alcoholic most of his life. So, it might not be my nightly wine with dinner that's causing this after all.
I can't get in to see a cardiologist until my doc gives me a referral, and I see her next Tuesday. Even after than it takes more than a month to get in, so I won't have any definitive answers until then. But, I feel more like I'm going to live a while. You never know how important it is to live until you think you're dying–and then all of a sudden you come up with all kinds of good reasons.
I'm going for a long walk today (two miles) in the sunshine, and maybe do some pushups and yoga. Get disciplined. It helps that spring is almost here.
Thanks again for the wise words and encouragement. I feel more hopeful now and less defeated.
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.
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?
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 ??
long ago was on warfarin but then took off as told not standard of care just baby asa. started today on XARELTO
Remember how important it is to stay on blood thinners. It largely eliminates the danger of stroke.
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?
thank you and I am working on cutting stimulants even though never bothered me before…
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!